Paying Vendors & Suppliers

To help you with paying international suppliers on time, the following steps are required:

Vendor Registration

It is important that international vendors are registered before any goods is ordered or service is rendered. For more detailed guidance on vendor registration, please refer to Registering a Vendor.

Make the Payment

Two methods available for paying international vendors include electronic transfer and P-Card.

1. Preferred Payment Method: Electronic

Wire transfer is highly preferred as payment method as described in the George Washington University (GW) Accounts Payable Payment Method Policy (PDF). To make a successful and on-time wire transfer, following are necessary:

  • Banking information from international suppliers, including individuals. To promote payment delivery, it is strongly encouraged that vendors obtain banking instructions directly from their bank. This approach offers some assurance the information will be accurate and facilitate payment delivery. At minimum, the information should include the following:
    • Bank name
    • Bank address
    • Bank account number
    • International Bank Account Number (IBAN)/SWIFT number
    • CLABE/CLAVE (for Mexico only)
    • INNS (for Russia only)
    • CNAPS (for China only)
    • BSB Number (for Australia only)
    • Sort Code (if applicable)
    • Name of the beneficiary or recipient. It is imperative the name of the beneficiary or recipient match the name in which the bank account is held
    • Address of the beneficiary or recipient
    • Intermediary Bank Name (if applicable)
    • Intermediary Bank Address (if applicable)
    • Intermediary Bank Account Number (if applicable)
    • Intermediary Bank Routing Number (if applicable)
  • All foreign countries require purpose of payment. If it is not provided, the financial institutions may withhold wired funds, take a fee from the wire prior to crediting the account, or even return the funds.
  • If applicable, comments or special instructions to transmit with the outgoing wire should be provided. For example, receipt notification instructions, "to the attention of" instructions, or identification numbers such as invoice, purchase order, or reference numbers.
  • Any other instructions required to successfully disburse an electronic payment to a non-US bank, per country/region.  
  • U.S. dollar (USD) is highly preferred as the payment currency. But if you have to pay suppliers using foreign currency, please read through the Disbursements in Foreign Currency Policy (PDF) and complete the Electronic Funds Disbursement Request Form which is used to wire funds to suppliers being paid in foreign currency. There are Instructions for how to complete the form. Please note the two new fields of Region and Type of Activity which are required for international payments. You can contact Accounts Payable Services or Treasury Management for assistance in completing this form.
  • Also please note that some banks or intermediary banks may impose a bank fee for a payment transfer. The fee or amount of the fee is not known by GW, thus in some instances the payment received by the supplier may be slightly less than the amount invoiced.

2. P-Card

Please review the P-Card section for more information regarding using P-Card to pay international vendors and suppliers. However, individuals should not be paid by the P-Card. All payments to individuals must be processed through Accounts Payable.  

Submission of Invoices to Accounts Payable

Electronic payments to suppliers in non-USD for commercial invoices, honorariums, and/or other similar payables documents, are disbursed through Treasury Management once the completed  and approved Electronic Funds Disbursement Request Form with supporting documentation and the bank information source document is received and processed by Accounts Payable. The form with supporting documentation should be submitted to Accounts Payable  through the online submission form. It is critical to payment delivery to have the source of the banking information attached. This source can be the invoice itself, a document from the supplier’s bank or an internal bank authorization form completed and signed by the supplier. The bank information source document must present complete and accurate information. It must match the banking information presented on the Electronic Funds Disbursement Request Form.

Also, please be aware of Tax Issues Regarding Payments to Individuals who are not U.S. Citizens or not U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (PDF). If you have question, please contact Accounts Payable Services or Treasury Management.