During a week of indulgence in all things technology and banking, I met with PayCommerce, a leading enterprise cross-border payments network and banking consortium for payments disbursement and acceptance, to talk about their UAE Cross-Border Payment Transaction Report 2017.
Known as the leading, instant enterprise cross-border payments network that enables both disbursements and acceptance transactions through a single point of connectivity, PayCommerce has a wide network of members that include banking and financial services institutions, global corporates and alternate channel providers.
Below are some insights gathered during my interview with Mr. Abdul Naushad, Executive Chairman and Founder of PayCommerce and Mr. Max Narro, CEO of PayCommerce and Mr. Sultan Bin Kharsham, Managing Director of PayCommerce in the UAE.
Can you give us a short background of PayCommerce?
PayCommerce is a New Jersey based company founded in 2007 and we are in eight countries. Our cross border payments network has over 100 financial institutions in 83 counties worldwide and our customers’ fall into three categories. Over 53 percent are banks, second category includes financial institutions and third are large corporations.
How did you win the confidence of the payments industry?
We have designed an innovative global bank-to-bank transaction model by eliminating intermediaries and creating a trusted, cross-border payments network for low-value, high-volume transactions. Last year we oversaw more than 3 million transactions.
Can you provide some statistics from your latest report on UAE?
Our main insight is that more than half (54%) of UAE companies were unable to track the status of payments or receivables through international bank transfers and 74% of UAE companies did not know how much transaction fee they were paying. This is interesting especially as we also find that by 2022, the value of cross-border transactions is expected to nearly triple to over $54.8 trillion from $20.5 trillion in 2012 and the number of transactions will grow from 9.9 billion to 20.7 billion.
How do you expect the payments industry to evolve in the coming years?
Everything is going faster for consumers, as most of what they need is available online. Consumers are becoming more powerful and they get to have a choice on how they want to pay. As technologies such as biometrics evolve in payments, we see that people get more comfortable as transactions become less risky. Today there are many alternative ways to pay. Our powerful network of banking members and payment capabilities allow us to deliver competitive advantages to our members including reduced costs, increased transparency, faster payments and a single platform to manage the global transaction process.
Tell us the benefits of going cashless?
Going cashless has its opportunities and challenges in the sense that it eliminates cost and it is efficient as cashless is the way of the future. We give our customers a competitive advantage by providing fast, efficient and transparent solutions for their low-value, high-volume cross-border payments.
How a company can jeopardise its business with no online presence?
Eventually they will lose market share. These days businesses do more online than in store. Last year some of the large department stores did more business online than their in store sales. In the past customers hesitated to buy clothes online but now online retail as evolved and the new generation order most of their food, gadgets and clothes online.
How are payment gateways battling cyber threats?
Today’s technology offers many ways to detect cyber threats even on a secured channel. With artificial intelligence, face recognition, behavior analytics, programmes can checks out your age and track your online activity so if there is an activity that does not match your persona and your normal online habits, it can create alerts for additional verifications.
How can businesses increase conversions for online shoppers?
User experience is important. For instance, if I want to buy a pen and give up the search to check emails, the pen still comes up. It means the brand is tracking your personal preferences. And websites are becoming more intuitive.
What makes you a leader in electronic payments?
Our strength is that we are on the cutting-edge of the latest technology innovations. We offer the only open-source, cross-border APIs so firms can elect to build and customize their payments experience and banks to manage their payments acceptance and disbursements.
Our global payments solution is based on an enterprise- hub model and delivers one of the most scalable, flexible and efficient payments solutions We help reduce transaction costs and deliver new, faster go-to-market payment solutions and services. This drives both efficiencies and business growth.
Tell us about cross border disbursements?
We have a global reach and hence work with many businesses that have a global financial supply chain that requires payments to be made in foreign countries. The cost, lack of transparency, and effort required under existing models make this challenging but we have the ability for both financial institutions and businesses to pay counter parties in foreign locations in a more timely and cost effective manner. Businesses with high volumes of low-value payments will see significant cost savings using our cross-border payment solution.
Any take home messages?
This is the year of instant payments and we will pioneer that model worldwide as a technology innovator and thought leader in the payments industry. And domestic and cross border payments is the future. We are consistently developing the next generation of payment solutions and tools to give our customers the edge they need to stay one step ahead in a competitive, highly regulated, and changing market. Our robust, secure platform delivers significant advantages: from open API access and predictive analytics to federated ledgers which enable real-time payments, clearing, settlement and beyond. We take a consultative and holistic approach with our members in order to understand their current and future needs—all of which drive our global technology innovation.