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Oliver Lompart

Oliver Lompart

    The Pitfalls of Sending Money to China

    Remitsy CEO Richard Bensberg recently spoke with Renaud Anjoran. Renaud runs the excellent QualityInspection blog where he writes about the many issues faced by companies sourcing products from China.

    On his blog you can find general advice for importers, with a special focus on quality management, helping small and medium-sized buyers understand their suppliers better, adopt the right strategies, and use the right tools. Renaud himself has seen his fair share of payment issues and so was keen to get our comments on the topic.

    Sending money to China is often complicated because inefficient archaic international payments

    When you are sending money to China via international bank wire it is expensive, slow and complicated process.

    In the interview, Richard explains there is no such thing as a “typical payment”. The method used to process an international payment still varies a lot depending on the input and output currency, and the countries and banks involved.

    Domestic payments are generally quite efficient, but international payments – which are still using the SWIFT network – are slow:

    “SWIFT was originally built in 1973 – long before the creation of the Internet. When money is sent overseas, physical assets don’t have to move. Instead, SWIFT acts as a messaging system between banks to clarify the ownership of assets on their books”

    As Richard explains, SWIFT network is simply a messaging system. And in the case the payment gets stuck somewhere, it needs to be tracked down. To track the payment your bank needs to send follow-ups to find out what happened to the initial message. And the only way to get them to do this?

    Get on the phone to your bank and ask for the Wire Transfer Department. And solving these issues can take up to several weeks. That can severely hurt businesses. During this time products are delayed and the funds are locked up in the system. This can be a killer for an importer’s cash flow and lead to some really angry customers. Luckily, with Remitsy these sending money to China headaches  are over.

    The full article is available here.

    Oliver LompartOliver Lompart

    Payment in Progress – The Future of Online Payments

    Payments in progress, China fintech, payments in China, WeChat Pay, Alipay etc.

    Third-party online and mobile payments in China are set to grow over 30% in 2016 and reach 5.3 trillion RMB by 2017. China is already leading the world in fintech – particularly in the mobile payment and P2P lending sectors.

    We like to think we’re a key part of the China’s fintech story, so together with fellow startups Clearcut and Megi we decided to host the event “Payment in Progress” at our home base Tech Temple. Speaking to a packed standing-room-only audience, we discussed how payments have changed throughout history, and the world along with them. We covered everything from Western Union, to Alipay, to the blockchain.

    payments to China, Richard Bensberg, Remitsy, TechTemple

    Richard Bensberg, CEO of Remitsy, talking at Payment in Progress event at TechTemple in Beijing

    Payments – An Industry That Affects Us All

    The first speaker of the night was our CEO, Richard Bensberg. Richard gave a very brief crash-course on the history of payments and the lessons we can learn from it. He then went on to show how fintech startups are taking bites out of traditional banking services, focusing on areas where bitcoin and blockchain technology can be a game-changer. Finally, we looked at a Remitsy customer case study, demonstrating how the traditional payment channels to China are completely failing businesses, and contrasting to how easy payments are via Remitsy.

    Sending money to China with PayPal is expensive. Our client Robert paid £42.01 on £500 payment to China. That is 8.4% of the send amount.

    Payments in Progress

    Next speakers were Bob Bogaert and Jonathan Ennslen from the startup ClearCut, which is focused on events management – everything from creating an event listing through to providing payment methods tailored for China. From their point of view, changes in social messaging (think WeChat!) have been a key drive in the mobile payment revolution. In China, the average time spent on mobile per day is 200 minutes and about half of this time is spent on messaging apps provided by Tencent (35% WeChat, 10% QQ).

    Speaking of progress, Bob thinks that we don’t realise the progress because it’s incremental. It is like accelerating on a bullet train, with a constant force propelling you. You can feel a little push in your back, but nothing shocking. And then before you know it, you’ve hit 300km per hour.

    Likewise, in China, the total value of online transactions are estimated to reach more than one and a half trillion USD by the end of the year. And this number should double in the next 5 years.

    Alipay, WeChat pay, China fintech, payments in China

    Value of online payments in China is about USD$1.5 trillion with Alipay leading

    Accounting for Small Businesses Operating in China

    The last speaker of the night was Michael Chiao from accounting startup Megi. There are countless issues that SMEs in China are facing in accounting: dealing with the complications of China’s business compliance; accounting structure and internal controlling processes; staff payroll and welfare. These are all time-consuming activities that take time from what matters the most: growing the business. Megi’s software aims to automate these issues by connecting small businesses with a “virtual CFO” who examines financial records offsite and thus reduces the business’s accounting costs.

    We would like to express thanks to the co-organizers of the event AustCham, BenCham and BritCham (CBBC).

    Oliver LompartOliver Lompart

    Launching Internet-First in China

    The Chinese market is arguably second-to-none in revenue potential, but getting started here can be pretty daunting to a small business from Europe. However, many of our customers are the brave companies expanding their business to China for the first time, and we often get asked questions about how best to get started.

    Our brains are filled mostly with payments and blockchains (and coffee!), so we thought we better ask our friends at LNP China to come talk on the topic. LNP have been helping some of our customers hit the ground running in China, and Alex Philips, Sales & Marketing Director of LNP China had some great insight into what makes a successful launch in China.

    Alex from LNP China is helping foreign business start in China. China, business, SMB, SME, UK

    Alex from LNP China is helping foreign businesses succeed in China

    To get started, what kind of companies LNP is helping launch here in China, and how are you doing it?

    We make it easy and safe for companies from overseas to launch in China. We have expertise in three categories: accounting & finance, human resources, and importing products into China.

    At LNP we mainly help companies that have an opportunity in China that haven’t set up an entity yet. We act as an agent who can process goods imports, process payments from local clients, and employ staff on their behalf. This way they can have an asset-lite structure to support their business in the early days and test the market.

    In 2000, the middle class consisted of just a few percent in China, now the middle class makes up over two-thirds of the urban population! This explains the drive behind many of the foreign companies we help support.  We serve a wide mix of clients, for example, recently we have an aromatherapy oil manufacturer, a video production agency, and even a photo booth company – they’d found a niche supplying hi-tech photo booths to theme parks!

    They sound … very niche!

    [laughing] Yes! We also have a carwash company looking into doing business in China. Obviously there is a huge demand for these kinds of high-end products and services in China. And there’s this certain brand of premium car wash that is well-known in the UK that is getting popular here. We are even getting involved in helping set up a blueberry farm for a major fruit supplier from the UK. So again it’s super niche. We see a strong demand for premium products from the UK that appeal to the growing middle class who want a better quality of life. It works.

    We are living In the internet age and a lot of businesses are now looking at cross-border models of doing business. I think many small businesses think that if they want to do business in China or elsewhere, and that maybe they don’t need all the licences, follow product regulations, and stuff like that. So now you sell online, do marketing online, speak to your customers online – do you need to pay attention to these things? What do you have to consider when selling into China from abroad?

    It’s a good question! On the B2C level, the internet has certainly changed how companies can do business with China – particularly selling to China. And the government here has got a good grasp on it. The past few years have seen different government departments get together to ease regulations and allow companies from overseas to sell their products directly using cross-border e-commerce platforms.

    “On the B2C level it’s great – you no longer need a company in China to sell your product to the Chinese consumer.”

    The major players are and Tmall. A brand from the UK can sell their product direct to a Chinese consumer on these platforms, without needing a company or agent in China acting as an importer of record. On the B2C level it’s great – you no longer need a company in China to sell your product to the Chinese consumer.

    However, B2B is lagging behind a bit. If you are selling wholesale to China you still really need an entity on the ground here, be it either your own company, a subsidiary of that company, a distributor, or an agent – someone to act handle that physical import record.

    Can you expand on what needs to be considered when selling in China without a registered entity?

    If you are selling B2B and are just receiving payments directly to your company back home, then you only need to consider the tax implications in your home jurisdiction.

    Prior to the changes in cross-border e-commerce in 2016, regulations about what products can be imported to China via cross-border e-commerce were quite lax. You could bring products in across many categories without even a Chinese label on them. However, that changed earlier this year and the authorities are starting to get stricter.

    LNP China can help you with setting up a company in China. They help companies with entry to Chinese market and with crossborder business. Setting up cross-border e-commerce in China is easy, successful launch in China

    Alex Philips from LNP China is leading the meeting at the client’s office.

    One of the reasons behind this is that they began to find consignments of fake products being imported to China via cross-border e-commerce. Categories such as baby milk formula – which is of course, a hugely popular product – have a particularly strict set of requirements now. Cross-border providers of products like this now need to be registered with relevant authorities, you need Chinese-language labelling, and the product needs to comply with the Chinese ingredients specifications.

    For many producers of infant milk formula, that has changed the game and they need to figure out how they will comply with the new regulations. Also, previously goods sold on cross-border e-commerce were levied with varying rates of parcel tax but this has now been replaced with standard VAT, but a 30% tax discount can be applied on goods sold via cross-border e-commerce. However, the big difference is that there is still zero import tax on goods sold via this channel.

    What online tools, tech, or services can businesses take advantage of as they expand their remote presence in China?

    JD and Tmall are the two major players in the cross-border e-commerce space, but there are other more nimble solutions that SMEs could use to take advantage of the market. WeChat is one of them. Setting up a WeChat store is now relatively straightforward for a foreign company, to enable them to sell directly to Chinese consumers. WeChat now even offers a cross-border payments solution within WeChat that allows overseas companies to accept payment for goods.

    “Setting up a WeChat store is now relatively straightforward for a foreign company, to enable them to sell directly to Chinese consumers.”

    Technically, this is only possible under a ‘Personal Effects’ (rahter than cross-border e-commerce) there are some tight restrictions in terms of what you can import into China through that channel. The value of goods is limited to 1000RMB per package. For many luxury brands that’s very limiting as their products are usually more expensive than that.

    Goods sold through this kind of channel don’t necessarily classify as cross-border e-commerce, unless it’s connected to one of the major cross-border e-commerce channels previously mentioned hence the low limit. Instead, they classify under personal effects. However, many people do it in different ways and some people don’t bring products through the official channels to avoid this limit. But for companies that are selling low- to mid-value products, WeChat is definitely a good channel. It’s an especially good channel to test the market.

    “For companies that are selling low- to mid-value products, WeChat is definitely a good channel.”

    The other option is selling from your own website. Many brands we have come across are being drawn to China because of the traffic from Chinese users on their global websites. In order to scale that up, you want the website to be functional and have fast load times in China. The only way to do that is host your website in China. But to do that you need to get an ICP license, which requires your company to be registered in China. There are many service providers that can lend their own ICP licenses for a short period of time to enable you to test the market.

    Setting Up Store on JD or Tmall Is Not Enough

    When running their store remotely, how do small companies spread the word about their stores and products? It’s all well and good having a channel in China, but how are they generating their sales?

    We have come across a lot of companies who have set up a store on JD or Tmall but struggle to drive traffic to it, because it is a very crowded marketplace and it works very differently to Amazon, for example. On Amazon the promotion platform is more transparent, and it’s more advanced in terms of how it drives traffic to your store.

    “Many British brands get frustrated with that and maybe don’t achieve the success that they hoped for.”

    Many British brands get frustrated with that and maybe don’t achieve the success that they hoped for. Just having a presence on JD or Tmall is not enough. There are now many specialists in China and focused marketing agencies out there that can help you develop a following on WeChat or increase your rankings on these platforms and on search engines like Baidu, to drive traffic to your store. I think you really need that specialist’s insight in order to give you a chance for success.

    With their product on the market in China, most businesses are going to need Chinese-speaking customer support, marketing, business development, and generally some hands-on support in country, what’s the best way to go about hiring before registration?

    There are a number of options. You certainly don’t want to be handling these kinds of tasks without a native speaker. Many of our clients choose to hire recent grads or study-abroad students and have them work from their offices in the UK. Another option is to hire a professional agency for each of the tasks, but this can be expensive.

    “Many of our clients choose to hire recent grads or study-abroad students and have them work from their offices in the UK”

    Finally, you can engage with freelancers to work remotely in China. This, of course, opens up all sorts of trust issues, especially with the cultural and language differences. But managed well, it can be a great option to have feet on the ground to help you grow faster on a budget. As you know, many of our clients are going this route and are making payments through you guys!

    Expect Surprises When Launching in China

    How easy (or difficult!) is it nowadays for a European e-commerce company to expand their offering to China?

    In terms of regulations, it is easier. There’s less paperwork & applications you need to submit to get going. However, it is not that cheap to set up a store on or Tmall Global. There is a significant bond required to register a store, plus a significant annual fees, plus all the promotion and SEO costs to get your products actually seen. This is a big barrier to many small companies that might not be able to put so much money up front.

    I recently heard a story of a pretty famous UK brand who had to fold out from all of these platforms, because after a year they just couldn’t recover the costs of remaining on the platform. And this is a well-known brand, which is popular among Chinese shoppers in London – they just couldn’t get a return on the investment in the first year. Companies still need to weigh up various options before diving headfirst into cross-border e-commerce.

    How long does it typically take for a company to go through this whole process to set up a store on or Tmall and start selling?

    It varies from case to case. If you’ve got everything lined up, you can do it in a matter of a month or two. Maybe even in less time. But in reality, it is not just setting up the store, but about the design of the store and work with an agency to figure out how to drive traffic, creating campaigns on WeChat or Weibo, that kind of thing. It’s all about an integrated approach and therefore it is more like six to twelve months investment with a lot of focus on driving the business from overseas with a help of local expertise. It is definitely an exciting route, but it requires a lot of focus, dedication and investment in terms of time and money.

    For business selling to China, what can they do to optimise their supply chain?

    In terms of businesses selling to China via e-commerce, the one big advantage is that you can use the bonded warehouses within the free trade zones to hold your goods – for example in Shanghai or Tianjin. When it comes to customs and clearance, the free trade zone basically moves the borders to the edge of the free trade zone. You can bring your products in, and once the order comes in they can then be released to go through all the customs and clearance. And they are closer to the end user so they can be delivered in the shorter period of time – in terms of days, rather than the consumer waiting for weeks.

    And how do you take advantage of these bonded warehouses? Does JD or Tmall offer this?

    You can join on one of these platforms and they have a whole list of recommended suppliers to work through that offer bonded warehouses.

    Mistakes to Avoid For Successful Launch in China

    What are the most common mistakes you’ve seen from cross-border e-commerce companies launching in China, entering the Chinese market?

    Underestimating the cost and difficulty. For example, we were working with a manufacturer of infant milk formula from Europe recently and they had a whole business plan selling the products via WeChat and the major cross-border platforms, but then a container of counterfeit infant formula got caught in customs and all these regulations started to come in, making it all more difficult.

    They had to completely rethink their strategy and now they are instead looking at setting up a company here in China and bringing it here through the traditional trade route or through distributors. So you need to be on your toes when you are doing business in China and be patient as it can take a lot of time to be successful.

    Any more juicy mistakes that you have come across?

    [laughing] There are so many. One that happened recently. A British company came to us and they had a Chinese name for their product. Unfortunately, the two words they picked meant “lose a lot of money” in Chinese. It was a phonetic translation of the brand name. Then another company had a problem registering their company as the Chinese name they chose sounded too similar to the translation for “Gareth Bale”.

    Anything other advice you would like to leave businesses getting launched in China?

    Don’t underestimate the Chinese market. It has a lot of potential, but in most cases, you need to dedicate a serious amount of time and resources to making a strategy here work. There are two key bodies of knowledge. The first is around strategy: selling your product, localisation, marketing, and the sales process. The second is more technical: regulation for certain product categories, limits to WeChat sales channel, things like that. What we see time and again are companies trying to figure this all out for themselves, getting distracted from what they’re good at – their core business. Our opinion is that operational support is key. You need partners with local expertise to allow you to focus on your business.

    USD RMB sending money to China can be easy, setting up cross-border e-commerce in China, successful launch in China

    Getting money to or from China in cash is not the smartest idea

    To wrap up, you got any crazy stories about payments in China?

    [laughing] Lots of crazy payments stories. There was an Australian company selling a patent for medical device to a Beijing company. The negotiation took two years and finally they signed the agreement and agreed on monthly payments. A few months went by and Australian company still didn’t get paid anything. The company’s representatives finally flew over to China to examine what was going on.

    They had this crunch meeting in the board room and suddenly this sports bag with 250k Australian dollars in cash was lifted onto the table! The representatives obviously refused to accept the cash, explaining that there wasn’t even any way to get this amount of money onto a plane, so the Chinese company had to figure out another way.

    “They had this crunch meeting in the board room and suddenly this sports bag with 250k Australian dollars in cash was lifted onto the table!”

    In the end one of the Chinese company’s board members had a brother-in-law studying in Australia, so they found some way to pay the Australian company through him. The driver behind all of this – why they didn’t just pay directly through a bank – was simply tax evasion. Royalty payments for patents have a 10% withholding tax, so they were keen to avoid this. It’s important to be aware there are all sorts of different dynamics happening in the background in China when doing business here.

    Oliver LompartOliver Lompart

    Payments On the Go – Remitsy in Shanghai

    Shanghai, China fintech, payments, Remitsy, startup payments to China

    Remitsy blockchain-powered payments travelling to Shanghai

    Here at Remitsy, we’ve always believed in payments on the move. This has never been more true than the last two weeks when Remitsy have participated in SILK Ventures intensive acceleration program in China. Together with a select group of innovative startups from UK, we had a chance to go to Shanghai to present Remitsy to a wide range of enthusiastic payments experts, investors and fellow innovators. Here are some of the highlights! Enjoy 🙂

    Massive Mobile World Congress in China

    Remitsy, Richard Bensberg, paying subcontractors in China, SME, booth at MWCS

    Richard Bensberg, CEO of Remitsy, talks to a visitor at MWCS 2016

    First event was Mobile World Congress Shanghai (MWCS). MWCS is one of the largest mobile industry events in the world and largest in the Asia. More than 53,000 participants attended this year. We were there presenting our blockchain powered payments to China in the “4 Years From Now” (4YFN) startup hall.

    Why Are Payments to China So Hard?

    Before we went down to Shanghai to present Remitsy we were asking ourselves how we could get people’s attention at this massive mobile congress with over 1,000 other exhibitors. Without a physical product, let’s be honest – payments can’t compete for your attention with the latest drones or VR equipment.

    business payments to China, Remitsy, sending money to China, hidden fees, startup payments to China

    Businesses are losing millions on payments to China. Don’t be part of this statistics!

    Instead of putting our heads in the sand, we developed a simple application showing how much businesses around the world are losing on their transactions to China in real time. That got people stopping by to ask questions. And we were more than happy to explain how Remitsy can help over a cup of fresh coffee that is becoming a Remitsy trademark.

    Mobile World Congress Without Mobile Payments

    This year’s MWCS theme was “Mobile is Me”, but the event wasn’t as mobile friendly as we wished for. Spoiled by our daily mobile experiences in China I tend not to bother carrying my wallet anymore – just keys, metro card and phone. With Alipay and WeChat Pay accepted everywhere I don’t need to carry anything else. Mobile payments are seamless and cash has retired in China! But, well… has it? Shops and restaurants at MWCS, the world’s showcase of the best in the mobile, caught us out when we were told that mobile payments were not supported!

    Startups Looking for Payments to China

    After MWCS was over we had a short stop at ChinaAccelerator, an incubator helping foreign companies to succeed in China. Having presented our payment solutions to some creative startups and investors, we found our Mass Payout feature in high demand! It’s great to know that startups are among the customers that we can help the most. Startups expect their solution providers to use cutting-edge technology, but also demand cost savings from all their suppliers – needless to say, Remitsy couldn’t have suited them better.

    Richard Besnberg, Remitsy, business payments to China, innoX, startup, fintech

    Richard Bensberg, CEO of Remitsy, presents business payments to China at innoX in Shanghai (Picture from China Daily article)

    Next day we travelled a bit further to Jiading New City in Shanghai where InnoSpring prepared a “Special show for innovative British startups”. This event was part of the fifth innoX Innovation Star Show. innoX aims to select innovative high-tech projects on a global scale and encourage innovation. With a different audience demographic, our CEO Richard Bensberg launched into his best Beijing accent to demonstrate that the whole Remitsy team are cross-border in all senses of the word – not just payments!

    Remitsy Back to Beijing

    The program then followed with more events and meetings in other cities. We joined SILK Ventures and rest of the guys at our home base in Beijing. We would like to express sincere thanks to SILK Ventures for the opportunity to be part of the acceleration program and having a chance to meet and talk to interesting people from inspiring companies.

    Other startups that have participated in this program:

    • Gamewheel – creating gamified ads for now and for not-so-far virtual reality future
    • Revolut – fintech startup making consumer multi-currency payments seamless
    • Silicon Markets – trading platform with machine learning and other cool features
    • TeachPitch – helping teachers to discover the best lesson resources online
    • Viva City –  helping Chinese travellers overcome difficulties during their travels, with a special focus on food

    Oliver LompartOliver Lompart

    Blockchain Powered Payments to China

    Recently we had a couple of interviews with Juliette Boulay from Daxue Consulting (link) and the guys from LNP China (link) when we chatted about how Remitsy was started and how we work. We thought it’d be a good idea to share some of the highlights on our blog!

    Why Remitsy payments are powered by the blockchain

    Everywhere we go, people are asking us about blockchain and what it is. You have surely heard about blockchain as well, but might wonder how it really works and how it helps Remitsy to transfer your money to China. We are lucky to have Richard and Neil on the team, as they are some of the few blockchain experts in China.

    A blockchain system can give businesses a lot more confidence when making transactions. The blockchain is essentially a ledger – which is distributed across all users of the system. If someone makes a transaction, everyone’s version of the ledger is updated. And each user is automatically checking all others to make sure a mistake hasn’t been made. Every transaction is time stamped so nothing can be changed subsequently. This results in a very transparent and secure payment system, that no longer requires a centralized third-party to verify each transaction.

    Blockhain Powered Payments to China, sending money to China, paying supplier in China, business payments

    Your Remitsy payments to China are also powered by the blockchain!

    What we do is take advantage of blockchain technology’s ability to digitize value across a decentralized network, and thus make funds accessible almost instantaneously anywhere around the world. In other words, this allows us to convert from one currency into another via a record on the blockchain – for example making GBP in the UK available to us as CNY in China within seconds. This method is so efficient that it allows us to convert currencies at the real exchange rate (the mid-market rate used across the financial sector).

    Bank fees and costs of other payments solutions

    When we started Remitsy, our original aim was only to disrupt the traditional banking sector’s dominance in the business payment market. But we quickly realized that a lot of small business were using PayPal and other online platforms to complete their international payments. Even though the processing fees, exchange rate spread, and withdrawal fees adding up to 9% of the total invoice value! And we thought banks were charging a lot! The fact that businesses are forced to choose these payment options is evidence of the huge inefficiencies of modern international payments, and we want to solve it.

    As Richard says:

    The most important thing is that companies have got to understand their costs. Companies will just accept charges that are given to them by their banks, but if you look at exactly what you are being charged, you will realize you can usually save a fair amount. Also, foreign companies don’t realize that when Chinese companies receive foreign currency they will be hedging their currency risk. Usually, they will add 5% to the price of their invoices in order to cover potential exchange rate fluctuations.

    Oliver LompartOliver Lompart

    We’ve finally put together our video from the Cross Border Summit in Shenzhen (thanks for waiting!). Our colleague Neil, Larry Salibra (CEO @ Pay4Bugs) and Mike Michelini (CEO @ Global From Asia) discuss how the fintech revolution can improve your bottom line.

    In this video you will learn about:

    • Key terms in cross-border payments – what do you need to know to sound like a pro?
    • Leveraging the pros and cons of a multiple-currency business
    • Walls online – banking regulations explained
    • Payment compliance and why your payments might have been red-flagged
    • ACH (Automated Clearing House) – what is it and who uses it?
    • SWIFT – overview and why we should care (including Mike’s own bad experiences with SWIFT!)
    • Bitcoin – what is it? Isn’t that the “funny money”? How can businesses use it?
    • Bitcoin in China & Hong Kong – what are the latest solutions?
    • PayPal in Hong Kong – dealing with currencies and verification.
    • Blockchain – debunking the hype. What is it? What are the latest news? With bitcoin or without? How the fintech revolution can save you money?
    • Using fintech in your business – this all sounds great, but how to apply it?
    • What options are there for sending money to China?

    Cross Border Payments and Banking Panel Discussion

    For your convenience, we have uploaded Cross Border Payments and Banking Panel Discussion also on Youku.

    How the Fintech Revolution Can Save You Money

    We’ve finally put together our video from the Cross Border Summit in Shenzhen (thanks for waiting!). Our colleague Neil, Larry Salibra (CEO @ Pay4Bugs) and Mike Michelini (CEO @ Global From Asia) discuss how the fintech revolution can improve your bottom line. In this video you will learn about: Key terms in cross-border payments [...]

    Oliver LompartOliver Lompart

    Remitsy at the Cross Border Summit in Shenzhen

    Recently the Remitsy team headed down to China’s cross-border business nexus, Shenzhen, to attend Global from Asia’s Cross Border Summit.

    Cross Border Summit coffee, payments to China, Remitsy, fintech panel, B2b

    Remitsy are payments on caffeine, so we couldn’t miss a chance to take care of the coffee at Cross Border Summit

    It was awesome to get the chance to speak to up-and-coming cross-border business owners from around the world. We learned a lot about the current trends in international e-commerce (which is clearly booming right now!) and the challenges faced in selling to customers across the globe.

    Cross-Border Payments & Banking

    Neil Woodfine (Remitsy’s COO) joined Larry Salibra and Mike Michelini in a panel discussing the complexities of cross-border payments and how the latest fintech solutions can be used to save businesses time & money. A major takeaway from the chat was that it only takes a bit of research and a few small changes to your payment process to make a business seriously more competitive.

    We shot a video of the talk and will release a video of the event on Youtube soon. So watch this space!

    Find Remitsy in this short video from Cross Border Summit in Shenzhen brought by HK News:

    Oliver LompartOliver Lompart

    Take Control of Your Payments

    It’s better to see something once than to read about it a thousand times.

    Therefore we have created a handy visualization on payments to China. We hope this will help put things into perspective – on the one hand classic payments via banks, on the other payments through Remitsy.

    The standard method of sending money via banks is over-complicated. An explanation of the payment process flow through the traditional banking system can put even the most ardent insomniac to sleep (or just give them a headache!).

    Business owners often don’t know how much they are actually paying for their international payments. But in our opinion it’s not at all their fault – banks and other third party services make it as difficult as possible to figure it out.

    We hope this short presentation makes payments to China easier to understand, without the headache!


    Oliver LompartOliver Lompart

    Cross-Border Payments to China (Podcast)

    Richard was recently hosted at the Global From Asia podcast, run by Mike Michelini. Global From Asia helps companies with their business in Asia. Their services range from company formation in China and Hong Kong to business insurance and tax advice.

    For anyone interested in business with China, The Global From Asia podcast is an invaluable source of knowledge and I’d highly recommend it. It’s full of practical information on various topics with experts in respective industries.

    Cross-border Payments to China. Podcast with Mike from Global From Asia.

    Listen to the Global From Asia podcast on cross-border payments

    In the latest podcast, Richard and Mike discuss cross-border payments for businesses. Richard talks about how he got into the payments business, before going on to discuss with Mike the state of the international payment system. Mike’s not a stranger to payment issues with China and was pleased to be able to dig deeper into the reasons behind why some of his payments were getting bounced or delayed.

    We’ve prepared a special offer for listeners of the podcast, so be sure to check it out! You can listen to the full podcast below 👇🏻, or you can pick it up on iTunes for your commute to work. Of course, it’s also available on the official Global From Asia site, where you can also find some extra materials (link).

    Cross Border Summit

    Continuing our work with Mike, we’ll be speaking at the Cross Border Summit on April 16th in Shenzhen. This event is unmissable for small business owners selling from Asia. You can learn more about the event here. Look forward to seeing you there!

    Oliver LompartOliver Lompart

    International Business Payments are Expensive and Slow

    “Banks have been doing international settlement much the same way since 1971,” says Richard, founder of Remitsy, in an interview for UK Investor Magazine.

    Richard is a strong believer in the innovations in consumer payments, which are now more convenient than ever. But when he looks at business payments, he is a bit less positive. According to him, solutions from banks just aren’t up to scratch, where charging between 3 – 8 percent for international business payments is par of the course. In addition being expensive they are slow. It can take up to five working days for payments to arrive…five working days. There are also frequent cases when payments get “lost in the system” and you’re looking at a very complicated process to get it “unlost”.

    Richard Bensberg, founder and CEO of Remitsy commenting on international business payments

    Richard Bensberg, CEO of Remitsy

    It happens because banks are using old technology and run an expensive service:

    “Banks have been doing international settlement much the same way since 1971 – and even where they have leveraged new technology to improve their products, as a user it often feels clumsily crowbarred into legacy systems.”

    Business Payments are Changing

    Recently there’s been a lot of news on banks such as Barclays and Bank of America (and others) experimenting with blockchain technology. But Richard thinks that the real innovation won’t be coming from the traditional banks:

    “Whilst it is clear that banks now see the potential of the blockchain, I think we’ll continue to see the most cutting edge implementations coming from leaner fintech companies. That being said, banks are more than the sum of their technology, and Remitsy are not looking to replace the bank. But we have all heard that software is eating the world, and I see payments as the banks’ bread and butter. And we are hungry!”

    You can read the whole article from UK Investor Magazine here.

    Oliver LompartOliver Lompart