In global B-to-B payments, speed matters even after the money moves

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With over five years of experience in handling real-time business-to-business payments, Transpay has learned that there's more to faster payments than just moving funds. The system has to accommodate a cleaner, rapid process for resolving any issues that arise along the way.

Unlike a traditional wire transfer process in which banks use corresponding banks to move money along internationally through Swift, the amount of money sent through Transpay is the amount that shows up on the receiving end. This eliminates confusion that can come from the involvement of intermediaries, the company says.

"In other systems, you sometimes don't know what amount you will end up with because of the various fees and the long delays in going through the various steps," said Joe Tumbarello, chief financial officer and chief operations officer at Transpay.

Also, if something goes wrong with a traditional money transfer, the business sending funds has to check with various banks to determine where the hangup occurred, he added. For Transpay clients, trouble-shooting amounts to one call, Tumbarello said.

New York-based Transpay is working to expand its global network of banks and cash pickup stations and this week added more settlement currencies for its clients — all designed to continue to deliver what it considers its main assets of speed and cost transparencies.

Businesses using Transpay to make massive global payments now can fund their Transpay accounts in 11 settlement currencies, with Singapore, Hong Kong and Australian currencies this week added to the customary origination currencies of the euro and U.S. dollar. The company has more than 60 payout currencies it can use to settle with the end recipient.

"Instead of having to fund into one of our customary currencies, if a business in Singapore does all of its banking in Singapore dollars, they can now use their local currency," Tumbarello said. "Usually there would be a cost in converting to U.S. dollars, or pounds or euros."

As with any changes or advancements at Transpay, the additional currencies point to more speed and less cost, Tumbarello said. It's been a goal of Transpay since 2012, when it became a business unit of global payments company Transfast, which has been in operation for 25 years.

Speed is also a factor overall in how the Transpay network operates. Larger businesses making massive payments through Transpay can integrate Transpay's payment system application interface into its own network. Smaller businesses likely would opt for a web-based Transpay payment portal.

This strategy is in line with the broader U.S. push for faster payments. The Automated Clearing House has advanced to same-day settlements, and The Clearing House is launching its Real-Time Payments service later this year, all part of global advancements in payments technology designed to get money from one place to another as fast and as secure as possible.

In the B-to-B space, companies like PayCommerce, Ripple Labs and CGI also continue to work for faster payments, mostly using blockchain distributed ledger technology to do so.

All of these companies have a goal to facilitate faster cross-border payments with less cost and greater transparency, said Linda Coven, senior analyst with Aite Group.

"Swift is also looking to improve their current model, which is highly dependent on correspondent banks, which add cost, time and lack of transparency to the international wires," Coven added.

Rather than introducing a major technology change, Swift's Global Payments Innovation Initiative is an attempt to streamline processes and get banks all on the same page in terms of network operations and fund transfers communications. The international financial messaging organization essentially views common practices and policies as key elements for moving transactions along the network faster and the foundation on which any technology advancements can be built.

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