A Guide On:

How To Get Paid (Quickly) By International

For Small to Mid Sized Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way small and medium-sized businesses operate. Simple day-to-day business operations became far more complicated than ever before; with delays specifically affected by lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, supply shortages, and closed borders. 


Given the pandemic's conditions, getting paid on time has become pivotal to the make or break of a business. Cash flow is the lifeblood of many SMEs, especially those in the service and product industries. Small to medium-sized businesses often perform the service and then get paid; thus, the delay of receiving a payment can put a tremendous financial strain on the business. 


Exploring the various payment options available can help avoid delayed payments. With the vast variation in payment options available, it can be difficult deciding the perfect fit for your business. Hence, the following article is a guide on getting paid quickly for your small to medium-sized business. 


This article will look at three popular methods used for cross-border transfers:

► ACH (Automated Clearing House) ► International Wire Transfers        ► Paper Cheques     


The US Favourite: Automated Clearing House (ACH)

As mentioned in our previous blog, ACH is a method of American bank-to-bank payment transactions that are processed by the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. In comparison, ACH is the US equivalent to Interac.


Almost all US businesses use ACH as it is an easy and inexpensive way to send and receive money. With the recent pandemic, most companies have become very familiar and accustomed to using electronic bank transfers as a method for payment. 


 ► Time

Your payment will be processed and posted the same, or next, business day.  


 ► Price

The flat cost for an ACH payment can range from $0.50 to $1.50. 


 ► Ease 

Almost all banks in the United States support sending ACH transactions.


In order to get paid, simply include a recipient account number and routing code on your invoice.



 ► Acceptance 

Widely accepted form of payment in the US

► Time 

1-2 business days to be processed and posted

► Cost 

Nominal/ low-cost transaction fees; sender pays the fees



► Availability 

Only available in the US; available only in USD ($)

► Legality 

Requires legal presence in the United States, including a legal business name, local US address and a Tax ID number

You need a USD account with your bank's correspondent institution

► Additional Fees & Taxes

Potential tax implications 

Additional fees, depending on the type of account you open


✳ Please note, our previous article touches on three options available for Canadian businesses to accept ACH payments in Canada from the US, without physically locating in the US.


These options include:

 South of border banking at a Canadian bank

 South of the border banking at U.S bank

 Setting up a virtual bank account

Learn on How You Can Accept ACH Payments in Canada
Anywhere in the World: International Wire Transfers

International wire transfers are completed electronically over various banks across the world; hence, an easy method to transfer money overseas. Wire transfers can be done in person or online, and the sender is responsible for determining the exchange rate. The recipient will receive a notification of funds being deposited into their account.



Transfers are cleared within one-business day. On the other hand, international wire transfers can take 1-5 business days. 


 ► Price

Wire transfer providers offer different rates for the same service; prices can approximately range from $17 - $60.


 ► Ease 

All that is required is the recipient name, bank account number as well as the amount intended to transfer.



► Popularity 

A popular method for Canadian small businesses

► Time 

1-5 business days

► Efficency  

If someone wires you money, it won't bounce like a cheque

► Complication

Sometimes complicated instructions, making errors common

► Processing Fees 

$17-60 (approx.) + FX rates

► Irreversible 

Transfers are irreversible - once it's sent, it's gone

Going Old School: Paper Cheques

Paper cheque payments have been around since 1882. As with all tangible written works, there has been a transition to digitization with the progression of time. 


As mentioned in our previous blog, paper cheques require additional steps because of the manual nature of this payment method. Thus, this option should only be considered once all other options have been exhausted.



1-2 business days for local cheques to clear; 1-3 weeks for receiving cheque in mail; additional 4-8 weeks for foreign cheque to be cleared by bank.


 ► Price

Free to deposit by most Canadian banks.


 ► Ease 

Just need your current bank to process the cheque.




► Process Ease 

No equipment needed to process payments

► Cashflow for Sending Via Cheque 

Funds leave your bank slower if you are the person sending the cheque.

► Inclusivity   

Covers your bases - anyone can pay via cheque

► Time

Time excrutiating to get paid internationally

► Outdated/ Unenviornmental 

No one likes dealing with more paper, neither does planet Earth

► Mailing Issues 

Cheques can be stolen or lost in the mail

Learn More About the Digital Solutions for Paper Cheques
Lean Payments: Cross-Border Payments Made Easy

After exploring three common methods of cross-border payments, it is easy to depict and compare the variations of payment methods out there. However, there is a lack in terms of user satisfaction and ease for each of the three mentioned cross-border payment methods previous mentioned.


With the rise of FinTech came the innovative and revolutionary new future of cross-border payments. Lean Payments is proud to be a pioneer in the FinTech industry, encompassing a purpose to improve user experience.


Lean Payments offers global virtual bank accounts that allow you to do local transactions across the globe. With our free virtual and global bank account, accept and process ACH payments as if you were a vendor in the US.


Simply log onto Lean Payments'  online portal and get started right here—in less than 15 minutes, you'll be good to go!



One business day to accept & process local payments in the US, UK or EUR.


 ► Price

Only $9.99 for to send or receive in the US, UK or EUR, no matter how high the transaction is.


 ► Ease 

Sign up, create virtual bank account, access funds!



 One Digital Platform 

Digital, seamless and secure setup within minutes

 Anywhere You Want 

Accept payments as a local vendor in the US, UK and/or EUR; no physical location needed


Local payments in the US, UK and/or EUR in one-business day

 Minimum Transaction

Unless your business is conducting a minimum of four transactions per month, there are monthly account fees to obtain your virtual account

 Card / ATM

In this release, Lean's Virtual Accounts come with no ATM access, or a debit card




Accept ACH in Canada with Our Free Virtual Bank Account