How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Cross-Border Payments For Businesses And What the Future Holds for Fintech
The COVID-19 pandemic will certainly go down in history as one of the most destructive and transformative events to ever shake the global economy. The viral outbreak managed to disrupt virtually every industry across numerous sectors of all economies that had previously deemed globalization a given and an unshakable foundation ensuring overall growth and stability.
But every crisis breeds opportunities and the global economy continued to develop throughout the pandemic by relying on innovative instruments of transactioning to jumpstart and streamline stalled logistics chains. Cross-border payments for business have become the catalyst and off-ramp for reanimating economic activities. But even the immense cross-border industry operating on the basis of established gateways is finding itself at a new crossroads following COVID-19.
The pandemic halted all cash transactions for fear of buyers contacting the disease through physical transmission. As such, online payments have become the norm with contactless payment systems developing rapidly, offering new gateways for integration and application in a variety of business scenarios and operational models that have adjusted to new realities within the boundaries of economies under lockdown.
Despite the 20–30% decline in cross-border payments at the outset of the pandemic, digital payment adoption globally has increased dramatically. The spread of the virus in fact accelerated the growth of digital payment platforms. Recent statistics are stating that total transaction value in the digital payments segment is projected to reach $6,682 trillion in 2021 at an annual growth rate between 2021 and 2025 standing at 12.01%, resulting in a projected total amount of $10,517 trillion in transactions by 2025.
B2B remittances are projected to have fallen by around 10% monthly during the course of the pandemic, but have since recovered largely thanks to the massive inclusion of convenient fintech solutions and the facilitation of transactions with the use of digital currencies.
Open banking and instant cross-border payments are encouraging the introduction of more innovative services as businesses had to undergo digital transformation. And the fintech industry was leading the entire cross-border payments sector.
Fintech projects are currently leading disruption of the banking sector and the use of proprietary systems as a foundation for streamlining payments, bypassing traditional gateways, or through the creation of layer 2 solutions. Fintech startups and payment institutions are both leveraging the potential of cryptocurrency payments and their gradual adoption among broader layers of users to improve international and local remittances for businesses.
The popularity of fintech solutions has doubled in 2020 as 64% of consumers around the world claimed to have used at least one fintech platform, as opposed to 33% in 2017, thus proving the growing popularity of digital assets being used for payments. New technologies are yielding products, such as banking via instant messengers, intelligent platforms for identifying potentially dangerous transactions, the unification of payment services for businesses into ecosystems, and the development of financial marketplaces for B2B. Combined, they provide highly convenient, versatile and functional solutions capable of effectively competing with traditional banking services.
What the Future Holds for Fintech
Faced with new realities, the global economy is looking at the continuation of digital transformation and the inclusion of fintech solutions. The prospects for their development are sound, considering the advantages they are already providing to businesses and average users.
Among the main factors that fintech solutions can improve is the speed of payment processing in the e-commerce sector. Merchants are already appreciating the fast transactioning and low commissions provided by API-based digital payments solutions that bypass major intermediaries like banks and offer a host of conveniences, like bank card payments, direct transfers to e-wallets and bank accounts, and much more.
The security and reliability of cryptocurrency payments are also being noticed along with their convenience, considering that accepting payments in stablecoins and withdrawing funds to bank accounts has become simple on par with traditional banking apps. Some dedicated crypto banks offer seamless transitions between fiat and digital currencies.
New players on the cross-border payments market are nudging traditional payment institutions like Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and others to partner with fintech companies in the crypto industry. The goal is to remain competitive and provide more innovative and transparent solutions for cross-border payments.
Such infrastructures based on cryptocurrencies, along with the integration of new payment products leveraging digital assets by leading payment companies and the acceptance of payments in such assets by commercial heavyweights like Tesla, Sotheby’s are leading to the progression of the global economy as a whole.
More and more enterprises all over the world can now enjoy the advantages of a new fintech era, namely digital currency systems and easily deposit the digital currency into their banks. Making digital means of payment more accessible and understandable for average users is now one of the main tasks for Tempo Payments as well as for other fintech market players. To further improve this experience and deliver multiple payment options within one user-friendly platform, together with our partners Tempo will launch a few brand new services for the business by the end of this year. Stay tuned!