While new rails contribute to improve speed and tracking, at the heart of what is valuable to businesses is an awesome customer experience built on an obsession with simplicity for both the payer and the receiver. That is where Align Commerce is unique. We reduce the payment experience down to a click and providing significant reporting and tracking to both parties making international payments as simple as paying for coffee – a process you don’t think about.
The followers of our blog have known for some time that the rickety infrastructure of the 1970’s-era SWIFT platform combined with the correspondent bank network has made bank wires overly costly and a painful experience for anyone using them. Exchange amounts are never fully known, timing is inconsistent and unknown, and fees collected along the way make it an expensive process. If you’ve ever sent a wire, you probably have experienced that anxious feeling of never really knowing where your money went right after you sent it.
The challenge has been that no one is out there really improving the system that wires go on today. Banks are making money off a bad experience but there had been little incentive to improve them as there was no disruptive competition for senders to chose from.
Start-ups like Align Commerce are leaders in leveraging the Blockchain technology to send funds faster, cheaper and more traceable all over the world in a safe manner. At the foundation of the Blockchain technology is a revolutionary “rethink” of how we can use new rails to bypass existing intermediaries. Many have made the analogy that Blockchain is changing the way we share value as much as the internet has changed the way we share information – it’s the “internet of value”.
This week, Visa announced B2B Connect, a new platform planned for release some time in 2017 that leverages Blockchain for global B2B payments “by offering clear costs, improved delivery time and visibility into the transaction process”. The capabilities of Blockchain were not a real surprise in this story since companies, like Align Commerce, have proven this in the past. Rather, it was the fact that such a major network like Visa was ready to adopt this technology. In short, it means the “edgy technology of tomorrow” has come a step closer to mainstream to help address the issues the bank wire network is creating for users today.
Companies everywhere who deal with global payments should be happy to see change coming at larger and larger scale. Align Commerce salutes Visa and anyone else who sees the opportunity in improving customer experience for companies dealing with international payments.