Customer experience (CX) is an elusive concept, but essentially it measures how customers feel about a business, based on how they interact with it – whether over the phone, in person or through its digital services. 

Chris Hadorn, Global Leader, Payments, at KPMG International, says large banks are keeping a close eye on how fintechs are approaching CX: “Their goal is to create the kind of positive customer experience fintechs have become known for, while maintaining and growing their dominant market share.” 

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SMEs face poor CX when moving money across borders

Having the right products and services is essential if you want to achieve great CX. 

Consider, for example, the traditional CX for business customers when moving money across borders – particularly SMEs who are less likely to have the means to set up banking facilities in multiple foreign countries. 

These businesses face a number of barriers when making cross-border payments, leading to poor customer experiences. Annoyances include the time it takes to process payments, high transaction fees, reconciliation difficulties and uncertainty about FX rates. 

One survey found that nearly a third (29%) of SMEs said the speed of processing payments was a key concern when making and accepting cross-border payments, with transaction fees and uncertainty about getting the best FX rate also major barriers to doing business in new markets.

In order for financial institutions to start removing these barriers to cross-border payments they need access to flexible payments infrastructure. Existing infrastructure is severely limiting their ability to provide their business customers with a great customer experience, leading to customer churn and the inability to open up new revenue streams.

5 steps to transforming cross-border payments 

At Currencycloud, we understand that great CX means ensuring that the service customers receive matches their expectations. For financial institutions’ business customers, this means being able to make and receive cross-border payments without delays or cost confusion.

That’s why we have developed a product that ensures financial institutions can provide the best possible CX – Currencycloud Spark. Here are five ways Currencycloud Spark is transforming the cross-border payments process:

1. Control  

When banks receive funds in a foreign currency, they will typically auto-convert to a home currency. However, by combining our receipt and FX APIs, we have handed control of this process back to financial institutions, enabling their customers to hedge, hold the balance, or convert straight away.

2. Choice

Many existing payments products are file-based and rigid, making it hard for financial institutions to provide a great CX for their customers. That’s why we ensure our flexible APIs can support a variety of approaches. 

3. Simplicity 

Simplicity is at the heart of great CX. With our virtual account technology, each business customer gets a unique account number, meaning reconciliation is handled automatically. This is unlike existing pooled accounts, where all customer funds land in a single account and reconciliation is done via the user-entered payment reference which is often incorrect or missing leading to long delays in assigning funds to customers.

4. Clarity 

Financial institutions’ business customers are often unclear about the fees they are being charged. We make all costs plain from the outset – including FX costs – so there are no nasty surprises for customers. 

Our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) pricing structure and ability to configure payment and FX fees help financial institutions provide clarity in how they charge their customers whilst also providing control over how they monetise the flow.

5. Transparency

With traditional legacy banking systems, funds are often lost for days, with no visibility that they have arrived. We make funds as visible as possible throughout the payment journey. Funds are visible at every stage even while doing compliance checks. This means business customers know where funds are throughout the process.

We also use the fastest payment routes wherever possible so funds are credited far quicker. This allows financial institutions to provide better visibility of inbound and outbound funds.

Helping financial institutions deliver great customer experience

Currencycloud Spark was designed to address the challenges financial institutions traditionally face when providing cross-border payments services – giving them the freedom to create a CX tailored to their own brand and that meets the needs of their customers.  

As financial institutions jostle for space in a crowded marketplace, the ability to deliver outstanding CX – built on innovative and flexible products such as Currencycloud Spark – could be the difference between success and failure. 

Peter Daunton

Peter is the Product Owner for Collections at Currencycloud. It’s his job to make sure that we’re always keeping pace with the latest collections innovation. With over four years of experience in Product Management, Peter works with the team to define the strategy for Currencycloud’s Collections network, driving improvements in automation and scalability to support our clients’ collection growth.