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How to scale your business globally with Xero and Airwallex


Dec 1, 2022

Despite the current economic climate, running a global enterprise is still the goal of many small and medium businesses. Recent research by our partner Airwallex shows that 70% of UK SMEs plan to expand into foreign markets in 2023. Of those, 81% want to grow their business in Europe and North America, while 60% hope to scale in the Asian Pacific, Latin American, African and Middle Eastern markets.  

If your business is one of the many with global ambitions for next year, there are strategies and tools available to help improve efficiency and navigate this challenging period ahead.  

Do business in 160 currencies

If you’re on Xero’s Ultimate Plan or Premium plan, you’ll have our Multi-Currency function already included, so you can do business in 160 different currencies. You can use it to:

  • Send invoices, quotes and purchase orders
  • Receive bills and payments
  • Set up foreign exchange bank accounts and bank feeds
  • View reports in any currency
  • Get hourly rate change updates to see how changes in exchange rates affect your cash flow and profit

How Airwallex makes cross-border payments simple

By connecting your Xero account to Airwallex, you can extend these capabilities further. 

Airwallex provides the financial infrastructure to manage and scale your business globally, avoiding the usual admin burden and high fees of cross-border banking. Enjoy low FX rates, free international payments,  multi-currency cards, expense management and online payments.  

“If you don’t have a solution like Airwallex, you’re missing an opportunity to open up selling to international marketplaces, especially where it’s required to have a foreign domicile bank account,” says Oliver Blackmore of Elvore ecommerce Accountants. 

Airwallex features include:

Global accounts 

Open 11 foreign currency accounts for free online, with no need to visit a bank. Collect, hold and send funds from your account while avoiding FX fees. 

Payment acceptance

Receive customer payments in multiple currencies without needing to convert to your home currency. Accept payments from the Airwallex online payment gateway, payment links and Xero Invoice Payments.

FX and Transfers

Airwallex FX rates are 80% cheaper than high street banks. Transfers are free to over 90 countries.

Company cards and expenses

Spend in multiple currencies with no transaction fees and track spending in real-time. Expense data and receipts are automatically pulled into Xero.

Xero and Airwallex: a perfect pairing

Airwallex integrates seamlessly with Xero. It syncs hourly, and if your Xero subscription is an Ultimate or Premium plan, you can create bank feeds for each currency you operate in, so multi-currency transactions are automatically reconciled in your chart of accounts. 

“Airwallex allows us to switch between multiple business bank accounts with one login, allowing easier management of multiple subsidiaries,” says Martyn Frith, Finance Director of Olsam. “And being able to integrate with Xero is really beneficial.” 

You can select Airwallex as your default account for Xero Invoice Payments, so you can send Xero invoices to your global customers and get paid in multiple currencies in a click, whilst avoiding FX fees. 

Accept payment via Visa, Mastercard, Amex, plus over 60 local payment methods, including Klarna, Apple Pay, WeChat Pay, Giropay, iDeal and AliPay.

Payment acceptance fees are:

1.3% + 20p UK cards

2.9% + 20p EEA

3.4% non EEA and corporate cards

Settle like-for-like in 11 currencies (USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CNY, CAD, CHK, HKD, JPY, SGD, NZD) straight into your Airwallex account, avoiding FX fees. Or convert at just 0.5% above interbank rates for the above currencies, and 1% above interbank for all others.  

Helping you grow a global business

We want to support you as you pursue your ambitions – wherever in the world they may take you. With Xero and Airwallex’s cross-border banking solutions saving you time, money and resources, you can grow your business even during difficult times, and prepare to thrive in the future. 

Pranav Sood, GM EMEA, Airwallex says: “We’re proud to support Xero accountants and their clients as they expand internationally in 2023 and beyond. Xero’s multi-currency accounting features make it the perfect companion to Airwallex, allowing businesses and their accountants to reconcile their accounts across currencies efficiently as they push into new markets.” 

If you want to find out more about how to grow your business with Xero and Airwallex – check out Airwalllex’s App Store listing here.

If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper, check out the Airwallex Partner Program to see how Airwallex can benefit your clients.

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