Banking without borders

By Christoph Tutsch, founder and managing director of ONPEX

The growth of eCommerce and mCommerce has resulted in a dramatic rise in the need for cross-border payments. Thanks to the evolution of mobile technology and online retail, consumers are purchasing products from all over the world. As a result, reliable and easy-to-use cross border payments are a key strategic pillar of many business models – without this facility, many businesses would be pushed out of the market by their competitors.

Appealing to a global customer base

The past ten years have seen a digital revolution with the development of mobile technology and increasing internet penetration. Consequently, online and mobile commerce has grown exponentially, and online payments have quickly surpassed in-store payments.

This ongoing globalisation has posed great benefits for many businesses giving them access to markets across the world. Companies can now generate customers based almost anywhere. However, to do this, they need to have the right financial and banking services available for them to make these aspirations a reality.

The fact that customers around the world can purchase your product means businesses must take into account a number of things when trading internationally. For example, there are a vast variety of currencies in the global environment, and preferred payment methods differ from country-to-country. Businesses must also have a cost-efficient solution to offer competitive cross-border payments. It’s therefore vital that the right payments systems are in place to handle this.

The opportunities and barriers for eCommerce and mCommerce

In contrast to eCommerce, which is a relatively mature market, mCommerce is growing more popular than ever with a large number of consumers now purchasing goods and services mainly on their mobile devices. A recent study from App Annie found that mobile payments are set to comprise nearly 75 per cent of global eCommerce transactions by 2021, showing how much of a driving force it is in the market. It is also a huge opportunity for businesses.

However, the growth of both mCommerce and eCommerce means businesses are now challenged on two fronts. As a result, they need to ensure they have the financial infrastructure in place to enable customers to pay for goods quickly, efficiently and securely, on any device. By offering this type of flexibility to customers, companies can gain a competitive foothold in the markets across the globe.

At ONPEX, we realise how important this is to our clients’ success. Thanks to our flexible Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, we can offer multi-currency banking and cross-border payments, regardless of what device, currency or payment method is being used. Using our Application-Programming-Interface (API) protocols, our financial services can be integrated into app-based payment systems (on mobile or tablet), or browser-based eCommerce platforms. Our financial services are merely connected to the platform already being used by the client.

Due to the opportunities being created by eCommerce and mCommerce, API-driven technologies and the benefits they offer are now being recognised. The adoption of such technology is helping retailers and businesses across the world stay ahead of the game and remain competitive.

API technology is bringing automation, transparency and simplicity to businesses across the world

With global payments being a strategic concern for all companies regardless of size and sector, the financial sphere is embracing cross-border payments and APIs. As a result, the industry is making room for innovative entrants and technologies. Recently, we have seen the introduction of new solutions such as instant foreign exchange (FX) capabilities and real-time tracking of payments. These innovations allow for greater simplicity, transparency and automation, particularly for cross border payments.

With ONPEX’ BaaS solution, businesses can build their flexible financial services. Merchants can also create a payments platform which fits their exact needs. With clients being able to pick and choose from the financial services that we offer, unnecessary costs and services are removed providing a lean offering to their customers. ONPEX’ platform takes care of the payment processes in the back-end.

The solutions available on this platform also ensure that retailers and businesses are able to meet the demands of global markets. For example, our FX capabilities enable clients to exchange currencies, within transfers or their payment accounts, in 25 different currencies. The ability to seamlessly trade in these currencies allows for the easy reconciliation of payments – this is particularly essential when accepting or refunding payments internationally.

ONPEX accounts also have integrated SEPA and SWIFT capabilities, meaning clients can easily reconcile and settle payments within Europe and globally across borders. What’s more, our SWIFT global payments innovation (gpi) capability enhances these functions by allowing clients to track payments in real-time, from either end of the payment process.

Looking to the future

As globalisation and technology continue to shape markets around the world, businesses need to be constantly aware of current trends. They need to prepare themselves for the future, with solutions that cater to the needs of their customers.

Cross-border payments need to be a key strategic pillar of many business models. The growth of the internet and mobile technology has meant that customers can access services from anywhere in the world. Without the essential tools needed to conduct seamless and secure cross-border payments, businesses will undoubtedly be left behind.

What’s more, we must continue to develop these processes. Consumer habits will keep changing and evolving, and merchants must start looking to the next stage in the evolution of payments. Examples are cryptocurrencies or blockchain-based payments. Such technologies are paving the way for new payment methods and secured transactions. As ONPEX platform is agnostic to the assets and technologies being handled, we are prepared to what the future will bring. Choosing ONPEX as solution provider, our clients are on the safe side for the future.

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