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From Local To Cross-Border: A Financial Services Awakening

In A Decade of Digital Transformation in 12 Months, 46 C-suite executives spoke with PYMNTS for its Q2 eBook on what the world will look like as recovery rolls on and the next iteration of normal rolls out. In this excerpt, Ran Grushkowsky, COO/CTO of USEND, discusses how the pandemic has sparked an increased interest in global financial diversification. “Put simply: If local economies or government backstops cannot sufficiently be relied upon, how does one protect themselves?”

Read the entire eBook here.

As some of our pandemic pastimes and requirements fade away, we enter a new transitional period where our global economies react to shocks and impacts that were staved off until now due to government policy interventions. Along the way, the pandemic woke up many consumers and businesses to the mortal fragility of their local economies and finances. Hard truths were realized and difficult paths forward were embarked upon in the name of self-preservation.

Among those was an increased interest in cross-border global financial diversification. Put simply: If local economies or government backstops cannot sufficiently be relied upon, how does one protect themselves?

One emergent strategy is derisking from volatile currencies or banking systems by storing assets or transacting in more developed countries. This happened during the pandemic, but should continue to increase as consumers and businesses recognize future triggers locally and take action.

In the last five years, many FinTechs have launched cross-border digital accounts, leveraging the nimble nature of software and innovative product offerings with the licensing and traditional infrastructure of a bank. To date, many of these products were built to satisfy the use case of individuals living and working in a different country than their origin in Europe. The same core technology and functionality can be applied in other global regions, with different motivating factors and use cases.

Global asset holding and financial services need not strictly be for the Fortune 500 companies and high-net-worth individuals of the world. The pipes exist, but it requires innovative, technology-enabled compliance experts to build, install and expose the connection valves between legacy providers across borders.

Items such as multi-currency accounts, cross-border debit cards, securities trading, making/ accepting business payments, credit, lending and cryptocurrency finance are fairly commonplace on their own, but unavailable in crossborder structures. Bringing products like these to market can lift up individuals and businesses and give them the security they seek.

As companies continue to build this infrastructure, the cross-border financial services possibilities expand and the opportunity flywheel surges into motion. Innovators will pursue business models that add value for consumers and businesses at every level of the income pyramid. This is the democratization of cross-border financial services.

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