How does the wholesale industry use Airwallex?

Isabelle Comber5 mins
How does the wholesale industry use Airwallex?
In this article

As the essential bridge in the supply chain, wholesale distribution businesses face distinct challenges in handling their finances and daily operations.

Learn more about how Airwallex can support the wholesale industry by streamlining and automating their financial processes, and making domestic and international operations simpler and more cost-effective.

A hyper-competitive market challenges wholesalers and distributors

In the decade to December 2023, the gross value added to the Australian economy by the wholesale trade industry in Australia grew to over $85 billion

Despite these numbers, it’s a rocky road ahead for wholesale and distribution businesses as heavyweights like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay cement their foothold in the market and continue to disrupt the status quo. 

A recent McKinsey survey of more than 1,000 senior original equipment manufacturers (OEM) leaders found that almost 50% would collaborate with Amazon if it became the largest distributor, saying that it would allow them to benefit from faster shipping and more seamless capital flow and payments.

Wholesalers are also under threat from manufacturers themselves, as the latter find ways to sell directly to other businesses (B2B) or consumers (B2C), using platforms that completely cut out traditional intermediaries.

To meet these challenges, distribution businesses are turning to a range of new technologies and tools that directly tackle wholesaler hurdles, especially when dealing with customers and suppliers all over the globe.

Growth pain points for wholesalers

Here are some of the most common problems wholesalers and distributors face as they attempt to establish and grow their businesses:

#1: Complex international money transfers

To pay their network of international suppliers, wholesalers usually deal with a mix of banking partners across different locations, each with its own set of rules and regulations. This leaves finance teams navigating through a variety of (often manual) systems, and struggling with diverse procedures and protocols to successfully set up and manage accounts.

As the business scales up and enters new markets, managing international banking and cross-border transactions gets even trickier, and can lead to delays in crucial payments. This can disrupt critical supply chains and throw a wrench in ongoing business operations. At worst, it can put relationships with key suppliers at risk of strain or even breakdown.

#2: Unfavourable foreign exchange rates

Currency markets are highly volatile by nature, which is a source of constant frustration for international businesses. For wholesale and distribution businesses, the resulting exchange rate fluctuations can significantly impact profitability, especially as the number of currencies in play increases. 

Depending on the method you use to make and take payments, FX fees can be surprisingly high and can erode your bottom line when they accumulate over time. Investing endless amounts of effort in finding and securing the best rates isn’t always easy or viable.

#3: Poor management of international payments

For businesses in the wholesale sector that operate on an international scale, managing bill payments across various countries can quickly become a logistical nightmare. Accounts payable admin becomes a mammoth task requiring a significant investment of time and resources, and difficulties are compounded by the need to navigate diverse banking platforms, each with its unique processes and fees. 

How to optimise wholesale operations with Airwallex

Move money beyond borders with ease

Wholesale and distribution businesses need an alternative solution that can match the security and trustworthiness of traditional banks, but with the means to make payments quickly and easily to multiple destinations around the world – all in the relevant local currency.

Airwallex simplifies this process by enabling easier global transfers without the need for local banking in each country. 

With a Global Account, wholesalers and distributors can send and receive payments in multiple currencies using a centralised account with a simple, one-time setup. Because your finance and account teams no longer have to grapple with the banking bureaucracy, they can be freed up to do more meaningful work.

Benefit from market-leading FX rates 

By centralising all currency transactions in an Airwallex Global Account, businesses can easily monitor exchange rates and manage transactions as needed, while making informed decisions with real-time data. Airwallex’s payout network continues to grow, catering to businesses across all major and minor markets.

Not only does an Airwallex account streamline FX, but it also can offer cheaper rates than traditional banks. This way, businesses can protect their margins when paying suppliers or receiving payments in foreign currencies, making them more immune to adverse currency movements, and providing a more stable financial environment over time.

Settle supplier invoices with seamless bill-pay processes

Airwallex streamlines AP by offering an automated Bill Pay platform that lets businesses pay vendors in multiple currencies at competitive FX rates without having to manually enter payment details. 

By managing international payments more efficiently, wholesalers can not only get better exchange rates but also support their suppliers with more consistent cash flow, leading to stronger business relationships.

Users can manage their international expenses from a single account, reducing administrative overhead and making it easier to track expenses and approve and reconcile invoices with much greater levels of transparency.

Join other businesses simplifying and reducing the cost of global transactions

If your current banking, transfers and payment systems are creating bottlenecks, slowing down fulfilment, or compromising the strength of your supplier relationships, it may be time to make a change.

Don’t just take our word for it – here’s what existing customers have to say about how Airwallex is boosting their international operations:

  • Hai Trang, Virtual CFO of high-growth business Orbitkey says that dealing with multiple currency payments in one platform has made global business banking so much easier.

  • Andy Worley, Co-owner and Director of Sheet Society explains how percentage savings on FX transactions add up over time and have had a real bottom-line impact. 

  • Jack Grace Founder of Lux Skin appreciates Airwallex’s significantly lower fees across many of its financial products, and the fact that “everything is done with super-fast speed.” 

Qwilr’s Finance Director Adam Ingles sums it up when he says, you’ve got very little to lose by giving Airwallex a go: “You’re crazy not to try Airwallex, especially if you’re dealing with foreign currencies. It’s easy to sign up, get verified and test it with little risk.”

Learn more about how Airwallex can help you manage your wholesale or distribution business, by signing up for a free global account or getting in touch with our specialist team.

Disclaimer: This information doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. If you are a customer of Airwallex Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 487221) it is important for you to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the Direct Services, which is available here.

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Isabelle Comber
Business Finance Writer

Izzy is a business finance writer for Airwallex. She specialises in thought leadership that empowers businesses to grow without boundaries.

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