Like most facets of banking, international payments are transforming at speed, driven by consumer demand for user-friendly, digital banking options.
Customers don’t want to have to carry cash to a branch or outlet to perform international payments and send funds overseas. Or fill in a form. Or wait days as their payment makes its way through a sluggish banking network.
They do want to be able to make their international payments through a mobile app and be able to rely on those payments arriving safely – regardless of the complexity of routing required and whatever time zones and regulations might apply across jurisdictions.
International payments should feel as simple and straightforward as domestic payments and should be available 24/7, 365 days a year. And that’s equally true for business and personal customers.
Mobile banking is now an expectation
Lack of access to physical branches during Covid-19 has played a major role in shifting priorities onto digital experiences, accelerating the demand for anytime-anywhere access. Increasingly, people want to self-serve in their own time, not wait in queues. With further branch closures trending it’s more important than ever to offer easily-accessible digital banking channels.
Banking today is about being where your customers are, on the platforms they prefer. And for a lot of customers, the preference is for mobiles, whether they’re monitoring account balances and credit cards, paying bills, setting up new term deposits or sending money to their family overseas.
Ninety per cent of consumers today prefer managing their finances in a single place, according to a recent survey by Chase.
Good mobile apps afford customers a seamless, 24/7 digital banking experience across mobile and web, branch networks and call centres, supported by 100 per cent continuity of service. They give access to rich functionality – including international payments, with just a few taps on the customer’s smartphone.
Transparency and interoperability at last
For too long customers have had no transparency about where their money is at any given time. They have endured uncertainty and unpredictability in their international payments.
Those issues are now being solved for many customers, with the introduction of real-time systems, and more interoperability across different payment systems. Payment rails in infrastructure allow them to move money quickly and efficiently from one market to another.
Fintechs, tech companies and banks are working together to create solutions that support the customer journey and are resilient enough to withstand rapid economic change.
Increasingly, customers don’t have to worry whether a payment will arrive in time to meet a contractual obligation. Or worry about how much money will actually arrive, what fees will be applied and whether it will cause reconciliation issues.
They can log into their digital banking app and pay all their suppliers across all regions, without the barriers caused by limited networks or high fees.
And it isn’t just for tier-one banks
Major banks have traditionally had the lion’s share of the cross-border payments market and offered the service as a core part of the overall banking experience. This helps keep their customer base inside the bank’s ecosystem – few customers would choose to take extra steps in their transactions if they can avoid it.
But smaller financial institutions can now exploit this opportunity to retain customers and broaden their target markets. There’s no need to build their own network from scratch or procure the calibre of staff to monitor and manage risk. Instead, they can identify different use cases, and niche markets and then choose an off-the-shelf solution that can integrate easily with their systems.
And with the market for international payments growing, not just from migration and travel, but also through increasing B2B supplier payments, there’s plenty of room for new players.
A holistic solution from Sandstone Technology
Sandstone Technology can provide a cost-effective, best-in-class front end that handles the many nuances of international payments for the user and a network that will reach the endpoints where consumers want their money to land.
The monitoring component within the solution includes inbuilt automated compliance and reporting so banks can be confident users are staying within the rules, and not putting the bank at risk of fines or reputational damage.
Sandstone Technology’s mobile app incorporates international payments and is fully scalable and agnostic to a bank’s core systems for easy integration. It keeps systems reactive and agile with full flexibility to customise and configure tools, features, content, styling and UI elements, and a range of ready-made personal and business modules.
New features can be deployed quickly at a reasonable cost and with minimal disruption. Finally, banks can future-proof their digital banking to keep pace with technological advancements.
With these solutions, financial institutions aren’t just phasing out clunky cross-border payments, they can improve time to market, and take advantage of opportunities sooner. Whether you’re a major, or a tier-2 or tier-3 bank, there’s no looking back.
To find out more, download Sandstone Technology’s new whitepaper ‘International Payments in a Digitised World’.