How Airwallex is enabling Sona to scale their business internationally

Tilly Michell
5 minutes
Customer stories
How Airwallex is enabling Sona to scale their business internationally
In this article

Sona’s aim is to be the employee app for tomorrow's workforce, and empower frontline workers with tools that make their day-to-day lives easier.

As a company with a big goal, and even bigger dreams, international expansion was always on the cards. The key challenge they faced was how to make this financially viable, and as streamlined as possible.

A borderless business like Sona needs borderless tools

Sona started their journey in the UK, and have since expanded to an international team with staff now based in Europe, Asia, and Brazil. And with eyes set firmly on the horizon, they’re looking to build an international customer base too.

Oli Johnson, one of Sona’s three co-founders, tells us that while being big believers in the power of a distributed workforce, the Sona team realised early on that this doesn’t come without its challenges. 

When it came to paying distributed staff, they learned this the hard way. They began their journey with one bank account to receive all their funds, with a separate service to transfer money. And as bank fees started to mount, it quickly became apparent they needed a smarter way to do things. They needed a way to pay staff in different countries quickly, without being stung by exorbitant transfer and FX fees.

Airwallex allowed them to consolidate their different bank accounts and payment platforms into one central account. They were able to gain transparency over their FX fees and transfer times—while seeing definite savings.

“It’s nice to know that with Airwallex, you don’t have to plan and make this payment weeks in advance, you can just hit a button and know exactly when it will arrive.” Oli Johnson, Founder at Sona

Leveraging the power of Virtual Cards

As the company continues to scale, Sona has begun looking for a way to quickly and easily send and receive funds.

So, in the near future, they’ll be adding Airwallex Virtual Cards to their account. 

Oli says that the capability of Virtual Cards will be invaluable to his teams. They’ll be able to generate their own payment cards quickly, set clear payment limits, and delineate them by expense type. His staff will feel empowered to become more independent and gain the confidence to make important decisions for their vendors.

How Sona took control of their finances

Sona’s vision is to be the tech enabler of tomorrow’s workforce and solve problems for workers all over the world. So they’ve got steady momentum to branch out into nearby countries, and have their sights set on planting a flag in the US market.

They’ve got big ambitions—but they’re still a small team. So they recognise they need a strong support network to achieve this.

Oli is effusive in Airwallex’s role in helping them expand. By partnering with us, they were able to take all the accumulating costs and increasing administrative burdens and completely remove them from the equation. By automating their day-to-day financial processes, they’re able to manage multiple payments and tasks at the click of a button.

He says they feel supported, and backed by an engaged team that is available whenever they need it.

Open an Airwallex business account for free and see the difference it makes to streamlining your growth.

“Working with Airwallex has basically taken a bunch of processes and made them cheaper, and less in-your-face, on a day-to-day basis… It has certainly made our lives easier.” Oli Johnson, Founder at Sona

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Tilly Michell
Content Marketing Manager

Tilly manages the content strategy for Airwallex. She specialises in content that supports businesses in their growth trajectory.

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