Embracing innovation in payments & technology
After years of building a successful telephone brokerage business, it became clear to us that the foreign exchange industry was becoming increasingly saturated. More and more market entrants were offering what was swiftly becoming a commoditised product as FX services became about the ‘race to the bottom’, with margin the sole determining factor between won and lost business. The opportunity facing IFX was to think creatively about how we could offer our customers value that went beyond saving them money.
IFX’s unique challenge within this was that, as an FX business, we were already serving a diverse set of clients. Our first task was to narrow down our initial target consumer base and establish ways to differentiate ourselves with these clients. Mindful that the retail market was extremely competitive with high barriers to entry, comprising of impressive user experiences and razor-thin margins, we opted to focus on our corporate customers.
Our mission was to build a frictionless and complete digital payments experience that removes the burden of managing complex payment processes afforded by the traditional banks and empowers businesses to realise their true potential by focusing on the things that really matter.
We’d already built our own CRM system, established a versatile payments infrastructure and implemented effective compliance controls and back-office processes to support these functions in-house, so with the foundations of a strong tech platform and highly skilled development team, we were well equipped to achieve our objective. As well as this, we owned our whole tech stack, so we were free to define our own future and weren’t reliant on the constraints of third-party providers.
Coming from a telephone brokerage background, we’ve always been in close dialogue with our clients, meaning we had a really clear picture of our customer’s pain points today and their goals for tomorrow which helped us understand how we could add value at each stage. We wanted to focus on offering simple banking solutions for those complex problems, emphasizing the quick delivery of value-rich features our clients would love.
We first extended our service offering by building an online mass payment solution that allowed corporate clients to make up to fifty thousand payments in just a few clicks, with the benefit of account pre-validation to avoid returns and transparent pricing by way of avoiding last-minute rate movements. A simple solution to the complexity of managing a high volume of payments and accessing the global payments network.
From there, we created a multi-currency virtual IBAN offering – ibanq – to enable businesses to segregate and streamline remittance and collection flows with 100% accuracy, utilizing ibanq’s ability to create flexible and purpose-specific sub-accounts. ibanq is fully integrated into our mass payment solution, and can also track payments and account activity with real-time reporting, statements and audit log. The combination of these products created a seamless, transparent and time-saving digital cash management platform for businesses.
By establishing a clear pricing strategy and identifiable target consumer base, we’ve been able to gather momentum in 2021 and onboard clients quickly and efficiently via our API. We work closely with our customers to showcase our full functionality, collate further feedback to keep incrementally innovating and to help tackle new problems on the horizon before they become a reality. We deliver solutions to production quickly, establishing testing and learning cycles, externally and internally, that allows us to iterate and improve at pace.
Strategically we’re exploring ways in which we can help our customers not just become more efficient by developing new product features, but by leveraging new regulatory permissions through Open Banking that will allow us to consolidate multiple accounts and initiate payments from one single cash management system, businesses will need to look no further than IFX Payments.