The Future of Cross-Border Payments and Remittances

Transparent, cost-effective and speedy international payments have become an increasing demand from global communities, necessitating innovative innovations that make cross-border money transfers affordable and straightforward.

Emerging technologies are revolutionizing a trillion-dollar industry. New entrants are challenging existing players with innovative solutions that increase transparency, cost effectiveness and financial inclusion.


An exciting digital shift is underway in consumer remittances. According to a new study by Visa, migrants residing in Europe increasingly rely on mobile applications over bank-to-bank transfers or branch couriers when sending international P2P payments home to family.

This may reflect increased rates of financial inclusion in emerging markets, making it easier for consumers to access these services. Furthermore, global trends such as the shift away from cash are driving this digital transition.

Though cross-border payments offer speed, transparency and cost efficiency, developing a global network is still challenging. Governance and legal issues such as inconsistent treatment of banks versus non-banks as well as inconsistent application of anti-money laundering and know-your-customer rules create further difficulties for this form of exchange of information across borders; work must continue to address this through multilateral platforms that enable participants to exchange data without adding frictions into global trading systems; this would require agreement on a unique ledger with states for automated financial contracts (smart contracts), while encryption to protect privacy is necessary to develop such an infrastructure.


As an international industry, international payments face four primary pain points: high costs, slow speed, limited access and lack of transparency. Eliminating these hurdles would have significant ramifications on global commerce, economic development and financial inclusion.

For digital world, new solutions that are both fast and affordable have emerged to meet its requirements, including digitally-enabled money transfer operators and back-end networks.

Emerging markets with low-income populations often need an easy, secure method to send money home. Unfortunately, the global remittance market remains complicated with multiple payment service providers (PSPs), risk profiles, currencies and systems which create unnecessary complexity that obstruct liquidity while costing all parties involved dearly; this has an adverse impact on those in particular who rely on this payment method – most especially the poorest. Achieve smooth global payments requires cooperation and collaboration among markets standards and technologies and to develop efficient cost-effective systems

Emerging Markets

Emerging markets are revolutionizing the payments landscape. Consumers expect an easy, transparent and real-time experience when shopping or sending money – those that meet these expectations will win customers and create new streams of revenue.

At present, international transactions can be quite expensive to complete. They involve several banks and incur significant transaction fees, exchange rates and local taxes for each country involved – expenses which ultimately get passed onto customers in form of higher prices for products and services.

The global cross-border B2C eCommerce market is projected to reach $4,195.4 billion by 2027, driven by increasing customer numbers worldwide and their preference of popular regional payment methods. Such choices have an effect on merchant business models as well as digitally enabled payment options; Klarna and Afterpay for example have greater presence in Europe than North America.

New Entrants

Cross-border payments represent a trillion-dollar market with potential for disruption due to evolving consumer needs, increased trade with emerging markets and financial inclusion initiatives. Both private sector and global initiatives are currently underway to improve cost, speed, transparency and access of cross-border payments; new entrants have entered this space promising solutions that target specific pain points.

These new players are targeting low-value transactions between consumers, businesses and third-party payment service providers that fall outside the scope of banks or traditional payment service providers. Furthermore, these players aim to expand mobile wallet usage at points-of-sale and global e-commerce – which is predicted to grow 52% by 2023 – as part of their strategies.

Money transfer operators are facing pressure from new entrants that use back-end networks to offer faster and cheaper cross-border payments – particularly useful for low-value transactions such as remittances, business-to-business and gig worker payments. Meanwhile, incumbent money transfer operators are struggling to monetize their extensive physical networks while competing against mobile wallets in emerging markets. By contrast, newcomers are using back-end networks to offer faster and cheaper cross-border payments than their correspondent banks counterparts; particularly beneficial when used for low value transactions such as remittances, business-to-business payments or gig worker payments involving low value transactions between countries. This has allowed incumbent money transfer operatorss monetizing extensive physical networks whilst facing increased competition from mobile wallets in emerging markets compared with incumbent money transfer operatorss struggling with physical networks as competition from mobile wallets in emerging markets compared with competition from mobile wallets in emerging markets where competition from mobile wallets has emerged to deliver faster and cheaper cross-border payments than correspondent banks – particularly beneficial in low value transactions involving remittances, business-to-business or gig worker payments which require faster cross-border payments such as remittances payments made directly between parties such as remittances sent between parties than usual such payments made between parties involved (business to business payments made between businesses), business payments made between businesses involved between parties involved (remittances between businesses), business payments between businesses between parties involved parties involved.


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