The market for international B2B money transfer is worth an estimated $150 trillion, and is set to grow to $218 trillion by 2022, fuelled by disruptive money transfer services, a new report says.
Juniper Research has predicted that the proportion of cross border B2B money transfer volumes controlled by fintech startups and disruptive new service providers will grow from 7.5% in 2017; about $10.4 trillion in value terms; to 13.3%, or $29 trillion’s worth of transactions, by 2022.
This does not necessarily mean, however, that current market leading money transfer firms, will lose market share. What it does seem to indicate is that older firms with more established names are increasingly looking to acquire their technology from disruptive tech firms who are reinventing how the process of sending money internationally works.
In fact, Juniper expects banks to partner more and more with fintech disruptors, in order to deal with new regulations relating to the international money transfer industry, such as PSD2, or SEPA – the Single European Payments Area.
The Author of the research, Lauren Foye, commented that: ‘While traditional banks still facilitate the vast bulk of B2B cross-border transactions, new technologies, such as virtual accounts, eInvoicing, and blockchain technology will aid in driving businesses to solutions which provide savings in time, efficiencies, and transparency’.
There is no doubt that the international payments industry is opening up to new ideas, with digital payments; be they digital currencies such as bitcoin or electronic transfer services like SWIFT payments, or somewhere in between, like Ripple; likely to be the biggest step change of all.
Increased transparency is another factor that will create significant change within the international money transfer industry. International movement of capital has historically been extremely hard to track, leading to confusion about how much is sent overseas, by whom, and to whom.
Besides the World Bank, very few institutions keep track of international money transfer, making it hard to calculate volumes between any two destinations with accuracy, which has knock on effects on the costs of money transfer.
Increased transparency; made possible variously by blockchain style solutions, where every transaction is timestamped, recorded, and irreversible; faster data processors, and more data and cloud storage; around money transfer should enable costs to be driven down.
Customers armed with better knowledge will be able to actively seek better deals, and a more informed industry leaves less room for exploitative or unfair business practices such as charging unjustifiably high fees or quoting large spreads on exchange rates to increase profit margins.
Going forward, businesses may continue to use brand names that are familiar to them to conduct their B2B cross border business transactions, but the underlying technology will be very different, and it is unlikely that it will have been developed in-house.
With the industry size so large, and growing larger, fintech firms will have options too. Partner with perceived rivals higher up the food chain, but lacking the latest tech, or go it alone, in the hope of overtaking them?
In the end, the biggest winner from all this new technology ought to be the switched-on customer.
This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.