How digital remittances improve cross-border payments for SMEs


How digital remittances improve cross-border payments for SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are crucial to the economic growth and development of a country, especially across Southeast Asia. With supply chains and workforces becoming more globalised, more SMEs are making cross-border payments; in fact, global revenues from these payments have hit up to US$150 billion annually.

With the current COVID-19 crisis limiting movement between physical borders, cross-border payments are increasingly going digital among SMEs as well. Sustainable international remittance services, such as eRemit Singapore, can ensure that SMEs looking to do business internationally will enjoy the best possible experience for transactions at optimal rates.

A new way forward for international payments

Credit cards have traditionally been one of the most popular international payment methods for SMEs as they are accepted by most businesses worldwide and most people are familiar with how to use them. However, credit cards are primarily designed for consumer use and may not be optimal for cross-border business payments.

Foreign transaction fees for most major credit cards often hover around 2.7 to 3 percent, and currency exchange rates can be high – which translates into exponentially higher costs to transfer larger sums. Standard credit card transaction limits also tend to be restrictive for SMEs that need to make or receive multiple and/or high value payments from overseas recipients.

Some SME payers do not have the facilities to process credit card payments hence they choose to perform international bank transfers instead. Not only will they also face high exchange rates and transfer limitations, but standard bank-to-bank transfers can take even longer to process than credit card payments – sometimes up to five working days.

Why international remittance is the key

As cross-border digital payments among Southeast Asia SMEs continue to rise, there is a clear need for payment options that cater for small businesses. That’s why we launched our eRemit Singapore business-to-business (B2B) remittance platform in June this year: to support SMEs facilitate faster, cheaper and more seamless international payments.

Our easy-to-use eRemit Singapore Business webpage combines innovative technology with our parent company’s, Merchantrade, extensive network of partners, banks and agents in over 200 countries and territories, to help customers make quick, secure international remittances at the best rates.

Registered business owners simply visit our business page to complete the signup process with us. Once that is complete, they’ll be able to transfer up to SGD250,000 to clients and suppliers in six Asia-Pacific countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Australia.

Business users simply need to enter the recipient details and the amount to send, make the payment, and the amount can either be transferred directly into the recipient’s bank account or paid through SWIFT, one of the largest financial messaging systems in the world.

The webpage clearly displays the amount that the recipient will receive in their currency, as well as the exchange rate and service fee so that businesses know exactly what they are paying for. Same-day payments to selected countries are also accessible through gateway methods, such as the common FPX secure payment system.

Our commitment towards a better B2B international payment experience

As businesses become borderless, cross-border payments will only become more prevalent and make up an exponentially larger portion of a business’s expenditure.

SMEs must consider the best options for them to make quick and safe international payments without extra cost. With low service charges, competitive exchange rates, enhanced security and quick turnaround times, we believe that digital remittances have strong potential to be the answer – and we stand ready to help SMEs do business better in the digital new normal.

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