| Key Challenges Facing Cross-Border Payments

Key Challenges Facing Cross-Border Payments

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The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the vitality of global remittances.

While jobs were jeopardized and families were separated, cross-border payments helped sustain local communities around the world. Despite projections that anticipated a sharp decline in remittance flows, international payments to low and middle-income countries reached $549 billion in 2020.

Last year, remittances spiked an additional 7.3%, climbing to a staggering $589 billion in international support.

And yet, while remittances show no sign of stopping, they continue to face several persistent challenges in the global economy.

Accessibility remains an ongoing issue, particularly in emerging markets without the infrastructure to support digital payments and remittances.

Fortunately, as we’ll discuss below, UniTeller has taken steps to bridge those gaps and provide payment access to as many regions and markets as technology will allow.

1. Prohibitive Costs

Cross-border payments can be punitively expensive. Regulatory costs, foreign exchange fees, and other assessments tax consumers every time they send money abroad. 

For example, the average cost of sending a USD $200 remittance to Sub-Saharan Africa is 8.2%. That’s nearly three times above the United Nation’s 3% target for Sustainable Development Goals

Payment processors simply must do better. In order for global communities to get the economic support they need, transaction fees must come down.

At UniTeller, we do everything to lower costs at every corner so individuals and businesses can routinely maximize their investments.

2. Slow Transaction Speeds

Despite a myriad of technological innovations, many payment providers and banks continue to deliver slow and inefficient transaction times.

Consumers around the world expect and deserve fast payments, and providers must satisfy their demands — especially for people in embattled regions. 

According to Jon Cunliffe, head of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure (CPMI),

         “Cross-border payments are necessarily more complex than domestic payments, but we

         need to bring them into line with the standards, efficiency and reliability that users now

         have a right to expect.”

At UniTeller, we strive to provide fast, reliable transactions for individuals and businesses alike.

3. Ongoing Security Threats

Fraud is on the rise, especially in cross-border payments. According to recent studies, over 60% of U.S. and U.K. businesses face cross-border payment fraud.

This is unacceptable for modern businesses. After all, it drains companies of capital, threatens the hard-earned resources of consumers, and endangers those who depend on receiving financial gifts.

While developing strategies to lower costs and increase transaction speeds, UniTeller remains intently focused on increasing the security of cross-border payments. 

We strive to accomplish this through two primary means: by continually enhancing our technology and by strengthening our partnerships, both foreign and domestic. 

After all, business relationships are an essential component to maintain the highest security across the global arena. Thanks to these strategic partnerships, UniTeller has routinely facilitated the growing demand for digital payment capabilities in emerging markets.

Expansion in Asia Pacific 

It’s no secret that Asia holds the largest share of remittance inflows in the world. Within the region, India consistently receives the most remittances each year (having surpassed $87 billion in 2021 alone).

UniTeller has proudly maintained a presence in Asia for over 20 years, with a network covering over 90,000 paying locations in the region.

After observing the growing demand for remittances throughout the pandemic, UniTeller sought to expand its payment services by joining forces with Tranglo, one of the leading cross-border payment service providers in Asia Pacific.

As a direct result of this alliance, UniTeller can now reach 13 Asia Pacific markets, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Nepal — adding over 58,000 cash pick-up points, more than 1,100 account deposit banks, and 9 e-wallet platforms.

According to Alberto Guerra, UniTeller CEO,

         “Collaboration has always been an important part of our strategy. By partnering with

         like-minded cross-border payments companies, we can integrate international paying

         networks and combine our technology strength and local market knowledge to make an

         ever greater impact on the industry than what each of us can achieve individually.”

This collaboration also gives UniTeller access to RippleNet, the global financial network of Ripple.

Expansion in Africa

At UniTeller, we’re driven to serve and sustain emerging markets whenever and wherever possible. Given the growing demand for digital payment capabilities in Africa, it’s more important than ever for industry players to promote market efficiency and expand user access to a broad range of digital financial services. 

To that end, we sought opportunities to expand our presence throughout the continent of Africa. Indeed, Africa has seen a stratospheric increase in remittances over the last twenty years — reaching levels where cross-border payments eclipse the annual value of foreign direct investment (FDI).

By joining forces with Singapore-based payments network, Thunes, UniTeller proudly adds account deposit service with 552 banks and e-wallet service with 28 operators across Africa and Asia Pacific.

According to Tamer El-Emary, COO of Thunes,

         “We are glad to be able to strengthen our partnership with UniTeller, and jointly help to

         enhance global connectivity for millions of people through faster and more convenient

         cross-border payments.”

By uniting the networks of two major payment processors, UniTeller and Thunes are able to deliver state-of-the-art services along with unparalleled security and safety.

At UniTeller, we will continue to combat the many challenges facing the payments industry through collaboration, innovation, and above all, through partnerships.


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