One of the key challenges that international businesses face is foreign exchange. When businesses transfer funds from one country to another, they have to deal with currency fluctuations and transfer fees. Here are a few things to have in mind when transferring funds overseas.

Foreign exchange challenges

Very often, businesses sending funds abroad are subject to unexpected currency movements in the values of currencies, which can have a significant impact on their funds. If the market moves against you, your funds by the time they are exchanged into the new currency, might worth less. Or vice versa. If the market moves to your favour, your funds might worth much more. But such movements are unpredictable and currency risks can be mitigated with the help of a currency exchange specialist as Universal Partners FX who can suggest ways to move you funds in the best possible way, securing your transfers and offering valuable support.

Too complex? What contract should you choose?

Choosing the right contract can be daunting and the complicated terminology can be discouraging. A spot contract refers to the exchange of currencies at the current (or “spot”) market rate and the two parties agree to exchange their currencies at a predetermined date. Another type of forex contract is called a forex forward contract. In a forward contract, two parties agree to change the currency at a predetermined date and exchange rate. Similar to forward contracts, forex futures contracts are managed on an exchange. Futures contracts and forward contracts are very safe and can be used to hedge against risk. Your dedicated currency specialist can walk you through your various options and help you choose what is best for your business and specific situation. But whether you choose between forwards, futures, or spots, it is important to understand the way the forex market works and gain a competitive edge in forex that can save you a lot of money.

What is Forex?

Forex, or foreign exchange, is the single largest and most liquid market in the world, with over $6 trillion changing hands every day as foreign exchange is essential to both businesses and individuals. From changing money when visiting another country, to banks trading funds with their customers and other banks, forex transactions are a regular and everyday operation. Forex traders or speculators also trade forex for profit and can do so as part of their profession or as a hobby. Whether professionals or beginners, forex traders earn a profit by buying one form of currency when it is priced low, and then selling it when it rises so they can potentially make a profit. International businesses also exchange money when paying their international suppliers.

Why Currencies Fluctuate?

Several factors affect the value of currencies. Money supply by changing interbank borrowing rates or printing more money can affect the value of a currency. Central banks’ decisions, policies and how much money is available in the market can have an important impact on the value of a currency too. The laws of supply and demand can also change the value a currency, since if a currency is appealing, traders would want to buy it, but if no one needs it, it will decrease in value.

Transferring funds?

If your business is making an international bank transfer, it is good to seriously consider a currency exchange company such as Universal Partners FX. Currency transfers with UPFX are usually faster, cheaper and equally secure than any bank. You can easily send funds abroad without any hassle and without too many intermediaries.

If you’re  transferring funds from or to a foreign bank account, our dedicated customer support team or your personal account manager will explain everything you need to know about making a transfer effectively. You can also use our simple and user-friendly online platform to transfer your funds in a fast, secure and affordable way. Get in touch now with Universal Partners FX and find out how you can make the most of your hard-earned money.

If you are a business that has international suppliers, clients or employees, you will know that you will need to exchange your national currency for another one in order to make payments or convert income. These exchanges take place in the foreign exchange market.

The foreign exchange market, or Forex market, is widely considered to be one of the most liquid markets in the world, with more than $6 trillion being traded every day. Also known as the FX market, it is made up of a vast network of banks, commercial companies, investment firms, hedge funds, as well as retail investors and forex brokers. It is a global marketplace where people and institutions exchange one currency against another. The foreign exchange market is not controlled by a central bank or regulatory institution.

Understanding what forex is and how it works is essential when transferring funds overseas and especially if you are a professional trader trading in forex.

What does it mean exchanging or converting currencies?

When we talk about exchanging or converting currencies, we refer to the exchange rate, which is the price of one currency in relation to another one. It is the relative price of the specific two currencies or currency pair. A foreign exchange rate can be expressed as the number of units of the home or domestic currency per unit of the foreign currency. FX rates can also be quoted indirectly. If, for example, the exchange rate between the US dollar and the euro was on 20 July 2020 in Germany €0.900 and $1.110, then the first is a direct quotation and the second one an indirect one. This is because the first one is from the point of view of the domestic country of the euro.

Banks, foreign exchange companies, and international financial institutions provide forex services in exchange for a fee.

Foreign Currencies

There are more than 170 currencies around the world, but everyone knows that the most popular currency that dominates the markets is the US Dollar or USD. The EUR or euro is also a well-known and widely used major currency accepted in 19 countries of the European Union. The GBP, Sterling or British pound, the JPY or Japanese yen (JPY), the Australian dollar (AUD) or Aussie, the Canadian dollar (CAD) or Loonie are also important currencies that are exchange regularly and traded in the forex market. What are known as majors, are the below currency pairs which account for around 75% of forex trading: EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, USD/CAD, USD/CHF and NZD/USD.

Transferring funds?

If you are making an international bank transfer, it is good to seriously consider a currency exchange company such as Universal Partners FX. Currency transfers with UPFX are usually faster, cheaper and equally secure than any bank. You can easily send funds abroad without any hassle and without too many intermediaries.

If you’re thinking of repatriating your salary, buying or selling your overseas property, making an investment, or transferring funds from or to a foreign bank account, our dedicated customer support team or your personal account manager will explain everything you need to know about making a transfer effectively. You can also use our simple and user-friendly online platform to transfer your funds in a fast, secure and affordable way. Get in touch now with Universal Partners FX and find out how you can make the most of your hard-earned money.

If you are a business that needs to pay your employees and suppliers abroad or convert income from overseas, you must have used the services of a bank or a currency specialist to do so. Using a currency specialist such as Universal Partners FX comes with certain benefits that your everyday banking institution cannot possibly deliver. From saving you money in unnecessary fees as well as securing a competitive exchange rate, UPFX’s dedicated team can relieve you of the burden of worrying about the exchange rate eating into your finances. A currency specialist will always provide a more thorough service than any bank can, and the overall winner is the client - getting better rates and more in depth insights.

If you want to make the right decisions and get the very best value when operating in the currency market, here are a few tips to consider.

Plan Ahead

Many businesses make the mistake of dealing with their foreign payments on a day-by-day basis. This opens you up to a huge amount of currency risk as the rate can fluctuate wildly from one to day to the next. At Universal Partners FX, we always help clients plan ahead by assessing their currency risk for the next 12 or even 24 months against the current rates. A strategy like this devised by an expert who will monitor the market can start saving thousands after just a few months.

Ignore Rates (at least initially)

This might sound illogical, but rates are not the most important thing when devising a strategy for your business to get the best value on foreign exchange. Choosing a provider based on their lower rates may yield dividends initially, but what happens when rates move? Like anything, price doesn't tell the whole story. Look out for the array of services that enable you to be flexible when the inevitable movements occur in the market. A spot contract can help you secure an excellent exchange rate at the moment you want to make an instant transfer, but you can budget effectively and protect your business from unexpected market volatility by fixing an exchange rate in advance with a forward contract. UPFX also offers stop loss and limit orders when you want to target a specific exchange rate. A limit order enables you to make a transfer at your desired and predetermined rate when the market reaches that level. A stop loss order is also perfect when you want to protect your funds against an unexpected currency drop by setting a predetermined worst-case rate. These are off-the-shelf products, but every business is different so we always tailor our strategies to suit the needs of each client individually.

Define Your Risk Appetite

As well as limiting risk, our services can also do much more than that. For businesses that have a higher risk appetite, our currency hedging solutions can enable businesses to profit from positive market fluctuations. Of course, this comes at a risk - but if you are in a saturated market where competitive advantage is everything, these strategies can not only protect your business, but also provide extra value that you can pass on to your customers. So before you embark on any strategy, it is important for you or your foreign payment provider to consider what risk level is appropriate for your business to cope with. 


If your business requires currency services to boost your bottom-line profits, UPFX’s dedicated customer support team or your personal account manager will explain everything you need to know about making foreign transfers effectively. You can also use our simple and user-friendly online platform to transfer your funds in a fast, secure and affordable way. Get in touch now with Universal Partners FX and find out how you can get the best possible value from the currency market.


Sustainability is a hot topic in the finance world, starting several years ago when many of the larger banks were pressured to move away from oil and gas and move towards the low-carbon economy. Having now seen the positive environmental impact that came from enforced COVID-19 lockdowns, there is now a call for sustainability to be a key component of the economic recovery. Transferring billions internationally on behalf of our clients, we have noticed a shift in where this money is going and what it is facilitating to suggest that a greener economy is achievable. As always, exchange rates can play a pivotal role in the growth of new industries that rely on international investment or global supply networks,

Solar Energy

Prior to 2008, solar cells and panels were mostly sourced from Europe, but since the market became more saturated the majority are now imported from China, Malaysia and Taiwan. These countries have notable world-leading solar farm projects, but a lot of the new projects are taking place in developing countries in Asia, South America and Africa.

As well as importing the technology and components, developing countries also rely on overseas investment from larger economies like the US to kick start projects. However, the risk associated to a certain currency may affect the confidence of the investor, therefore currency hedging becomes a crucial factor in the planning stage to ensure the investor is protected. In 2013, the sharp decline of the Indian Rupee meant that US investors lost significant profits on renewable energy projects.

Since 2016, we have seen a growing number of new clients being involved in renewable energy projects around the world, not to mention the emergence of flat-pack homes which are designed with solar panels. It was even suggested recently that flat-pack homes could be the answer to the affordable housing shortage in the UK. With developments like these we expect to see a continuation of the trend In the last 4 years, where the percentage of total FX volume attributed to renewable energy and sustainability projects has risen five fold, resulting in FX volume of over £137 million.

The Lithium Age

At the start of 2019 the growth of Electric Vehicles (EV) was highly anticipated. New climate agreements and legislation seemingly pointed towards the EV revolution. As the batteries in electric vehicles rely on lithium, this led to a surge in production ready for sales of EV to kick-off and even had some people asking 'Is lithium the new gold?' However, it didn't quite materialise as the slow-down of the EV market led to over-production and depreciation. Now, midway through 2020 it seems that lithium could be back in the spotlight.

Chile and Argentina - with their salt plane brine deposits - are two of the biggest Lithium producers in the world, alongside Australia and of course China, who rely heavily on Lithium for their vast electronics manufacturing operations. Since the start of the year we have taken on a number of clients who are directly or indirectly involved in importing lithium to the UK or producing the batteries for EV. We have seen over £20 million this year already, which is more than the whole of 2019.

UPFX and our pride in sustainability

With a passion for what we do, we not only want to help our clients but we also want to leave a positive impact on the world in general. With some of the largest banks starting to take a lead on sustainability, we also want to do our bit to ensure that the transition to a greener economy can continue apace. Along with thorough money laundering checks, our team also like to know that the transfer meets our sustainability requirements.

To get live exchange rates for your international transfer click here


Incoterms is an abbreviation for International Commercial Terms, which are a set of predefined commercial terms drafted by the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC). First published in 1936, Incoterms rules provide internationally accepted definitions and rules of interpretation for most common commercial terms.

Incoterms are primarily a set of three-letter codes which define trade terms related to responsibilities of businesses involved in a shipping or sale relationship. Simply put, they exist as a guide to ‘who does what’ in a variety of scenarios such as in the case of fright and insurance under the terms of a shipping contract. They aim to help traders avoid costly misunderstandings by identifying the tasks, costs and risks involved with the delivery of goods from sellers to buyers. Incoterms are recognised by UNCITRAL as the global standard for the interpretation of the most common terms in foreign trade.

A full list of Incoterms can be found here.

Why use Incoterms in international trade?

Despite other clauses for global trade existing around the world, Incoterms are global in their reach. They do not include trade terms codified for national purposes such as the ‘less than truckload shipping’ (LTL) rule used within the United States. Instead, Incoterms are universal, providing clarity and predictability to businesses all across the world.

When a business decides to enter international trade, whether that is selling a product oversees or importing finished goods and raw materials, it will be faced with a number of barriers. The logistics of physically moving goods can sometimes call into question the decisions that have made to operate in overseas markets that have been made at board level. Once a trade has been agreed, the responsibilities and roles of the various parties must be agreed upon and clear to all.

The majority of the work falls to the exporter, as they must produce the goods to be shipped, deal with a freight forwarder, assign a shipment date and vessel with the customer and comply with the terms of both the sales and shipping contract. The importer will have to apply for a letter of credit from their bank, transfer the terms of the contract onto his application, get in touch with a native freight forwarder preferably in the port where the goods have been agreed to arrive and possibly arrange insurance if not set out in the terms of the shipping contract.


Types of Incoterms


The above shows the full list of Incoterms and the transfer of risk, as of January 2020. The three most popular Incoterms are; CIF (Cost Insurance and Freight) Incoterms, FOB (Free on Board) Incoterms and CFR (Cost and Freight) Incoterms.

  • CIF Incoterms – This is a wide-ranging package where the seller in solely responsible for the foods until they arrive at the destination port.
  • FOB Incoterms – These terms set out that the exporter pays all costs up the and including the loading of goods onto the vessel for shipment. The buyer is then responsible for the cost of shipment, insurance and all costs in the country where the shipment is being sent.
  • CFR Incoterms – If this Incoterm is used in the sales contract, the seller is responsible for paying all carriage costs up to and including arrival at the port of import. Importantly, the buyer remains in charge for the insurance of all goods.

For businesses that work and deal with international imports and exports, Incoterms are just one of the factors that need to be considered when completing deal. Another important factor to take into consideration are exchange rates. Here at Universal Partners FX, our team of financial specialists help to make your international transfers to pay for all export and import costs as smooth as possible at the best possible rates. We specialise in a range of foreign exchange services including imports and exports and freight and logistics. You can learn more about we can help below.

Importers & Exporters >                 Freight & Logistics >

For more information on how Universal Partners FX can help with your international currency transfers, do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today.

Nowadays, currencies seem to be hitting all-time highs and all-time lows more often than ever before. Exchange rates are constantly fluctuating, causing somewhat of a headache for frequent travellers and international businesses around the world. But why do currencies fluctuate so often? The answer is relatively simple; supply and demand. The definition of supply and demand is ‘the amount of a commodity, product, or service available and the desire of buyers for it, considered as factors regulating its price.’ Simply put, the cost of something depends on how much is available against how many people want to buy it.

The majority of the world’s currencies are bought and sold based on flexible exchange rates, meaning their prices fluctuate based on the supply and demand in the foreign exchange market. Increased demand for a particular currency or a shortage in its availability will result in a price increase. A decreased demand or an influx in supply will lower its price. The supply and demand of currency are connected to several interrelated factors, including monetary policy, inflation rates and the conditions involved with the political and economic environment. So, let’s take a look at these individually.

Monetary Policy

Through monetary policy, a country is able to stimulate its economy. Central banks attempt to control the demand for currencies by increasing or decreasing the money supply and/or benchmark interest rates. The money supply is pretty self-explanatory; this is the amount of money that is in circulation within a country. As money supply increases and the accessibility to a currency rises, the cost of borrowing money decreases. The interest rate is the price at which money can be borrowed. With low-interest rates, people are businesses are more willing and able to borrow money. With more money being borrowed and ultimately spent, the economy begins to grow. However, if the amount of money in the economy is too high and the supply of good and services do not match, prices of these goods and services may begin to inflate.

Inflation Rates

Another factor which has a huge bearing on the fluctuations of currencies is the rate of inflation. The inflation rate is defined as ‘the rate at which the general price of goods and services is increasing.’ A small amount of inflation generally indicates good economic growth, however, too much of an increase can cause the economy to become unstable, leading to depreciation and decline in value of a currency.

The interest and inflation rates of a country have a huge influence on a country’s economy. If the inflation rate gets too high, the central bank may counteract the issue by increasing interest rates. The encourages people to stop spending and save their money instead as well as stimulating foreign investment and increasing the amount of capital entering the marketplace, which results in an increased demand for a currency. Therefore, an increase in interest rates can lead to an increase in the value of a currency. Similarly, a decrease in interest rates can result in a reduction in the value of a currency.

The Political & Economic Environment

The political and economic environment of a country is the final factor that can impact fluctuations of currency. Despite investors enjoy high interest rates, they also appreciate the predictability of an investment. This is why currencies from countries that are politically stable and have a solid economy tend to have a higher demand, which results in higher exchange rates.

Markets are constantly monitoring the current and predicted economic conditions of a country. As well as money supply, interest and inflation rates, other key economic indicators such as GDP, housing, unemployment rates and trade all have an influence on the economy of a country. If these factors show a strong and growing economy, its currency will tend to rise in value as demand increases.

Political conditions also have a resounding impact on the value of a currency. If a country is in the middle of political unrest or global tensions, take Brexit for example, the currencies of that country become less attractive and demand falls. On the other hand, if a market sees the introduction of a new government that shows signs of strong economic growth, a value of the currency may grow as people begin to buy based on the good news. It can be confusing though. Many would assume that the recent resignation of Sajid Javid as Chancellor would have negatively affected the pound. A key figure and supposed close ally of the Prime Minister would surely show the world that the UK is in yet more chaos and would affect confidence. However, the pound was given a boost by this, as the expected result is that Boris Johnson will have more control over spending, and the indications is that the budget will show higher spending than previous years.


In the end, there is not one single factor that can answer the question ‘why do currencies fluctuate?’ Instead, a host of factors related to demand and supply affect the values of currency and with more knowledge regarding these factors and their implications for fluctuations, the more accurate the predictions of value become.

With Universal Partners FX, however, you limit the risk of currency fluctuations massively thanks to our innovative online money platform. Here, you are able to select your chosen currency and lock in an exchange rate that suits you, so you never have to worry about losing out on your money further down the line. Simply sign-up to a personal or business account to begin and one of our currency specialists can help you the rest of the way.

Personal Account >         Business Account >


For more information on how Universal Partners FX can help you with your online money transfers, be sure to get in touch with us today.


The business trade cycle, or simply ‘the trade cycle’ is the cycle that countries experience as all-round economic activity increases and decreases.

The trade cycle is a process that is important for countries to monitor as it has an impact on employment rates, inflation, economic performance and consumer spending. Central Banks also keep tabs on trade cycles as it influences monetary policies as well as short-term interest rates.



Each business trade cycle is made up of four different stages. These are expansion, peak, contraction and trough. These do not occur at regular intervals, however, they do have very recognisable features that help you to define when they do occur.

  • Expansion – This stage occurs between a trough and a peak and is defined through a period of economic growth. Typically during this period, gross domestic product (GDP), which measures economic output, increases at around a 2/3% range. Unemployment levels reach their natural rates of around 4/5% and inflation is around its 2% target. The stock market is also in a state known as a ‘bull market’, where an investment’s price rises over an extended period. A well-managed economy can remain in the expansion stage for many years, this is known as a Goldilocks economy. However, this stage can reach its end when the economy starts to overheat. This is when the GDP growth rate reaches greater than 3%, inflation is higher than 2% and investors are in a state of irrational exuberance.
  • Peak – This is the second stage of the business trade cycle. It is the period when the expansion stage transitions into the contraction phase. Here, the maximum limit of growth is attained, Economic indicators do not grow further as they are at their highest point. This stage marks the reversal point in the trend of economic growth where consumers being to restructure their budgets.
  • Contraction – The third stage of the business trade cycle, contraction starts at the peak and ends at the trough. Here, economic growth weakens as GDP falls below 2%. When it turns negative, this is when a ‘recession’ occurs, resulting in increases in unemployment rates, people selling their homes, income decreases, stocks entering a bear market and investors beginning to sell. Three types of events can trigger the contraction stage. These are a rapid increase in interest rates, a financial crisis or runaway inflation.
  • Trough – The fourth phase of the trade cycle is when the economy is at its lowest point. As a result of further declines in the prices and the demand and supply of both goods and services, the economy eventually reaches its negative saturation point. Here, there is extensive depletion of national income and expenditure. Before the economy can reach a new expansion stage, consumers must regain confidence again, often as a result of intervention with monetary or fiscal policies.


Who measures the business trade cycle?

The business trade cycle stages are determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research using GDP growth rates. It uses monthly economic indicators such as the sales of goods and services, employment and income levels to analyse the economy and classify which stage of the trade cycle a country is in.


Who manages the business trade cycle?

The government manages the business trade cycle and legislators use fiscal policy to influence the economy, using expansionary fiscal policy when they want to end a recession. Contractionary fiscal policy is implemented to keep economies from overheating. Central banks also influence the stages of a business trade cycle through the implementation of various monetary policies that impact the level of interest rates. The goal of economic policy is to keep the economy growing at a sustainable rate. It needs to be strong enough to create jobs for everyone who wants one but slew enough to avoid inflation.

Three factors are responsible for the initiation of each stage of the trade cycle, these are; the forces of supply and demand, the availability of capital and consumer confidence. The most important factor, however, is confidence in the future. Economies grow when there is faith in the future and in policymakers. Without this confidence and faith, economies tend to fail. This not only impacts interest rates but exchange rates also as the value of certain currencies begin to decrease. This, of course, has a massive impact on people who wish to send or transfer funds internationally as they begin to lose out by not getting value for their money.

With Universal Partners FX, you avoid the risk of poor exchange rates and losing out on your money with the ability to select and lock-in desired exchange rates using our online money platform. To learn more about how Universal Partners FX can help you with your international money transfers, be sure to get in touch with one of our currency specialists today!

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Ahead of the Bank of England’s Super Thursday meeting, the first for 2020, some investors are expecting the Bank to cut interest rates, with markets gauging a 50/50 chance of a rate cut.

On Tuesday, the pound dropped, while UK government bonds rose higher, suggesting that some currency strategists are expecting the BoE to cut its benchmark rate to 0.5 percent, from 0.75 percent.

Some economists believe that rates will either be cut this week or at the next meeting of the Bank in late March since currently there are encouraging signs that the country’s private sector is growing.

 In the Financial Times, Andrew Harman, portfolio manager at First State Investments stated that “Data from the second half of 2019 shows the UK economy was soft, although the recent January 2020 PMIs suggests a modest pick-up in economic activity [after] the election.”


How is the pound going to respond?

The British Pound has increased against the majority of leading currencies the beginning of the week, but on Tuesday it dropped against the euro and dollar ahead of Thursday's key BoE rate decision.

George Vessey, currency strategist with Western Union said: "The British Pound remains elevated but is lacking upside traction as it failed to hold at multi-week highs against the Euro and U.S. Dollar last week. If the BoE does cut rates, given the slide in inflation and lacklustre GDP growth, we can expect to see the Pound sold off." Vassey has also added: "Leaving rates unchanged may not have such an impact on Sterling as it didn’t weaken much when the probability of a rate cut jumped to 72% at the start of last week. Recent positive CBI and PMI surveys may be enough to prevent a rate cut this month, but the focus will be on sustained positive data for any real advancement in GBP upside."

With the possibility of a rate cut remaining unclear, the pound could initially fall if the Bank chooses to move on with a cut. Whatever the decision is, the pound will possibly be volatile as the result will be unexpected.

As mentioned, there are a few reasons that have driven investors to believe that the Bank might cut interest rates. Earlier in January, speeches from the Monetary Policy Committee members demonstrated their inclination towards a rate cut, with former governor Mark Carney stating that a weakness in the pound and weak economic data could lead the bank to a rate cut decision.  Indeed, economic growth has slowed down towards the end of 2019, while inflation was at 1.3% in December, below the Bank's 2.0% target.

With high volatility predicted on Thursday, all nine members of the monetary policy committee could vote for a rate cut, considering global recession fears, Brexit uncertainty, UK economic slowdown and inflation pressures.

On the other hand, if the majority votes for the rates to remain unchanged, taking into account improved business sentiment, then the pound could possibly stay flat. Ingvild Borgen Gjerde, FI and FX analyst at DNB Bank ASA clarified: "Expectations of a rate cut have fallen somewhat... and the GBP has strengthened as a result. We expect a rate cut this week but see significant risk that the BoE will remain on hold. As markets are only pricing in a 50% probability, the GBP should weaken this week if our projection materialises."

Finally, if only a very small number of members votes for a cut, then the hawkish sentiment could send the pound higher. For some analysts, economic data is not seen from a negative point of view and instead suggests that a rate cut is simply not justified. Marc-André Fongern, Head of FX Research at MAF Global Forex, noted that "The most recent UK economic data does not provide any justification for a rate cut at the end of January. The market may, therefore, be correcting its overblown expectations regarding an easing of monetary policy. Britain's economy is currently torn between the impact of potentially complex EU-UK trade negotiations and a spirit of optimism.”

If you are transferring funds abroad, contact a currency specialist such as Universal Partners FX, whose dedicated brokerage team can offer valuable support when navigating an unpredictable currency market. Give them a call today to discuss your currency transfers and schedule your next currency exchange.

IBAN Validation

If you are attempting to conduct international business, payment or money transfer, you may have come across the acronym “IBAN”. If not, it’s well worth getting acquainted.

Luckily, this blog aims to do just that. Read on for a crash course guide to IBAN validation.

What is an IBAN?

IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number, referring to the numerical identifier used to differentiate foreign bank accounts and streamline cross-border transactions.

As of 2019, there are 75 countries in total that officially use the IBAN, 34 of which are SEPA members.

Features of an IBAN

The IBAN itself consists of two letters and two digits followed by up to 30 alphanumerical characters.


Often lumped together as one in the same, IBAN and SWIFT codes are, in actual fact, separate entities used to identify different things.

While the IBAN is used to identify an individual account involved in an international transaction, a SWIFT code is used to identify a specific bank during an international transaction.

Checking an IBAN Number

IBAN validation is an effective method of minimising failed transactions when processing domestic and international payments.

For more information on IBAN numbers and IBAN validation, why not speak with one of our financial experts today? Call now on 020 7190 9559 or get in touch online by clicking the linked button below.

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Two-Factor Authentication

When signing into a website, the information typically requested consists of a simple combination of a username and password. This is often all that is needed to sign in to a user’s account.

Some websites will also include additional steps, such as security questions and PIN numbers, in order to gain access to your account.

However, perhaps the most secure means of protecting your account is to utilise two-factor authentication as a way of preventing unwanted access.

But how does it work? Our article explores the inner workings.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Also known as 2FA, two-factor authentication is a supplementary measure applied to the login process in order to protect your account. This provides an additional security measure to help keep your account safe.

Why Use Two-Factor Authentication?

When it comes to dealing with money and financial accounts, access by anyone other than the account holder can pose a huge issue. As such, any actions to prevent such an issue are welcome.

In order to avoid anyone else gaining unwanted access to your account, many sites have implemented two-factor authentication as a means of providing additional protection against hackers and illegal entry.

Naturally, using additional login steps to confirm your identity and grant access to your account provides additional barriers and reduces the likelihood of your account be hacked.

How Does Two-Factor Authentication Work?

As the name suggests, two-factor authentication involves a two-step process whereby you confirm your identity by using another account personal to you.

Common methods of two-factor authentication include SMS text message and voice call to your mobile phone or landline.

Upon login, you will be prompted to enter a code, which you will be sent via one of the means above. Once received, simply enter the given number to prove you are who you same you are and you will be granted access instantly. 

For more information on two-factor authentication and the benefits of account security measures, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 020 7190 9559 to speak with one of our experts or drop us an email online by clicking the button below.

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