CurrencyWave, a Leeds-based cross-border payments firm, has launched a new multi-currency account to help remove borders from paying in foreign currencies for smaller firms, a report from Business Up North states.
The new account will allow customers one single International Bank Account Number (IBAN), which can be used to receive and hold 34 different currencies, and pay out in 38 different ones.
For example, if a U.S. business is looking to have a payment arrive in GBP while the customer wants to pay in USD, the multi-currency account enables the business to send the payment to the account using ACH or FedWire, which would avoid expensive cross-border charges. In addition, the funds would also be able to get to the recipient much more quickly.
Jamie Holmes, CurrencyWave director, said the new account would be a boost for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which generate around half of private sector turnover and employ three fifths of the U.K. workforce. But he said he hoped to see them gain more of a foothold in new forms of banking, as opposed to the older ways holding them back.
“The whole ethos behind the platform is to facilitate the freeing up of working capital that is so vital to a company’s success or failure in overseas trade,” he said, according to the report. “No longer will it be necessary to open up a bank account in another country, so this complex and expensive pain point is removed for all of our clients.”
In terms of U.S. businesses, the challenge, according to OFX president Alfred Nader in a recent conversation with PYMNTS, is that many companies haven’t made it easy to switch between currencies in a transaction yet. He said the competition businesses face now is worldwide — not just with the other businesses on their street.
The task, then, is to get more sending and receiving capability for payments, regardless of either party’s location. Multi-currency accounts, one option Nader touts, weren’t always available for smaller businesses — and that is being tackled by both OFX and CurrencyWave now.