Money moves across hemispheres, and so do some international money transfer firms.
To put a narrower spin on that sentiment, Australian money transfer firm OFX has now expanded its focus to the Western hemisphere.
To that end, the company said Thursday that it has appointed Mike Kennedy as president of its North America operations. Kennedy had previously co-founded, led and organized the sale of digital payments platform clearXchange. Prior to that venture, he served as executive vice president with Wells Fargo.
OFX, which last fiscal year handled $20 billion in global money transfers, said in the news release that Kennedy is tasked with “accelerating the delivery of OFX’s North America growth,” which it noted is already logging positive momentum.
In an interview with Karen Webster before the public announcement of his appointment, Kennedy said that OFX is one of the players in the “invisible infrastructure” that powers billions and trillions of dollars in transactions worldwide each year.
Kennedy said that OFX powers international money transfers and exists today with strong bases in Australia, the U.K. and New Zealand. After establishing those strongholds, the company then branched into the United States (specifically setting roots in San Francisco), working over the last four to five years to garner the requisite licenses and prepare its technology platform.
Now, Kennedy said, OFX is ready “to double down” on North America.
Kennedy serving at the helm of a set of rails that efficiently move money between people and businesses hearkens back to his early days of creating clearXchange, Webster observed. When asked about lessons learned then that he’ll bring to OFX, Kennedy’s answer was simple: making sure that they’re solving for a real problem in the market.
The world is becoming increasingly international and global, said Kennedy, and so is money movement.
“People may have family members in California and Nevada, but may also have family in Singapore and London,” he noted. “Businesses are likely to have customers and suppliers overseas,” emphasizing that the cross-border business opportunity is “massive” because it’s not being addressed effectively today.
“There are inefficiencies in money movement today,” he said, “and it remains less than simple for all businesses or individuals to move money for a reasonable price.”
Any other lessons from his years spent building and igniting new payments rails?
Payments, of course, operate as two-sided transactions, said Kennedy, so simplicity must be in place for both payers and payees. Security matters too, he said, noting that “there are few things that people care more about than their money.”
“They really want to be sure that it is moved in a secure, compliant way – not only for people and businesses who care about it, but governments too.”
As for expansion efforts targeting North America, Kennedy said of OFX that the firm “has a global footprint and strong market share in other markets, so it will be easier to demonstrate to people and businesses in North America that ‘this is something that you can feel comfortable that your recipients will be able to quickly receive this money,’” he said. With the groundwork now in place, “now it is time to put the pedal to the metal and drive the growth.”