In our current, progressively globalised business landscape, every business of every size needs to be able to make global payments quickly, efficiently and securely.
In addition, the set-up to support clients’ business in a new corridor or currency is frequently cumbersome. Receiving banks can’t be certain when payments will arrive and therefore cannot give status updates to their customers/suppliers – and the amount of money involved may change as a result of exchange calculations and various fees.
As consumers, we increasingly have access to payment opportunities that are real-time with complete visibility of our transactions. But the status quo around cross-border B2B payments is now becoming unacceptable, with potentially multiple steps in the payment transaction and uncertain visibility and reach. Banks and other financial institutions need to understand that it is a logical expectation of fast-scaling companies to be able to offer their services or solutions across the world. The need for new models and technological solutions capable of making this happen in a timely manner is therefore increasingly urgent. Financial institutions need to start adopting technology platforms that give their business customers a secure, fast and predictable way to process corporate cross-border B2B payments. This imperative is part of a real drive for change we are witnessing across the B2B cross-border payments space.
Regulation, especially around Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML), is also helping to fuel this change. The level of regulatory risk created by money laundering can be significant in some countries, but the tightness of controls and regulatory adherence varies per country. Across most of Europe, AML controls are more established. In parts of Africa however, including North Africa in particular, the risks are a lot higher as controls may be less defined or rigorous. This means the chances of money being delayed due to AML problems are higher. It is also key, of course, that any new approach enables banks to reduce the risk of money laundering happening in the first place.