Saravanan P. Selvam, CEO of Macro Global at the Seamless Europe 2023 event- Messe-Berlin, brought forth a wealth of expertise and forward-thinking strategies, offering a comprehensive outlook on the topic of “Forecasting the future of Generative AI in Cross-border payments”.
Here are glimpses of his speech at the event:
The Power of Generative AI in Cross-Border Payments
Equipped with the superior power to alter the payment landscape, Generative AI’s prowess can now handle transactional data, predict market fluctuations accurately, and even identify fraudulent activities. NLP (Natural Language Processing) and ML (Machine Learning) are two subsets of AI that work together to enhance performance continuously.
Advanced algorithms and predictive analytics allow Generative AI to learn and adapt from the questions posed and the quality of responses, and with each conversation cycle, the system optimises its performance, resulting in improved interactions. In the financial landscape, it helps many institutions to stay ahead of the competition, make informed decisions, curb fraudulent activities, enhance the global clientele, and open a plethora of possibilities to evolve futuristically.
It can streamline the cross-border payment ecosystem, and give a customised user experience with complete security, completely altering the way the cross-border payments are functioning. Generative AI is the future of secure cross-border payment solutions, revolutionising the way financial transactions across the global landscape.
Cross-Border Payment Dynamics:
The Global Remittance Market has been growing considerably and $530 billion is transferred each year. It is expected to reach $1.23 Trillion by 2030 and grow at a CAGR of 5.7% between 2021-2030, as per Adroit Market Research.
Payment platforms, digital wallets, and blockchain-based solutions have streamlined the payment transfer process, bringing down the transaction cost, and enhancing security measures. Advanced encryption technologies, biometric authentication, and robust anti-fraud measures have fuelled security while garnering trust and customer satisfaction.
The real-time payment systems have led to quicker fund transfers and reduced settlement times, facilitating faster international trade and financial activities. The introduction of common standards for transaction data has enhanced transparency in fee structures and has contributed to the development of a secure and seamless cross-border payment environment. Cross-border payments directly impact the progress of several developing and progressing countries, where money through remittance is the fount of their sustenance.
Challenges experienced in Cross Border payments
Plummeting challenges that develop alongside the growth of cross-border payments limit progress.
Negative Customer Onboarding:
lengthy verification processes and inconsistent regulatory compliance, lack of transparency, growing security concerns are causing inconvenience, and hampering positive customer experience.
89% Percentage of the Corporate Finance Team faced poor KYC with 13% moving to different banks. € 990 billion a year in GDP losses due to fraudulent transactions, where fraudsters are using diverse ways to manipulate. It almost takes 100 days to onboard new corporate customers complying with revised regulatory requirements, which vary based on the product and the brand. Over 68% of the customers delay or abandon the application process due to hurdles within the process from the volume of data demanded to complex digital workflows.
More than 10 times the customers on average are asked for additional information and as many as 100 documents according to Forester. To counter this challenge, it is essential to implement efficient and user-friendly customer onboarding procedures, to build trust and enhance long-term relationships in the cross-border payment landscape.
Payment Payouts- Their limitations and challenges
Several challenges hamper the process of Payment Payouts. According to the World Bank report, the average payout on the ticket value stands at 6.25% with potential increments for multiple counterparties in the payout chain. These figures exhibit significant variations across different market segments, service levels, and regions.
EMDEs (Emerging Market and Developing Economies) represent the primary recipient nations facing the most significant obstacles, including challenges related to unstable currencies, outdated technological infrastructures, and the need for de-risking strategies. Notable factors impacting these nations include stringent compliance checks conducted by counterpart banks, restrictions on capital flow, the policy of value dating adopted by banks, operational limitations stemming from non-standard banking hours, and the presence of multiple intermediaries.
Regulatory modifications specific to each country facilitate incoming transactions, albeit with varying degrees of stringency, making them susceptible to fraudulent activities and potentially rendering it challenging for banks to retrieve the funds. A significant majority of businesses and customers, accounting for 64%, are actively pursuing enhanced transparency regarding cost breakdowns and payment monitoring, aiming to prevent any concealed charges and mitigate the risk of payment disruptions.
All these are causing several hindrances to the payment payouts.
Generative AI- Superior solution to cross-border payments
It is high time to leverage the power of cutting-edge Generative AI to empower financial literacy and bolster security measures to thwart potential fraud:
- Streamlined Onboarding Process:
Chatbots equipped with Generative AI helps businesses address delays and streamline the customer onboarding process, potentially reducing the time-to-onboard (TOT) to a matter of weeks.
- Enhanced Financial Education:
Understand customer’s complex financial concepts, thereby empowering them to make well-informed decisions. These tools can untangle intricate financial queries and provide comprehensive explanations, improving overall financial literacy.
- Identification of Potential Bottlenecks:
Large Language Models (LLMs) effectively identify potential bottlenecks in the product-specific onboarding documentation, facilitating the timely completion of necessary procedures and mitigating avoidable delays.
- Fraud Prevention and Security:
Generative AI can simulate various potential fraud scenarios, enabling organisations to strengthen their controls and implement automated checks for customer Personally Identifiable Information (PII) validation. This ensures that onboarding processes remain secure and individualized, safeguarding against fraudulent activities.
Navigating AI Implementation by Ensuring Data Integrity and Fairness
The integrity of training models and data privacy are highly crucial within the landscape of AI. Organisations need to focus more on data privacy while maintaining the integrity of the training models for responsible AI deployment.
To build trustworthy AI systems, it is vital to address concerns related to potential biases and the credibility of information sources. Also, modifying biases and verifying data sources are essential to enhance the accuracy and reliability of AI-driven insights.
Incorporating fairness standards within legal frameworks and regulations, while balancing technological advancement with ethical considerations is imperative to the implementation of robust fairness standards, ensuring equitable outcomes.
Implementing stringent monitoring measures can help mitigate the spread of misinformation, fostering a more reliable AI framework. Promoting greater transparency and establishing clear accountability among all participants within the ecosystem is crucial.
Transparency and accountability foster trust and confidence in AI-driven solutions, contributing to a more robust and ethical AI landscape.
Our CEO’s speech at the event highlighted how Generative AI if well managed within the future regulated framework can revolutionize cross-border payments.
Comprehensive emphasis on data integrity, enhancing customer experiences, and advocating fairness and transparency, stresses the pivotal role of technology in shaping a more secure and inclusive financial landscape for all.
His compelling insights underscore the transformative potential of Generative AI, signalling a promising future for secure and accessible cross-border transactions worldwide.
The payment system is anticipated to enhance the monetary flow within the economy by facilitating immediate access to paychecks, enabling last-minute bill payments, and expediting the distribution of government payments to individuals.
The FedNow Service was developed by the Federal Reserve with the objective of improving the speed and convenience of everyday payments in the foreseeable future.
FedNow: 24/7/365 Instant Payment Service Provider
The FedNow Service, also known as FedNow, has been meticulously developed by the United States Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) to provide seamless processing capabilities, operating continuously every day of the year. This innovative service incorporates integrated clearing functionality, empowering financial institutions to provide comprehensive instant payment services to their esteemed customers.
The innovative instant payment service facilitates smooth and rapid transfer of funds between customers of collaborating banks and credit unions. Users will have the capability to execute payments or transfers during weekends, holidays, and outside of regular banking hours, a feature that is not available with standard online transfers, such as those supported by the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network.
Remarkable Features of FedNow
FedNow incorporates several innovative attributes that set it apart from its counterparts. Key features include:
No more waiting for physical banks to open. FedNow operates throughout the day, every day, including weekends and holidays without any time constraints.
FedNow enables instantaneous transfers, providing real-time payment services for virtually any approved transaction.
Designed for both businesses and consumers, FedNow allows both types of users to send, receive, and accept payments.
Facilitating transactions across all banks in the United States, FedNow has a broad spectrum of accessibility.
FedNow provides advanced security features that safeguard every transaction, protecting against fraud and unauthorized access. It protects financial transactions by employing many layers of security, including encryption and multi-factor authentication.
FedNow promises seamless interoperability with other payment networks, which is critical in a globalized financial world. This feature ensures a smooth, continuous transaction process, removing potential roadblocks resulting from incompatible systems.
No Need to Sign up
Banks are not yet compelled to sign up, but the goal is that most, if not all, banks will eventually sign up to give rapid payments to their consumers.
The Federal Reserve also offers additional tools to prevent fraud and manage cash flow, with additional features expected to be released over time.
Working of FedNow
Bank payments typically involve clearing and settlement, with FedNow aiming to make these processes happen within seconds. The Fed defines instant payments as having full access to funds within seconds of the payment being sent. FedNow will levy fees to participating financial institutions, however, it’s uncertain whether banks would pass these costs on to clients.
Financial institutions will have a default restriction of $100,000, resulting in a maximum transfer amount of $500,000. FedNow is initially limited to domestic payments between U.S. institutions.
- Payer initiates a payment through their financial institution’s interface.
- Payer’s financial institution authorizes the transaction if there are sufficient funds.
- Payer’s financial institution sends a payment message to the FedNow Service.
- FedNow Service validates the message and sends it to the payee’s financial institution.
- Payee’s financial institution accepts or rejects the payment message and sends a response to the FedNow Service.
- If the message is rejected, the FedNow Service notifies the payer’s financial institution of the failure. If accepted, funds are deducted from the payer’s account and posted to the payee’s account.
- The FedNow Service notifies all parties of the successful transfer, and the transaction is complete.
Unveiling the Differences
FedNow Vs FedWire
|Transaction Speed||Real-time payment processing||Instant end-of-day final settlements|
|Availability||FedNow Service is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no nighttime, weekend, or holiday restrictions.||Fedwire has limited accessibility and can only handle payments on authorised business days and during business hours.|
|Transaction Limit||The value of FedNow transactions is capped at a certain maximum amount. Primarily low-value, high-volume transactions||FedWire does not impose a restriction, but your bank may choose to impose one. Primarily larger, high-value transactions|
FedNow Vs P2P Apps
|Definition||Instant payment service by Federal Reserve Banks in the US.||Applications enabling peer-to-peer transactions without needing a traditional banking intermediary.|
|Accessibility||Accessible through participating financial institutions.||Easily downloadable applications, available on smartphones.|
|Transaction limits||Expected to set relatively high limits.||Usually have lower transaction limits.|
|Suited for||Both consumers and businesses.||Primarily for personal use.|
|Security||Assured by Federal Reserve.||Varies across apps, depending on the company’s policies.|
Eligibility To Participate in FedNow Services
Banks are unquestionably eligible to avail themselves of the FedNow Service. It’s like a backstage pass to immediate payment transfer functionalities. All depository institutions, including savings banks, commercial banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions, are truly eligible for FedNow services.
However, non-bank financial institutions are not permitted to avail FedNow services. This means that entities like payment processors or fintech companies are not eligible.
It’s important to note that individuals and private sector entities are not permitted to participate directly. They can access the FedNow Service only via their financial institution.
Another crucial aspect to remember is that the FedNow Service is currently only available to depository institutions in the United States. As such, foreign banks cannot directly engage with the service.
Why FedNow Services Matters?
FedNow Service is a pioneer in the financial services sector, working to accelerate digital payments transformation and improve cash flow in the economy. It offers real-time payments, seamless accessibility, greater payment efficiency, and financial inclusion for almost everyone, regardless of bank size or location.
FedNow’s instant payment feature reduces direct and indirect costs associated with delayed transactions and reduces the risk of payment reversals.
With backing from the Federal Reserve, FedNow’s credibility remains undisputed, and its stringent security standards ensure the utmost safety of transactions.
FedNow also acts as a catalyst for innovation in the economy, opening new vistas for faster and reliable payments.
Advantages of FedNow
At its release, FedNow could be used for two purposes: paying bills and transferring money between bank accounts. Instant money transfers could be useful, especially if you have a limited budget and are at risk of late payment costs.
In addition, instant payments rarely result in overdrafts or fines because banks check to make sure there are enough funds in the account before processing the transaction. Easy management of accounts at different banks would be possible with instantaneous transfers between accounts.
Users’ Feedback on FedNow After Going Live
Users have complimented the system for its round-the-clock accessibility, speed, and reliability, all of which have greatly benefited the banking industry. FedNow’s enhanced transparency and operational speed have allowed businesses to better manage their liquidity and financial risks.
New features like the liquidity management tool have been well-received, and it is expected to spur innovation within the financial ecosystem by enabling the development of new instant payment services.
However, there are still challenges in interfacing with existing banking systems, but improvements are ongoing, and federals have expressed commitment to ensuring seamless integration
The Future of FedNow: Transforming Payment Processing
The future of FedNow is promising, as it will reshape the Real-Time Payment (RTP) ecosystem, bringing unprecedented efficiency in payment processing. This will also enhance economic resilience, as FedNow will provide instant access to funds, enabling communities to better confront and contain economic uncertainties.
Additionally, FedNow will level the playing field for smaller banks and credit unions, ultimately making it more fair for all types of financial institutions. However, there are certain challenges on the road ahead for FedNow. Rigorous testing, collaboration, and constant innovation are the way forward.
NetRemit: Trailblazer in Instant Payment Platform
Macro Global’s NetRemit is a game changer in e-payment solutions, offering swift transactions, global accessibility, and secure transactions. The platform integrates with existing banking systems, providing a seamless platform for transferring funds without any delay.
NetRemit’s core features include prompt payments, rich user experience, trusted security measures, round-the-clock support, and increased efficiency. These features enable businesses to enjoy smoother cash flow and safer transactions, making it a powerhouse in the instant payment domain.
NetRemit’s future holds promise as it capitalizes on technological advancements and integrates with diverse banking systems globally.
The role of Neobanks in this dynamic financial landscape is highly significant, they disrupt traditional banks with their innovative service offerings. Cross border payments are massively benefitted, as they gain seamless and efficient transactions along with tapping into new revenue streams and expanding their customer base. Payments across borders often cross challenges in the areas of regulatory compliance, optimising foreign exchange rates, and catering customer experience.
In the 2020s, Neobanks witnessed a great boom, and by the end of 2020, the market was valued at £35 billion. According to the research conducted by Statista, the growth of Neobanks would be 47.7% until 2028, reaching £722.6 billion. Neobanks not only address the complexities involved in cross border payments but brings a lot of opportunities like new revenue streams through transaction fees, bringing more customers, and deploying effective strategies, that include compliance with international regulations.
In this blog, let us fully understand the role of Neobanks in cross-border payments, identify various challenges and understand the strategies by them to boost revenue.
Importance of Cross-Border Payments for Neobanks
The opportunities fed to Neobanks through cross-border payments have enabled diverse opportunities to find innovative solutions, expand newer horizons of success, along with bringing changes.
Here are some of the key reasons highlighting the importance of cross-border payments:
- Extending the customer base and enhancing revenue potential
Neobanks tap the global market, especially the untapped segment, and have attracted a lot of customers, as they are highly rapid, reliable, and efficient. Neobanks, has a digital-first approach and offers seamless cross-border payment solutions, competitive exchange rates, and personalized financial services.Expanding the customer base enhances the market presence and revenue potential for Neobanks. As digital-only financial institutions, they have the advantage of being able to operate across borders and serve customers worldwide. By facilitating seamless cross-border payment solutions, Neobanks can attract a diverse customer base that includes individuals, freelancers, commerce, and businesses operating in different countries. They can send and receive funds in international trade or e-commerce.
- Catering globalised consumers
Neobanks are much more progressive and efficient than traditional banks, especially in the context of cross-border payments. They have an agile and tech-driven infrastructure, which facilitates them to be faster, more efficient, and more interactive. Driven by technology they are highly easy to operate, and highly cost-effective international transactions.With the aid of the latest technologies that facilitate advanced mechanisms like real-time payment systems, automation, and secure APIs, it allows individuals and businesses to access banking services irrespective of their location, overcoming currency disparities, regulatory differences, and operational complexities. It enables seamless transactions, including bill payments, international transfers, loans, and investments, catering to the expectations of today’s globalised consumers. With all these advantages on their side, Neobanks can serve diverse clientele from various parts of the globe, offering services that positively impact the revenue of their parent country, enabling flourishing trade and commerce.
- Tapping new revenue streams
Through Neobanks, transaction fees, foreign exchange services, and value-added offerings are the revenue collected during cross-border payments. As there is a fee for various processes involving international transfers, currency conversions, and many other services involving cross-border transactions, they can generate income in each transaction. Also, while optimizing foreign exchange rates, and leveraging their digital infrastructure and technology capabilities, Neobanks generate additional income.
Neobanks also offer competitive rates and attract customers seeking cost-effective solutions. During all international transactions, Neobanks earn revenue from each purchase and sale. It is important to note that Neobanks provide value-added services, which will further invite newer customers internationally. For global trade, services like premium accounts, subscription-based services along with tailored financial services offer relentless value add.
- Bringing convenience through automation
With their digital-first approach, Neobanks are constantly making progress in the banking landscape. Automation is fuelling speed and clarity and curbs human errors by offering services with great precision. Leveraging emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and data analytics, they bring more feasible solutions to cross-border payments. With the advent of more innovative and secure payment infrastructure, numerous benefits like enhanced speed in the transaction, transparency in each transaction, and reduced costs can be achieved. Customers are no longer expected to visit the physical banks and can operate with much more efficiency at their locations. With all these amenities and FinTech innovating various means and methods to accelerate growth, Neobanks are challenging established financial institutions and driving industry-wide innovation, bringing additional revenue.
- Global Economic Integration
Cross-border payments play a vital role in facilitating global economic integration, bringing more financial inclusion by reaching newer locations where cross-border baking services were not frequent. As international trade and commerce continue to grow, the growth of financial transactions is also on the rise. Neobanks, with their agile and technology-driven operations, connect the global economy by enabling individuals and businesses to send or receive money with ease. Neobanks support economic growth, promote global trade, and foster financial inclusion.Neobanks, are the avenues for revenue generation. The expansion of the customer base creates a competitive advantage over traditional banks, provides opportunities for innovation and disruption, and overall contributes to global economic integration. By leveraging their digital infrastructure and focusing on optimizing cross-border payment solutions, Neobanks unlocks substantial growth potential in the modern financial landscape.
Challenges faced by Neobanks in Cross-Border payments
Neobanks adhere to regulatory compliance and must stay updated with the ever-evolving cross border payment regulations. Several requirements like AML, CTF, and country-specific regulations need severe attention. Neobanks are constantly focusing on adhering to compliance and ensuring regulatory adherence.
Neobanks face a constant challenge with FX conversion, as they must provide competitive exchange rates, manage foreign exchange risks, and handle associated costs efficiently. They need to Implement reliable and accurate currency conversion mechanisms and constantly ensure transparency and meet customer expectations. Also, conducting transaction monitoring, and robust KYC procedures are inherent in the NeoBank ecosystem to prevent fraud.
Overcoming all these hurdles, Neobanks is updating itself by providing seamless transactions in the cross-border segment to serve clients with utmost reliability, security transparency, and regulatory compliance.
Opportunities of Neo banks in cross-border payments
Neobanks are now geared to use significant opportunities in the domain of cross-border payments, with the relentless support of digital infrastructure and global accessibility. Now they transcend geographical boundaries and can serve diverse clients.
Here are some of the options that favour Neobanks.
- Bringing diverse revenue sources through Cross Border payments
Offering cross-border transactions with diverse options to enhance transactions, enabling newer innovations to facilitate better performance in terms of the number of transactions, enhanced clients, and speedy transactions have favored newer avenues.As they are bringing newer growth and profitability, more FinTech companies are investing in it to bring newer innovations, aiding newer avenues of revenue through transaction fees, including foreign exchange fees, and cross-border transfer charges, along with intermediary fees, which can add income. Along with the income, several value-adds such as premium account offerings, international investment products, and tailored financial solutions for businesses engaged in cross-border trade. By tapping sources, Neobanks hack diverse favorable revenue sources.
- Neobanks enable a growing customer base
Cross-border payments provide an excellent opportunity for Neobanks to expand their customer base beyond their local markets. Neobanks, with their digital-first approach and agile infrastructure, can cater to the needs of these global customers. By offering competitive exchange rates, low transaction fees, and a user-friendly interface, Neobanks can attract customers who require frequent cross-border payments.Neobanks can leverage their technological capabilities to provide personalised and efficient services, tailored to the specific requirements of international customers. This expansion of the customer base enhances the growth potential for Neobanks and strengthens its position in the competitive financial landscape.
- Neobanks with a competitive edge over traditional banks
The disruption due to digital infrastructure, enables them to offer streamlined and efficient cross-border payment solutions which involve real-time payment systems, automated processes , along with secure APIs, to cater to international transactions. With competitive foreign exchange rates compared to traditional banks.Neobanks can leverage their digital platforms to enhance transparency and provide customers with real-time tracking and visibility of their cross-border transactions using agile methodologies. All of these favours Neobanks over traditional banks.
Revolutionising Cross-Border Payments: Winning Strategies for Neobanks
Neobanks, with their intuitive mobile applications and streamlined operations, disrupt traditional banking models. They offer cost-effective financial services with a strong emphasis on user experience. Using technology in the right spheres and through innovative approaches, Neo banks traverse the seamless digital journeys, constantly challenging the established dominance of traditional high-street banks.
- Compliance with international regulations
Neobanks, by establishing a robust compliance framework, performs due diligence on customers. By implementing strong KYC and AML procedures, several threats and hazards are curbed in the early stage, establishing a safe premise for several customers. With the strong implementation of advanced cybersecurity measures, customer data can be protected gaining their trust and confidence.
- Optimizing FX conversion rates
Foreign exchange (FX) conversion rates of Neo banks gain an edge over traditional banks. It primarily leverages technology and partners with liquidity providers and can access interbank rates. With all this prowess, it minimizes the impact of currency fluctuations on customer transactions. Overall, Neobanks enhances the value proposition for customers and position and establishes itself as a cost-effective option for cross-border payments.
- Enhancing customer transparency
The premise of Neo banks is built on trust and fosters long-term relationships. One of the major advantages of Neo banks is that it provides customer transparency by giving real-time updates. It also provides a clear breakdown of fees and provides clear transaction histories and empowers customers with transparent information. With user-friendly interfaces and intuitive dashboards, it enables customers to track and manage their payments across borders easily.
- Strengthening risk management
Developing robust risk management frameworks is essential to alleviate financial risks associated with cross-border payments in terms of operational, and compliance has ensured trust in Neo Banks. By conducting thorough risk assessments, implementing effective fraud prevention measures, and establishing robust transaction monitoring systems, it even strengthens operational and compliance integrity. Prioritising cross-border regulations, adherence to cross-border AML and CTF requirements, and maintaining internal controls to mitigate operational risk management have enhanced trust among the clients.
- Collaborating with strategic partners
Cross-border transactions are complex. Developing international offerings involves processes to integrate products, services, and partner ecosystems, involving multiple systems. It also requires trading systems, liquidity partners, SWIFT, and ACH to work efficiently together. Setting up all these involves heavy investment and a proven business case. Many traditional banks fail to leverage this. With the right technology and service partners, Neobanks can advance swiftly in this competitive scenario. Many FinTech and RegTech companies are building advanced NeoBanking platforms, which will elevate the importance of technology, compliance, and user satisfaction for all customers across the world. With innovation at the forefront, adopting various strategies that mitigate risk, all are possible only by the tech partners, who are passionate to elevate the operations to a newer level. Overall, Neobanks is now a trusted channel for all customers across the globe in terms of their cross-border payments.
FinTech companies like Macro Global have a significant role in shaping the future of the Neo banks by offering diverse digital solutions. Neobanks is disrupting the landscape of cross-border payments and positioning themselves as agile and customer-centric players. As they bring financial inclusion, they are contributing to the growth of revenue.
NetRemit, an avant-grade product from Macro Global empowers Neo banks and financial institutions in this competitive landscape. Known for its advanced features and capabilities, it enables seamless and secure transactions, ensuring compliance with international regulations and enhancing customer satisfaction. With competitive FX conversion rates and real-time transaction monitoring, along with seamless third-party integration, it enables futuristic banking solutions now. That’s not all! Diverse solutions from Macro Global offer a plethora of modern benefits and constantly update the products to cater to growing needs.
To reap the advantages of NetRemit and explore our innovative FinTech products contact us on +44 (0)204 574 2433 or salesdesk@MacroGlobal.co.uk. Partner with us in bridging futuristic banking solutions today.
APIs have revolutionised cross-border payment and are a crucial component of the modern financial system. They have enhanced the way that payment service providers and financial institutions operate across the globe. Without them, it would be difficult to integrate partnerships between each provider. They bring significant improvement in terms of seamless payment initiation, real-time currency conversion, and compliance checks, they have streamlined the payment process, enabling massive development in global e-commerce.
International money transfer APIs are increasing efficiency, enabling automation, and extending payment functionality have enabled great growth in Fintech, enabling cross-border payments both cheaper and faster across different countries. They empower corporate treasurers to price their goods in the most suitable currency. Treasury departments in major organisations around the world are now using APIs to maximise the benefits. This helps treasurers to gain real-time visibility into foreign exchange (FX) rates directly from their current systems while they can effectively manage currency exposure, mitigate risk across global accounts. Now cross border payments API can accelerate reconciliation by accessing FX rates.
In this blog, let us analyse the functionality, how it operates, and what has unleashed to alter the financial industry, gaining prominent business developments to a new sphere.
Unleashing Efficiency and Compliance: How International Money Transfer APIs works
APIs of cross-border payments have played a significant role in streamlining the process by connecting payment networks, financial institutions, businesses, regulatory bodies, and more. While initiating the process of integration, the business developers integrate AIPs and configure necessary endpoints to offer a seamless operation. Post integration, the payment initiation process happens by collecting data points on currency specifications, sender and recipient information, and the payment amount. The massive transformation through APIs happened when they can perform currency conversion based on real-time exchange rate data.
International Remittance APIs have a prominent role in ensuring compliance, involving identity verification, and anti-money laundering checks on the involved parties. Strategically, the cross-border payments APIs have contributed to Ensuring Regulatory Requirements along with preventing fraudulent transactions. While determining the most efficient payment routing path, it leverages financial networks, along with the correspondent banks, and payment service providers. It eases cross-border transactions, as it sends the payment instructions to the relevant institutions or networks for execution.
The advent of APIs offers real-time status updates, along with tracking the process of transactions of several businesses and individuals. The notifications are also delivered for transactions, which are successful pending payments, or even when any issues are encountered. Generating a plethora of reports, and giving full-fledged analytics, they give a comprehensive transaction report, offering insights into payment volumes, and more, helping business to optimise their strategies.
Power of Cross Border APIs Across MSB's, Financial Institutions (FI's) & Bank's and Their Customers
Medium and small businesses reap a lot of benefits when they offer seamless integration across various systems and applications through the advent of cross-border payment APIs. Automation helps to reduce redundant manual work and increase operational efficiency and allows customers to enable quick processes. As business owners can build their custom payment interfaces on their existing infrastructure, it helps to enhance functionality. They have multiple real time applications like accepting credit and debit card payments, setting up recurring payments, bank transfers, accepting payments through cryptocurrencies, invoicing, and more.
As they offer partnerships and collaboration with third-party apps, enabling them to expand their service offerings, they expedite the process and ensure that it enhances process efficiency. Also building solutions on top of the existing ones, expand the personalised experience, where they can create tailor-made solutions for their customers. This can help MSBs to have a cutting edge in the competition and can build customer satisfaction.
To maintain compliance with regulatory standards, it is very essential to have a strict data policy and integrity. While having strict data exchange between systems along with stringent access controls, it is possible to implement robust authentication. With access to real-time data, trends, customer behaviours, and preferences are analysed, and can be used to build a bigger customer base. Financial institutions enjoy diverse payment options through APIs such as digital wallets, credit cards, and bank transfers.
Integrating and Enhancing Cross Border Payment System Through Advanced API's
The Transformation of Cross Border Payments got enhanced when the integration of APIs with existing payment systems happened. As international emittance APIs enhance the security and efficiency of data exchange, and enhance the functionality between different financial institutions, various payment service providers (PSPs), and merchants embraced them. These APIs establish a standardised set of rules and protocols that allow disparate systems to communicate with each other, ensuring compatibility and interoperability.
With seamless transactions and improving the overall payment experience in international financial transactions, as the main goal, it paved a tremendous path for development, connecting various parts of the world, which have different currencies, and enabling a smooth transaction. Robust security measures involving authentication and authorisation, take prominence across cross-border payments. By implementing APIs, several trusted entities can access payment functionalities while unauthorised access and fraud are curbed. This ensures confidence, only trusted communication and transfer happen through APIs.
Focusing on data exchange, they provide a standardised format, such as JSON or XML, where APIs play a vital role in the accuracy of the transaction between the sender and the receiver. The seamless data communication between the application of the merchant and the payment system happens, where information about customers, payment amounts, currency conversions, and transaction status takes place. The smooth flow of information is ensured, and the data would also be securely transferred.
Payment initialisation through APIs enables merchants to initiate payment requests by providing essential details like the customer’s payment method, billing information, and more. These requests are then transmitted to the payment system. It is important to note that, after the payment request is received, the API communicates with different components of the payment system. It performs checks, like fraud detection and fund availability verification. Post completing the checks, it returns a response to the merchant’s application, which will be indicating the success or failure of the transaction. The APIs may also give some transaction-specific details like transaction IDs or error codes. APIs are widely appreciated for their real-time updates and notifications, regarding payment status, refunds, or other notable events, which enables the merchants to keep track of payment activities, promptly respond to any issues, and provide timely updates to their customers.
Apart from all these features, APIs can handle exceptional scenarios such as network failures, invalid requests, or insufficient funds, where error codes and messages are communicated through the API, and empowering merchants to handle errors and provide appropriate feedback to their customers, ensuring transparency and clarity in the payment process. Also, it enables merchants to retrieve transaction data, generate reports, and gain valuable insights into their payment activities. These insights can be used to monitor performance, analyse trends and make informed business decisions, helping merchants optimise their cross-border payment processes.
Empowering Marketplaces: Streamlining Operation Through Integration
international money transfer APIs allow seamless integration with third-party KYC service providers, enabling efficient customer onboarding and verification. Through automation, marketplaces can accelerate the approval process, reduce manual errors, risks, and frauds, while enhancing the overall experience.
By enabling seamless communication with payment gateways and financial institutions, and automating the process of disbursing funds to sellers, service providers, or partners, marketplaces can streamline payout workflows, improve transaction transparency, and provide faster access to earnings for their users. APIs provided by FX service providers with real-time currency conversion, ensuring accurate and competitive exchange rates. With API integration, marketplaces can offer transparent FX services to their users, providing seamless multi-currency transactions and improving customer satisfaction.
APIs facilitate data synchronisation linking the marketplace platform and external systems, like inventory management or logistics providers, which ensures availability, order status, and shipping information, enabling a smooth and efficient fulfilment process, all enhancing global trade and commerce.
Overall, marketplace integration leveraging APIs brings efficiency, scalability, and enhanced user experience to the ecosystem. It empowers marketplaces to collaborate with external service providers, automate critical processes, and provide a seamless and cohesive experience to their users while reducing operational complexity.
Unlocking Growth and Efficiency of Cross Border Payments API
The transformative shift that APIs brought in this financial arena is unfathomable, gearing growth in all spheres. With the integration of payment APIs, various payment methods, including electronic wallets and bank redirects, can be easily enabled. APIs help the business owner to build the existing functionalities, rather than starting from scratch, optimising time, effort, and money.
Here Are Some Of The Advantages Listed Below
1) Enhanced Integration: APIs enable different software systems to communicate and interact with each other seamlessly, enabling applications to access and exchange data, which promotes collaboration and simplifies the development process.
2) Flexibility and Scalability: APIs allow developers to leverage existing functionalities and connect numerous services provided by external systems, saving time and effort. They enable processes to evolve and accommodate growth and expand to newer markets. They offer more flexibility and scalability which helps to derive sustainable growth.
3) Rapid Development: Cross border payments API come with pre-built components and functionalities, enabling seamless integration, to make business and transactions easier, and it is much easier to adapt to payment systems of different countries, currencies, and regulations.
4) Expanded Reach and Innovation: Through international remittance API, organisations can share services and data with external developers, partners, and third-party applications, inspiring innovative applications to be created, and enabling newer business opportunities.
5) Security: APIs can offer Enhanced Security Features by addressing regulatory issues and reducing cross-border compliance problems. When cross-border APIs are connected to a system, they provide immediate access to regulatory information, enabling automated cross-border compliance. This helps in preventing unauthorised access, data breaches, and other security threats.
6) Cost: International money transfer API can provide cost savings in several ways. By automating, and curbing manual intervention in the payment process, leveraging business towards cost optimisation. Additionally, they streamline the operation and reduce administrative expenses.
Macro Global, with innovation, technology, years of experience, and a compelling strategy at the forefront is creating a revolution in the cross-border payments industry with the use of Advanced APIs, leveraging its maximum potential to deliver innovative and sustainable tools. This enables several financial institutions to leverage the prowess of cross border payments APIs. It allows easy integration and access to several third-party sites that ensure seamless cross-border business transactions. Overall, it is a boon for financial institutions, and several businesses operating across borders.
NetRemit with its extensive prowess, captures the current market trends and identifies the intricacies involved, and provides essential support to financial institutions, enabling them to maximise their remittance success rate and stay ahead of their competitors by using a Leading-Edge Cross Border Payment Solution.
With a deep understanding of our client’s latest requirements and with a commitment to compliance, we constantly enhance our products and services to suit the diverse requirements of banks and financial organisation. We will do the heavy lifting for you to ensure your peace of mind, and help you equip you with the expertise where you can focus on your core business and explore new horizons.
To partner with us, please contact us at +44 (0)204 574 2433 or send an email to salesdesk@MacroGlobal.co.uk. Our dedicated executives will be in touch to understand your specific requirements and provide tailored solutions.
The number of people sending money across borders is increasing day by day owing to various purposes. Individuals, immigrants, businesses, consultants, freelancers, and many people are sending money to various countries in multiple currencies via diverse electronic modes as the means to pay for products, services, friends, or family offered globally.
Remittances prevail as a channel of income for many families as overseas workers send money back to their families through it. And cross-border payments facilitate payment to people/parties or businesses around the world for both personal and professional objectives.
In most cases, common people consider cross-border payments and remittance to be the same. Yet, they are different technically on various grounds such as purpose, types, regulation, exchange rates, cost, operational time, applicability, etc.
Let us explore in detail the distinct difference between cross-border payments and money remittance in the following section.
|Specification||Cross-border Payments||Money Remittance|
|Definition||Cross border payments are the funds transfer which are primarily made between two parties belonging to different countries in exchange for goods or services provided by individuals and businesses. Cross border payments involve both personal and business-related money transfers across borders.||Money remittance is a sum of money that is transferred from the Individual to the other residing in same or different country. It is primarily done on personal grounds to satisfy the financial needs of one’s family or promote their standard of living by offering education, purchasing properties etc. Money remittance corresponds to any type of money transfer that occurs between two parties either domestically or internationally.|
|Purpose||Most possibly, cross-border payments are used to transfer funds between two different countries to pay employees, suppliers, partners, etc.For example: Online purchase from different countries, Paying the importer in export business.||Money remittance is specifically used to transfer funds between two individuals.For example: Sending money to friends, paying tuition fees for students studying abroad.|
|Types||The payments are sent between countries through digital payment platforms such as PayPal and wire transfers.||The payments are transferred between the individuals in different as well as same countries via the following ways:|
|Time||As cross-border payment deals with business transactions in most cases, the payment takes a certain time, from weeks to months at times, depending on the payment service provider.||Since specific amount is transferred through money remittance, the payment is transferred in real time like the credit/debit card payment.|
|Security||Significant security breaches in the cross-border payments regime are typical. As regulations vary across nations, hackers have the accessibility to have control over the payment when the payments are transferred into a country that holds a lethargic security policy and regulation.||Compared to cross-border payments, money remittances are secure as it is regulated by FATF, and no deviation of regulation is available in the sender/receiver’s country.|
|Volume||Any volume of payment shall be transferred between nations in cross-border payments.||Generally, small/sizeable volume of data is remitted in money remittance.|
|Currency||In cross-border payments, the payment is transferred to the receiver in the currency of the sender’s country.||Conversion of the sender’s foreign currency to receiver’s local currency is involved in money remittance and hence the payment is received by the receiver in their local currency.|
|Exchange rates||In cross-border payments, the payment is exchanged at the receiver country’s currency rate.||In money remittance, the payment is exchanged to local currency based on the sender country’s exchange rate.|
|Application||Cross-border payments are meant for both professional and personal use. Most international business transactions take place through cross-border payments.||Money remittance is used for personal use like sending money to family members living abroad, paying their bills etc.|
|Cost||As payment service providers are a vital part of cross-border payments, they need to be compensated and hence the cost of cross-border payments is comparatively higher.||The cost of money remittance to overseas countries is lower when compared to cross-border payments.|
Cross border payments are the funds transfer which are primarily made between two parties belonging to different countries in exchange for goods or services provided by individuals and businesses. Cross border payments involve both personal and business-related money transfers across borders.
Most possibly, cross-border payments are used to transfer funds between two different countries to pay employees, suppliers, partners, etc.For example: Online purchase from different countries, Paying the importer in export business.
The payments are sent between countries through digital payment platforms such as PayPal and wire transfers.
As cross-border payment deals with business transactions in most cases, the payment takes a certain time, from weeks to months at times, depending on the payment service provider.
Significant security breaches in the cross-border payments regime are typical. As regulations vary across nations, hackers have the accessibility to have control over the payment when the payments are transferred into a country that holds a lethargic security policy and regulation.
Any volume of payment shall be transferred between nations in cross-border payments.
In cross-border payments, the payment is transferred to the receiver in the currency of the sender’s country.
In cross-border payments, the payment is exchanged at the receiver country’s currency rate.
Cross-border payments are meant for both professional and personal use. Most international business transactions take place through cross-border payments.
As payment service providers are a vital part of cross-border payments, they need to be compensated and hence the cost of cross-border payments is comparatively higher.
Money remittance is a sum of money that is transferred from the Individual to the other residing in same or different country. It is primarily done on personal grounds to satisfy the financial needs of one’s family or promote their standard of living by offering education, purchasing properties etc. Money remittance corresponds to any type of money transfer that occurs between two parties either domestically or internationally.
Money remittance is specifically used to transfer funds between two individuals.For example: Sending money to friends, paying tuition fees for students studying abroad.
The payments are transferred between the individuals in different as well as same countries via the following ways:
Since specific amount is transferred through money remittance, the payment is transferred in real time like the credit/debit card payment.
Compared to cross-border payments, money remittances are secure as it is regulated by FATF, and no deviation of regulation is available in the sender/receiver’s country.
Generally, small/sizeable volume of data is remitted in money remittance.
Conversion of the sender’s foreign currency to receiver’s local currency is involved in money remittance and hence the payment is received by the receiver in their local currency.
In money remittance, the payment is exchanged to local currency based on the sender country’s exchange rate.
Money remittance is used for personal use like sending money to family members living abroad, paying their bills etc.
The cost of money remittance to overseas countries is lower when compared to cross-border payments.
Cross-border payments and money remittances are the two crucial fund transfer methods that assist individuals and businesses by facilitating international payment across the globe. They possess unique features and are employed by users based on their requirement scenario.
We hope that we have explored extensively the differences between cross-border payments and money remittance in detail here, bringing insight into their operation, purpose, application, efficiency and many more.
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NetRemit is a powerful and versatile solution for your international money transfer business, which is complete with improved security architecture and a more thorough built-in framework for managing risks and adhering to regulations.
From Know Your Customer (KYC) checks and payment gateways to foreign exchange and payouts, NetRemit gives you access to the world’s best marketplace apps for making and receiving cross-border payments.
With NetRemit white labelled Cross-Border Payment Suite, you can optimise your remittance success rate and set yourself apart from the competition.
What's unique in NetRemit?
- An air traffic control-style back-office platform (NetRemit Admin Center) to configure and control your brand and business rules for any single and multiple currency corridors.
- Boundless Marketplace Integration starts from KYC to Pay-outs.
- RaaS (Remittance as a Service) can meet all your remittance service needs (legacy migration, compliance, AML & KYC, and payout).
- Extensive Data-Rich Analytics with 40+ reports.
- Centralised CGI Gateway for Core Banking or Accounting platforms.
- Built-in incident service management module.
- You can set up a wide range of possible conversion rate slabs between the currencies you receive and the currencies you pay with.
- Enterprise-grade security enables businesses to connect and manage their operations globally.
- Flexibility to adopt Open Banking and Open Finance.
- White-label SaaS – All under your brand name. By leaving all the heavy lifting with us, you can focus on your core business growth and maximise your remittance success rate.
As your business expands, NetRemit enables you to scale, automate, and increase your profitability without interruption.
Today, global economies are interconnected, and B2B cross-border payments are the backbone through which the economies boom. Real-time payments have favoured businesses as the factors like reliability and speed of payment have enabled growth and dependence on newer modes of payment.
New digital platforms bind people and technology together and help businesses move online. It also changes the methods of payments involved and integrates newer technology along with automation. Over the years, the demand for a concrete remittance platform enhancing the B2B business across borders has helped cross bigger milestones.
The development of B2B Cross-Border Payments will have a direct impact on the economies and expedite the way the business operates. Several fintechs have started the progress, that would bring a concrete development in the way the payments operate.
Let us explore in detail about cross border payments and how they are impacting the B2B segments.
An introduction to B2B payments
The growth of financial transactions between businesses that involve the transfer of funds across international borders, for goods or services is on the rise. The transactions involve multiple financial institutions and currencies, which can include different regulations and fees. Various methods of money transfers include wire transfers, international ACH transfers, payment cards, electronic wallets, and cryptocurrencies are adopted commonly.
One of the major advantages for business people is that they can send and receive money across any part of the world, however, exchange rates, fees, payment processing times, and regulatory requirements make it one of the most complicated processes, leading to roadblocks. To ensure smooth transactions, it is essential to have reliable payment methods. Also, the awareness of the regulatory requirements in the countries they operate in and should conduct due diligence on their trading partners would enhance progress. Businesses are now looking for smoother and more efficient cross-border financial transactions, enabling them to capitalise on the benefits of global commerce.
B2B Cross Border payment Statistics:
According to the Juniper report, from the year 2022 to 2027, the growth projected in the cross-border B2B segment would grow to 26%, where the market size is expected to expand from $88 trillion to $111 trillion in 2027. Attributing to the factors such as price rise due to inflation and the development of stronger markets across various economic zones.
Another significant factor concerning the growth is automation, which speeds up the processes of accounts payable and receivable thereby enhancing the efficiency of payments processing, presenting a significant opportunity for B2B payment vendors. As with an assumption of 1,400 domestic payments on average globally in 2027, there is a great scope to unlock greater opportunities to manage to reconcile payments. Also, through automation along with the adoption of instant payments, by introducing new payment methods, and the use of the ISO 20022 standards, the growth is relentless.
Exploring Diverse B2B Money Transfer Methods:
1. Wire Transfer
Wire transfers offer fast and secure transactions and can be initiated over the phone by speaking directly to a bank’s representative or by accessing the online banking profile. It is one of the most preferred methods for transferring large sums of money, for businesses involving different countries, currencies, and time zones. It involves several layers of scrutiny, and verification to ensure the funds are deposited correctly. However, wire transfers incur fees from both parties and may have limitations imposed by banks.
2. ACH Transaction
ACH transactions are faster and more cost-effective than cheques. They are extremely safe, as they do not involve any physical documents. It is used for several payments like direct deposits of payroll, and electronic bill payments, along with one-time or recurring fund transfers between bank accounts. It is processed through the ACH network and highly facilitates fund transfers between banks. Several businesses, government agencies, and individuals manage their finances and make payments through ACH transactions.
3. Card Payments
It is one of the highly convenient and fast methods for making cross-border payments. It requires an issuing bank, acquiring bank, and the vendor’s financial institution. All banks need to be connected to ensure smooth payment transactions, enabling consumers worldwide to connect effortlessly. Card payments enable consumers to easily provide their details and authorise the payment. It is important to note that costs may include foreign transaction fees or currency conversion costs, which help ensure efficient payment processing.
In cross-border transactions, cheques are one of the least preferred, as they have to cross different checkpoints that can cause delays, errors, and potential fraud, which can cause huge inconvenience. Moreover, the processing fees and also foreign exchange rates are calculated based on the countries involved, and the issuing banks.
5. Payment Gateway
The payment gateway has gained a lot of popularity for the diverse benefits it offers like the convenience it provides during transactions, simplifies the payment systems by handling the complexities of foreign exchange rates, lower transaction fees, and compliance with local regulations. Accepting multiple currencies from different locations, and security features such as fraud detection help to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions. They may also offer other value-added services, such as recurring billing, subscription management, and dispute resolution.
The payment gateway is compliant with local regulations and can provide the necessary documentation and reporting for tax and accounting. It is necessary to consider factors like fees, foreign exchange rates, and supported payment methods while selecting the right partner.
Factors driving the rise of B2B cross-border payments:
In today’s global economy, businesses require reliable and quick b2b cross-border payment solutions. There are several factors contributing to the growth of cross-border payments like faster access to funds, reduced payment risk, regulatory advancements, digital technology, modernised payments, and the establishment of fintechs rendering modern solutions to banks and other financial institutions.
Central banks across the countries have major control payment systems for instant payments and settlements. The rise in digital technology is fuelling B2B businesses to connect with more customers and adopt sales opportunities beyond borders. This trend has also enhanced the rise of online shopping across borders, impacting economic growth, bolstering the development of countries, and enhancing their GDPs.
Fintechs have decentralised payment solutions, admitting several SMEs to gain access to similar options as large enterprises. It is important to note that the combination of blockchain and AI streamlines b2b cross-border payments, automates transactions and reduces friction. Also, the factors like globalisation, e-commerce growth, digitisation, fintech innovation, regulatory changes, and economic growth are constantly fuelling the growth and prominence of businesses operating across borders.
Challenges with B2B cross-border payments
There are various factors to consider when dealing with substantial amounts of money sent and received globally, including the cost, security, processing time, and legal implications.
Several governments restrict data provision and is essential for banks to adhere to those constraints. Businesses and financial institutions in the UK and EU must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which limits data sharing. Countries like UK, Japan, and EU member states give more emphasis compared to the United States. Unauthorised dissemination of personal information can result in penalties and severe punishments in these jurisdictions.
The cross-border transaction can be frustrating and time-consuming if it has interruptions. Insufficient payment information, Anti-Money Laundering examinations, and other fraud screening measures are some of the common causes. Since foreign money transfers are not as regulated as other transactions, the solution is sometimes tough and also time-consuming. All these factors put together cause severe blocks in the process.
Due to different legal frameworks in each country, companies that expand abroad may face higher risks. Despite most developed nations following a civil law system, these systems can differ significantly from one nation to the next, which poses significant consequences for the understanding of mergers and other B2B agreements. Protection of intellectual property is one instance wherein substantial disparities between countries are evident. It is also tricky to enforce a contract’s language in domestic or international courts.
Fees & Exchange Rates
Non-cash payment systems involve additional fees, where the payees are required to incur upfront funds for currency acquisition and transaction initiation. Cross-border transactions incur higher bank costs, specifically when multiple parties are involved. Merchant banks levy the cost on buyers, whereas card issuers would charge customers for foreign currency transactions, including exchange rate fees, and more. Fluctuations in exchange rates between transaction initiation and settlement can lead to financial losses for both buyers and sellers. To mitigate this, businesses offer customers the option to use currency exchange rate aggregators during purchases.
Tax systems vary widely from nation to nation. The buyer or seller must evaluate, which taxes could be imposed on the payment in its destination country, which could influence the deal’s profitability or equity. While tax treaties have been developed to prevent double taxation, they are often country-specific, keeping the likelihood that a recipient or payee will be subject to some taxation.
Rigorous compliance checks will prevent risks like financial crime, fraud, and prohibitions for both payers and recipients. For instance, a simple case of a customer sharing a name with a person with a financial criminal history may lead to several anomalies. If payments pass through multiple domestic banking systems, additional checks may be necessary which is adding complexities even before the payment reaches an international boundary.
Unlocking the Potential: Strategies for Improving B2B Cross-Border Payments
Cross-border payment processing is vital as global trade grows, and financial inclusion attracts more individuals, contributing to global development. Banks adapt to the needs of the businesses, demanding new technology for transparency, adaptability, and cost reduction in cross-border money transfers. The need for efficient payment options globally is on the rise, where technological advancements, process improvements, and international collaborations drive progress.
These digital technologies like distributed ledger, AI, blockchain, and cloud computing combat international fraud, enhancing security for financial institutions and companies. Incorporation of third-party interfaces such as KYC and AML, along with competitive FX conversion, ensures compliance.
Growth in the B2B segment, enhancing infrastructure, streamlining processes, and reducing complexity are major factors helping the development. Switching from conventional payment methods to comprehensive payment strategies and optimised currency conversion platforms fosters positive development.
Governments are overseeing regulatory frameworks, and businesses collect customer information to meet regulations. Also, financial institutions conduct customer due diligence to comply with FATF on Anti-Money Laundering requirements, avoiding penalties. International money transfer businesses must understand cross border payments regulatory requirements and compliance standards to avoid penalties, delays, and reputational damage. By applying the essential strategies, B2B cross-border payment solutions enhance security, transparency, affordability, speed, and compliance for financial institutions. They can navigate local laws, exchange rates, and complexities, promoting financial inclusion and global development.
Navigating Cross-border Invoicing
In B2B commerce, invoices include more than just goods and service details and prices. Payment terms, such as due date, discount percentage, and tax rate, are specified in invoices. International invoices require additional considerations like accepted currency, payment method, and billing currency. Effective invoicing is crucial for complex and time-consuming cross-border B2B payments.
Key principles for invoicing clients abroad:
- Factors like price, quantity, accepted payment options, currencies, delivery, and payment deadlines are to be considered while drafting an agreement with an international client.
- Payment options like bank wires, ACH payments, credit cards, instant/real-time payments, or digital wallets are to be given prominence.
- Having a foreign bank account will reduce the need for wire transfer charges, and will give customers a domestic payment option.
- Gaining awareness of the complexity of international taxes.
- Ensuring the ERP system’s invoicing software accommodates cross-border payments.
Several countries, including Greece, and Hungary have mandated electronic invoices through government-approved platforms. VAT should be included based on domestic or international sales, often automated for efficiency. Automation, registration, and archiving of invoices help ensure tax compliance, reduce fraud, and align with common standards for seamless cross-border invoice exchange.
Several factors are taken into consideration to avoid penalties and disputes, like compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, including taxation, customs, and trade regulations. Invoices should include international trade terms, shipping details, customs declarations, and necessary export or import documentation.
Exchange rates become crucial when multiple currencies are involved. To enhance transparency and ease of business, international transactions in B2B require mandatory documentation and exchange of financial information.
With over 15 years of experience in the fintech sector, Macro Global understands the intricacies of customer needs and has become a trusted partner for businesses seeking growth and efficiency. NetRemit from Macro Global is a highly secure and ISO-compliant cross border product suite designed specifically to address the challenges faced in B2B payments.
NetRemit seamlessly integrates with leading marketplace apps, facilitating essential functions such as Know Your Customer (KYC) checks, payment gateways, foreign exchange management, and payouts. NetRemit offers a comprehensive range of features and innovations that ensure a seamless experience for B2B cross-border transactions. By eliminating unnecessary intermediaries, minimising delays, and mitigating currency concerns, businesses can benefit from a quick, user-friendly, and cost-effective solution.
Contact us today at +44 (0)204 574 2433 or mail us firstname.lastname@example.org to partner with us and unleash the limitless possibilities of technology in the financial sector.
Pioneering the Cross-Border Payments Landscape: Multilateral Platforms and the G20 Conclave’s Disruptive Impact
Multilateral platforms strengthen cross-border payments, enabling participants from different jurisdictions to exchange money directly, without relying on multiple intermediaries or legacy banking infrastructures.
It is a great choice for global payments, as it allows transactions from multiple jurisdictions to seamlessly transfer funds. Built with flexibility and scalability in mind, with a tiered structure, where indirect parties can use its centralised payment facilities without establishing a contractual relationship.
It is highly regulated by stakeholders from various countries, and also overseen comprehensively, where every participant complies with a single overarching rulebook making it a reliable source of secure cross-border transactions. In this blog, let us understand the importance of Multilateral Platforms and how it operates.
G20 conclave and its impacts:
The G20 conclave in the year 2020 made a significant impact in strengthening international payments and put forth a roadmap, that helps in streamlining remittance across borders. The main aim is to facilitate faster, cheaper, and more transparent transactions across borders. The main aim is to promote digital financial inclusion and enable universal access to affordable and safe financial services, by promoting cooperation among countries to enhance cross-border regulatory frameworks and promote standardisation.
One of the important decisions that took prominence was how multilateral platforms would enhance payment services and improve the efficiency of PSP’s digitalisation strategies. There are two approaches namely growth or greenfield approach, building upon the current multilateral networks, and creating a fresh universal infrastructure from scratch. The financial world would strengthen the currency exchange by drilling down the possibilities.
Multilateral Platforms– Transforming the Landscape of Cross-Border Payments
Multilateral platforms have innovated the traditional process by allowing more direct access between payer and recipient, which reduces the complexity cross-border payment methods. As they don’t require end users to use the same PSP as their partner for funds to transfer successfully, they are different from the usual banking system.
Multilateral platforms would strengthen cross-border payments, enabling participants from different jurisdictions to exchange money directly, without relying on multiple intermediaries or legacy banking infrastructures. Network models are an effective way to facilitate multilateral payments. Meanwhile, all PSPs on a common platform need to follow one collective set of rules regardless of domestic or international transactions. Multilateral platforms and interlinking arrangements are similar in benefits, costs, and risks, with comparable design choices.
Back-end arrangements for cross-border payments
There are four back-end arrangements for cross-border payments: namely correspondent banking, single system or closed loop, interlinking, and peer-to-peer. Multilateral platforms are often grouped with interlinking arrangements.
Correspondent banking facilitates international trade and financial inclusion by connecting banks across the globe. By forming relationships between smaller domestically focused PSPs and larger global institutions, these arrangements enable transactions to travel in chains of linked intermediaries from one jurisdiction to another – allowing for swift cross-border payments. In a closed loop or single platform system, payments across multiple jurisdictions are handled entirely within the same PSP, where the transactions are known as in-house and intragroup. The interlinking arrangement has a combination of contract agreements, technical links, and standards. These enable participating PSPs in two different countries to send money as if they are using the same payment system, without opening a bank account.
Peer-to-peer payments gained a massive boom in their operations powered by distributed ledger technologies, including crypto assets, stablecoin arrangements, and CBDC designs. These transactions allow individuals to send money directly to each other quickly, securely, and without the need for any intermediaries.
Multilateral Platform – Features:
Liquidity management: liquidity management is carried out by intraday credit, netting, and collateral management to ensure timely and secure settlement of payments.
Payment Messaging Services: Payment messaging services in multilateral platforms include authentication, initiation, submission, and conditionality, as well as standardised messaging, proxy lookup registries, pre-validation services, APIs for technical integration with third parties, limited or 24/7/365 operating hours, quantity and time limits, and capital flow management measures to ensure efficient and secure payment processing
Compliance and data processing: AML/CFT and fraud monitoring, KYC registries, and privacy and data management are essential components of compliant processing. Financial organisations need to implement these measures to prevent illegal activities, ensure regulatory compliance, and protect customer data.
Clearing including netting: Netting allows parties to settle their transactions on a net basis, rather than on a gross basis. Netting can be done on a bilateral or multilateral basis, depending on the nature of the transaction and the parties involved.
Settlement: legal decisiveness and technical settlement, settlement system type, settlement currency, settlement asset, and settlement risk management measures are important reflections in the settlement of financial transactions. Financial institutions can minimise settlement risk and ensure timely and efficient settlement of transactions.
Foreign exchange: Currency conversion in cross border payments is a settlement mechanism used to ensure that both parties in an FX transaction receive their payments simultaneously and without risk of settlement failure.
Network Models – Impact on Rules, Efficiency, and Cost-Effectiveness
The choice of network model can impact the development of a platform’s rules and procedures. In a hub and spoke model, the hub entity can operate with a minimal set of rules if the laws and regulations across the spokes are consistent. On the contrary, in a common platform model, the platform’s rules and procedures must be consistent with the relevant laws and regulations of each jurisdiction. Developing a common platform can be more time-consuming and costly, but once established, it can be more efficient to operate and maintain than a hub and spoke system. A common platform offers more consistent service to participants, better cost recovery, and can recover costs more efficiently.
Exploring Diverse Currency Arrangements for Enhanced Transaction Processing:
Multilateral platforms can be designed as a single currency, multicurrency, or cross-currency platform. Single-currency platforms handle and process transactions in one currency, and multicurrency platforms process using segregated account structures operating in multiple currencies.
Cross-currency platforms allow for currency conversion on the platform itself. The choice of currency arrangement depends on the purpose of the platform and various factors, such as the liquidity of the chosen currency, exchange restrictions, and exchange rate regimes. Several multilateral platforms have expanded their services to include more regional and global reserve currencies.
The Power of Multilateral Platforms in Overcoming Frictions Across Cross-Border Payments
Cross-border payments face several challenges, including legacy technology, fragmented data formats, funding costs, long transaction chains, weak competition, complex compliance checks, and limited operating hours. Multilateral platforms have the potential to address many of these frictions.
Let us in detail look at various factors altering the multilateral platforms.
Embracing Advanced Technology for Seamless Global Integration:
New multilateral platforms can overcome the friction of legacy technology by using the latest technology and avoiding reliance on batch processing. They can also implement new payment messaging standards like ISO 20022 to improve data quality and facilitate straight-through processing. APIs can further connect these platforms with existing payment systems and offer ancillary services like fraud monitoring and pre-validation. However, the implementation of these services may add complexity and costs, as well as potential regulatory adjustments. New platforms may face a trade-off between innovation and interoperability, and they may offer ancillary services like message translation to accommodate less advanced participants.
Optimising Funding Efficiency on Liquidity Pooling and Currency Exchange:
Multilateral platforms can lower funding costs by pooling liquidity and enabling easy currency exchange. Participants can hold accounts in multiple currencies and hedge against FX risk. The platform’s funding costs depend on whether it uses deferred net settlement or real-time gross settlement. DNS is less liquidity-intensive but exposes participants to credit risk. Pre-funding can reduce credit risk, but it may increase funding costs. Multilateral platforms cannot eliminate funding costs, but they have options to address funding issues, depending on the platform’s design choices.
Streamlining Payment Chains by Enhancing Efficiency and Reducing Costs:
By allowing the participants to send and receive payments directly, Multilateral platforms are shortening the transaction chains. Many multiple intermediaries are getting replaced, and challenges involved in the costs are also being curbed. In several payment corridors, PSPs depend on a chain of correspondent banks, which raises the overall price of the transactions. Multilateral platforms play a major role in reducing costs and increasing payment speed by connecting originating and beneficiary PSPs more directly.
Adopting Competition and Financial Inclusion by Empowering PSPs:
Multilateral platforms can increase competition by allowing payment service providers (PSPs) to connect directly and offer cross-border services in a particular corridor, instead of establishing separate correspondent banking relationships. They also serve as a single access point to a region, making it easier and cheaper for foreign entities to transact with banks, PSPs, and end users in that region, which may mitigate the effects of de-risking correspondent banking relationships. Multilateral platforms must create a level playing field between banks and non-bank PSPs and increase competition, lower costs for end users, and improve financial inclusion.
Enhancing Compliance and Security by Strengthening AML/CFT Measures:
Achieving high-quality compliance processes through comprehensive monitoring and transaction screening tools available in the Multilateral platforms is very effective. Having a comprehensive view of the transaction chain is helping several operators detect anomalies, and comply with AML/CFT regulations. Reference data of the anomalies or security breaches become very important to identify and curb the challenges. The platforms need to limit participation to enforce tighter regulations. By implementing several checkpoints, the platforms can streamline the complaint process.
Enhancing Operational Efficiency and Ensuring 24/7 seamless Operations
The choice of the multilateral platform makes a great impact on operating hours. If it serves across borders, touching different time zones, it is very important for the platform to operate round the clock, all the week, and throughout the year, to ensure a long settlement window. This has also impacted the operational cost, as it involves a lot of effort, technology, and skilled professionals to handle without glitches.
Multilateral platforms for cross-border payments are an important tool for promoting financial inclusion, facilitating trade and investment, and improving global economic integration. As digital technologies continue to evolve, these platforms are likely to play an increasingly important role in the global payments landscape.
NetRemit, one of the flagship products from Macro Global has been providing cross border payment solution for banks, MTOs to ensure seamless operations We also enhance the capabilities of banks to ensure seamless transactions across borders. To partner with us call us at +44 (0)204 574 2433 or mail us at salesdesk@MacroGlobal.co.uk.
Money laundering is raising as a major threat to the economy worldwide. With the advent of technology and using newer methods to commit financial crimes, many illegal proceeds are camouflaged and made to appear as legal assets. These crimes are very much organized, and their network is evolving, through which they hide their illicit activities from authorities all over the world. The other major threat that money laundering has is that the funds are directed toward terrorist groups, crime syndicates, drugs, and fund criminally minded networks.
Several methods for organising financial crimes such as placement, layering, and integration, are some of the widely used methods, which will be discussed in detail in this blog. The UN Report 2020 says that it is estimated that almost $800 billion to $2 trillion has been laundered. Alarmingly, this is equivalent to 2-5% of global GDP. It is highly essential for financial institutions to be cautious and bring effective AML measures, that would curb illegal activities. This blog post will unravel this white-collar crime, its types —its kinds, and its consequences.
Understanding Smurfing the Challenges it poses on financial institutions:
What is Smurfing?
Smurfing, in financial terms, refers to structuring or layering. It involves breaking down huge portions of money into smaller units, which becomes less suspicious while doing transactions and can avoid detection. The launderer may use multiple individuals or entities to conduct numerous small transactions, making it difficult for authorities to trace the source of the funds. Smurfing often involves cash transactions, as they are harder to track compared to electronic transactions.
How does smurfing work?
To understand how smurfing operates, it is important to understand the various steps involved and their methods. Smurfing is done using credit cards, multiple bank accounts, or shell companies. It is important to note that smurfing is not illegal in itself, but it is mostly used to support many other criminal activities such as tax evasion, terrorism financing, and drug trafficking.
This simple example would illustrate how smurfers operate. For instance, if they want to traffic $10,000, they digress the cash into small amounts. That amount would be less than the threshold of AML reporting requirements. The total money is divided into ten or twelve different bank accounts over a week. Thus, it becomes too challenging to suspect any illegal activity.
Money laundering involves a complex three-stage process, called placement, layering, and integration. In the first stage of placement, smurfs introduce their ill-gotten gains into money markets by cleverly structuring deposits to go unnoticed. In the process of layering, they involve various shell companies and offshore accounts as part of an intricate web designed to disorient law enforcement when tracing these sequentially transferred funds. Finally comes integration, where criminals can claim legitimate ownership of the money.
As financial institutions are required to report any transactions over a certain amount, it becomes easier for them to evade and bypass the checks. Though smurfing may look like an effective way to launder money, it will not become unnoticed on the radar of various financial institutions and AML regulators.
How to detect Smurfing:
First and foremost, financial organisations must have a clear KYC strategy to effectively prevent the exploitation of any weaknesses by malicious actors. Thorough customer due diligence is critical in detecting potential smurfing activities. This can involve verifying the identity and background of customers, understanding their business or occupation, and assessing the legitimacy of their transactions. By implementing structured monitoring, and analysing transactions, a large number of fraudulent transactions can be curtailed.
Customer behaviour and transaction pattern analysis are crucial components of fraud detection systems to identify anomalies or suspicious activities that could indicate fraud. By analysing the average amount per transaction and it is possible to identify transactions that are significantly larger or smaller than usual, which could be a red flag for fraud. Sometimes the money may be deposited from unusual places, or through different modes of transactions, which are different than usual. By scrutinising the spending pattern of the customers, the anomalies can be detected easily. It is always not just one type of change that is taken into account, but rather several factors are considered, which should be in conjunction with other fraud detection methods to ensure the highest level of accuracy.
There are several tools and techniques involved in fraud detection. Transaction monitoring tools are used by banks and other financial institutions to identify patterns of transactions that may be indicative of structuring. Duplicate document check involves comparing documents submitted by customers to detect duplicates or falsified documents, to detect duplicate or falsified documents. Counter the challenges of Terrorism Funding, requires monitoring tools, comprehensive due diligence, and watchlist screening to identify suspicious transactions and individuals.
Development in technology is transforming judgment-making in financial institutions. By combining activities such as social media lookup, data enrichment, and device fingerprinting into one process – what used to take many hours of human labour can now be automated in mere moments. Tthe accuracy rate increases while errors caused by manual work drop significantly.
Unexplained or suspicious transactions, inconsistent transaction patterns, or lack of a legitimate business purpose can be red flags for potential smurfing. Cash transactions are often used in smurfing activities and monitoring and flagging multiple cash transactions conducted within a brief period or across different accounts, particularly if they are below the reporting thresholds, would be a great way to curb illicit activities.
Using tools from FinTech to cater to challenges in smurfing, and tackle threats.
The growth of FinTech has marked a paradigm shift in how the banking system operates, bringing a lot of tools, and checks, and introducing various safety parameters, which can bring many safety measures. It can also early detect anomalies, observes patterns, and ensures seamless operations in banks and other financial institutions.
NetRemit offered by Macro Global, helps prevent illegal financial activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing, analyse transaction data in real-time, and detect patterns of suspicious activity. The system automatically generates an alert, when a transaction is flagged suspicious, which can be taken for further investigation, which helps financial organisations to save money, guard their reputation and save their time which would be otherwise spent on detecting and fighting crimes. Transaction patterns and customer behaviour analysis are automatically detected, and reports are generated based on that. Digital identity verification, automated risk assessments, and regulatory reporting help combat financial crimes.
NetRemit is also fortified with the investigation of real-time data, partnering with third-party service providers, spanning many zones and countries involving different currencies. Especially focusing on anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations by verifying customer identities and monitoring transactions for suspicious activity with ken focus on sanction checks, PEP, Watchlists enhance compliance.
With an expert team, rendering consultancy support, by leveraging the power of advanced technology and advanced analytics, these tools can help financial institutions stay ahead of evolving criminal tactics and protect themselves and their customers from financial crime. Embedded with tools, and techniques that automatically analyse, detect, and raise a red flag in case of any anomaly detected would enhance the security, while real-time consultancy services and support will fortify the organisation to achieve business goals.
Developments in the area of fintechs are exponentially growing, which enables new platforms, tools, and techniques are continually evolving to detect fraud. With the advent to prevent money laundering, including smurfing, various financial institutions are increasingly adopting technology to enhance their battle against crime.
Types of smurfing in banks:
Surfers and fraudsters use several techniques and are classified as several types of smurfing.
Structuring: Cash structuring or transaction structuring is one of the most used methods of money laundering. The surfer will deposit the amount, which would be lesser than the threshold in different bank accounts to avoid triggering a suspicious transaction report (STR) or currency transaction report (CTR).
Splitting: Splitting involves breaking down a large transaction into smaller transactions to avoid detection. However, splitting may involve dividing the funds into smaller amounts and conducting multiple transactions over a longer period, rather than making multiple transactions at once as in structuring.
Layering: This type of smurfing involves creating multiple layers of transactions or transfers to further obfuscate the source of funds. For instance, a smurfer may transfer money from one bank account to another and often changes banks. This will be very difficult for the banks to trace the source of the funds.
Nominee Accounts: In this type of smurfing, a person or entity opens multiple bank accounts using false identities or using the names of others, and then uses these accounts to conduct multiple transactions on behalf of the actual beneficiary. This can help mask the true ownership and origin of the funds.
Currency Exchange Smurfing: This involves exchanging large amounts of cash into different currencies, often in smaller denominations, through multiple currency exchange transactions. Fraudsters use this method to convert illicit funds into different currencies to further conceal their origin and make them harder to trace.
Risks posed by smurfing:
Over the years, experts in financial institutions, banks, and MTOs have been combatting surfing, and have identified some of the challenges they are:
- Difficult to detect: Fraudsters using surfing use advanced techniques through which they avoid detection intentionally. This creates a lot of challenges for the AML system to identify or detect them.
- Avoids transaction reporting requirements: Illegal surfers pay much lesser amounts, which are not necessary for the banks to detect. Thus, they escape from the radar and do not get detected.
- Facilitates other illegal activities: Along with surfing, they combine other illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, corruption, or fraud, to conceal the proceeds of crime and enable further criminal activity.
Structuring involves conducting multiple transactions in amounts just below the reporting threshold to avoid detection. Structuring involves splitting larger amounts into smaller transactions to stay below the reporting threshold and avoid detection. The process of structuring causes severe damage to the banks, causing serious Legal and Regulatory Risks, when the bank or the financial institution fails to identify and report structuring activities. They may face legal and regulatory risks along with heavy financial risks, including fines, penalties, and sanctions imposed by authorities. They may also be subject to reputational risks, which can impact their brand image and customer relationships.
Money laundering is a serious global threat as it funds inhuman activities. An increasingly popular technique to hide illicit financial activities is smurfing, where criminals take advantage of unwitting money transfer operators using offshore transactions or cross-border payments. This results in severe economic consequences, compliance burdens, regulatory challenges, sophisticated techniques, technological advancements, transnational nature, high-value assets, and political instability. Often, political instability and global unrest are outcomes of unregulated money in the wrong hands.
Effective combatting of money laundering requires coordinated efforts among countries to address these crimes. With robust regulatory frameworks, technological advancements, and international cooperation in place, several crimes were detected early, and several crimes in their earlier stages were aborted. Robust checks and balances in place would be necessary to combat money laundering and bring global harmony.
NetRemit a global cross-border payment solution for money transfers catering to international transactions, with fortified AML technology that safeguards all transactions and includes suspicious activity reporting, offering comprehensive safety to banks and other financial institutions.
To avail NetRemit, and explore a plethora of FinTech products from Macro Global, call us at +44 (0)204 574 2433 or mail us at salesdesk@MacroGlobal.co.uk. We are a revolutionary neo-gen FinTech company incepted to bridge the gap between Financial Organizations and the growing expectation of customers.
Goods and services are constantly being traded between countries, leading to increased cross-border payments. Hence, currency conversion has a critical role in international trade as it transfers the purchasing power to the foreign currency with reference to the foreign exchange market.
What is Foreign Exchange?
The term “Foreign Exchange,” or “Forex,” refers to the process of exchanging currency of a nation (US Dollar) for the currency of another nation (UK Pound) at a predetermined exchange rate. Market dynamics of supply and demand regularly adjust the exchange rates for all currencies.
The U.S. dollar, Euro, British pound, Japanese yen, and Australian dollar are the most actively traded currencies internationally. The U.S. dollar prevails as the most dominant currency in global trade, contributing to more than 87% of the daily value of all cross-border payments.
The need for foreign exchange was initially motivated by traders who needed to make international payments for their business purposes.
How Do Exchange Rates Function?
Foreign exchange trading is, at its core, the same as exchanging currency when traveling internationally.
Trade between professional bankers, hedge fund managers, and corporate giants dominates the foreign exchange market. Foreign exchange (FX) trading can also involve speculating for profit or insuring against future exchange rate swings, as well as transferring funds from one country to another. If a foreign exchange trader expects the dollar’s value to rise, they might buy dollars by selling euros. Meanwhile, a European firm could keep dollars on hand as a form of insurance against the depreciation of the Euro.
There are two major approaches to establishing the value of a currency:
- A floating rate.
- A fixed rate.
The open market determines a floating rate based on supply and demand in global currency exchanges. Therefore, if the currency is in high demand, its value will rise, whereas the currency values fall when demand is low. Fair exchange rates depend on technical and fundamental variables that affect currency supply and demand.
After the Bretton Woods system’s 1968–1973 breakdown, several major currencies floated freely.
Since supply and demand both play a role in determining exchange rates, most of them are ultimately set by the dynamic trading activity taking place on the global currency markets.
Floating rates are influenced by an array of factors across nations such as
- Interest rate shifts
- Unemployment statistics
- Inflation numbers
- GDP figures
- Manufacturing data
- Commodity prices
- Central bank policies
The government, acting through its central bank, determines a fixed or pegged rate. The rate is determined with respect to another major global currency like the US Dollar, Euro, or Japanese Yen). The government will intervene in the market by buying and selling its own currency against its peg currency to keep the exchange rate stable. Certain countries such as Panama, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia pegs their currency to the U.S. Dollar.
Different Ways for Trading Foreign Exchange
Foreign exchange can be traded in three primary ways such as
- Spot Market
- Forward Market
- Futures Market
In this principal FX market, exchange rates are set in real-time, depending on supply and demand, and the currency pairs are traded.
Here, instead of executing a trade right away, FX traders can also make a legally-binding (private) contract with another trader to fix the exchange rate for a certain amount of currency at a future date.
In the future market, traders select a standardized contract to purchase or sell a fixed amount of currency at an established exchange rate on a future date. Unlike the forward market, this takes place on a public exchange.
Motives for Foreign Currency Exchange
Customers of banks often need to transfer funds between their own foreign accounts or to the accounts of others living abroad. There are many reasons to do a currency exchange, including:
- Commercial transactions
- Sending money to loved ones abroad
- Covering the costs of maintaining an overseas property
- Making payment for your imports etc.
Different nations possess different currencies around the globe. To simplify the exchange of currencies across nations, the adoption of exchange rates is mandated to ensure that the amount sent and received internationally is exactly equal.
Customers can get prices for exchange rates and complete international money transfers at their convenience using their preferred online bank or currency exchange service.
Who is Involved in the FX Settlement & the Process?
There are several participants involved in the foreign exchange (FX) settlement process. A secure and equitable FX settlement is the goal of the entire procedure, which involves numerous moving parts, which is discussed below:
In foreign currency exchange (FX), banks play the role of intermediaries to facilitate transactions between the buyer and seller. They oversee the fund transfers between the parties and ensure that the settlement occurs uninterrupted.
The Central Banks
The exchange rate of the currencies between two countries is determined by the Central Banks of those countries. Also, they keep track of the cash flow by maintaining the stability of the FX market.
The Clearing House
A clearing house is a third party that promotes cross border payments transactions between buyers and sellers of two different nations. A clearing house is a subsidiary or independent corporation of a futures exchange that handles financial transactions such as account settlement, trade clearing, margin collection and maintenance, delivery regulation, and trade data reporting.
A clearing house is an organization whose mission is to increase market efficiency and financial system stability.
The FX settlement process involves several different steps, including verifying both parties’ commitments to the trade, then transferring the funds between accounts and finally the settlement date itself.
How to Do Foreign Currency Exchange?
Because of the dynamic nature of international financial markets, the exchange rate is not always exactly one-for-one when two currencies are exchanged.
The exchange rate is determined in real time based on market conditions when a cross-border payment is initiated. At that exchange rate, the customer’s payment is converted to the target currency.
Currency market fluctuations can have a significant impact on the final amount received compared to the original amount paid, making the FX rate a key factor in these situations.
Foreign exchange charges (FX fees) are incurred whenever a company enters a new international market and begins accepting payments in currencies other than its home currency or whenever individuals begin making purchases in currencies other than their own. Credit transfers (CTs), direct debit arrangements between accounts, and other payment methods are all subject to foreign exchange fees.
Also, the overall amount being transferred, the location of the recipient, and the remittance service provider or a bank are all likely to contribute to the FX fees associated with cross border money transfers.
Things to Consider
Depending on where they are located and the currencies being used for their transactions and settlements, businesses need to be mindful of several things, including
- The participants involved such as the merchant, bank, card network, or non-card payment mechanism like a digital wallet, and the brokers to prevent unnecessary costs.
- The settlement times and risk, as it is crucial to make sure that parties have adequate funds to support settlement when there is risk involved.
- A clear commercial agreement with the financial counterparty regarding currency conversion.
- Recognize the source of the benchmark or exchange rate against which these financial terms would be measured (such as a central bank rate, the Bloomberg rate at a given time, etc.).
- Delays due to regulatory obligations such as AML and KYC checks, among others.
This allows them to prioritize their FX strategy in a way that ensures traders achieve the highest possible rate for their foreign exchange needs while still receiving timely, low-risk transaction settlements.
Risks Associated with Foreign Exchange
Foreign exchange has the potential for making or losing money because of the changes in the value of one nation’s currency relative to another.
Those who are engaged in global commerce, multinational corporations, and anyone involved in cross-border payments are all susceptible to the risks associated with the changes in currency value.
There are three main categories of foreign exchange risks which are as follows.
- Transactional risk,
- Translational risk, and
- Economic risk
When transactions are conducted in a currency that is different from the organization’s base currency, there is a likelihood that exchange rates may change in a negative direction between the date on which the transaction was conducted and the date on which it was settled. This risk derives from real and potential import and export transactions.
If a company operates a foreign subsidiary in a currency that is different from that of the parent company’s reporting currency, the items on the foreign subsidiary’s balance sheet must be to be converted into the reporting currency of the parent company using accounting standards for consolidating the balance sheets.
Variations in the consolidated financial revenue due to shifts in exchange rates are known as Translation Risk. Stock prices react to the results. Another name for this is “Accounting Risk.”
This is a possibility that a shift in exchange rates could lead to a change in investor views on the company’s business and subsequent cash flows. Considering this, the value of the company on the market shifts. For instance, when imports become less expensive due to the reduced exchange rate, a monopolistic product of the corporation faces competition. Forecast Risk is another name for this aspect of trading abroad.
Challenges To Overcome
Cross-border transactions outside the Single European Payment Area (SEPA) involve foreign exchange, which can pose challenges to businesses.
Some challenges include
- Paying for unnecessary double conversions can result in companies paying more than they should.
- Poor counterparty knowledge can lead to extra costs, as it is essential to understand all parties involved in a transaction. Understanding the location of counterparties and their banks can also help cut costs.
- Additionally, transacting across borders can involve complex settlement arrangements between banks and intermediaries, involving regulatory obligations and checks related to KYC (Know Your Customer), AML (Anti Money Laundering), and other issues.
Companies, banks, and payment providers should seek to understand these challenges and optimize their approach to cross-border payments.
How to Improve Cross-Border Payments?
Key factors for businesses to improve the settlement process in cross-border payments include the following
- Businesses undertaking cross-border payments should seek an open and straightforward approach by understanding who is involved in the process and avoiding redundant conversions.
- Companies should also choose partners with short chains to avoid unnecessary intermediaries between buyer and seller and reduce the risks and costs associated with FX.
- Integration of cloud-based services and modern, efficient APIs into payment businesses or bank systems results in faster and more efficient FX and cross-border payments because they can be processed much faster than if hosted in-house.
- For businesses, especially those handling higher-value payments, it is essential to learn about the infrastructure that drives settlement and clearing operations. This minimizes the chances of regulatory violations, including inadequate money for clearing and settlement.
- Businesses should also be cognizant of the time costs associated with complying with regulations and the potential ripple effects of longer settlement timeframes.
- Working with a payments provider who has access to a lot of liquidity and stable market circumstances will help you offer competitive rates for foreign exchange transactions.
- Businesses should also ensure sufficient funds for both them and their intermediaries to cover potential risks caused by slower settlement times.
Future of Cross Border Payments and FX
Businesses, banks, and NBFIs can expect to see greater competition in FX services and cross-border payments in the future. Higher-value and higher-volume corporate customers will see value-based offerings based on foreign exchange volume and business volumes.
Open banking, enabled by the EU’s PSD2, will lead to faster FX and cross-border transactions. However, these services will not reduce exposure to high FX fees and charges.
Blockchain-based payments have gained hype, but challenges remain, particularly with cryptocurrencies. The volatility of cryptocurrencies may make intermediaries reluctant to participate, and interfacing between fiat currencies and crypto remains complicated. The lack of “trusted party” status in many cross-border transaction scenarios could also block instant payments.
The advent of stablecoins like USD Coin is beginning to enable blockchain-based transactions, but businesses should focus on optimizing existing FX and cross-border payment arrangements until a secure and stable blockchain solution is widely available and accepted.
Questions remain over how to regulate these new payment methods and the effectiveness of instant settlement payments, especially with higher-value transactions subject to AML and KYC checks.
Our NetRemit is an advanced Cross-Border Payment Platform for Banks, Neo banks, Forex, MTOs, Retail Chains, and FinTech to facilitate international money transfers.
NetRemit offers you the opportunity to integrate all the major 3rd party applications in the market to fulfill all your demands associated with cross-border payments, beginning from Know Your Customer checks to payment gateways, and from FX to settlement, thereby streamlining the payment process and strengthening the security.
Macro Global along with its solution partners works together to provide an all-encompassing solution ie Remittance as a Service (RaaS) through our product NetRemit, from legacy migration to compliance to AML and KYC to payout.
As this platform promotes your attention on the business, you can boost your commission and foreign exchange revenues notably. There are also significant possibilities for expanding those revenues over time.
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Neo-banks have turned into a more prevalent option for people as they satisfy the developing expectations of modern users. Its popularity is attributed to the fact that neo banks address the needs of customers in a way that traditional banks cannot. They aim to streamline banking processes and provide prompt service to satisfy customers’ demands.
Neo banks are the hottest trend in the financial sector. In recent years, an increasing number of customers have opted for this advanced, tech-driven, and creative approach to banking since it provides an alternative that is simpler to use. However, numerous people around the world have opened virtual bank accounts, and this is due to more than just curiosity about neo-banking.
Let us explore all about neo-banking, the working of neo banks, its type, regulations, market performance, pros/cons, and a lot more about neo banking in this blog.
What is Neo Banking?
Neo banks are digital-only banking platforms that exist exclusively in the digital realm, offering traditional banking services to their customers through a mobile app or website. They simply do not exist physically.
Traditional banking procedures may be lengthy and unpleasant for customers. By adding a digital and practical layer on top of traditional banking, neo-banks offer a frictionless digital experience. Customers can easily sign up for accounts and start using the services on their own because of the streamlined structure of their technology.
Money transfers, bill payments, and direct deposits or mobile cheque deposits are just some of the banking services provided by neo banks. Additionally, some of these fintech companies include tools for budgeting and saving.
Salient Features of Neo Banking
Smartphone and internet usage are both expanding at a higher rate around the world today. Taking advantage of this scenario, “neo banks” offer services driven by digital infrastructure. Many people are turning to neo banks because they provide a wide range of services that are specifically designed for the needs of modern users. They are dedicated to making banking easier for customers and meeting their needs quickly. Compared to traditional banks, neo banks have the following characteristics:
- Neo bank is app-driven with modern, adaptable, and scalable IT infrastructures offering typical functions like account opening, fund transfer, and customer service that are quick and paperless.
- The absence of physical branches is a defining feature of neo banks, which differentiates them from traditional financial institutions.
- All neo banks represent early-stage financial service providers. They focus on simplifying banking operations and addressing user pain points.
- Putting the customer first is the main motto. Most neo banking services emphasize the customer’s banking experience. With mobile banking, clients’ lives are made easier, and time and resources are saved.
- Due to their digital character, neo banks make it simple for users to open savings accounts, complete with physical debit cards.
- Neo banks are quickly becoming a more realistic choice due to regular banks’ reluctance to provide financial services to specific industries and sectors (such as startups). Some neo-banks offer business-performance-based, high-limit credit cards.
- Neo banks provide a range of services, including personal and corporate loans, intending to reach individuals of the underbanked population.
- Neo banks are closing the void between traditional banks, individuals, and emerging enterprises nationwide.
- Neo banks use traditional banking services and products to streamline economic management. For upselling and cross-selling products, neo banks often form alliances with third parties.
Working of Neo Bank and Its Types
When compared to traditional banks, neo-banks operate under an altogether distinct set of principles. As neo-banks operate online and have no physical location, they can charge far reduced user fees while turning a profit from deposits and loans.
The majority of neo banks partner with traditional financial institutions rather than getting their own banking licenses, while some do hold banking licenses.
The neo bank handles everything from acquiring new customers to ongoing service, including the distribution of its own products.
Decisions at a neo bank are driven mostly by data analysis. Their sophisticated systems allow them to track and study neo banking clients’ behaviors in more detail.
The business models of neo banks are as follows.
Full-stack Digital Banks (licensed)
Digital banks that offer the full range of services are called “full stack” and have been approved by banking regulators. They function as separate entity, issuing deposits and loans while keeping their own name and books. These banks can thrive in today’s digital economy without the excessive costs of maintaining a widespread branch network.
Front-end Neo Banks
A neo bank that focuses on its front end does not have a valid banking license. It usually gets help from a standard financial institution and works with them to offer services to its customers. This type of neo bank frequently uses the balance sheets of traditional banks to fund its operations.
Digital Banking Units
Banks available only in digital form are called “standalone” or “independent” digital banks. To launch a completely digital financial institution, one must first obtain a virtual banking license. After securing investor deposits, these banks can get their banking licenses.
Neo banks serve as e-wallets, allowing clients to save and send money but not all banking services. Example: PayPal, Square Cash, and Venmo.
Neo banks use components from several business models of neo bank to form a hybrid model. Example: Revolut.
There are several neo banks that function similarly to traditional banks, including Monzo in the United Kingdom, Xinja in Australia, and N26 in Europe. Starling Bank in the United Kingdom is another neo bank that charges its customers minimal or no fees at all. To further the “Banking as a Service” concept, some financial institutions provide tools for creating both white-labeled and bank-branded products and services.
Regulations around Neo Banking
The UK has recently taken steps to regulate neo banking more tightly. Banks must now comply with the Payment Services Regulation 2017, which ensures that neo banks are held to the same standard as other banks. This includes preventing fraud, protecting customers’ money, and ensuring that customers’ data is secure.
In addition to traditional banks, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) oversees neo banks to ensure they comply with consumer protection regulations. This increased regulation is essential to protect customers and ensure that neo banks are providing the best services possible.
Difference between Traditional Banking and Neo Banking
|Description||Traditional Banking||Neo Banking|
|Mode of Operation||Physically Present & applications.||Only digital presence|
|License||Must be licensed||May be licensed or work in association with traditional banks|
|Time||Takes time for every banking operation.||Every banking operation like opening of account takes place instantly.|
|Cost||Comparatively higher||Serves customer at cheaper cost|
|Customer service||Depends on the staff||Best customer service is their focus|
|Practices||Traditional practices||Innovative practices with incorporation of advanced technologies|
Factors influencing the growth of Neo banks
- Integration of latest technologies in Neo banking
- Growing popularity among small and medium size enterprises and retail sectors
- Collaboration with financial institution
- Increased focus on customer satisfaction
- Faster, paperless documentation
Major Players in Neo Banking
- Monzo Bank Ltd. (UK)
- Chime Financial Inc. (US)
- Starling Bank (UK)
- Sofi (US)
- N26 (Germany)
- Atom Bank (UK)
- Revolut (UK)
- Mybank (China)
- Webank, Inc. (China)
- Open (India)
Neo Banks in Global Market
With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49.8%, the size of the worldwide neo banking sector has increased from $79.1 billion in 2022 to $118.51 billion (about $360 per person in the US) in 2023, as per a reliable neo bank global report. The market for neo banking is projected to reach $556.66 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 47.2%.
The new banking sector is expanding due to mounting demands for digitalization in financial institutions worldwide. By leveraging technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), automation, Big Data, DevOps, and the cloud, neo banks can offer highly customized services at competitive rates.
As per a recent research report, in 2022, Europe’s portion of worldwide sales was over 29.0%, making it the region with the largest market share overall. The Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to experience the highest growth rate during the projected horizon.
The expansion of regional markets can be traced back to the proliferation of cutting-edge technologies and the prompt adoption of novel products. In addition, businesses are concentrating on developing product platforms and forming partnerships to fortify their standing in the market. Several neo banks in the area have opened physical branches as part of their O2O distribution strategy, opening new avenues for expansion.
The market’s growth is anticipated to be sped up by increasing penetration of internet services and the proliferation of smartphones. Easy and quick banking services, as well as the advent of digital-only banks across nations like Japan, India, and China, are also predicted to help the expansion of the regional industry. The region’s young population is speculated to be advantageous for the adoption of neo banks.
Pros of Neo Banking
- Low operational costs, user-friendly, and faster onboarding.
- Customers benefit from lower interest rates and no or cheap transaction fees.
- Neo banks operate 24/7, making operations faster. One can easily make payments anytime, anywhere.
- Their AI-enabled customer support solves issues instantly offering personalized customer service.
- As neo banks use advanced technology, their systems are highly secure and private. Complete data security for customers becomes a top goal.
- Customers of neo banks can do much of their banking via a mobile app or a computer, any time of day or night at a faster rate.
Cons of Neo Banking
- Neo banks do not offer as many services as regular banks, thus senior citizens and less tech-savvy customers may not feel comfortable using them.
- Lack of reliability and trust.
- Before signing up for premium services, users may need to try out their services, sometimes for free.
- Due to the absence of clear standards and legal framework, neo banks are unable to operate autonomously. If such institutions go bankrupt, consumers may not have any legal remedy or pre-defined methods to protect their money.
- Neo banks lack experience. Like other startups, many have opened recently and could fail.
Use cases of Neo Banking
When compared to conventional banks, neo banks provide a number of advantages, including more accessibility and lower fees for their services. As you can see, Neo Banks are having an effect with services like quick account opening, rapid crediting, and trouble-free & secure cross border payments. So, let us look at some of Neo Bank’s more intriguing use cases.
Enjoy the convenience of Neo Mobile Banking wherever you go.
While there are already mobile banking apps available, the unique aspect of a neo bank is that you do not even require a bank account to sign up for mobile banking! Neo Banking on mobile allows for instantaneous fund transfers, alerts, savings, and premium features like early credit or cashback.
Incorporation of Open banking in Neo Bank
Open banking promotes monetary revolution by means of neo banks, allowing for improved account consolidation and management. And it is all done legally, in accordance with the updated Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Open banking has enabled neo banks to compete in a financial sector previously dominated by traditional banks. This has resulted in more individualized services being made available to consumers. Open banking and neo banks work together for the good of customers and the advancement of financial industry innovation.
Centralized Account Management and Expense Monitoring
With neo banks, you may not only register a bank account but also track your expenditure. If you have several bank accounts, those can also be incorporated into the neo banking application. Access everything with a simple tap on the screen. This is the might of neo banking!
Avoids the Hassle of Making Cross border Payment
There is still a problem with the difficulties encountered by migrants worldwide, whether they are moving inside or across countries. Open bank accounts, digital transactions, and remittances would make it much simpler to overcome these obstacles. To meet the demands of those many customers, neo banks are concentrating on improving customer service, streamlining processes, and decreasing transaction costs.
Neo banks, in their capacity as authorized banks, can issue rapid payments for manageable fees. Users have the option to send and receive funds instantaneously, send money across borders, or set up periodic payments.
Quick Credit, Loans, and a Variety of Mortgage Options
If you have a need and want a tailored banking solution, Neo Bank may be the answer. With a neo bank, if you have cash on hand, you can open a savings account, and if you have a great business idea, you can acquire a loan right away.
Customized Financial Products to Save More
Neo bank is a digital platform that may aid anyone in creating a portfolio tailored to his or her specific income and demands. A customer’s future lending activity is determined not by his wealth or credit score, but by his score, which is based on his loan repayment history.
With a Neo Bank, one can get a full suite of banking options designed for your specific needs. The emergence of neo banks has ushered in a new era in the way individuals and corporations’ approach international financial dealings.
Rapid money transfers, instant currency exchange, quick account opening, loans, Debit Forex cards, and access to thousands of ATMs worldwide are just some of the many services they provide.
Moreover, neo banks’ cutting-edge functions, user-friendly digital interface, and attentive customer service are what truly set them apart. Convenience is the true value of neo banks to customers. From account opening to card barring, everything may be done via phone.
It may look like traditional banks are having a challenging time competing with neo banks, but this is not the case. Neo banks will use their alliances with banks to target new markets with their financial services. During the next few years, a plethora of cutting-edge neo banks will emerge, each catering to a certain niche.
The future of banking, and whether neo banks will prevail or traditional banks will adapt to the current changes, is still up in the air.