During the first day of the EVOLVE conference in São Paulo, Brazil, the event discussing how the payments industry is evolving, growing and developing, Nium, the real-time payments company, and OZ Câmbio (OZ), announced a partnership. It looks to help Brazilian businesses move money to major markets abroad, including China, Hong Kong and the UK.
The partnership has been born out of the need for more to be done in the Brazilian small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market. The country has over 21 million SMEs, however, they have been historically “underserved by large banks” according to stats from the Brazilian government. Furthermore, 14.5 million of these are one-person companies. As a result, OZ Câmbio has integrated Nium into its white-label platform for SMEs.
Nium reaches 190+ countries around the world and was one of the reasons OZ selected it as a partner. This includes China, Hong Kong, the US and the UK. Combined with advanced technology, and real-time speed of payments at “considerably lower transaction costs compared to older global payment rails like SWIFT“, Nium is the ideal partner according to OZ’s CEO, Rodrigo Xavier.
OZ has been in the Brazilian foreign exchange market for over 20 years. In this time, it has created an international B2B trade platform, that enables mass payments and settlements and a FXasS (foreign exchange as a service) feature. Combining these services with Nium’s, means challenges surrounding automated compliance, transparency and transaction costs are all tackled.
“With our combined forces, Nium and OZ are disrupting global money-exchange rails for the better,” said Christina Hutchinson, VP business development, LatAm region for Nium who previously served as the regional director and in-country manager for SWIFT in Brazil for a decade. “Not only do we accelerate the rate of transfers – from two to three business days to just two hours or less – we are providing transformational levels of transparency, traceability, and automated compliance.”
Importance of cross-border payment growth
Based on the latest data from the Central Bank of Brazil, the number of legal entities with a bank account rose by nearly 35 per cent from 11.4 million to 17.5 million between 2018 and 2022 – the largest jump on record since 2005. That growth rate is close to double the increase in the number of individuals with bank accounts which advanced 18.9 percent in the same period.
OZ recently launched its SME Cross Border Platform offering, which processes international transactions for SMEs. It’s FX solution for import/export operations, developers/ IT professionals who work for foreign contractors, and companies with extensive international payrolls. It can settle payments made with Brazil’s popular Pix, TED, credit/debit cards, or boleto.
The platform is a white-label solution that can be offered to other business partners such as autonomous investment agents (AIA), fintechs and financial institutions. This product will be expanded with further geographic reach through this partnership.
Speeding up transaction times
“Nium and OZ will serve SME customers desperately in need of payment solutions that are fast, safe, affordable, and compliant for each region,” said Volker Steinle, SVP and general manager, Americas Region for Nium. “Nium provides much more than payments. We’re a trusted partner. Our growing roster of customers and partners in Latin America look to Nium to drive their cross-border payments growth.”
“Through our new partnership, Nium provides our customers with a new payments rail that knocks out a lot of the time, complexity, and cost of conducting global business,” said OZ CEO Rodrigo Xavier. “One of our larger business sectors today, Brazilian importers doing business with exporters from Asian giants such as China and Hong Kong, will now be able to transact business almost instantly and much more affordably.
“For example, our combined customers will pay as little as 30 per cent of what it costs for an international transaction using SWIFT. The payout recipients will receive it within minutes vs. days.”