Podcast September 26, 2023

Cross-border payments for the future


Visa acquired Currencycloud in 2021. Now, leveraging the expertise from both companies, it has launched Cross-Border Payment Solutions. With a suite of modular building blocks that can be easily integrated with a company’s existing technology infrastructure, it enables a range of capabilities, including receiving payments in multiple currencies, foreign exchange (FX) with persistent and real-time rates, multi-currency wallets that hold more than 30 currencies, and the ability to spend in, and send payments to, more than 180 countries and territories.

For this episode of Payments Innovation, host Piers Marais talks to Ryan Felipe – General Manager, Visa, North America, and Luciana Mosoia – General Manager, Visa, EMEA, to look at those capabilities in more detail and to understand their impact.

Ensuring a seamless end-to-end experience

Cross-Border Solutions operates on a ‘B2B4X’ model: the business serves other businesses, but with a strong focus on improving end-user experience. 

As Colleen Ostrowski, Senior Vice President and General Manager Visa Cross-Border Solutions, puts it, “Cross-Border offers a huge opportunity for innovation and growth. Until now, has been a difficult market to crack due to compliance, regulatory and technological challenges. We’re offering solutions that can overcome those challenges. We help with the regulatory burden while providing solutions that are flexible and easy to integrate. Our clients can then quickly ramp up to revenue generation and start seeing a return on their investment, and their end-user experience receives a massive uplift.”

For Marais, “It comes back to the real-life needs of end customers of business who’ve got a reason for moving money or receiving money across borders. This is a global set of solutions that are helping all sorts of different types of businesses and FIs around the world. This launch marks the start of something new; of the creation of something that’s more than just the sum of its parts. It’s really central to the overall long-term Visa mission.” 

Mosoia agrees: “Visa Cross-Border Solutions Is truly core to the Visa overall business, and it’s been so exciting to build this in the background and to think about how we can bring to life more capabilities to serve our clients in this space.”

The business of making clients’ lives easier

Cross-Border Solutions is an opportunity for Visa to bring the same seamless experiences to cross-border corporate and commercial payments that it has long offered in the purchase space, where it has access to millions of merchants. 

Felipe is enthusiastic about the opportunity to help corporates and small businesses achieve global reach. “I think for our clients, it’s that one-stop solution, so that when they have a client that has a particular need cross-border, it helps to create stickiness for them with their clients and it helps to get them to get to market faster. If we can make their lives easier and they can make their customers’ lives easier, then it’s a win.”

“It’s amazing the impact we can have in the broader ecosystem when we think about these cross-border solutions,” says Mosoia. “No individual or business wakes up in the morning thinking, ‘I want to make a payment’. They want to run their business and they want to be able to buy things and pay for things and send money to family – and if we can remove some of the pain points that exist today from a cross-border money movement perspective and payment perspective, and make that as seamless as possible, to me that’s the most exciting thing.” 

An evolution in cross-border solutions

While the customers for this new solution will still include banks, FinTechs and FX brokers, what’s different is the range of support they can access. “For instance, we’re combining the real-time FX capability that we have in the Currencycloud network with multi-currency wallets, which are card solutions, or with Visa, direct push-to-card solutions,” says Mosoia. “It just gives you that more complete, end-to-end proposition that wasn’t accessible before. ” 

What matters to end clients is a simple, innovative way to continue to grow. “Now, we have the ability to collect those funds on behalf of our clients,” says Ryan. “And if I’m a small business that wants to go global, being able to collect in one currency, have the conversion happen and be able to pay out to suppliers in another currency will really help us to service those end clients.”

“The world is getting smaller in a way,” Mosoia observes. “Everybody wants to travel more, everybody wants to do commerce on a global scale, but unfortunately, it’s still a complex navigation exercise, so we have that opportunity to be almost the guide, the conduit that provides that for our partners.”

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Until next time!

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