How payment APIs are transforming the customer experience

Jess Laporte

Digital transformation across the banking and fintech industries is all about enhancing customer experience for personal and business users alike. Over the last decade, companies across the sector have made significant progress, but one area that has been somewhat overlooked is cross-border payments.

Most of us are all-too familiar with the somewhat painful experience of sending money abroad using our traditional banks. Far from just paying the exchange rate, customers are often blindsided by hidden fees and markups that make it difficult for them to know exactly how much they are paying. Not to mention, when sent, payments often take a long time to land in the recipient bank account. That’s why we created Wise.

There is a growing awareness of this issue not only among customers but also throughout the sector, and many tier 1 banks are looking for solutions. One solution that is proving popular is APIs, which allow banks to integrate the technology of another company into their existing infrastructure. This provides them with the tools to finally tackle these issues and offer new products that transform the customer experience without having to overhaul their existing systems.

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Overhauling existing infrastructure is costly and time consuming, and syphon off resources that banks might prefer were dedicated elsewhere. This makes developing new products and services internally unappealing or at worst, impossible.

APIs offer a simple solution - by partnering with a third party organisation to integrate their technology, not only can you put out valuable products to customers more quickly, but you can also leverage their resources to keep the solution moving along further down the line. All of this drives expansion and growth at a far quicker rate while enhancing customer trust and retention.

Don’t take our word for it - Part 1

To give an example - in 2018, Wise Platform partnered with Monzo to power Monzo’s cross-currency transfers through a simple API. This allowed Monzo personal account customers to access Wise’s cheap, instant and transparent send-feature right from within their existing app. The integration has recently expanded to become available for Monzo business account holders, too.

By focusing on offering a range of products and services through partnership - not just with Wise - and limiting development costs internally, Monzo improved the customer experience across a range of different problem areas. They saw customer accounts grow by 2 million users from March 2019 - March 2020, and an additional 1 million per year since. As more and more customers lead an increasingly global lifestyle - from digital nomads to the recurrence of travel post-pandemic, it’s more important than ever to get FX payments right.

API integrations are not just a solution for neobanks and fintechs, but for tier 1 banks too. Partnerships allow banks to overcome barriers to innovation and launch new features in a matter of months, all while leveraging the support of an external team. In turn, banks can offer new products that make customers’ lives easier, and keep them engaged and excited to use their services again. This reduces customer turnover and stems the flow of customers who are increasingly turning to challenger banks for an ever-growing list of services. So, integrations are not simply added value for customers - the time, money and customers they save also converts into added value for a bank’s business, too.

In short, businesses or banks that facilitate a safe and secure way for their existing infrastructure and payment APIs to ‘talk’ to each other, offer a simple and efficient way to innovate their existing offer and drive growth.

🔗 Learn more about how to join our Connected Partners API.

B2B are consumers, too

Much like consumers, businesses are looking for ways to transform back-office functions that make their services quicker and more efficient when it comes to cross-border payments. In fact, SMBs are under an ever-increasing amount of pressure to speed up lagging B2B and B2C payments processes and achieve the gold standard of instant transactions both domestically and internationally.

Indeed, businesses looking to scale globally face a payments process fraught with inefficiencies, ranging from slow processing times to lack of feedback if payments fail. This is a detriment to both the customer and business owner themselves, and of course has a chain reaction on the economy as a whole, too.

Improving B2B cross-border payments offers a whole host of benefits for SMBs; it enables them to better manage their cash flow, lower operation costs by reducing hefty conversion and transfer fees, and creates a more transparent experience where everyone knows exactly what they are paying.


Don’t take our word for it - Part 2

Wise Platform also partners with a range of organisations that are set up specifically to serve SMB customers. Our integrations allow these fintechs to offer their users cheap, transparent, instant FX payments that save them time, energy, and money.

Take Quickbooks for example. Wise Platform integrated with Quickbooks to allow SMB users to automatically sync their activity in over 40 currencies directly to their app, and to pay bills cheaply, instantly, and transparently through Wise. This means no more manually uploading and downloading statements from different regions, and no more hidden fees and slow FX payments. The integration also allows customers to easily toggle which currency they are looking at for the best possible visibility of their finances.

The same integration is live with accounting platform Xero, where SMB customers using the app can make batch payments using the Wise infrastructure directly from their Xero interface, and have similar easy access to their different international accounts.

Simple integrations like these save time, money, and a whole lot of hassle, improving the customer experience for personal and business users alike.

Wise Platform - Offer your customers and clients best in class FX products

A familiar feature in the banking industry today, partnerships allow companies to focus on their core offer while expanding what they can provide to customers. Partnerships can still be thought of as a ‘nice to have’ – a great way to innovate without ensuing years of development costs and growing pains; but integrations, embedded finance and partnerships are becoming increasingly necessary for challenger banks to maintain their competitive edge.

Unlocking best in class FX products for your customers and clients via a simple API integration has truly never been easier. Wise Platform offers fully-configurable solutions to suit your (neo)bank with over 30 available components to choose from, allowing you to maximise revenue with processing costs up to 8X cheaper than the industry average.

To find out more about how a partnership could transform your offer, contact us today.

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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