Making cross-border payments for businesses within Africa has remained difficult over the years, and while mobile payment adoption is increasing across the continent, there are still roadblocks. Fragmented banking systems that frequently differ from country to country, country-specific regulations, time constraints, and expensive transaction fees are all factors that make it difficult for business owners in Africa to envision a process where payments can be made seamlessly across borders, thereby impeding business expansion.
In the past few years, the increased international mobility of goods and services, capital and people (especially within Africa, and between Africa and the rest of the world) has allowed for a growing economic importance of cross-border payments. Factors that have led to this increased necessity for cross-border payments include manufacturers expanding their supply chains across borders; cross-border asset management and global investment flows; international trade and e-commerce; and migrants sending money via international remittances. According to World Bank estimates for 2019, total remittance flows totalled $714 billion, with low and middle-income countries accounting for $554 billion. African countries account for half of this figure.
We are able to highlight two key factors that hinder cross-border payments:
Time: Making cross-border payments is time-consuming especially when it involves two or more African currencies. It may take 3 to 5 business days.
Cost: The complexities of the African banking system, settling cross border payments are expensive, sometimes costing up to 10% of the transaction volume.
One solution to these challenges is a multi-currency wallet. A multi-currency wallet or account is a type of account, which allows you to receive, pay, and hold multiple currencies. With a multi-currency account, you can deposit and withdraw cash in different currencies. This means that businesses can make and receive payments in a variety of currencies if they can hold and manage multiple currencies through a single wallet. Rather than having bank accounts in each country in which they operate.
Traditional banking systems have limitations on cross-border transactions that a multi-currency wallet eliminates. With a multi-currency wallet, businesses in African countries can:
- Exchange money from one currency to another seamlessly.
- Trade internationally without hassle.
- Employ staff abroad and/or work with freelancers overseas.
- Have manufacturers and suppliers who reside abroad and pay them easily.
- Conveniently run an e-commerce store and sell goods and services and receive payments in multiple currencies.
Having a multi-currency wallet also eliminates the need for African businesses to maintain a foreign currency account in order to gain instant access to multiple currencies or make transactions. For example, an importer who imports clothing materials to Nigeria and needs to make payments to suppliers in the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Germany, and other countries can do so easily with a multi-currency wallet and eliminate high FX fees. Alternatively, an online retail store with major operations in Ghana that wants to expand into other West African countries can use a multi-currency wallet to trade in the currencies that are commonly accepted in those countries at lower costs and at a faster pace than it would normally take using traditional payment methods.
Key Benefits of Multi-Currency wallets
Reduced Transaction Costs: Holding separate bank accounts in different countries may cost a whole lot, because each bank may charge a certain fee for transacting with that account, there may also be hidden charges that may be incurred as payments are being processed. A multi-currency wallet that enables you to trade with currencies that are generally accepted by suppliers and customers and is cheaper to manage.
Speed and Efficiency: Cross-border payments via traditional methods usually take about 3 to 5 days, sometimes longer. But with a multi-currency wallet that operates in locally accepted currencies, transactions become quicker and more efficient, because they go through local payment gateways. Additionally, with a multi-currency wallet, tracking the movement of funds becomes easier.
Management of FX Volatility: Forex, also known as foreign exchange, fluctuates frequently, but this can be managed using a multi-currency wallet. As a business owner with a multi-currency wallet from a dependable payment solution provider, you can have real-time access to FX rates and wait until the exchange rate is favourable before converting to the other.
Fliqpay offers businesses an efficient and secure way to make cross-border payments seamlessly and at the best FX rates. With a reliable payment infrastructure, Fliqpay is able to provide businesses operating in Africa with a multi-currency wallet with access to transact in multiple currencies.
As a business that intends to expand and make international payments in huge volumes, you don’t have to worry about how secure your funds are. Fliqpay is safe and licensed by the Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada. Fliqpay is aiming towards offering its API products to a wide range of customers, which would include other fintechs, traditional banks, payment platforms, MTOs, MSBs etc.
The importance of a multi-currency wallet in business growth and expansion cannot be overstated, particularly for African businesses. A multi-currency wallet simplifies, reduces the cost, and improves the efficiency of your cross-border transactions.
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