Article|Executive Insights

Can Your Payments Strategy Keep Up In The Age Of Globalisation?

Published May 1, 2020

Nium Enterprise Study

The frenetic pace of globalisation, technological development, changing consumer trends, and outdated regulatory frameworks, the payments industry is—to put it lightly—in flux.

While these changes are still (and will continue) playing themselves out, it pays to be prepared.

This idea isn’t ours alone. In the 2019 AFP Electronic Payments Survey Report, 37 percent of respondents said they’re keeping an eye on new payment developments so they can aim for early adoption [1].

To be clear, “early adoption” isn’t just about switching from paper cheques and costly wire transfers to electronic payments systems. Though that’s part of it.

It’s about investing in the ability to enable customers and vendors throughout the world to pay the way they want to while streamlining back-office operations and optimising cash management.

“From 2005 to 2018, global trade value of goods exported throughout the world grew by 85.2%”[2]

Payments Options Lagged Behind Globalisation, But That’s Changing

In 2018, exports of goods and services stood at 30 percent of global GDP [3]. Moreover, for 54 countries, exports of goods and services made up more than 50 percent of their 2018 GDP [4].

The following chart shows the growth of the export volume of trade in goods from 2005 to 2018 [5].

Clearly, if your company is to continue growing, you need the ability to go global. The problem is, when you cross borders, especially in emerging markets, payments—among other things—become more complicated.

The Fragmented Nature of Traditional Cross-Border Payments

Not only do you face region-specific regulations, but payment technologies and customer preferences are vastly different throughout the world.

Plus, there are large segments of unbanked consumers throughout the world that traditional payments leave out.

“More than 60% of adults living in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East do not use formal banks to save or borrow money”[6]

To illustrate how payment preferences vary across the world, the chart on the left lists several countries based on their most highly preferred payment methods [7].

Keep in mind, when you drill down and look at—for example—eCommerce, these payment preferences vary even more. For example, in China 85 percent of e-commerce transactions are conducted through e-Wallets [8] even though cards issued by local banks are generally preferred for other transactions.

Traditional payment options such as checks, SWIFT and wire transfers, and ACH payments, are simply too inflexible to provide consumers and businesses with the payment experiences they want.

Your New Cross-Border Payment Options

Until recently, to move funds across borders you had to work with banks. Now, you can build your own custom products with APIs from fintech companies.

The real breakthrough, though, is that you don’t even have to build your own products anymore.

With turnkey payment solutions, the necessary infrastructure is already there for you. That means any corporation can “plug in” to this global financial infrastructure that fintechs throughout the world are building.

From there you can use white-label apps and web-based payment solutions to create the same kind of payment experiences consumers have come to expect from the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google. And the cost and complexity of doing so makes it economically accessible for a wide range of companies.

Plus, you can use these tools for payments with both your customers and vendors.

In the next section, we’ll review the many opportunities, both in terms of growing your business and making it more efficient, that these custom payment products and turnkey solutions create.

Case Study

One of the world’s leading boutique travel marketplaces had a payments problem.

They needed to collect money from guests in Europe, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States. And they needed to send money to the hosts of those guests.

For those hosts to make each booking more profitable, they needed better FX rates. So the marketplace worked to create a single solution platform that enabled the client to accept customer payments and send payments globally to the hosts.

Since the platform—a blend of API integrations and cloud-based software—sped up payments so much, hosts got better FX rates.

In turn, more new hosts signed up for the marketplace. And with that, travelers had a larger number of competitive options to choose from.

In the end, a modern payments platform created a virtuous cycle of more valuable experiences for guests, hosts, and the marketplace itself.

Conclusion: Growth, Evolution, and Change

New ways to send and receive money across borders aren’t just arriving. They’re already here. And for now, these technologies present an incredible opportunity for businesses who take the time to understand and implement them strategically.

Of course, this isn’t just about throwing technology at the problem. Deploying your new payments playbook successfully will require strategic planning and internal alignment.

But as globalisation grows, payments infrastructures evolve, and consumer preferences change, your payments strategy must grow, evolve, and change.

Fortunately, the ingredients for a resilient, future-proof payments strategy have arrived and will continue to evolve

Connect with the Future of Payments

Speed and Flexibility Anywhere in the World. Leveraging our platform, you can reduce or avoid cross-border fees, automatically reconcile international payments, improve liquidity, send and receive payments in your preferred payment method, and avoid the cost and inconvenience of wire transfers. And Nium’s Open Money Network makes this possible for all businesses, small and large, with a suite of flexible solutions built to suit your needs.

We Offer a Complete Solution with Flexible Revenue Models. We work with enterprise companies to implement innovative solutions that bridge the gaps in today’s fragmented global financial infrastructure. Our platform is a single access point that brings together real-time cross-border payments, inbound payments, FX management, and Visa card issuance.

We Make it Fast and Easy to Get Started. Businesses can access Nium’s payment technology at scale with both turnkey, cloud-based solutions and a flexible set of APIs. Options include integrating with your existing stack, creating a new product from scratch, or using our turnkey cloud-based interface, white-label apps, and web-based payment solutions.

[1]2019 AFP Electronic Payments Survey

[2]2019 AFP Electronic Payments Survey

[3]Exports of goods and services (% of GDP)

[4]Exports of goods and services (% of GDP)

[5]Worldwide export trade volume 1950-2018

[6]Global payments 2018: A dynamic industry continues to break new ground

[7]The Fastest Growing Local Payment Methods for 2020

[8]Global payments 2018: A dynamic industry continues to break new ground

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