Navigating Cross-Border’s Unstoppable Rise and Enormous Complexity

Cellpoint Digital

PYMNTS asked business leaders for their take on how to plan for the rest of 2023, and what they are telling their teams to focus on. Kristian Gjerding, co-founder and CEO at CellPoint Digital, is focused on making cross-border payments smoother with payment orchestration.


While the modern payment landscape is constantly evolving, the unstoppable rise of cross-border transactions is a true contender for the industry’s defining trend of the decade. Despite global recession fears, the forecast for international payments — across B2B and B2C — remains positive, with the Bank of England estimating its value could hit $250 trillion by 2027. Meanwhile, positive indicators, such as low unemployment and increased spending in certain categories, are cause for optimism.

As we know all too well, international payments are often perceived as slow, expensive and complicated. Cross-border transactions typically take two business days to process and settle, complicated by the many external remittances at play. Every step in the process, from purchase to routing, verification, fulfilment and settlement, presents another opportunity for friction, delay and frustration for the customer. Dealing in different jurisdictions has legal implications. Similarly, taxation rules differ from country to country presenting merchants with yet another compliance burden to handle, alongside the inefficiencies created by operational payments systems. There is also the emerging problem of data protection.

While this trend persists, we anticipate that many businesses will be forced to grapple with the wide-ranging challenges presented by managing cross-border transactions. Customers now expect a seamless, simple payments process as standard, and the sellers who can’t offer that will miss out on huge opportunities and limit their growth potential.

Our prediction is that the businesses that fail to tackle these challenges head-on will fall behind, burdened by issues such as cost, processing times, security and legal concerns. On the flip side, businesses that take advantage of new payment platforms, such as payment orchestration, will begin to understand payments as a strategic advantage. By onboarding payment orchestrators, merchants can save time and money, access new markets, and unlock efficiencies across multiple acquirers and/or payment service providers (PSPs). Businesses can expand their offering and diversify to serve additional geographies, providing a hedge against regional and economic turmoil, which is particularly important in today’s climate. Better still, by optimizing cross-border transactions, organizations can increase revenue and save valuable time and money.