Digital international payments: expanding across borders has never been so convenient
Why is cash no longer king? Rapid advancements in internet-enabled technology over the last decade have seen notes and coins dethroned by digital payments – this includes everything from debit or credit cards and internet banking to mobile wallets and digital payment apps. In the UK, for example, just 34 per cent of payments are now made using cash.
Convenience now reigns thanks to the rise of digital alternatives that make it possible to pay for anything from anywhere. So much so that the global digital payments market, which was already valued at $3,885 billion in 2019, is forecast to grow by a king’s ransom over the next five years – $4,801 billion to be precise.
So, what factors are fuelling these astronomical figures?
- The constant demand for convenience in the digital age.
- The ubiquity of smartphones around the world.
- The entry of innovative fintechs into the payments space.
- The rapid – and ongoing – development of innovative new platforms and payment tools.
- The development of secure cloud environments.
Then along came the Covid-19 crisis. The sudden enforcement of lockdown and social distancing restrictions has accelerated the arrival of a largely cashless society – albeit temporarily – and triggered a spike in digital payment demand.
Even the Bank of England is planning for life without cash. The central bank is considering contributing to the digital payment revolution by providing the public with electronic money — or Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). This would enable households and businesses to access an innovative form of central bank money and a new way to make payments.
Digital online payments have done much more than just reduce our reliance on cash; they have broken down international barriers for businesses, allowing them to operate and expand overseas. These cross-border transactions – which form part of the wider digital payment revolution – are expected to surge over the next few years under the influence of rapid globalisation – having reached $144 billion in value in 2014, they could hit $240 billion by 2024.
By accessing seamless international payments at the touch of a button, these small and medium-sized enterprises – including other fintechs, challenger banks and MSBs – have opened the door to a range of opportunities: higher quality suppliers or vendors, dynamic talent and a larger customer base. Whether you’re paying suppliers in India or receiving funds from customers in Australia, digital international payments can expedite your business’s growth by delivering a better customer experience and reducing transaction costs.
So, how can ambitious businesses access and deliver fast, secure and cost-effective digital payments on a global scale? One word: fintechs. These forward-thinking payment providers are disrupting this space – and about time too. For too long, cross-border businesses had to rely on traditional banks – with their typically rigid approach to financial technology – to facilitate their international payment requirements. This deprived them of the agility and innovation that’s required to send and receive money overseas seamlessly.
The goal of Fintechs that operate in the world of digital payments is simple: to make it quick and easy for users to make peer-to-peer transfers and reduce the cost of doing so. To achieve this, they strive to develop and deliver innovative technology that supersedes the traditional methods used by incumbent banks.
When it comes to transferring money overseas, these tech trailblazers have propelled international payments into the digital age. Here are some of the tools and techniques they’ve developed and deployed to achieve this:
- User-friendly online payment platforms – enable businesses to automatically track rates and send and receive funds globally 24/7.
- API platform integration – allows MSBs, banks and other fintechs to integrate an end-to-end international payment system into their existing platform.
- White label solutions – allow a business to benefit from a cutting-edge payment platform that is customised to match its brand.
- Mass payment solutions – securely handle mass payments to multiple currencies at once.
Fintechs have even cultivated a collaborative tech ecosystem, in which they can share and benefit from each other’s respective technologies via API integration tools. This innovation has even thawed the often-frosty relationship between fintechs and traditional banks. Rather than encroaching on banks territory, fintechs have become valuable partners that can facilitate streamlined international payments.
At RationalFX we pride ourselves on our technology-led approach to delivering seamless and cost-effective international payments. Having worked in partnership with you to understand the risks your business faces and build a bespoke currency strategy, it’s time to get digital. For example, you can securely manage your business’s international payments via your free-to-open online account.
Why choose RationalFX?
Based in the heart of London’s financial district Canary Wharf, RationalFX has traded over $10billion in currencies across the globe. Take advantage of our competitive exchange rates, market expertise, suite of FX products and online payment platform when you make bank to bank transfers in over 50 currencies worldwide.
Whatever your reason for making overseas payments, we’re confident our currency specialists can save you time and money while providing peace of mind. Call our team now on: +44 20 7220 8181