International Banking Services FAQ

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our International Banking Services

General Questions

  • No minimum or maximum transaction amounts
  • Foreign bank notes delivered to your office in 24 hours
  • Ability to offer your customers competitive rates on foreign exchange transactions
  • Ability to execute international wires in most major and minor currencies
  • Capability to sell or buy bank notes from around the world, including all major currencies
  • Authorization controls allow only designated users to execute transactions
  • Indicative rate quotes available online
  • Online calculators to help simplify currency conversions
  • OFAC notifications
  • A full PCBB team dedicated to keeping you abreast of regulatory changes and other updates, as well as assistance with compliance as it relates to international transactions (including Reg. E which applies to international consumer-initiated remittances)

All of PCBB’s Cash Management and International Services can be accessed through the Correspondent Bank Connection (CBC) platform. CBC is a secure, state-of-the-art, online cash management system designed and developed by banking professionals FOR banking professionals. Through a secure, encrypted portal, your institution can trade and access all of your institution’s transactions.

We offer our customers extremely competitive rates. The rates, also called inter-bank rates, are published daily online, and are used for multi-million dollar trades between banks. Customers should expect to pay a rate higher than the inter-bank rate, but a competitive rate, based on the value of the transaction.

International drafts are the best choice for smaller payments, i.e. those under $100.00 U.S. Dollars. For larger payments, consider using an international wire.

You can clear a check as a cash letter if a check is drawn on a bank in the same country as the currency of issue. However, there is one exception, which is that PCBB can clear Canadian Checks drawn in U.S. dollars as a cash letter.
  • For example — a Japanese Yen item drawn on a bank in Tokyo
Collection items are checks drawn on a bank that is NOT in the same country as the currency of issue.
  • For example — a Swiss Franc item drawn on a bank in Germany would be a collection item

Yes, PCBB can accept Canadian (USD or CAD) cash letters as an image through our Canadian Check Imaging solution

Outgoing Payment Order
  Foreign Exchange (FX) 4:45PM3:45PM2:45PM1:45PM
  US Dollar (USD) 5:00PM4:00PM3:00PM2:00PM
  Regulation E: USD or FX 4:00PM3:00PM2:00PM1:00PM
International Foreign Currency 4:45PM3:45PM2:45PM1:45PM
International Foreign Draft 4:30PM3:30PM2:30PM1:30PM
Canadian Checks via Imaging 5:00PM4:00PM3:00PM2:00PM
International Investigation Request 7:00PM6:00PM5:00PM4:00PM
Currency Rates 24 Hours24 Hours24 Hours24 Hours
Note: Next-day processing after deadline

Customer Service: (888) 399-1912
Preferred Rates: (888) 996-7444

International Wires

Providing international wires allows your bank to meet the growing needs of customers doing business overseas. If you’re not providing this service to your customers, you run the risk of losing their business to a bank that does.

Whether a wire is being sent to the account of a person or a business, some mandatory fields are required. These include:
  • Beneficiary’s Name
  • Beneficiary’s Complete Address
  • Beneficiary’s Bank Name and SWIFT code
  • Beneficiary’s Bank Address (including branch)
  • Sender’s Name
  • Sender’s Complete Address
It is also important to establish the currency in which the account is held.

Processing can be delayed if information is missing or incorrect. A receiving correspondent bank, or the Beneficiary’s Bank, may send a message saying the funds cannot be applied — or worse — the funds may be rejected and returned. The process becomes even longer when the Originator of the wire must be contacted to confirm details.

Yes, for individuals sending personal funds to a major country, it is typically preferred. However for commercial transactions, it depends on the agreement between the buyer and the seller.

PCBB’s SWIFT code is: PCBBUS66

Settling payables with your foreign suppliers in U.S. dollars passes the foreign exchange risk to the seller. If a commercial customer wishes to accept the risk and manage it, then it may be possible to pay in the local currency. It also depends if the country’s regulations allow it.
  • Suppliers who quote in U.S. dollars often pad their prices to offset service charges, delays in collection and movements in the exchange rates. Your customers can avoid this premium on payables by simply settling in their own currency. This must be done at the time of the contract, not at the time of payment.

  • In countries that experience severe currency restrictions, or products that settle in USD, they must settle in USD.
  • In countries that experience dramatic inflation rates, such as with many South American, African and Middle Eastern countries, U.S. Dollars is the currency of choice by most suppliers.
  • If your customers’ suppliers wish to be paid in their own currency, it may be the least expensive option for your customer. A customer may want to negotiate a price in U.S. dollars or the local currency, and pay in the currency must favorable. Before deciding, your customer should check with your bank first to check on the rate and when the payment due.

FX Forward Contracts

FX Forward Contracts offer a simple way to protect your business customers against changing exchange rates. They allow your customer to purchase or sell a set amount of a foreign currency at a specified price for settlement at a predetermined future date, or within a predetermined window of time. Additionally, with FX Forward Contracts your customer will know in advance the cost of future transactions with foreign suppliers and customers.

Attract and retain your business customers by enhancing your international capabilities with FX Forward Contracts. This service helps protect your clients against the risk of exchange rate fluctuation by “locking-in” foreign exchange rates for settlement at a future date while providing you with additional fee income.

International Wire Payments with SWIFT gpi

Founded by SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), SWIFT gpi (Global Payments Innovation) is a global payment solution for international wire transfers. Since 2017, financial institutions have been relying on the gpi platform for improved speed and better visibility of funds during cross-border wire payments. SWIFT gpi also offers heightened security, making the platform a new standard tool for the financial industry, given the inherent risk of international payments.

Benefits can include:
  • Unique end-to-end transaction reference (UETR) number assigned to transfer
  • Faster processing times
  • Detailed fee and FX rate information
  • Real-time transaction status

  • SWIFT is responsible for processing, transmitting and messaging secure information from one financial institution to another, internationally.
  • SWIFT gpi enhances the SWIFT international payment process by offering improved transaction speed and the ability to track where payments are at all times.

As of 2022, approximately 4,200 financial institutions worldwide have adopted SWIFT gpi.

The availability of funds will be impacted by the country and the time zone of the receiving institution. In some cases, foreign payments can be processed and credited to the beneficiary in the same day, but more likely the next day.

The speed of SWIFT gpi can be felt the greatest when the payment is sent fully within network, meaning all of the institutions involved in the transfer process are part of the SWIFT gpi infrastructure. Faster payment processing is still possible when partially or completely processed outside of the gpi network, but it will take a bit longer than if the wire transfer were completely inside the SWIFT gpi network.

Note: As the number of providers within the SWIFT gpi network grows, so will the amount of payments that are processed within the network providing even greater speed and transparency.

There is no action needed on your part. As an International customer of PCBB, you automatically have access to the SWIFT gpi network for all your international wires. You will be able to easily track your wire at every point from when it is sent to when it arrives at its destination.

  • No added fees; it’s completely complimentary to our international wire pricing
  • Payment details at your fingertips; track wire statuses and details using CBC
    • Or contact a PCBB representative—we’re always available to help
  • Works for both incoming and outgoing foreign wires
  • Visibility into fees and payment charges, including FX rates (in some cases)
  • Transparency for settlement: timing, amount, institutions involved
  • Reduction in investigation time

Customers can track their international wires through our international banking platform. Alternatively, customers can contact PCBB directly for updates. PCBB provides standard wire transfer information, plus the status, the reason behind the status, and information on institutions involved with the international wire transfer process.

A unique end-to-end tracking identifier is included with the payment message through processing up until the Beneficiary Bank. This identifier can be used by both the payer and payee to track the progress of international payments in real time. The UETR will only provide updates and visibility for institutions that are part of the SWIFT gpi network.

For further reading, PCBB's white paper. SWIFT gpi: Faster International Payments, details the full benefits of using SWIFT gpi service for international payments.

Want to learn more about International Services?

Visit PCBB’s International Services or check out our on-demand webinar on Navigating the Global Needs of Your Customers. When you’re ready to talk to one of our International Service experts, contact us.