Anyone can find your website, but can they actually do business with you?
If your company does not support international payments, your website is less of a “window on the world” and more of a glass ceiling. Potential customers can see all your products and services laid out online, but they can’t actually buy from or trade with you.
It’s like hanging a sign in the shop window saying “Look, but don’t touch - and certainly don’t buy.”
This isn’t how the web was supposed to be. The arrival of the Internet promised to create a level playing field, enabling SMEs to trade on equal terms with multinational corporations, and to make the whole world a potential customer. But the cost and complexity of supporting international payments makes this practically impossible.
Transferring money across borders is an expensive business, especially when it involves multiple, small, and frequent payments. In the UK alone, SMEs lose £4 billion a year that’s “hidden” in their banks’ international exchange rates. Research from Oxford Economics found that small and medium-sized businesses pay between 1.12 percent and 3.68 percent extra for the ‘privilege’ of doing business abroad, making international trade more trouble - and more expense - than it’s worth.
But a long overdue revolution in payments is finally upon us: one that promises easy and affordable international trade to every business on the planet, and finally delivering all the benefits the Internet promised but, until now, has failed to deliver.
Time to tap into the world economy
The Covid crisis has been especially tough on small businesses. With footfall and revenues plummeting during lockdown, SMEs are desperate to find new markets and new customers.
While small businesses struggled even to survive in 2020, the big corporations enjoyed one of their best years ever. Amazon, for example, posted record profits last year, with revenues up by over a third to almost $100 billion as homebound consumers treated themselves to a lockdown shopping spree.
But this isn’t all bad news for smaller businesses: it shows that there is still a huge potential market, if only they can find a way to tap into the world economy by supporting international payments. And what for so long was just a pipedream, a tantalising yet unreachable prospect, is now possible thanks to a payments revolution which promises to make 2021 (and the years beyond) ripe with opportunity for businesses of every size.
Relationships that open up the world
In this era of online banking, payment apps and even digital currencies, the biggest myth about money is that technology is the single most crucial consideration of international payments. In reality, the most important factor is what it always has been: relationships.
The smartest, slickest payments service is little use to a small business if it does not connect to banks and other financial services providers, or if it doesn’t comply with national regulators in the markets where you need to do business. That’s where the real payments revolution is happening: through payments providers that are creating the complex network of relationships necessary to facilitate fast, simple and affordable international transfers.
Obviously, not all payments providers are equal. But recently, we have seen a new breed of platform begin to emerge. What makes these providers special is the time they spend forging relationships with banks, regulators and other financial stakeholders so that they can smooth the path of payments, and make it as easy to transfer money internationally as it is in your home country.
Just as mobile apps transformed the consumer banking experience, small businesses can now take advantage of easy-to-use e-wallets which enable them to hold money in any local currency, and transact with banks and payment institutions anywhere in the world.
We founded MoneyNetint with a very simple yet specific goal in mind: to make international payments as easy as doing business in your own country. Since our foundation we’ve worked tirelessly to establish relationships and create payment channels across the world. As a result, we are enabling businesses of all sizes to smash the glass ceiling of payments and enable them to sell to customers anywhere in the world.
The web promised SMEs a new relationship with the world. It’s time to make good on these promises. Together with our customers, we are pioneering a payments revolution that will smash the payments glass ceiling and, finally, give them the opportunity to make the world your customer.