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International Payment Orders (IPO) are an electronic method used by the University to transfer funds to companies or staff with non-UK bank accounts. They can also be used as a method for paying foreign currency to a UK account.

The bank-to-bank transfer reduces the delay, risks and exchange rate costs experienced by the payee that is normally associated with receiving a GBP Sterling cheque.

It is appropriate to order an IPO:

  • for transfers to bank accounts outside of the UK, in Sterling or foreign currency.
  • for transfers where we are paying foreign currency to a UK account.

It is not appropriate to order an IPO for GBP transfers to banks in the UK.

Generally we only pay our own bank fees and not the payee’s fees.

Should you wish to deviate from this please use the ‘Non Standard Process’ IPO header sheet, see below.


To request an IPO payment

There are two stages involved with making an IPO payment:

  1. the invoice/transaction is entered on UFS
  2. Finance arranges the actual payment on

Entering on UFS

Firstly check to see that the beneficiary is included on the supplier’s database and if not request them to be added as normal.

Transactions relating to IPOs … Entered into AP in UFS by ….

for Euro, USD and Sterling

Shared Services or by the department (if not using Shared Services normally)

all other currencies

Shared services only

Arranging Payment

If the transaction has been entered by the department into UFS they will at this stage forward their request to the Shared Services Team along with any accompanying information.

Shared Services:
via UMS:  IPO, Finance Division, Greenwich House, Madingley Rise

The Standard terms for IPO’s are to make full payment in the invoice currency for goods/services already received and to only pay our own bank charges. If your IPO request should fall outside of these parameters (advance payment, pay all bank charges, different currency/amount due) please complete appropriate Non Standard Process’ IPO header sheet: PDF / Word

IPO information to be completed on/with all IPO requests

Please submit the following information in order for us to generate an International Payment.

  • A clear copy of the invoice signed by HoD or authorised delegate.
  • IPO Header Sheet (if outside of standard terms mentioned above).
  • Ensure that the invoice includes full payment instructions provided by the beneficiary either on the invoice or the following optional template here.
  • A detail of the full currency amount or GBP Sterling equivalent to be sent.

All advance payments must be pre-approved by either the department Head (or their designated nominee) for amounts up to £10k (or equivalent) or Procurement Services where the advance is over £10k (or the equivalent).

Action post-receipt by the Finance Division

The Cashiers will then raise an electronic International Payment via the University’s bank (

Non sterling, USD or Euro transactions will be entered into UFS centrally in order to provide the correct exchange conversion as determined by the payment.

The University’s associated bank charges will be journalled to the department’s accounts on a periodic basis by the Finance Division. The charges will be allocated to the same account/grant as the invoice (including the same transaction code or expenditure type).

Payment details on UFS

The Finance Division will raise a manual payment number against each invoice on UFS to reflect the payment date.

The payment will be reconciled to the bank statement centrally.


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