The Rise Of Risk Management In Commerce And Payments

Consider it one of the main lessons to come out of the second quarter earnings season: Hedging — as in preparing for currency fluctuations and other factors — is something that eCommerce firms need to embrace, too.

When Netflix reported its Q2 financials, its failure to “hedge its revenue with derivatives,” according to Reuters, led the company to lower its 2018 operating margin expectations to the lower end of its 10 percent to 11 percent projection. “We’ve got some adjustments to make because of foreign exchange rates, and we know we’ll make those adjustments and we’ll grow into that,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos during the company’s post-earnings conference call.

The culprit? A stronger U.S. dollar.

Remittance providers already know about hedging, and continue to expand their efforts in that area. Western Union, for instance, recently launched a product in Hong Kong, FX Options, that will service small businesses that engage in cross-border trade. Cross-border operations can expose companies to an array of risks, including foreign exchange risk. According to Western Union, its newest tool for Hong Kong SMEs provides capabilities for favorable currency movements, reports said, while hedging against risk in the case of unfavorable FX fluctuations.

And while agriculture has long expertise dealing with the threats of currency swings and other risks, not all food producers are totally up to speed — a new digital payments and risk management push targets the international seafood industry, for example.

But recent events, including the ongoing troubles with Turkey’s currency, are giving hedging and risk management a moment in the spotlight — and that includes their application to the worlds of commerce and payments, as shown by a new PYMNTS interview with Cambridge Global Payments COO Mark Frey.

When it comes to volatility, he recently told Karen Webster, “some CEOs just throw their hands up in the air and say there is nothing we can do about it,” Frey said. “But there is.”






The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.