As small businesses become ever more global in their sourcing and supply chain efforts, transacting across time zones and currencies becomes incrementally riskier. Knowledge of just who is on the other side of a transaction is important, as is the ability to rest assured that payments will get to where they are being routed.
To that end, payments provider Align Commerce announced last week that it has obtained insurance geared specifically to its small and medium-sized business clients as they make B2B payments on an international scale.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Chief Executive Officer Marwan Forzley said that the insurance carriers — thus far unidentified — “are global underwriters” with knowledge of the payments processing space. The insurance itself is now an added feature of the Align platform and is bundled into payments as an extra layer of security, with no extra revenues accruing to Align, according to the executive.
Forzley told PYMNTS the insurance extends across a client base of smaller players with an eye on global payments that may be functioning in, for example, manufacturing or retail verticals. He went on to say that the coverage extends to cover failed payments (and not conscious non-payment by one party to another) — in other words, payments that are sent to a supplier and co-opted by a malicious actor. The insurance covers physical or cybersecurity breaches, employee theft and operational errors that can cause a payment to effectively be incomplete. Claims forms can be done through a template, and insurance is paid by the carriers directly to the back end of a given client’s operations, said the CEO.
The policy works as an overlay on payments regardless of payment rails, said Forzley. It is agnostic as to whether payments occur across wire transfers or other avenues, with a nod toward technology-advanced options, notably blockchain, which the firm has stated can help save expenses tied to the more traditional payment methods or via fees levied on top of foreign exchange rates.
The announcement of the insurance protections comes after Align said it had boosted its presence with “corridors” that include China, Mexico and Brazil.