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Airwallex Teams With Bird for Streamlined International Payments

global payments, cross-border payments

Payments platform Airwallex has launched a partnership with global communications platform Bird, formerly known as MessageBird.

The collaboration, announced Monday (April 22), is designed to power Bird’s international payments operations across the company’s customers’ preferred channels, including WhatsApp, Email, SMS, Voice, WeChat, Messenger and Instagram. 

“The global nature of Bird’s business — with multiple currencies flowing in and out of operating entities around the world — had led to a fragmented financial operating system, split across more than 20 banking partners around the world,” Airwallex said in a news release. “This created operating inefficiencies for the Bird finance team, particularly in relation to the creation and approval of supplier payments and reconciliation with Bird’s accounting software.”

With Airwallex’s payments and financial infrastructure, Bird has consolidated its financial operations across multiple entities and currencies into a single platform, the release added. This has allowed for more visibility and control as well as the automation of supplier payments around the world, with the help of Airwallex’s foreign exchange (FX) engine. 

“Prior to working with Airwallex, we were using legacy systems and technology, which slowed down our entire global operations,” said Robert Vis, founder and CEO of Bird. “With Airwallex, we’re able to streamline our payments infrastructure and supercharge our finance operations globally.”

The partnership is happening at a time when “cross-border payments are quietly undergoing a revolution,” as PYMNTS wrote earlier this year. It’s an emerging paradigm based around cost-effective, real-time payment options with maximum visibility for both sender and receiver.

“Beyond driving international sales, cutting-edge payment solutions provide a range of benefits to CFOs and corporate treasurers,” PYMNTS wrote. “These include simpler payment execution, streamlined compliance and improved cash flow and liquidity management. This shifting landscape brings opportunities as well as challenges.”

Research from “The Treasury Management Playbook: Spotlight on Cross-Border Payments,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and Citi collaboration, showed that these payments have soared as global trade recovered from the pandemic, with Swift payment volume now averaging roughly 45 million transactions per business day.

More recently, PYMNTS wrote that companies are increasingly teaming with other firms when in search of cross-border payment solutions rather than building or buying their own.

“After all, traditional cross-border payments are full of manual processes and embedded bottlenecks as a result of various correspondent banking systems, time zones and disparate local regulations,” that report said. “For businesses looking to expand internationally, the calculus among payment providers is starting to shift toward leveraging partnerships when providing payment services.”