With individuals residing in multiple nations as expats and easing border control restrictions that allowed people to travel across the globe on a frequent basis, the need for borderless banking alternatives has grown significantly.

Cross-border banking and associated transactions are becoming increasingly important for economies, particularly those supporting trade, tourism, e-commerce, and remittances. However, such transactions are frequently sluggish, opaque, and costly.

Financial firms have been penalized a total of $342 billion over the past decade, a sum that is anticipated to quickly increase to above $400 billion and penalizations have put a pressure on financial institutions to effectively manage cross-border compliance and increased stringent risk management and needlessly high operational expenses, but also the loss of important commercial possibilities.

An insight into a recent report from Mastercard highlights significant conclusions on a worldwide scale. It shows that

  • Customers are making or receiving more cross-border payments than they were a year ago,
  • 62% are increasingly reliant on internet transfers through multiple online channels
  • 73% have transferred money to friends and relatives in other countries.

In the case of small businesses,

  • Cross-border payments have aided the survival of 74% of businesses.
  • According to 81% of respondents, adopting online cross-border payments has aided business growth.

Also, the report says, more than three-quarters (76%) of small business respondents agreed that the pandemic had driven them to look at new worldwide prospects for the company, with 68 percent planning to do more foreign business than they had previously.

It is undeniable that customers and companies all around the world want frictionless and efficient financial services, and this trend is expected to continue. It is critical that financial institutions continue to develop and invest in digital technology to make seamless services and improve customer experience.

Frictions in cross-border banking

For far too long, following key issues have hampered cross-border banking. They are:

  • Fluctuating exchange rates
  • Delayed processing time
  • Difficult to Collaborate with ecosystem
  • Lack of transparency
  • Ease in Customer onboarding
  • Simplified Loan origination
  • Complexity of centralized Virtual account

With respect to remittances, cross-border transfers in many currencies are more complicated than domestic payments. Settlement in several currencies raises both the risks and the expenses.

Most cross-border transactions are now resolved through correspondent banking relationships. Currency conversion often involves numerous parties in these cases, i.e., smaller payments will be netted and hedged in wholesale markets by banks.

Emerging FinTechs are also competing to provide the best-in-class exchange rates, zero to near zero processing fees, blazing fast remittances in less than a minute makes the market a challenging ever ground to play.

Ironing out the cross-border banking friction:

Interoperability and Phygital presence across several banking systems can decrease frictions to multifold. It is a wide phrase that might include any system characteristic that could aid in information transmission.

Today, global banks can achieve cross-border and cross-currency interoperability by three methods:

  • Standards that are compatible (similar regulatory frameworks, market practices, messaging formats and data requirements)
  • System interconnection by technological interfaces, common clearing procedures, or analogous methods
  • By putting in place a single multi-currency payment mechanism

How Digital Innovation Is Changing the Cross-Border Banking Landscape:

  • APIs (Application Programming Interface) Make Real-Time Foreign Exchange (FX) Rates Possible – APIs are simple, plug-and-play solutions that readily integrate into current banking infrastructure and interfaces. An API enables many platforms and technologies to connect with one another and share critical information. As a result of knowing FX rates early in the process, treasurers may gain real-time visibility into FX rates directly from current systems, allowing them to manage currency exposure, minimize risk across their worldwide accounts, and accelerate reconciliation more efficiently. For example, using the Wise Platform APIs, Google Pay customers in the United States may now send money to friends and family throughout the world using Wise – all from within the easy Google Pay app. In the beginning, Google Pay users in the United States were able to send money to Google Pay users in India and Singapore.
  • Digital Client Onboarding – A superb customer onboarding process is the first step in making a memorable first impression in banking. Onboarding provides banks with a wonderful chance to give an exceptional experience to their clients, solidifying their loyalty. According to McKinsey, banks may raise their profitability by 40% if they implement digitalization in their onboarding operations. Traditional banks, on the other hand, have failed to catch up with this trend, resulting in laborious, time-consuming, and costly onboarding processes.
  • Digital Loan Origination – The digitization of the loan process provides banks with several major benefits, including better choices, greater client experience, and considerable cost savings. Potential consumers are drawn to the simplicity of being able to apply with few human inputs, present and sign papers electronically, at any time, from any device. To achieve this level of efficiency, the back-office operation must be completely digitized, not only paper documents.
  • Technology Improves Visibility and Transparency – Businesses now have wider access to diverse settlement methods with global reach, and payment providers may offer payment choices without the cost of complicated, technological overhead. For example, instead of using wire transfers, providers can collaborate with banks to use local clearing rails to complete cross-border payments. As the sector progresses, it is going beyond typical clearing rail developments and embracing technology such as SWIFT GPI, virtual account management, and API connection to improve the beneficiary and sender experience.
  • Virtual accounts broaden your Global reach – Through a centralized account structure, virtual accounts enable clients to monitor cash flow between currencies. As a result, companies are no longer required to maintain numerous local accounts in the same areas. In fact, by using centralized account structures, organizations may improve payment sequencing and manage precise reporting all under one roof. Furthermore, firms may simply transfer and/or concentrate their funds stored in one account in one currency to another account in another currency, or finance local payments using a centralized account, utilizing this arrangement. This allows firms to optimize liquidity, limit risk exposure, and operate in the currencies that make the most sense for their operations.
  • Partnerships and Blockchain technology enable instant payments – Providers can offer new options for senders to make FX payments in real time through worldwide partnerships. Rather than a lengthy settlement time, clients may pay their out-of-country consumers and vendors instantaneously, with little to no friction. Furthermore, owing to distributed ledger technology, cross-border payments will be handled faster, cheaper, and more securely soon. This shared, digital, immutable ledger technology, known as blockchain, will help make cross-border wire transfers or sanction screenings more efficient by reducing the number of days it takes for them to clear. It will also facilitate information exchange for international trade and transactions.

Going Digital gets a lot more Simple and Quicker

Bank in a Digital Box, is a digital banking concept that blends transactional, customized, and rich financial well-being experiences. The solution assists banks in creating value by providing their consumers with banking solutions that are customized to their specific needs, habits, and patterns.

To increase business efficiency, satisfy regulatory requirements, and recruit new clients, BiDB employs a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and add-on methodology. It provides rapidly customizable, ready-to-deploy solutions at lower entry/operational costs while increasing operational speed, scalability, and robustness.

The Bank in a Digital Box solution comes in a variety of avatars (Neo/Challenger Bank Avatar, Credit Union Avatar, Microlending Avatar, Building Societies Avatar) to fulfil a variety of banking needs. Each has its own set of capabilities in terms of architecture, integration, client segment, and product offering. Region, culture, and regulatory compliance can all be used to create avatars.

Cross-Border Banking’s Future Prospects

The banking industry is always striving to enhance the user experience to make end-to-end money transfer quicker, safe, and transparent across borders.

One example is incorporating digital innovation into traditional clearing rails to improve current technology; another is developing innovative solutions like as real-time payments and wallets. This is driving current digital trends and will continue to set the agenda in the future, resulting in modern technology and payment methods, as well as the rise of a diverse range of non-bank payment providers.

Financial institutions do not have to innovate alone in this sea of upheaval and navigating among different solutions and connections may appear difficult. Collaboration with a reliable partner that can provide a suite of connections, will be critical to integrating cross-currency solutions into current workflows and ensuring businesses can keep up with fast global development and rising customer needs.