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Transaction services: Keeping up with the internet giants

The internet has created a new kind of company that needs to be international and multi-currency from the outset. They are businesses that usually understand technology better than their banking partners. So how are the world’s leading cash managers meeting the challenges posed by these new clients?


From the moment their website goes live, many e-commerce companies are operating across borders and in multiple currencies. The expectations of consumers mean the process of buying and receiving payment needs to be faultless from the outset. For their banks, this requires providing multiple payment options, straight-through processing and highly sophisticated treasury services. 

The numbers involved are growing fast. Deloitte’s ‘Global powers of retailing 2016’ report found Amazon to be the world’s most profitable online-only retailer, recording a retail revenue of $70 billion. The report also found that 11 of the top 50 e-commerce sites were operated by online-only companies. These companies are transacting huge volumes of payments across borders and need their transaction banks to make their business work. 

E-commerce companies operate with a radically different mind-set from traditional multinationals, which have progressed to global scale over many years. They are also businesses that do not just understand technology, they have the latest tech at the heart of their business. They are not going to be easily impressed by a bank’s latest systems offering. 

It is a complex challenge, one that spans the full spectrum, from the internet giants to smaller startups selling apps that have only a handful of employees but many millions in revenues in dozens of different countries and currencies.

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