As a remote worker who is based in New Zealand but does most of his work in the U.S., I'm all too aware of the cost, complexity, and stress of international payments. I generally receive payments in one of two ways: either via PayPal or via direct bank transfer. The odd client still pays with physical checks, but luckily that seems to be decreasing. There are pros and cons to the two systems that make up the majority of my inbound payments - PayPal is fast and easy, but expensive. Bank transfers tend to be cheaper, but are pretty much unpredictable in terms of timing.
Which is why I'm interested to hear what Wayerz is cooking up. Wayerz is a software platform that helps digitize the formerly broken bank-to-bank relationship. Wiring, inter-bank billing, reporting, and reconciliation are all tasks that have no standard methodologies, and no common platforms to offer transparency. Wayerz is looking to change that with its Global Payment Network (GPN).
The proposition of the GPN is pretty simple. By using it, financial institutions and their enterprise clients can easily track international wire payments and receive real-time status notifications, similar to tracking a package in the mail. So, rather than having to hope that a client's promises are true and that a payment is actually on its way, I will have a real-time view of where the funds actually are.
The GPN platform integrates directly with banks' current payment programs to create a more predictable payment process without having to replace current platforms or jump through any compliance hoops. It also provides digital tools to analyze customers' payment activity, so third-party developers can integrate and develop their own tools with this information and offer those tools to banks and their business clients.
"The lack of transparency in bank-based payments makes both banks and their customers consider alternatives," said Menny Shalom, CEO of Wayerz. "With our Global Payment Network, banks and clients alike will finally gain transparency into their international wire payments by being able to access and monitor their transactions in real-time through a central and secure platform. We're providing banks with a practical enhancement to simply their clients' payment processes while meeting the strict banking guidelines of regulation, security and confidentially."
Of course, simply providing transparency for payment flow, while a useful addition to banking payments, doesn't solve the other problems around cost and complexity. I wince every time I receive an international payment. Even though bank international payments are cheaper than PayPal, they're still more expensive than they need to be - banks at both ends take a significant cut, and foreign exchange rates always seem to work against me.
Wayerz's core offerings, a suite of tools aimed at helping bank-to-bank processing of payments, aims to help in this regard. It is, however, a more difficult nut to crack since it is far closer to banks' internal systems, and hence one assumes it is more resisted than GPN, which is, in essence, a reporting overlay to existing bank transaction systems.
Banking is up for a serious shakeup over the next few years as technological advances reduce barriers to communication and disruptive approaches threaten their very core. Whether banks will see this and disrupt themselves before third parties disrupt them is anyone's guess. Tracking the progress of vendors like Wayerz will give some indications about that.
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