While cross-border commerce presents a unique (and profitable) opportunity to merchants around the globe, the market itself has been slow to evolve due to the time and effort needed to meet regulations throughout the space. Nagarajan Rao, SVP Head of Product at Transpay, shared how an emerging market focus and the onslaught of new money movement technologies is driving a revolution in cross-border payments.
PYMNTS: Based on your experience, what are the top trends disrupting the cross-border payments sector, and how are these likely to evolve?
NR: Cross-border payments has been slow to evolve because of the time, money and resources it takes to be able to adhere to the number of regulations in the marketplace.
Today there are only a few players in the market that are able to take cross-border payments and provide a true global solution. Cross-border payments disruptors are the companies that are providing a complete payment alternative: possessing the ability to operate in this highly regulated environment and control a propriety network that is not riding third-party rails. Technology will also be crucial in moving cross-border payments forward and we’re already seeing the influence of industries like mobile becoming a driving force in money movement. For B2B/B2P payments, it comes down to providing companies with a streamlined experience that they can pass on to their end user.
"Cross-border payments disruptors are the companies that are providing a complete payment alternative."
PYMNTS: Transpay has been in the news recently, discussing the continuing expansion of your global network. Can you tell us why you built your own proprietary network, what in-house operations you run (including regulatory, treasury, customer service) and how it all comes together to effectively move money instantly around the world?
NR: Transpay strongly believes that when money has to be moved around the world, it has to be done in a way that is cost-effective and simple for the sender, as well as the receiver. Our proprietary global network was built, and continues to expand with that goal in mind, which means gaining access to new markets and countries is paramount. We hold over 70 jurisdiction licenses to be able to establish direct banking relationships, these include MSBs for the U.S. and Canada, U.K., LATAM and challenging countries like India, Pakistan and Kenya.
Another differentiator is that we own and operate every layer needed to send cross-border payments: treasury, FX, compliance, customer service centers, technology, etc. This ensures that we are not only cost-effective, but we have direct visibility and control of the payment and can provide the best delivery timeframes to our customers.
PYMNTS: You partnered with HotelQuickly, a last-minute hotel booking app in Asia-Pacific to allow them to provide payouts to Southeast Asia and Europe. How was this partnership created and what can they do now that they are using your cross-border payments solution?
NR: HotelQuickly is a great example of the evolution of online travel agencies (OTA) and travel industry. If you looked at the space a few years ago there were only a few, large aggregators with limited inventory. Now, as smaller tour operators and hospitality brands are able to list their offerings on these booking engines, the challenge OTAs are experiencing is ensuring timely payment settlement for their operators and property managers. This is especially true as emerging markets continue to benefit from an influx of tourism but need to account for every dollar. Typically, OTAs are relying on wire transfers, eWallets or virtual cards to send payments, which can charge high fees just for travel companies to receive their payment.
What we did for HotelQuickly is simplify the payment process and provided them with a single point platform to efficiently send direct-to-bank account payments for their service providers and partners throughout Asia and Europe, bypassing costly and antiquated wire transfer processes.
PYMNTS: Which areas of your business do you anticipate seeing the most growth and why?
NR: The success of global SMBs is oftentimes reliant on the ability to send efficient payments into emerging markets such as Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, and we’re experiencing a growing demand for our solutions. Conversely, companies within these emerging markets need strong payments providers to assist with sending cost-effective payments to developed nations and we have been able to provide a SWIFT/wire alternative solution for these businesses as well.
PYMNTS: What is your roadmap like? What’s next for Transpay?
NR: We’ve received positive feedback from our customers and partners about our solutions and will continuing to provide a cross-border payment alternative to growing industries, such as global eCommerce marketplaces and crowdsourcing platforms. Transpay is also looking forward to continuing to expand into new markets and establishing relationships with banks and financial institutions around the world.
SVP Head of Product at Transpay
Nagarajan Rao is a global specialist in the high-volume, low-value payments industry. As the SVP, Head of Product and Strategy at Transpay, Rao spearheaded the development of a robust, end-to-end cross-border payments platform for delivering funds rapidly through a secure and compliant global proprietary network. Focused on emerging markets, Rao and his team work regularly with all types of businesses in providing white-labeled and branded mass payments options.