Need to send or receive a remittance? Confused what the term remittance actually means? This page gives a breakdown of what remittance actually is along with a few examples of remittances in business. To get you started, we’ll also go over how to send remittances quickly and easily in 2021 while paying minimal fees.

What is a Remittance?

The term remittance technically refers to any payment made from one party to another, but that definition is pretty broad. In plain language, remittances usually refer to one of two things:

  • A payment made from one person to another person, with both individuals located in different countries. This is a remittance in personal context.
  • A payment made from a business to a person or other business, with the person or other business located in the same or a different country. This is a remittance in a business context.

This page will focus on business remittances: payments made from your business, to an individual or business in the United States or a different country. 

Along with the actual transfer of funds, remittances are sometimes accompanied by a remittance advice letter. This is a letter which informs the other party of the completed payment. 

Remittances are not a legal requirement. Most of the time, they are just used to match up payments with specific orders. They can also help your business streamline bookkeeping and keep up good communications with customers or partners.

As industries move more towards online order management solutions, remittances and remittance advice letters are becoming less common. But they’re still popular in certain industries—especially those where customers tend to pay by checks.

Examples of a Remittance

Business remittances are sent for two main reasons:

  1. When customers make a purchase, they might send a remittance advice letter at the same time they transfer the funds. If payment is being made via check, the remittance advice letter and the check will often be mailed in the same envelope. Doing so helps match up a specific payment with a specific order, which avoids confusion and prevents delays.
  2. Sometimes, suppliers will attach a remittance advice letter template to their invoices. Customers can pay the invoice in any way they choose, then fill in the blanks on the remittance advice letter template and mail it back to the supplier.

Differences Between Remittances and Payments

Remittances and payments have similar definitions, but in a business context, they are distinctly different.

  • A payment can refer to any sort of funds transfer. You can make a payment to purchase anything under the sun. The term is extremely broad and encompasses every interaction where two parties make a transaction.
  • A remittance refers to a specific payment that is made to satisfy a particular demand. Usually, a remittance accompanies a specific order made to a business.

One last thing to note is that remittances are often for larger sums of money. You can make a payment for one cent or one dollar, whereas the word remittance, when used in a business context, often refers to at least a couple thousand dollars changing hands.

How to Send a Remittance

There are two steps to sending a remittance:

  1. The transfer of funds to the other party (required)
  2. The sending of the remittance advice letter (optional)

And, there are two main ways to send money to other businesses for a remittance: 

  1. ACH transfers
  2. Wire transfers

ACH transfers, also known as direct deposits, can be ideal because of their low or non-existent fees. A potential drawback with ACH transfers is the fact that they are reversible in some cases. 

On the other hand, wire transfers have higher fees associated with them and tend to take longer to process than ACH transfers, with the added potential benefit of usually being irreversible. 

Both methods of transferring funds have their ups and downs. Check out our guide on ACH transfers vs. wire transfers to see which one is right for your business.

If your business sends remittances to other businesses or individuals that are located overseas, you will usually need to use a wire transfer. Finding a bank that charges low fees for wire transfers is important to keeping costs low. North One charges a small fee of $15 per wire transfer and offers free ACH deposits. 

Remittances, Solved: How to Send Money with North One

  1. Apply for an account.
  2. Once approved, log in to your account.
  3. Select your method of payment. 
  4. Input payment details for the other party.
  5. Wait for your payment to go through.

North One charges an industry-leading $10/month for business banking accounts. Small businesses, freelancers, and startups rely on North One for all of their business banking needs—at a price that doesn’t cut into their bottom line.

Click here to learn more about North One.

If you need help during your application or while sending a remittance, our representatives are standing by to take your questions and provide assistance via email, phone, or live chat. Click here to start a conversation—we look forward to hearing from you!

At this time, North One accounts are available only to businesses and individuals located within the United States.