Podcast November 11, 2020

How to solve a problem your customers don’t know they have

Your product has one purpose…

Solving a customer’s problem.

But what do you do when they don’t even know they have a problem?

That’s a challenge Mark Ridley, Co-Founder & Managing Director at Green Shoots FX, tackled in starting his FX company.

He joins the show today to share the lessons he’s learned in launching Green Shoots.

We discuss:

  • How to educate your customers
  • How to enter a crowded market
  • What to do about your customers’ other problems

Educating your customers

Mark has been in finance for 25 years.

He’s learned the ins and outs of everything the financial world has to offer.

And he’s noticed one thing that stands out: Most financial institutions don’t offer — at least not to a sufficient degree — real solutions for the problems many companies face when it comes to international payments.

So, he’s trying to solve that problem.

But there is a hitch — many of these institutions aren’t trying to solve it because they don’t know it’s even an issue.

That’s because most organizations don’t realize how much money they are losing by conducting foreign transactions and payments in US dollars.

Because of this, he often encounters 2 objections that he can’t stand:

  • This is the way it’s always been done
  • My clients aren’t asking for that

“A comment that drives me nuts when it comes to international payments is ‘My clients aren’t asking for that.” In reality, they are. They’re just not asking you. ” — Mark Ridley

In reality, neither of these objections is true.

In the first case, if we always do things the way they’ve always been done, then finance would still be trading woolly mammoth pelts for weapons.

In the second, many of your clients are asking, you’re just not getting the message. The clients who aren’t certainly would be if they knew how much money they are losing in foreign payments.

To get the message out, Mark has made thought leadership a huge part of the company’s plan for breaking into the market.

Nobody wants to lose money.

When companies see how much money they could save with his solution, he knows they’ll come on board.

A crowded playing field

Still, Green Shoots is not the only company offering cross-border payments.

Even many of the legacy banks that have international payments on the lowest rung of their ladder of priorities offer some semblance of the service.

But so few are doing it well that Mark isn’t worried about the competition.

“Nobody looked at the Ford Motor Company and said, ‘Okay, they’ve done it. Let’s just not even bother trying to develop anything better. ’” — Mark Ridley

In fact, this plays into why many companies don’t fully understand the problem with foreign payments.

They are so used to losing money, they’ve accepted it as the cost of doing business.

Mark thinks that’s changing, though. Not only is he getting the word out on the better way to conduct business internationally, but the companies are starting to feel the need more and more.

Especially in the COVID-19 era.

As more businesses move into remote work, companies are realizing that they can hire from a global talent pool, giving them unfettered access to talent worldwide.

Which, of course, means more companies are hiring internationally. And they’re feeling it in their wallets.

They have a problem.

And Mark is confident that once they look for solutions, he’ll be there to give it to them.

Having all the answers

The changing nature of work hasn’t just affected international payments, though.

The whole financial world has been turned upside down in a relatively short amount of time.

And that comes with a whole slew of problems that require solving.

“A CFO, treasurer, or finance person are going to have more than one problem that requires solving.” — Mark Ridley

Yet, Mark knows that Green Shoots can’t be all things to all people — especially if they want to maintain their best-in-class cross-border offerings.

But he wants to help his customers. He knows that solving as many of their problems as possible is good for everyone involved.

So what can he do?

Mark approaches this problem — one faced by any highly-focused company — through partnerships.

In fact, Currencycloud is one of the big partnerships he’s made.

By finding partners who can offer solutions to myriad financial issues, Green Shoots can help build trust with its customers, while also creating a network of financial companies that is stronger than the sum of its parts.

It’s better for the customer. It’s better for the partners.

And it’s better for the company.

To ensure that you never miss an episode of Payments Innovation, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here and don’t forget to check out our YouTube!

Until next time!

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