Simplifying Global Money Movement with Visa Cross-Border Solutions

Simplifying Global Money Movement with Visa Cross-Border Solutions

by February 20, 2024

In a recent interview, Rohit Narang, Vice President for the Asia-Pacific region at Visa Cross-Border Solutions, powered by Currencycloud, shared insights into the acquisition of Currencycloud by Visa, shedding light on the evolution of their collaboration and the impact it has had on global money movement.

The conversation delved into the transformation journey of Currencycloud into Visa Cross-Border Solutions, a foreign exchange and cross-border payments solution within Visa, and how it addresses the challenges of cross-border payments in today’s fintech landscape.

The Evolution of the Currencycloud and Visa Partnership

Currencycloud, established in the UK in 2012, initially began as a foreign exchange tool but quickly evolved into a comprehensive cross-border payments platform. Their journey led to a strategic partnership with Visa, where Currencycloud’s cloud-based platform supported various banking, technology and fintech partners around the world.

Rohit Narang

Rohit Narang

We evolved into a SaaS solution for our clients who want to provide send, spend, convert and collect functionality to their customers. That, then evolved into multi-currency wallets and the ability to hold multiple currencies. Visa saw great value in that and became a partner and investor in 2020, before acquiring us in 2021,”

said Rohit.

In 2021, Visa acquired Currencycloud in a deal valued at US$963 million, with the primary aim of enhancing transparency, flexibility, and control in cross-border payments.

“Now, almost two years after the acquisition, a greater integration has happened, so critical capabilities got integrated into what we know as Visa Cross-Border Solutions” to continue delivering global money movement solutions for banks, fintechs, FX brokers, and other payment institutions, according to Rohit.

Currencycloud remains an independent and regulated entity within the Visa ecosystem. This setup allows Currencycloud to continue its operations while seamlessly integrating with various Visa platforms and products.

The purpose of the acquisition of Currencycloud by Visa was to combine the strengths of both entities. By integrating Currencycloud’s capabilities into Visa Cross-Border Solutions, the goal is to offer cross-border payment services to businesses worldwide. This caters to businesses looking to onboard customers and serve their needs within the cross-border space, enabling Visa Cross-Border Solutions to provide a broader range of services for businesses to offer their clients in supporting their global money movement needs — but with a strong emphasis on improving the end-user experience, which Rohit calls the company’s ‘B2B4X’ model.

The Significance of Cross-Border Transactions

Cross-border transactions play a crucial role in modern business and trade. The reorganisation of supply chains, coupled with the rise of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) entering global markets, has increased the scope and the volume of cross-border money transfers.

For Rohit, this trend benefits consumers and SMEs by providing them with access to global markets, improving transparency and speed, and offering competitive foreign exchange rates.

Visa Cross-Border Solutions and its wholly owned entity Currencycloud remain at the forefront of addressing the complexities and challenges associated with cross-border money transfer. The strategic partnership with Visa and the integration of Currencycloud’s capabilities have paved the way for enhanced services and improved customer experiences.

Addressing Complexities in Cross-Border Payments

Cross-border money transfer poses several challenges, including regulatory complexities, high costs, lack of transparency, and time-consuming processes. Visa Cross-Border Solutions navigates technology and regulatory frameworks to overcome these hurdles. Rohit highlighted key trends including forward-looking regulatory regimes, such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which enables tech players to operate under regulatory oversight, fostering innovation and competition.

Efforts are also underway globally to establish bilateral or multilateral payment linkages between countries to improve cross-border payment interoperability. While these pilots show promise, Rohit pointed out how existing payment systems like Swift GPI continue to provide practical solutions for cross-border transactions, giving an example of Swift empowering transparency by enabling transactions to be tracked as they move across countries.

“Long story short, fintech, payment associations, financial services, FIs, and regulators are now increasingly working closely to drive these policies within the ecosystem, ensuring that all these innovations and compliance frameworks are constantly evolving to solve for the challenges faced by clients in moving money across borders,”

he explained.

The Fintech Advantage for Partnering with Visa Cross-Border Solutions

Visa Cross-Border Solutions is still growing its reach and capabilities further, the APAC VP stated. By obtaining operating licenses in various financial hubs globally, the company plans to establish a local presence and collaborate with partners, offering access to payment rails and providing customers with more options to move money efficiently.

Rohit outlined how fintech companies can benefit from partnering with Visa Cross-Border Solutions, employing the company’s B2B4X model to solve problems for businesses like a B2B company, but providing the best experience possible for the end-user. Citing how important trust is throughout the transaction value chain, he pointed out how opaque, laborious, and costly cross-border money movement can be, and rarely a very user-friendly experience for customers.

Visa Cross-Border Solutions primarily enables regulated fintechs and other businesses of all sizes who want to offer their customers embedded multi-currency and cross-border services.

It helps solve the complexity, timeliness and transparency in the cross-border market, adding more enhanced capabilities in the form of application programming interfaces (APIs), that can be integrated to simplify operations in a complex multi-currency environment.

Fintechs can utilise these tools to provide services ranging from transparency on real-time foreign exchange rates, multi-currency wallets supporting over 30 currencies, and the ability to send payments to more than 180 countries.

Rohit said this extensive range of solutions empowers fintechs to enhance their offerings and improve customer experiences, explaining,

“Our business model provides for modular building blocks that can easily integrate into existing technology infrastructure through an API integration. And our clients and their platforms can quickly embed any and all combinations of these building blocks to boost their cross-border payment capabilities.”

As global trade continues to evolve, cross-border payments and various forms of money movement remain a vital component, impacting businesses and consumers alike. Visa Cross-Border Solutions aims to foster partner relationships globally and facilitate seamless cross-border transactions, ultimately improving consumer experiences and solving problems for businesses.