How Airwallex is building a trusted global financial cloud with banking partners

6 minutes

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The confluence of technology, cultural shifts, alongside regulatory changes has resulted in a rapid period of growth and innovation for the global banking ecosystem. Transactions are no longer managed by incumbent banks and organisations alone, but a complex network of ADIs (authorised deposit-taking institution), neobanks and fintechs all working together to create a better payments experience for businesses large and small. 

For far too long, the business world has lagged behind consumers in their adoption of technology. At Airwallex, we are building a new, global infrastructure layer - combining the best products in the market with our own proprietary technology - that connects with domestic payment, clearing and settlement networks across the world, enabling businesses of all sizes to make and receive payments. To put it simply, we make cross-border transactions fast, easy and secure.  Welcome to the digital evolution!

Much of our products and services are made possible by our network of global, regional, and local banking partners, helping to power our local payout and settlement capabilities. With their deep local expertise and institutional knowledge, these banking partners have helped us identify new market opportunities, build an extensive geographical payments coverage, and reduce our cost through direct connectivity to local clearing networks.

With competition for customer transactions higher than ever, banks stand to unlock new high-growth opportunities by working with established fintechs, helping to accelerate business profitability and capitalise on new payments innovations (developed quickly by fintechs). At Airwallex, our extensive global financial network and large product suite allow us to best support the needs of banks who are looking to grow their digital ecosystem.

Why should banks work with Airwallex?

1. We constantly innovate, bringing new alternatives to financial products

We regularly launch new products and features in response to growing customer demand. To help businesses manage cash flow and expenses within a remote workforce for example, we introduced multi-currency virtual Visa cards (launched in a matter of months) last year. This solution allows businesses to create dedicated virtual cards with secure logins for different teams, functions and employees. 

Access to innovative payment products has seen consumer confidence in fintechs continue to grow. In the personal finance space alone, there has been a huge uptake with mobile banking becoming the norm. A recent report from McKinsey found that 73% of consumers are using digital banking services. This awareness has flowed into business banking, with customers now anticipating innovative financial solutions through partnerships. 

2. We have a deep understanding of market needs

We take a collaborative approach to our banking relationships based on trust, market knowledge and mutual benefit. This means staying on top of both existing and upcoming regulations in all the markets our partners operate in. 

Our roots in Asia-Pacific and some of the most dynamic, growth markets of the world mean we recognise the complexities that are specific to individual markets, as well as navigating across multiple jurisdictions. Before entering any new market, we conduct intensive due diligence on the local regulatory environment, including market specifics like foreign currency controls, tax implications and restrictions around specific industries. These requirements are then integrated into our broader network. 

A practical example is the difference in domestic payment message formats. In countries like Japan and China, the use of local language characters is required. In other jurisdictions, the length of the reference fields can vary depending on the payment and underlying documentation needed for compliance. We work closely with our banking partners to create workflows for seamless integration and implementation, while always meeting local requirements and regulations. This takes the stress of navigating complex payment systems from our clients, so they can focus on growing their business.

3. We maintain the highest degree of compliance to keep banking relationships secure

The secret to any successful long-term partnership is trust. In the case of financial partnerships, we build trust through our robust compliance framework that not only meets regulatory requirements, but also meets any specific obligations of our banking partners, regardless of where they operate. 

We promote open and transparent conversations with banking partners on a regular basis, to discuss the existing compliance program and make changes where necessary. This runs alongside our efforts to continuously improve processes and controls through training, automated transaction monitoring and a robust KYC program. 

As fintechs innovate to make financial services more accessible and convenient, financial crimes have also become more sophisticated and harder to detect. The challenge usually lies in ensuring a robust framework that meets or exceeds regulatory requirements, without compromising user experience and scalability. To this end, Airwallex has developed an automated, data-driven transaction monitoring system based on customer behaviour and account activity. The system uses machine learning technology, while also allowing for manual intervention where necessary. This has significantly improved our efficiency, security, and helped to minimise human intervention in the process.

Get in touch today

Whether it's enhancing global connectivity or adding local payment support, we are fortunate to work alongside banking partners which enable us to empower businesses to operate anywhere, anytime. 

Our global Financial Partnerships team at Airwallex - based in three continents - is dedicated to continuously growing and strengthening our global financial network. Whether you are a bank, a payment method, or a payment aggregator, do get in touch. And join the digital evolution!

We welcome all partners who share our vision in breaking down the barriers of global banking. Contact our Financial Partnerships team at [email protected] for more details.

By Elodie Trichet , Head of Financial Partnerships at Airwallex

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