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Overview

If you conduct business across international borders, you don’t actually need bank accounts to send, receive, and manage global payments—and you definitely don’t need the fees, delays, and friction that come with them. Specialised global payments platforms are designed to make cross-border transactions quick and easy, and they can often be customized to meet your precise needs.

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Whether you’re a corporate service provider working with multinational customers or a global enterprise conducting business across international borders, you may feel like you’re always asking for favors from legacy banks.

The truth is, you probably are. Banks were designed to store and lend money, not to meet global payment needs—and they don’t necessarily want to. Most bank revenue (for the US, around 64% in Q4 2022, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data) still comes from loan-to-deposit (LDR) ratios. Operating current accounts is a cost they must recoup through value-added services and high pricing, including steep overdraft charges and transfer/foreign exchange (FX) fees. 

What’s more, most traditional banks don’t have access to the global payment rails they need to handle multiple types of payments in multiple currencies. If you want to manage your finances on a global level, you’re required to set up business accounts at overseas banks. That process can be slow, expensive, and complex, especially in regions with strict currency controls and regulations.

In other words, if you have an ample global cash flow, you’re not a good fit for a traditional bank.

The good news: You don’t need bank accounts to enable cross-border transactions. You just need accounts—preferably digital, multi-currency ones that can adapt to your evolving, multinational business.

Your best bet is to find a specialised, tech-forward payments provider that focuses on cross-border transactions as their core business.

Below, we share why working with a dedicated global payments platform can deliver more value than a traditional bank, the essential services and features it can unlock for your business, and how you can identify a best-in-class partner that meets your needs.

What can a global payments platform do?

Here are just some ways a global payments provider can offer tailored solutions that help you seamlessly manage your finances across several regions.

Create an ecosystem of connected global accounts

When your business entities, clients, contractors, or suppliers span several regions, it helps to have accounts that can manage funds and payments in every local currency. With a legacy bank, that typically means having to convert capital back and forth at inflated FX rates.

A capable global payments platform, on the other hand, will have three powerful forces working behind the scenes to eliminate heavy costs and friction:

  • Unique partnerships with trusted financial institutions around the world
  • API-led technology infrastructure that connects your business or your customers’ businesses into a seamless, high-speed network and makes transfers quick and easy
  • Robust regulatory infrastructure that handles all KYC and other compliance requirements
Together, these elements allow you to programmatically create local accounts and multi-currency digital wallets that can store, receive, and issue funds in any region you (or your clients) operate. 

Better still, the flexibility of API technology allows you to tailor these accounts to meet your (or your clients’) precise needs. An effective global payments platform will give you the tools you need to build bespoke roles and rules into your multi-currency accounts and transaction flows.

That could mean enabling one person to manage several accounts, giving different team members access to different client accounts, or setting up special permissions to route approval requests between different supervisors. It’s all possible with the right global payments solution.

Collect payments in local currencies

You want to make it as simple as possible for your overseas clients or customers to pay you, which means offering payment options in their local currency through local clearing options.

If you’re using a legacy system, that involves sending one or more team members abroad to open bank accounts on the ground. They can spend weeks or even months in each new region filling out paperwork, navigating unfamiliar customs and regulatory requirements, and waiting (and hoping) to be approved. Even if you’re successful, you’re then stuck holding funds in potentially unstable currencies—or regularly paying double-digit FX and cross-border fees to convert them.

With a digital global payments platform, you can open new local collection accounts in a matter of minutes and enable clients around the world to pay you in their currency of choice.

It’s not only a faster and more practical process, it boosts your bottom line. Thanks to local rail networks, instant transfers, and competitive FX rates, you won’t be made to squander your hard-earned margins on needless fees just to access your own revenue in your preferred currency.

Make efficient payments in any currency 

Just as you expect convenient, cost-effective payments, your overseas suppliers, employees, service providers, and contractors expect to be paid accurately, on time, and with minimal hassle. 

With traditional bank accounts, you’re forced to rely on slow, pricey, and hard-to-track international wire transfers. This can leave recipients wondering about the status of a delayed payment—potentially damaging important business relationships—or paying a premium to access the money they’ve earned. Tacked-on charges can be particularly frustrating when it comes to small, frequent payouts, as no one wants to shell out $50 in wire transfer fees on a $75 payment.

A specialised global payments solution allows you to issue global payouts in multiple currencies using a high-speed, low-cost network of local payment rails.

A tech-forward platform will also offer additional features and customizations to streamline your payment processes, lower costs, and improve communications. With the right partner, this could include options to:

  • Batch transactions into mass payouts, allowing you to reduce administrative time and overhead, settle invoices faster, and avoid high fees on individual payments
  • Track payments in real time, giving you ongoing visibility into the status of each transaction and the opportunity to address any issues upfront
  • Schedule and automate transactions in advance, which could help you take advantage of any early-payment discounts offered by your vendors

Split incoming payments

If you’re providing corporate services or handling business processes on your clients’ behalf, you may want to split incoming funds, so you can extract your own fees before channeling the remaining revenue into your clients’ digital wallets. This can help you avoid reconciliation nightmares down the line—especially if you’re dealing with large payment volumes.

Unfortunately, this sort of arrangement isn’t available with most legacy banks, as they don’t have the underlying technical infrastructure and agility to modify how funds are received and handled.

With a specialised global payments platform, you can build custom rules and routes into your invoice factoring flows, so funds are automatically split along specified branches, withheld according to pre-set amounts or percentages, and only then pushed to a recipient’s account.


Launch new features, your way

With an API-powered global payments solution, you can embed the above functions and capabilities directly into your back end. That means you can set and forget them for maximum efficiency or jump in and customize components at any time to meet your evolving needs.

If you serve overseas clients, it also means they can benefit from innovative global payments features without ever leaving your platform.

Using a global payments solution ensures you’re not restricting your services and growth opportunities by having to work around a traditional bank’s limitations.

Keep in mind, many specialised global payments providers also offer web-based portals that are just as powerful as their APIs—so you can get started on common use cases right away, with no development work or resources required.

How to pick a global payments partner

The right global payments partner will listen to your specific business needs and work with you to build a bespoke, best-in-class solution that makes sense for your current and future use cases. That means going beyond the basics of cross-border transactions and offering forward-looking tools that will grow along with you.

PingPong offers everything modern enterprises and corporate service providers need to implement a successful global payments strategy at scale, all in a single platform. 

When weighing your options, be sure to compare any traditional bank or specialised cross-border payments solution against our industry-leading offerings:

Frictionless local accounts and connected, multi-currency digital wallets that allow you to send, receive, and manage cross-border payments with just a few clicks.

The PingPong onboarding process is streamlined and efficient. There is no need for physical documents or to visit a bank branch in multiple countries. We process all our KYC online and can manage the onboarding of your clients programmatically through our API.

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Once you're onboarded, we can provide local accounts in multiple currencies (in most cases, instantly) to you or your customers whenever they are required. No need to re-do KYC.

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A proprietary network of high-speed local payment rails spanning 40+ global markets, plus international SWIFT transfers in 200+ countries.

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Value-added services like programmatic, multi-currency virtual cards.

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Coverage in high-growth markets like China, India, Singapore, and Vietnam with particularly tight currency controls and high barriers to entry.

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A fully regulated reliance model with licences in all regions of operation and the capacity to handle KYC, due diligence, and other compliance obligations on your behalf.

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Competitive FX rates that decrease at scale. That means, the greater your transaction volume, the less you pay.

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Ongoing transparency into transaction flows to reduce AML risk and follow each payment from invoice to account posting.

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Integration support for our flexible API, plus simple, web-based portals that can get you up and running right away.

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30+ worldwide offices for service in your preferred language and time zone.

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In-house FX and on-the-ground expertise in every available market.

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A nimble, attentive team that helps you tailor solutions to your needs and build quickly, with code snippets and other helpful tools and resources to accelerate your roadmap.

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