Home Brew

Trading Place

Managing international payments has never been easier, now that a new system of foreign exchange has hit the Internet. Launched in February by travel and financial services company Thomas Cook, the Virtual Trading Desk offers registered users wire transfers and free access to foreign drafts in more than 30 currencies.

"Our customers [needed an] online ordering system for their foreign exchange and were dissatisfied with the options available," says Philip Walker, director of strategic projects for Thomas Cook in Toronto. Currency orders once placed by phone, mail or fax can now be executed instantly through the interactive Virtual Trading Desk. When an overseas company requests payment, Thomas Cook customers can log on to the company's Web site, input the necessary instructions and place the order.

"[Virtual Trading Desk] does not replace wires or drafts, instruments in the financial community that are most recognized around the world," Walker explains. "What it does replace is the method of transmitting instructions and of being able to receive quotations and confirmations about those instructions."

Virtual Trading Desk also allows you to store order information so you can perform repetitive transactions quickly. The companion Web site features case studies, country profiles and glossaries designed to assist businesses in trade. For registration information, call (800) 223-9392 or visit Thomas Cook's Web site at http://www.fx4business.com

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This article was originally published in the October 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Home Brew.

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