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SMEs, ignore the payments revolution at your peril

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It’s been claimed as fact: the world of payments is going to be fundamentally transformed between now and 2020. It will be reshaped by technology and redefined by regulation, the emergence of new economic powers and changes in the global currency landscape.

As the number and type of fintech players, developments and offshoots gather pace, the emergence of new tools and solutions are in turn gaining traction and reaching the market with ever-greater speed.

From wearable tech to contactless, the ways for us to pay are growing. It’s also clearly a very lucrative market as numerous giants – spanning Apple, Google and Samsung – are vying for a slice of the payments industry pie.

Android Pay now live in UK with Starbucks and Deliveroo signed up as reward partners

This is all, according to Graham Stanton, chief commercial officer at World First, because the payments revolution is set to enhance business’s bottom lines – and the bosses of large firms all seem to know it.

“Innovation in payments mean that it is now more reasonable to time international transfers in seconds than days, whilst there are more options than ever to help businesses manage currency risk and beat volatility,” he said, listing but a few of the many ways new payment solutions will benefit the corporate world. “It is also now possible for businesses to self-serve some products, such as forward contracts.”

SME bosses are thus ignoring payment innovations at their peril – with basket abandonment on the rise, companies need to take a leap of faith and embrace the opportunities presented by new payment methods. And at the forefront of being able to give consumers more options, Stanton said, is the corporate growth that will come hand-in-hand with it.

Time for SMEs to rethink payment acceptance strategies

Identifying and implementing the right payment plan will support growth by, for example, allowing businesses to track expenditure and receipts efficiently.

“This is especially true for small businesses operating globally and during times of currency market volatility, like now,” claimed Stanton. “The right payment strategy can ensure costs are kept to a minimum when paying foreign suppliers and maximise return from exported goods.”

In fact, there’s solid evidence that flexible payment solutions have been deemed essential. He explained that research from World First had found, in December 2015, that 94 per cent 1,000 SMEs using fintech providers for international payments said the proposition from the fin-tech team was more tailored to their business than the high street bank.

The fast-changing world of payments: What every SME should ask itself

“The evidence suggests that businesses want something more than an off-the-peg solution,” said Stanton.

But companies aren’t the only ones benefitting from the most recent innovations in the payments sector.

“When it comes to making international payments, customers are finding there is a new wave of providers able to make their payment at a fraction of the time and cost,” he explained. “Bank fees for payments are often hard to find, but with specialist payment providers customers get transparency and peace of mind.”

We also took a look at the patents Apple’s Tim Cook hopes will make the company digital payments king.

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