How do I register for an account?
The International Payments service is available to residents of the UK and EEA.
To set up an account, you need to confirm a few personal details, including contact information and the currencies you’re interested in transacting.
You will also need to create a password, between 6 and 32 characters long, containing letters, and at least one number and/or symbol. The password is not case sensitive.
Creating a new transaction
1. Login to your account
2. Confirm the currencies you would like to exchange
3. Choose the amount you want to send. You’ll see an initial estimate and confirmation of the first available payment date for your currency
4. Enter your recipient’s bank account details
5. Select your payment method
6. Confirm your transaction and we’ll fix the exchange rate and total cost
What happens once I’ve confirmed my transaction?
Credit or debit card
If you have chosen to pay by debit or credit card we will debit your card with the amount agreed, typically immediately.
If you have chosen to pay by bank transfer you must arrange for your bank to send the funds to us. Our bank details will be sent to you once you’ve completed the transaction. We must be in receipt of cleared funds and onward instructions by midday on the payment date in order to send the payment on the same day.
Once we’ve received your funds, we make a bank transfer to your chosen recipient. We advise it can take up to four working days from this point for the funds to appear in their account.
We’ll keep you updated throughout the process. You’ll receive SMS/ email notifications when we receive your funds and when we have made a payment for your transaction.
What is a payment reference?
If you are not paying currency to your own account you may need to give information to the company/ person(s) you are paying so they can identify your payment, you can use a unique reference for each payment.
What if my payment does not arrive with recipient within expected timescales?
If the payment has not arrived with the recipient after 4 working days of you receiving the payment confirmation, please contact us on 0330 123 3396 and we will investigate.
Why have you asked me for additional information before my transfer can be completed?
Occasionally, before or after we have made your payment, in accordance with Anti-Money Laundering obligations, we may need to ask you for more information before it reaches the recipient bank account.
What can I do from my online account?
Once you’ve registered for an online account, you can amend any of the following:
Contact telephone numbers
Edit/ delete saved card details, including name
Edit your saved recipient details (except the currency associated with them)
Add a GBP bank account to receive a refund
In your account, you can also complete the following actions:
Reset your password
Check the latest exchange rates
I’ve forgotten the email address I registered with and/ or the answer to my security question. What should I do next?
Please call us on 0330 123 3396 where our Customer services team will be able to provide this information.
How do I register a change of name?
You can do this by sending us proof of your change of name, this could be a marriage or civil partnership certificate or deed poll.
What is my Client Number?
Your Client Number will be 10 or 14 characters long. It will have been sent to you when you first opened your account, on previous contract notes and can also be found in the My Account section of your online account.
I’ve received a message to say I’ve reached my maximum total transaction limit, what should I do?
If you have received an error message advising that the maximum total transaction limit has been reached, please call us on 0330 123 3396.
What is a URC (Unique reference Code)?
When you register or change your address you will be sent a URC by post to your home address. Using your Client Number, you’ll need to confirm receipt of your URC, as extra protection against fraud. You can do this via your online account, by email to email@example.com or by fax on 01753 829059. Please remember to provide any additional information requested in the letter too.
If you’ve recently registered for International Payments or changed your account address and haven’t received your URC, please call 0330 123 3396.
Can I change the payment method for a transaction I have already confirmed?
Once you have confirmed a transaction, the payment method cannot be changed.
Please note: We cannot accept payment by cash or cheque.
Credit or debit card - up to £70,000
The card must be in your name and the billing address you enter must match the records held by your bank. You must use a card in the same currency that you are transferring from.
Credit card payments incur a processing fee of 0.3% which is factored into the rate you are offered and displayed separately. Please be aware that when paying by credit card your card issuer may charge a cash advance fee, which could be up to 5%. We are not liable for these charges. We would recommend using a debit card or selecting to pay us by bank transfer.
For your convenience, your card details can be securely saved to your online account for future use.
You can make an International Payment by Bank Transfer online or over the phone (minimum amount is £10,000 for phone transactions).
A bank transfer allows you to move money directly from your bank. Once you’ve started your international transaction, we’ll send you our bank details and you’ll need to liaise with your bank to transfer the funds. As soon as the funds have cleared, we’ll complete your transaction to your overseas recipient.
We cannot take money directly from your bank or building society account or accept payment by cash.
The following are common types of bank transfer (your bank will advise on specific timescales and costs):
Faster Payments. A free same day transaction for payments up to £10,000
BACS. This is free of change and usually takes up to 3 days to clear
CHAPS transfer. This is a same day transaction that typically costs around £20 to £30
Which currencies can I transfer?
John Lewis International Payments gives you access to all the most popular currencies (over 800 currency pairs).
If your currency is not available and you are looking to transact an amount in excess of £10,000, please contact our Customer services team on 0330 123 3396 who will be happy to discuss your requirements.
Why is my destination country not available to select?
We are able to make payments to most countries, but you may find some are not available in the list. We have determined that some jurisdictions are high risk to our business or involve a high level of complexity. We therefore reserve the right not to accept or allow payments from or to these countries.
What is a regular transfer?
If you need to pay an international mortgage, make salary transfers, or have a UK pension sent overseas, then our regular transfer service is designed for you. Regular transfers allow you to make payments weekly, monthly or at convenient intervals.
Regular payments can only be arranged on the phone. They can’t be set up online.
Here’s what our regular transfer service allows you to do:
Automate your transfers for up to 12 months via Direct Debit, without the need to arrange an online transfer each month
Avoid international banking fees each and every time you make a transfer; we don’t charge commission and we’ll even reimburse you if the recipient’s bank charges you for receiving the funds
Set up payment dates and schedules, so that you can relax, knowing that your money will be sent on time, every time
Track your payments and manage your account online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
How do I cancel or change the details of a regular transfer?
Please call us on 01753 829053 to discuss your changes. You may be charged for making these changes.
A forward contract allows you to ‘buy now, pay later’, so that you can lock in a rate for a payment in the future, even if you don’t have all your funds available right now. You will need to pay a security payment within three days and then the remaining balance will be required by the payment date you have selected.
A forward contract can only be arranged, cancelled or changed over the phone, please call us on 0330 123 3396.
What is a security payment and why is it needed?
When you set up a forward contract, we purchase the total amount of currency you need for you. This is how we fix your rate.
If you decide you no longer want the currency, we have to sell it back to the market at the rate available at that time. If this results in a loss, we deduct the loss from the security payment that you have paid.
A security payment is usually between 5% and 15% of your transaction total.
What is an additional security payment?
An additional security payment is sometimes required on top of an initial security payment.
This would be needed if a currency was fluctuating so much that it could not be guaranteed that the initial security payment was enough to cover our potential losses.
This is not a charge or a fee but a further ‘part payment’ towards the agreed forward contract and only the outstanding balance would be required on the payment date.
What is a market order?
If you need a specific exchange rate for a currency you can set up a market order. We monitor the markets for you and when the market reaches the exchange rate you want, we buy your currency automatically. You have the opportunity to amend or cancel your market order up until the transaction takes place.
We won’t charge you to set up a market order. Please call us on 0330 123 3396 to discuss your requirement with our team.
We regularly check all main high street bank and building society exchange rates to offer you the best overall price (including banking charges, exchange rates and other fees).
However, our International Payments service is not covered by our Never Knowingly Undersold promise.
Why do your rates go up and down during the transaction process?
Our rates are linked to the live foreign exchange markets. Your rate is only fixed once you've confirmed your transaction.
When the markets are closed (for example, the weekend), the rate you’re offered won't fluctuate - it will have been determined when the markets last closed.
What transfer fees do you charge?
There are no transfer fees for any transaction.
If you have already agreed your transaction, any subsequent transfer fees will be deducted from your remaining balance.
What other types of fees could I incur?
Credit card fees
You’ll be charged a 0.3% (GBP) fee for processing credit card payments. This cost will be incorporated into the live exchange rate.
In addition, your card issuer may also charge a cash advance fee for your transaction, which could be up to 5%. This will not be displayed during the transaction process, please check with your card provider for more information.
Fees from the receiving or intermediary banks
We always send the exact amount of money you asked us to in your transaction but there may be occasions when the receiving and/or intermediary bank deducts a fee before crediting the payment to your recipient.
Despite this being a third party charge beyond our control, we’ll still reimburse these fees.
To request reimbursement, please add your GBP bank details to your online account and email firstname.lastname@example.org including the following:
1. A copy (scanned or digital photograph) of a bank statement or a receipt from the receiving bank clearly showing the charge(s) received. We recommend you blank out any bank account details before sending this to us.
2. Confirmation of the template name of the GBP bank account which you’d like us to refund.
What proofs of identity are accepted?
Valid passport Diplomatic Embassy issued non-algorithmic passport (for international based clients only)
Valid photocard driving licence (full or provisional) including HGV and motor-bike. Please note, there is no requirement for the licence counterpart.
EU National ID card (non-UK nationals).
Armed Forces ID card
Residence permit issued to EU national in addition to passport
Self Employed in the construction industry – tax exemption certificate with photograph of holder (form C155, C156 & C60)
Firearms certificate or shot gun licence
ID card issued by the electoral office for Northern Ireland
Police Registration Certificate
Recent evidence of entitlement to state or local authority funded benefit, tax credit, pension, educational or other grant
Residence Permit for individuals situated outside of the EEA
Birth Certificate (can only be used as secondary ID)
What proofs of address are accepted?
The proof of address you provide must contain your initial and surname as a minimum. The following items are accepted as proof of address:
Current bank, building society, credit union statement (not internet) - dated in last three months
Current Bank, Building Society or credit union letter, personalised to the client, showing they have a current, active relationship. A mailshot/generic letter cannot be accepted if it does not contain personalised account information.
Utility (gas, electric, landline telephone, water) bill (not internet) - dated in last 3 months Old or new style driving licence (if you have not used this as a proof of identity)
What documents are not accepted as proof of identity or address?
We don’t accept online credit card statements, mobile phone bills or TV licenses
What formats will you accept my documents in?
Scanned paper documents converted into a digital format (Word document, PDF, JPG, PDF, TIF, GIF, PNG) less than 5MB
Online bank statements, if your full address and name are shown on the same page
We can accept digital photographs of documents
As an alternative please fax it to 01753 829059.
Can I send you multiple proofs in one file?
Yes you can. When you select from the section 'what are you uploading?', one of the options is 'multiple proofs in one file'. Selecting this tells us that there will be two or more forms of proof in one file.
What happens once I have uploaded the documents?
We will review the documents within one working day and contact you by email to advise the next step. This will either be confirmation that the documents provided are acceptable and an update on the status of your account, or confirmation of any additional requirements.
How do I know which codes and numbers I’ll need?
When you enter the destination country for your transaction we’ll ask you for the banking code specific to this country.
What’s the difference between a BIC and a SWIFT code?
The SWIFT Code has been renamed BIC which stands for Bank Identifier Code (now also known as Business identifier Code). However most banks still refer to SWIFT codes, SWIFT numbers or SWIFT addresses for international transfers and this is unique to each bank.
It consists of 8 or 11 characters and can be found on account statements, invoices and documents showing the bank account details. Alternatively, please contact the recipient or the recipient’s bank to obtain the SWIFT code.
What is a national clearing code?
This is a unique identifier for a bank branch, the format of which varies depending on the country.
Canada – 9 characters
New Zealand – 6 characters
South Africa – 6 characters
India – This is known as an IFSC code and is 11 characters long (please note, the prefix CC/NZ/ZA is not required)
What is a BSB code?
A 'Bank State Branch' (BSB) code is a six digit numerical code used in Australia to identify a branch of a financial institution.
What is a routing code?
Each bank branch has a unique routing number otherwise known as a national clearing code or fedwire number. It is important to use the one belonging to the branch where the beneficiary's account is held.
What is a sort code?
A sort code is a six digit numerical code used in the United Kingdom to identify a branch of a financial institution. Although it can be formatted with spaces or dashes (e.g. 00 00 00 or 00-00-00), please ensure you enter it without spaces or dashes when filling out the recipient's details.
What is an IBAN?
All bank accounts have an IBAN (International Bank Account Number), which is a unique identifier when making payments. This information can be found on bank statements, invoices and documents showing bank details of who you are paying. For more information, please contact the relevant bank.
All payments within the EU need to include both the beneficiary IBAN and SWIFT/BIC Code (see details above).
Here is an example of the formatting of a country, number of digits and an IBAN:
United Kingdom 22 GB30BARC20587842037920