Sometimes, it takes a fresh pair of eyes for a business to gain a new perspective. Australian foreign exchange FinTech firm OzForex just hired Prince Ghuman as director of marketing and director of enterprise development for the firm’s North American units, USForex and CanadianForex.
Ghuman will certainly provide new brainpower to the B2B foreign exchange payments service firm. But he also spoke with PYMNTS about how businesses themselves are beginning to take a new perspective on the potential of FX capabilities and the market trends that are contributing to that vision.
With experience living on three different continents and the ability to speak five languages, Ghuman has an especially global perspective when it comes to cross-border payments. According to OzForex Chief Marketing Officer Maria Loyez, who released a statement last week on the new hire, Ghuman “has a special appreciation for the international nature of the money transfer business."
It’s perhaps appropriate, then, how Ghuman said he would be spending his time at OzForex. “Prominently, we’re looking to expand our global reach when it comes to enterprise development,” he told PYMNTS. “Strictly B2B."
Already, OzForex works with the likes of Xero and ING Direct, providing these institutions with international money transfer services integrated into their own platforms for business customers. According to Ghuman, the company has an internal ledger system tied to bank accounts across the world, meaning that the money is handled by OzForex itself when it moves.
Ghuman said that by partnering with these players, OzForex can do its part to make the finance industry less fragmented, providing businesses and individuals with a way to get all of their FinServ needs — from loans to cross-border payments — in a single place.
But he added that the company is also looking to take advantage of a shift in the global market, in which businesses are beginning to see new advantages to integrating cross-border payments capabilities into their own services.
"What we’re seeing is a lot of the creative business leaders, especially in the small and medium-sized businesses, or the heads of product at a big company, they’re starting to think a little bit more creatively about forex,” he said. “Instead of thinking of it as a challenge, they’re starting to think of it as an opportunity."
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Ghuman pointed to ride-sharing applications as a prime example. A service like Uber may gain a leg-up on the competition by integrating an API that facilitates international money transfers, attracting drivers that need to send some of their earnings to family abroad, for instance.
Even SMEs that are working with developers outside of their country or that are working with suppliers in Asia are beginning to think of foreign exchange as a point of improvement and an opportunity for change.
"Instead of typically using the banks, which are traditionally expensive, SMEs can pay through us and immediately save money,” he said, adding that, often times, these businesses “don’t realize they can be more creative and use other services out there” when it comes to using forex services and integrating a third-party cross-border payments service into their own product.
Part of what’s driving this shift in how businesses look at international payments is the consumer side of the game, Ghuman said. “FinTech and payments are so hot right now, with Apple Pay,” he said. “Everyone’s jumping on that, and I think it’s forcing a lot of these bigger companies to think more creatively about how they can have advantages in foreign exchange."
So, while Ghuman will be helping OzForex and its operations in North America guide businesses’ new vision of cross-border payments potential, he will also be aiding OzForex itself in directing the development of an expanding market.
“We’ve done really well with the ‘fin’ side of FinTech,” he said. “The ‘tech’ part is where I come in.”
This means working with companies big and small to provide them with international money transfer capabilities for themselves and their customers in ways they may not have previously considered. Ghuman added that he is keeping tabs on the rise of blockchain technology, which he finds “fascinating” (he has a background in utilizing the tool for global payments), though added that OzForex will have to see where the blockchain goes before any implementation occurs.
And, as a whole, Ghuman told PYMNTS he will be zeroed in on connecting the fragmented FinTech sector, linking companies to OzForex solutions so business and consumer customers can access multiple financial services at a single location. A focus on consolidation is appropriate, considering OzForex’s possibly impending takeover by U.S. peer Western Union.
Until that plays out, however, Ghuman said he’ll be working to show companies, once oblivious to the potential of foreign finance, the light. “These days, there are so many opportunities where currencies are changing hands and jumping across borders that aren’t being taken advantage of,” he said.