What Airwallex heard at Stripe Sessions 2024 and our reflections

4 min
FinanceStart-upsTechnology
What Airwallex heard at Stripe Sessions 2024 and our reflections
In this article

What Airwallex heard at Stripe Sessions 2024 and our reflections

We’re just getting back from the global internet economy conference, Stripe Sessions, and are incredibly excited about the future of payments. Read on for three key takeaways from our team—along with reflections on today’s commerce trends, and how Airwallex is helping businesses keep pace.

Takeaway #1: GDP of the Internet continues to grow, and global payment infrastructure is its cornerstone

What we heard:

Among the most important economic trends: The GDP of the Internet is accelerating. Governments are investing in real-time payment rails with varying success (Pix in Brazil, UPI in India, FedNow). Local payment methods are proliferating. Businesses and entrepreneurs are navigating an exceedingly complex payment landscape to grow globally. For example, Stripe has added more local payment methods in the past 12 months than in the past 12 years combined.

How Airwallex helps:

Our mission from Day 1 has been to empower borderless growth for businesses of all sizes. We believe that your growth and vision should not be constrained by local banking complexity, compliance requirements, or confusing jargon (calling you out SWIFT). 

With that in mind, In October of last year, we acquired MexPago to extend our reach into Mexico. In March, we officially launched card issuing in Canada, adding to 35+ other countries. And last month alone, we added local payout rails to 26 new countries. We are proud to continue helping businesses grow internationally.

Takeaway #2: Flexible and adaptive financial infrastructure is critical for managing ongoing inflation of payment costs

What we heard:

Costs of payments as a percent of business revenue has steadily increased over the past two decades. Recent interchange fee settlements among card networks in the US have spotlighted the high cost of card transactions that small businesses and enterprises battle daily. When it comes to payment, one size cannot fit all. Large platforms such as Uber and Airbnb are proactively pushing the adoption of lower cost infra such as bank transfers to manage payment costs.

How Airwallex helps:

Different from many US Fintech players who specialize in a particular type of financial transaction (including Stripe), we have long been advocates for building a comprehensive and flexible infrastructure that meets your and your customers’ needs. 

With the launch of payment acceptance in the US this week, we now offer a unique combination of global banking, foreign exchange, payment acceptance, and card issuing services as a one-stop-shop for all your financial needs at a global scale. Our first principles approach to building this financial infrastructure from the ground up globally (vs. using intermediaries) enables us to provide our services cost-effectively.

Takeaway #3: Embedded Finance (EmFi) is the future, but not everyone knows how to do it (well)

What we heard:

Stripe is going broader and deeper with their EmFi solutions, bringing the total number of Connect Embedded Components to 17, allowing platforms to launch faster. It also allows, for the first time, customers who are not Stripe payment users to use its other embedded services. There is overwhelming optimism about EmFi being the “next big thing” for payments. However, customers who’ve been through the journey, such as Squarespace and Mindbody, shared their many challenges, from aligning the organization on the vision and whether payments are core to the product experience to finding the right partner with the expertise and know-how.

How Airwallex helps:

We are firm believers in EmFi – it is not a fad. We have helped various customers, including leading Fintechs, build their embedded offerings across critical and complex use cases. On the other hand, we’ve seen many SaaS companies looking for “easy and quick” solutions, forgetting that the quality of the infrastructure is vital when they sign up to deliver “mission critical” financial services for their customers. Whereas Stripe Treasury accounts are only available in the US today, Airwallex’s embedded finance platform can help you launch fully fledged treasury and wallet offerings to your customers in 50 countries today, backed by our 60+ licenses.

The financial technology payments platform for your global ambition

It’s going to be a breakthrough decade for payments and finance in general—and we’re proud to be a part of it. Today, over +100,000 companies around the world trust Airwallex’s software and APIs to simplify their global payments and financial operations, unlock new opportunities, and grow without limits. To get started, create a free borderless account today

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