Airwallex: The Tech Unicorn That Brings Cross-Border Payments To Another Level

As more and more entrepreneurs get on board the e-commerce arena and went cross-border, more demands for ease-of-doing-business platforms also moved in parallel. Just like in a simple case of payment for supplies sourced overseas. What do entrepreneurs demand to facilitate this? They would need an unconventional, cost-efficient and quick solution to keep one’s business afloat.

This was the exact dilemma of coffee shop investor, Jack Zhang, and his partners. They struggled with the costs for importing coffee cups and labels from Hong Kong and China to their Melbourne shop. But, that became a good problem to solve! Fortunately, that dilemma drove them to create in 2015, Airwallex. It’s the fintech platform that recently became one of Australia’s Tech Unicorn as its business value breached the $1 billion mark.

What is Airwallex?

Airwallex is a fintech solution to cross-border payment transactions that allows ease of managing revenues and financing in business. This platform piggybacks on the existing banking infrastructure.

This also opened an opportunity for SMEs to dream big – to go global via a simplified and enhanced way of collecting revenues using a smart cross-border payment technology.

What is this smart cross-border payment technology?

While it may sound complex being a blend of finance and technology, Airwallex has actually a simple collect-convert-pay scheme. It is a relief knowing that the platform addressed the concerns on foreign exchange, time and location. These are the factors that are greatly considered by entrepreneurs when they go global.

COLLECT

One of the frequently asked questions on cross-border business transactions is, “In what method and currency will my customers be required to pay?” Traditional methods would include fund transfers, letters of credit usually done in banks and other financial institutions. And, more often than not, the currency that works everything out is the world currency, USD.

What could this mean to you and your customers?

Of course, as the layers pile up, more fees are being charged. We’re talking about foreign exchange fees, bank transaction and service fees and what-not. This could give you less room to leverage your financial resources. Maybe later on, it will make you decide to just stay local than global.

What Airwallex did was remove the multiple layers that will allow your customers to pay you in their local currency. You, on the other hand, can create multiple global accounts in your marketplaces. This gives you a stronger hold on your financials with centralized collection and a fund transfer feature.

Consequently, you can collect in whatever currency is preferred by you or your customers.

CONVERT

Converting your collection in your own currency might entail foreign exchange losses. They usually are on top of the service fees that banks usually charge. You will be at the mercy of a certain bank’s published FX rates, leaving you little choice.

Airwallex, on the other hand, gives you access to a wide range of competitive interbank exchange rates – real time. This data is passed on to the customers through a transparent pricing model. This allows you to see “in-the-flesh” a trading environment that spans various countries from different timezones.

PAY

Traditionally, payments go through different channels in the form of intermediary banks and other institutions before landing in your bank account. Also, it would sometimes be subjected to very strict regulations. As a result, it needs to pass through checkpoints that will only add more days before you can complete your transaction end-to-end.

The time it takes to complete the payment is a big gap to fill. You would need a fat wallet to get your business going before you can recover. Not all businesses have that advantage.

This is where Airwallex come in handy again. It defined the word smart with its smart auto-routing algorithms. They direct your transactions to the most cost-effective and time-efficient route to your account. The aim is to deliver the funds to you in the fastest manner with fewer layovers in intermediaries. This will save you a ton since they will usually take a cut out of your proceeds.

Scaling your business with Airwallex’s Scale

With all the neat features of this cross-border payment platform, one would get to think, what more can it be? What more can it give?

But yes, there really is more in store.

You can elevate your platform further with Scale. This is the all-in-one business solution of Airwallex that brings you, your business and your clients together. You would altogether transact in a single, fully integrated, operational and centralized payment ecosystem.

Getting on board the scale

You have the power to bring on board the related parties to your different business transactions to your Scale-embedded payment platform. Working on the same page, you can receive, convert and transfer funds between the accounts.

All parties will have their own wallets within your Scale ecosystem. These will become the single point to receive and disburse funds. Payments and reconciliation will now be made easy. You yourself, being onboard your Scale platform, can see your cash flow. Thus, no need to bombard your finance team to give you updates on your payment transactions. Gone will be the delays; the exhaustive, manual monitoring; and the huge risk of errors.

Transactions are also made visible to the related parties giving a higher degree of transparency as to how much shall be paid and when. They will also gain indirect access to all the features of Airwallex.

Why Airwallex?

Going global has remained a dream for some entrepreneurs. This is mainly because, it might need various tools and logistics to facilitate their cross-border transactions. Perhaps, these keywords might give a hint if Airwallex is worth diving into:

Wide
  • The coverage is global with marketplaces such as USA, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, etc.
  • You can send or receive funds to over 130 countries
Fast
  • As mentioned earlier, Airwallex’s smart technology helps you find the more direct route for your funds. This means, speed in delivery.
  • Also, with the API driven integration, operations will be streamlined. Hence, faster completion of your transactions.
Low
  • The fact that Airwallex directly connects to the local networks of the different areas would mean fewer intermediaries at play – hence, lower transaction or service fees than what banks charge.
Tight
  • Airwallex boasts of its multiple layers of authentication with its security system and procedures, based on the highest international standards.
Tailored
  • The platform is customizable – driven to suit your needs.
Scalable
  • The integration of the features of Airwallex is within your control. If initially you included only those features that you felt you needed at that time, there is still room for expansion of your platform.
Mobile
  • Airwallex will work very well even for those who are mostly anywhere outside a regular office. The Web App that goes with it will allow you to access your account anytime, anywhere. You can do payments, fund transfers through the app.

Sign up

If you do your payments through banks, you are primarily required to open an account with them before you can enjoy their suite of business solutions. You are made to maintain a certain level of deposit that sometimes is a determinant to the kind of product or service that you can gain access to.

Airwallex, on the other hand, has no sign-up or subscription costs. All fees are on a per transaction basis.

With this advantage, it wouldn’t hurt to try, right? So sign up now and get yourself on board.

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