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  • Writer's pictureAgathis LTD

The Changing Shape of Cross Border Payments

With new players emerging in the world of payments, along with rapidly changing customer demands, the pressure is on to collaborate and develop faster, more efficient, innovative and transparent cross border payment solutions.

Business models are changing, and the process of international remittance payments is undergoing a much anticipated overhaul that will affect payment providers, and all the various entities involved in international trade.

Enhancing cross-border payments was set as a priority in 2020 by the G20. This included identifying the challenges associated with cross border payments that arise from a series of frictions in existing processes and developing a set of building blocks to address them.

What are cross border payments?

Cross border payments refer to transactions involving individuals, companies, banks or settlement institutions operating in at least two different countries.

Cross border payment challenges

Cross border payments are at the core of international finance and economic activity. However, this is in direct conflict with four long-standing key challenges that face cross border transactions:

  1. High costs

  2. Low speed

  3. Limited access

  4. Lack of complete transparency.

Enhancing cross border payments by making them faster, cheaper, more transparent and inclusive would have widespread benefits for supporting economic growth, global trade, development and financial inclusion.

The changing shape of cross border payments

There are several trends increasing the demand for a better global international payments system and intensifying the need for end users to have access to cross-border payment services as efficient and safe as comparable domestic payments services. As a result, innovative new business models and participants are emerging.

Let's look at some of the growth-influencing trends:

  • Changing consumer demands: The increased pace of change in the cross border payments market is closely connected to rapidly changing consumer demands. Consumers are aware of the growing choices they have, and are less willing to pay for costly banking services.

  • Increasing trade with emerging markets: As their share of international transactions increases, another major trend within cross border payments is the growing focus on emerging markets in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. In contrast, protectionist policies in developed markets, including Brexit and US trade tensions, are expected to slow growth.

  • Accessibility of mobile phones and ePayments: The increase in smart phone ownership across the world has given people almost limitless access to banking services and ePayment solutions, with mobile wallets showing significant, steady growth.

Agathis is your trusted partner in cross border payments across Africa, Europe and Asia. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.


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