As Australia reopens its borders to the world after two long years of lockdown, two Aussie-founded companies have come together to launch a new offering to support Australian small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) doing business overseas.
Qantas Loyalty has been gearing up for the launch of its latest financial offering Qantas Business Money; a digital cross-border payment platform that grants its Business Reward members access to competitive foreign exchange rates and the ability to transact in local currencies when doing business internationally.
To power its new product, the country’s largest airline has chosen the Australian payments platform Airwallex as its technology partner. Airwallex has built a financial infrastructure and platform that helps businesses manage online payments, treasury and payout globally, without the constraints of the traditional financial system.
It also benefits from its regulatory approval to operate across Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, and recently recieved approval to operate in Singapore.
“Our platform empowers small businesses to operate globally without complexities and remove barriers to international expansion,” comments Airwallex Co-founder and CEO Jack Zhang. “It also enables larger organisations like Qantas to provide these same benefits to their customers through seamless integration.”
Last year, Qantas trialled the technology with 170 businesses. Tony Nikro from freight forwarder Nikro Customs and Trade Services, which does business in Asia, North America and Europe, said the platform overcame challenges with traditional financial services which can be complex, slow and involve a lot of red tape.
“Having the chance to trial this solution was valuable for my business. I’d never used anything like it before, it’s not set up like a bank or money transfer, which we’ve predominantly used in the past. Structurally, it was so different, it was quick, easy and much better value, plus, the potential to earn Qantas Points is incredibly appealing,” Nikro said.
The Qantas Business Money platform will facilitate foreign exchange rates that are reportedly up to 70 per cent less costly than those of the big banks, alongside 11 local currencies accounts and the use of virtual Visa Business Debit cards to enable payments in said currencies.
Qantas Business Rewards members will earn up to 25,000 bonus points after signing up and transacting with Qantas Business Money, as well as ongoing points based on the volume of international foreign currency conversions at a rate of one point for every AU$10 transacted.
At a regional level, this selection of Airwallex by Qantas is poised to make doing overseas business easier for Australian businesses, as Qantas Loyalty CEO, Olivia Wirth explains: “In partnership with Airwallex, we’ll be delivering a digital cross border payment platform that allows members to access extremely competitive foreign exchange rates and transact in local currencies when doing business offshore, all the while earning points.”
Qantas Business Money is expected to arrive by the second quarter of this year, and will initially be open to Qantas’ 350,000 SMB Business Rewards members.
Qantas Business Money is the latest financial services product to be launched by Qantas Loyalty. It follows Qantas Travel Money, home and personal loans, investment and wealth management solutions, savings accounts and credits cards.
Thirty-five per cent of all credit card transactions in Australia are made on a Qantas Points earning credit card, demonstrating the value frequent flyers put on earning points through financial products.
“Australia’s love of earning Qantas Points has seen us build strong partnerships with some of the country’s biggest brands, as well as some of the most innovative. These connections are key to keeping our members engaged in the program and ultimately drive value for our business,” Wirth added.