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Cross-Border Payments: What They Are, and Where They’re Headed

The cross-border payments landscape constantly evolves with new players, technologies, and regulations. This can make it difficult to keep up with the latest developments.

This guide will provide you with a complete overview of the current state of cross-border payments, including the major players, the latest technologies, and the most important regulations.

We will also discuss where cross-border payments are headed in the future and what this means for businesses and consumers.


What are cross-border payments?

Cross-border payments are payments that are sent from one country to another. They can be made in any currency, but most often, they are made in the local currency of the country where the recipient is located.

Cross-border payments can be made for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Purchasing goods or services from a foreign company
  • Paying suppliers in another country
  • Making international money transfers
  • Paying employees who work in another country

What are the major players in cross-border payments?

The cross-border payments landscape is constantly evolving, but there are a few major players that have remained relatively constant.


The major players in cross-border payments include:


Banks are the traditional providers of cross-border payment services. They have an extensive network of correspondent banks that they use to send and receive payments. However, banks have been slow to adopt new technologies, and their fees can be high. They also often require that you have an account with them in order to send or receive payments.


Money Transfer Services

Money transfer services, such as Moneygram or Ria, allow you to send money to another person in another country. They have a wide network of locations, and they can often provide cash-to-cash transfers. However, their fees can be high, and they may not offer the best exchange rates.


Foreign Exchange Providers

Foreign Exchange Brokers, such as Wise and XE, offer cross-border payment services to businesses. They often have lower fees than banks and money transfer services, and they can usually provide instant payments. However, they may not be available in all countries, and they may require that you have a business account.


What are the latest technologies in cross-border payments?

There have been a number of recent developments in the world of cross-border payments, including the launch of new products and services, and the adoption of new technologies.


Some of the latest developments in cross-border payments include:


Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency that is pegged to a real-world currency, such as the US dollar. They can be used to send and receive cross-border payments without the volatility of traditional cryptocurrencies.


Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are a type of digital currency that is issued by a central bank. They can be used to make cross-border payments, and they are often seen as an alternative to traditional fiat currencies.


Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that allows for secure, transparent, and fast transactions. It is being used by a growing number of payment service providers to facilitate cross-border payments.

Instant Payments

Instant payments such as SEPA Instant or SWIFT GPI are a new technology that allows for near-instantaneous transfers between banks. It is currently being adopted by a number of countries, and it is expected to become more widespread in the coming years.


APIs, or application programming interfaces, allow businesses to connect to payment service providers and banks to send and receive payments. They provide a streamlined way to make cross-border payments, and they are often used by e-commerce companies.

The future of cross-border payments

The future of cross-border payments is looking very exciting, with a number of new products and services in the pipeline. Some predictions on where the industry is headed include:


Payment methods will continue to evolve

We can expect to see a continued evolution of payment methods, with new technologies, such as blockchain, stablecoins, and instant payments, becoming more widely adopted.

Payments will be instant

Thanks to new technologies, such as instant payments and blockchain, we can expect to see a move towards real-time payments. This will mean that cross-border payments will be processed instantly, rather than taking days or weeks.

Cross-border payments will offer differentiating features

In order to remain competitive, we can expect to see payment service providers and banks offer new and innovative features, such as loyalty programs and rewards, that will appeal to customers.

Payments will be more transparent

APIs and other technologies are making it easier for businesses to track their payments, and we can expect to see a continued focus on transparency in the industry.

What does this mean for you?

If your business is involved in cross-border payments, then it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry. This will allow you to take advantage of new technologies and services, and it will help you to remain competitive.

If you are a business that relies on cross-border payments, then you should consider using a foreign exchange broker or provider that offers competitive exchange rates or new features such as instant payments, API’s, and other innovative features. This will help you to streamline your payments, and it will give you a competitive edge.

If you are a consumer, then you can expect to see more options and features when it comes to cross-border payments. This will make it easier and faster to send money abroad, and it will provide you with more transparency.

If you are interested in learning more about cross-border payment solutions for your business feel free to reach out to me.



Article written by Lissele Pratt, Co-Founder of Capitalixe, for Finextra 

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