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Fees and FX rates are main cross-border payment worries for companies

The majority – 58 per cent – of companies use just one bank for all their global payment needs. But is this the right approach? A survey by Saxo Payments looks at the main challenges companies face in cross-border payments.

The report on the survey's findings concludes that trade and payment barriers need to come down so that merchants can trade anywhere in the world – but make payments with the ease and costs of a local transaction. If we can achieve more stability in the cross-border payments process, including bank fees and foreign exchange, this would give companies certainty about their cash flows and costs.

Some of the survey's key findings include:

  • 58 per cent of companies have just one banking relationship for all countries in which they trade;
  • and just 7 per cent have one bank for every country in which they trade;
  • 74 per cent of companies offer payment by card to their customers;
  • 42 per cent still allow customers to pay by cheque;
  • only 25 per cent allow payment by gift card and just 7 per cent accept cryptocurrencies;
  • in terms of selecting a banking provider, 47 per cent of companies consider speed of settlement to be the most important issue (apart from cost);
  • 45 per cent take FX fees into account and 41 per cent look for a wide range of currencies offered for international payments;
  • transaction fees, getting the best FX rate and risk of fraud are the three leading concerns for companies when making and accepting cross-border payments.

The graphs below show more detail from survey:

CTMfile take: It's always interesting to compare oneself with survey results like this. The white paper concludes that the current model for making international/cross-border payments is stopping companies from expanding globally and that maintaining numerous banking relationships isn't sustainable. It argues there is “an appetite to find a third party one-stop-shop to provide the platform for their cross border payments”. Once again, we are talking about the disintermediation of traditional banks.

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