Although cheques and bank drafts are no longer widely used in international finance, and clearing processes can be time consuming and expensive, they are still useful in some circumstances. Offshore Pro is now able to facilitate introductions to a third party cheque clearing service. This is a convenient alternative the frequency does not justify the time and expense of opening a bank account in the company name.
WHY USE CHEQUES?
- Some companies, such as Google, Paypal and various affiliate programs especially in the USA, insist on making payments by cheque and refuse to send bank wire transfers. This in turn creates a problem for international and offshore merchants since USA cheques are not always negotiable worldwide.
- Cheques are convenient when trading goods as there can be a physical handover of goods and the cheque at the same time. In some countries, eg France, there are specific legal guarantees as it is a criminal offence to write a
- If you do not wish to reveal your bank account details to a person who owes you money, you can accept a cheque instead.
- You can accept cheques payable to business names (DBAs, Trading As etc) for a more professional image.
WHY USE A CHEQUE CLEARING SERVICE?
- Faster and more efficient than using a bank account
- Some offshore banks refuse to handle cheques altogether
CURRENCIES AND COUNTRIES
Most cheques are drawn in USD, GBP and EUR. Cheques in soft currencies may also be accepted at a higher commission rate. There is no restriction on accepting foreign cheques from any country provided they will be paid.
Payout can be made by SWIFT transfer or to an anonymous international payment card.
Our cheque clearing partners guarantee to provide an acceptance or decline within one working day. However, it should be borne in mind that the actual payout process can take many weeks. Please also understand that, as this service may be attractive to those who wish to commit fraud, each cheque must be specifically accepted by an underwriter and special terms may be imposed on more exotic or riskier cheques. This should not pose a problem for genuine business transactions. Offshore Pro Group is not involved in the underwriting process.
One-time set-up fee for account with settlement by SWIFT transfer: EUR 299
One-time set-up fee for account with settlement by anonymous payment card (includes physical card + courier delivery): EUR 399
Fee per cheque: varies depending on type of cheque, currency, amount etc – typically in the range of 4% to 8%, plus cost of SWIFT transfer for proceeds.
Security deposit: EUR 200. This is payable on signing the agreement and is refunded when the agreement is terminated by either party. It is required to cover fees for bounced or unpaid cheques that may be incurred.
STEP BY STEP PROCESS
1. Application: Client submits an application for the service (contact us to receive the form). The following information is required:
- Corporate documents
- Personal ID documents for all signatories and beneficial owners: (plain copy of passport and utility bill or other acceptable proof of address)
- Details of main business activities of the company and owners
- Details of the proposed types of cheques to be cleared (frequency, amounts, currencies etc)
Offshore Pro Group will run a pre-check on these documents and inform if any changes to be made. If they are correct, we will bill our consulting and due diligence fee.
2. Agreement: Within 24 hours our partners will provide the cheque clearing agreement, and a separate agreement related to the payment card if you have requested this. The client should sign this and send back a scanned copy. From that moment the agreement is active and clients can send cheques for clearing. However, the client must send the hard copy documents and pay the security deposit during the next 21 days otherwise the agreement will be cancelled automatically.
3. Cheques for Clearing: Whenever you have a cheque to clear, you should send a completed ‘Clearance Request Form’ by email along with a scan of both sides of the cheque. Our partners will then confirm that they agree to accept the cheque and provide a specific clearance time quotation. You will then need to send the physical cheque by courier or post to the address in EU provided.
4. Payout: When the cheque has fully passed through the international clearing system and has been paid by the bank on which it is drawn, the face value of the cheque minus the processing fee will be available for disbursement either by SWIFT transfer or to the payment card.