Department store John Lewis has launched an international payment service aimed at offering a competitive alternative to the high-street banks and building societies in the UK.
At present, UK high street banks can charge fees of between £10 and £40 regardless of the amount transferred and an exchange rate of up to four per cent. John Lewis, offering exchange rates through international payments specialists HiFX, will charge a transfer fee of just £9 for transactions under £3,000 (no transfer fees for amounts above this). There will also be no maximum on the amount that can be transferred.
The service will refund any foreign bank receiving fees incurred by customers.
Mike Jackson of John Lewis, said: “Some financial institutions, when receiving an international transaction from the UK, will charge the customer an additional fee for allowing this to happen. While we cannot abolish these charges, which are set by individual banks worldwide, we promise to reimburse any foreign bank receiving fees that our customers do incur.”
John Lewis International Payments will offer international payments online and over the telephone and can be used within the European Economic Area (EEA), 31 countries in total, with plans over time to build this into a worldwide offering.