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Currencycloud: Strong Ties Are the Secret to Success in Embedded Finance

Finding success in a highly competitive market like fintech’s is nigh on impossible without the aid of partnerships. So at a time of year when we reflect on loved ones and show them our appreciation, it is important businesses do the same. In doing so, they will avoid ‘toxic’ relationships and ensure both their vision and their partner’s is aligned – allowing both to prosper and find success.

Richard Arundel is the co-founder of B2B payments firm Currencycloud. As one of Currencycloud’s founders, Arundel has played an important role in the company’s rapid growth. Having started his career at HiFX – one of the largest foreign exchange market brokers in the UK – Arundel has a deep understanding of the finance and payments sector. Prior to becoming Chief Evangelist, Arundel has held successive positions as GM of Currencycloud’s North America business, Sales Director, Client Relationship Director and VP Client Services at Currencycloud, helping the company increase revenue, size and scope.

On his return from New York in December 2020, Arundel has taken on the role of Chief Evangelist, sitting at the intersection of sales, product, marketing and growth to help drive our efforts in new and existing segments, gathering insights from front-line sales teams and the wider market, while representing Currencycloud as the market leader in embedded, cross-border solutions.

Speaking to The Fintech Times he reviews the importance of partnerships:

Richard Arundel, co-founder of Currencycloud
Richard Arundel, co-founder of Currencycloud

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the secret to a happy, long-lasting relationship. A lot of people would say it’s about chemistry.

I promise I’m not planning on becoming an Agony Aunt anytime soon, but human relationships are vital to the success of any company that works in the world of embedded finance. Put simply, embedded finance describes when a company, often from outside the financial world, adds a financial product or service to its existing digital platform via a third party.

The relationship between both these parties is essential to success, and often its strength comes down to a common key ingredient: chemistry.

Why shared purpose can often be the spark you need

No two partnerships are ever the same, but one thread that runs through many of the most successful is a shared sense of purpose.

Purpose has always been important in fintech. While the industry’s success speaks for itself, the purpose is often what motivates founders in the early days and inspires team members. It’s also an effective recruitment tool.

Currencycloud works with fintechs that are great examples of how purpose can power success – just look at our partner ComplyAdvantage’s efforts to stem financial crime, for example. We have a purpose, too. Currencycloud is driven to make money move more easily and efficiently around the world creating a better tomorrow for everyone – whether that’s by making international remittances faster and cheaper or by removing barriers to international trade.  The magic happens when you take two or more companies that buy into one another’s sense of purpose. Identifying that shared purpose is a spark you hope to get early on in a relationship – and a powerful motivator that serves as a critical part of that perfect chemistry.

Building strong foundations 

Relationships that stand the test of time require strong foundations. In the world of traditional financial services, ‘know your customer’ guidelines on how to identify and verify customers are essential – and fintech carries on that legacy. The early ‘discovery phase’ is an essential part of the process of getting those strong foundations laid early on.

Working in this industry, you quickly realise every customer is different. One day you may be working with a wealth-tech company, the next an insurtech firm. Both have very different needs. So, to build a successful partnership you really need to understand one another inside-out – not just your common purpose, but also your intentions and the outcomes you want to achieve. When all of these align, you know you’re onto something.

What’s the real-world impact of all this?

Talk of long-lasting relationships, shared purpose, and understanding one another on a deep level is all well and good – but it can all start to sound a bit romanticised.

Some will say that, even within the world of embedded finance, companies are still often competing for business and talent. In fact, many of your own clients will be competing in that same pool of talent and customers.

This is at least partially true. Make no mistake, competition within the fintech world is fierce and when it comes to hiring for roles like software developers, the talent pool is small.

But despite this, partnerships are still highly valued and sought after – sometimes even between competitors. So much so that in many cases, developing the strongest and most successful partnerships can be a major competitive advantage, whether that’s because it enables you to win new customers, enter new markets, or meet regulatory requirements at a lower cost.

The recipe for success

The recipe for success when it comes to partnering with the right companies can be elusive and hard to pin down – but it all boils down to your organisation’s circumstances.

At Currencycloud, for example, because we don’t go direct to market, our partnerships strategy is all about delivering a world-class service to the end user – almost always our customer’s customers. And because our customers service a wide range of end users, we need to always stay true to our purpose and figure out how we can apply it to that situation. Reimagining the way money flows is complex with lots of moving parts and symbiotic partnerships are key to delivering on Currencycloud’s purpose.

 

About Currencycloud

Banks, Fintechs and businesses everywhere can make bigger, better, bolder leaps with Currencycloud. Currencycloud gives businesses the capability to move money across borders, and transact globally in multiple currencies, fast. Experts at what they do, their technology makes it easy for clients to embrace digital wallets, and to embed finance into the core of their business – no matter what industry they’re in.

Since 2012, Currencycloud has processed more than $100billion to over 180 countries, working with banks, financial institutions and Fintechs around the world, including Starling Bank, Revolut, Penta and Lunar. Based in London with offices in New York, Amsterdam, Cardiff, and Singapore, Currencycloud works with partners including Visa, Dwolla, GPS and Mambu to deliver simple, clear cross-border infrastructure solutions for clients. They are regulated in the UK, Canada, US and the EU.

Richard Arundel, co-founder of Currencycloud: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardarundel

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The Fintech Times