Dutch bank ABN AMRO is rolling out a new platform for small- and medium-sized enterprises to manage cross-border payments and FX.
Reports in Electronic Payments International Tuesday (Jan. 16) said ABN AMRO has launched its subsidiary Franx, a platform that provides SMBs with a multi-currency account and single IBAN to facilitate global transactions. The solution can currently support payments sent and received in 26 currencies, reports said.
“Market research shows that many business owners want to handle their own payments on a digital platform, with a minimum of red rape and personal service only if they need it,” said Franx executive director Hatim Chebti in a statement. “Because we have fully digitized our services, business clients can manage their affairs quickly, conveniently and cost-efficiently.”
The company said it will initially focus on companies in the Netherlands, in which 50,000 small and medium-sized businesses are operating internationally.
“Our initial focus is on Dutch companies,” Chebti said, “but we have the ambition to expand into other European countries in the near term. Our concept is easily scalable for a further rollout in Europe.”
In addition to facilitating cross-border payments, the Franx platform provides FX hedging solutions.
According to ABN AMRO head of corporate and institutional banking Rutger van Nouhuijs, Franx is part of the bank's broader ambitions to support corporate needs for self-service tools.
“Regarding currency transactions, some of our clients are interested in expertise and advice offered by their trusted company bank,” the executive said. "We cater to their needs through ABN AMRO. At the same time, there's a growing group of business clients who prefer digital DIY solutions. As of today, we cater to this group through Franx."
Foreign exchange management is a challenge for small businesses looking to expand internationally, according to research.
The inability to hedge against FX risk is negatively impacting these companies, too. Research from Bibby Financial Services released earlier this month found two-thirds of U.K. SMBs say they have been adversely impacted by FX volatility in the last year; on average, these companies see a negative impact of $94,500 each because of FX fluctuations.