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The Future of Cross-Border Payments: What Will it Look Like?

The platforms for cross-border payments are constantly on the rise. With new technologies being introduced regularly, it gets difficult to predict what it holds for the future. However, the world is moving towards the trends that are shaping a better future for cross-border payments. According to research, the market size of cross-border payments in 2021 was $176.5 billion and is expected to increase to around $238.9 billion in the next five years.

Undoubtedly, cross-border payments are essential for businesses, but they also come with specific regulatory requirements, and risks are associated with their navigation. But with a suitable cross-border payment method, businesses can be future-ready and accelerate its growth. These payment methods run over Blockchain which is the future of international payments and more advanced than the traditional cross border payments.

What are cross-border payments, and how do they work?

The financial transactions between the parties located in different countries are termed cross-border payments. In these kinds of payments, the funds or assets are transferred through banks or other financial institutions. Any business or individual can conduct these transactions; in most cases, there is a requirement for currency conversion, which can be made with various payment methods, including fiat and cryptocurrency.

When it comes to transactions of fiat currency, banks generally conduct international account transfers in which they ask the foreign bank to send an amount of money to the recipient account. By getting this request, they transfer the funds and deduct the same from the requested bank’s registered account in their institution which is quite expensive for the former banks.

There is a lot of processing with these forms of fund transfers. Still, in the case of digital currencies like Bitcoin or other crypto payment methods, there are no intermediaries. The amount is transferred in a few minutes and a small transaction fee & network fee is charged. Fiat transfers can cost up to 30% of the amount as transfer fee while with crypto the fee ranges from 1-5%. With Bitcoin or other crypto payments, the transactions are done through a well-functioning payment processor in a few minutes by entering the receiver’s wallet address and processing the transfer in their favorable form of currency.

Future expectations with cross-border payments

Having a lot of mixed reactions in the market, cross-border payments bring a new revolution in the market. As new technologies like Blockchain are being introduced in the market, the future perspective of cross-border payments looks promising. Merchants worldwide have wide expectations regarding the future of international payments. Let’s take a look at some of the features that will be promoted in the future:

• Instant cross-border payments

One of the factors everyone is looking forward to is cross-border payments being instant. Blockchain technology can make this possible; the payments can be processed in real time without intermediaries. It is constructive for high-risk businesses; previously, they had to wait days or weeks for the funds to be reflected in their accounts.

But with blockchain, the payments get processed efficiently, and almost immediately allowing you to have a working capital for smooth functioning of the business. Many cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin run over blockchain, and other currencies are also planning to implement the same. You can check out the major cryptocurrencies that run over the blockchain.

Blockchain is considered a method to future-proof cross-border payments as all the sent and received funds are indicated in it and verified by the miners. This aspect will make all the payments instant and secure at the same time.

• Custom and specific features

Cross-border payments are expected to offer customized features in the future. Providers are looking forward to this change because the market is getting competitive with every step. With such conditions, businesses are exploring ways to stand out from the masses. For this, it offers unique features to its customers that appeal to the specific niches.

For example, a cross border payment provider can develop two methods of transaction, in that one can be used for large sums of money and the other is more reliable for small and frequent payments. Although with the Speed Bitcoin payment processor you can conduct a transfer of any amount with a minimum fee that merchants charge.

These differentiating features that deal with the specific group of customers are expected to touch heights in the future as more businesses will make their significance in the market. And with that, the demand for advanced payment methods will arise. With the developing world, more companies are choosing the latest blockchain technology, and if any advanced tech comes forward, it will attract the major sector of business.

• Enhanced transparency

If we look to the past, there has been a lack of transparency with cross-border payments, but now they are evolving, and APIs are playing a significant role. With APIs, businesses can connect by the network of central banks and other financial institutions. Its advantage is that they can compare prices amongst various platforms and will find the best deals for themselves.

A simple example is that some payment processors collaborate with banks; they integrate their online networks with the banks and then pay all the collateral or borrowed money through the same network. This is possible because of APIs, the provider doesn’t have to directly address banks and still be a part of regulated financial services.

Businesses can easily track their payments and receive a notification when funds are fully settled. This provides payment transparency and allows businesses to avoid hidden charges and fees.

• Benefiting for every business needs

Cross border payments have existed and are seen as a niche product for certain businesses; companies have paid huge fees for every transaction. With this worldwide growing economy, a better, simpler & cheaper solution was needed – this is where Bitcoin/Blockchain comes into picture.  More & more companies are going global for their financial benefits and expanding to a wide horizon of opportunities.

With a global payment method, tracking international payments with defined statements will streamline the operation and save money. On top of that, customer experience will also be improved by transparent fees, remittance and tax information, instant settlement, and regulated transfers.

Business owners expect cross-border payments to be advanced in the future and provide them with all the required advantages they are looking for.

Trends that are reshaping the future of cross-border payments

Certain new technologies are introducing themselves in the cross-border payment market. New emerging players seek changes that eliminate manual processing and human errors. Some of these trending technologies reshaping the future of cross-border are discussed below; let’s get to know more about the same.

• Blockchains

Blockchain is the underlying technology on which other cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, function. It is termed as a distributed database that records the transactions and stores them. Blockchain holds great potential for streamlining cross-border payments as it is considered the most secure and transparent way of fund transfer. It helps in efficiency and compliance because all the data associated with transactions gets recorded over the blockchain ledger.

As an alternative cross-border payment solution, startups are currently considering blockchains. It runs over blockchain protocol and is hence free from the central regulatory measures. Businesses can send payments anytime, anywhere in the world, without being considered about the jurisdiction.

Crypto solutions can shape the future of cross borders by providing all of its advanced features at one place like low transaction cost, easy to follow, and verified transfer.


In the cross-border payment space, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are famous. It is a digital version of the fiat currencies developed and issued by the central bank. CBDCs can be seen as a revolutionary act in the cross border payments as using them, businesses can make real-time settlements between two central banks. The international market accepts payments in the form of CBDCs easily as they are regulated and controlled.

CBDCs are in the initial stages of development. Only a few countries have launched their digital currencies yet, including Jamaica, Nigeria, and Bahamas. Many other countries plan to do the same and are expected to establish them in the coming years. Payments made through this are fast, cheap, and transparent; for instance, CNY can be used to settle the charges between Chinese and European Union businesses instantly.

Multiple counterfeits and frauds are associated with traditional cross-border payments, as they take time and are associated with different methods. However, CBDCs reduce this risk as it is issued using blockchain technology and also controlled by regulations to avoid such conditions. It also keeps a secure and immutable record of all the transactions.

• Artificial intelligence

Many companies consider artificial intelligence (AI) a reliable method for alternative cross-border payment solutions. With AI, you can automate the overall payment process, like generating invoices to checking compliances. This will be very helpful in reducing the time and cost associated with cross-border payments. When cross-border payment is considered, it can be of any country, and AI can generate the invoices in the particular language and currency.

Many small businesses that sell products internationally can automatically check compliance with sanctions and anti-money laundering regulations with AI. One can use predictive analysis to forecast the rates so that owners can lock their rates in advance to avoid any unpredictable fees at the transaction time.

• Real-time payments

Real-time payment (RTP) systems are on the rise, making sending and receiving cross-border payments as instantly as possible. For example, the SWIFT GPI initiative is an RTP system for international payments. The most significant challenge with a cross-border payment is the time consumed by the money to reach the recipient.

This happens because banks operate on different schedules and at varied time zones, which causes delays. Banks sometimes rely on intermediaries for payment processing, which also consumes a lot of time. RTP systems are making these transactions more trustworthy by settling them out. With this system being reinforced in the future, cross-border payments will gain heights of achievement.

For what cross-border payments are used?

In the global economy, cross-border payments play an important role that enables money flow amongst the countries for varied purposes. Seen from a professional or personal context, there are various areas of utility where cross-border payments work. In International trades payments can be conducted based on the method, suppliers and receivers choose for their goods and services. To avoid any delay in payments cryptocurrency is the best format and a crypto wallet functions well for it.

Merchants can receive payments through any medium like wallet or payment links, and then these received currencies can be stored securely in cold wallets. This is helpful for small business owners who don’t own any websites and want to trade worldwide. Other than making profit, cross border transactions can be done for charities and nonprofit organizations working for good causes, and many NGOs are open to accepting donations.

The most preferable method for easy transactions when it comes to cross border payments is online payment methods or crypto payment processors. With this, one can be free from regulatory measures, and at the same time, the funds get settled instantly.

Key Challenges with traditional cross-border payment methods

Cross-border payments may not be as perfect in comparison to the domestic ones. There are a lot of factors to consider during such payments, like cost, access, speed, and transparency of payment. Whenever a new method or system gets implemented, multiple challenges are associated with it. Some of these challenges are:

• Fragment data format

Some international payments are made when messages are sent across financial institutions; after that, they update the respective accounts of the sender and recipient. In these kinds of payment messages, there should be sufficient information to confirm both parties’ identity and verify the authenticity of payments. The challenge here is that data standards and format are different in various countries, which can lead to data format being truncated as per their rules.

• Complex processing of compliances

There are many uneven implementations of regulatory measures against financial crimes. Hence, one single transaction must be checked several times to ensure that the parties are not exposing themselves to illicit economic activities. Banks use different sources to make sure of the payments; this increases the delay in payment, and sometimes, due to similar names of the sanctioned entities in the database, fund transfer gets interrupted or declined.

• Limited hours for operating

When the underlying settlement system is available, the balances get updated in the bank accounts. In some geographical jurisdictions, this system is available at working hours. This creates delays in the clearance and settlement of cross-border payments, especially in corridors that have large time zone differences.

• High cost of funding

For quick settlement, banks are required to fund in advance to gain access to the foreign currency market. This creates a barrier to banks as they need to put aside that particular capital and can’t use it for other activities. The uncertainty regarding the incoming funds leads to overfunding, increasing the cost overall.

• Requirement of regulations

Most of the cross-border payments are subjected to various regulatory measures and are obligated towards compliance. It is time-consuming and complex at the same time. This happens with the centralized form of currency like fiat or digital, but with cryptocurrency, the transactions are much easier, and no such regulations are implied. Even a compliance check is optional because the funds can be transferred using the top crypto exchanges or payment processors.

• Management of security risk

Cross-border payments are associated with many security risks and frauds like cyber attacks, identity theft, payment scams, and chargebacks. These risks need to be tackled to make such payments more reliable and safe, and this can be done by accepting cryptocurrency as a mode of cross-border payment.

• Long chains of transactions

As every jurisdiction functions differently, it is hard for banks to maintain relationships with all. As a result, the correspondent banking model is used, which results in long transactional chains; this enhances the cost of transactions and delays in settlement. This creates additional funding to fulfill unpredictable fees, multiple validation checks, and the possibility of data being corrupted among transfers.

Benefits of cross-border payments

Being a challenging method of fund transfer, cross-border payments may possess some drawbacks, but at the same time, multiple benefits make it important for international merchants. Let’s get to know some of these benefits:

• Access to the global market

With cross-border payments, businesses can expand into international markets and reach out to clients, partners, and suppliers. They can analyze the global competition and then present their products and services. As per the merchant’s convenience, they can choose any cross-border payment method depending on the transaction rate.

• Revenue and growth opportunities

Selling your products and services internationally gives you a vast platform and a varied customer base. Businesses can quickly increase their revenue and get new growth opportunities. They can build international chains of clients and pay them through any cross-border payment method. In this way, they will not be bounded by any geographical boundary.

• Diversification for merchants

Merchants can diversify their supplier base and investment portfolio through cross-border payments in this changing market. They can control their reliance on the domestic market and expand globally to all reliable trade sectors. It provides new opportunities and an open environment for traders outside their domestic zones.

• Flexibility in payment

In terms of payment methods, the cross border allows the users and merchants to choose the most convenient and cost-effective way of payment as per their specific needs. They can pay via bank transfer, online payment, fiat money transfer, or cryptocurrency to avoid any control regulations.

Concluding Thoughts

The world is being connected through new technology, making globalization inevitable. With this, the demands are driving for a faster and more efficient way to conduct cross-border payments. Hence, there is a lot that the future holds for such payments. People expect to see a rise of competitive players in the cross-border payment space. The majority of them would be fintech startups and technological giants; these companies have the flexibility to innovate new methods and offer solutions that are far better than the traditional methods of the banks.


What are the trends in cross-border payments in 2023?

Merchants and businesses are looking to streamline cross-border transactions by seamlessly integrating them with mobile or digital wallets. By this users can bypass the traditional channels and can transfer funds quickly and cost-effectively.

With cross-border payments, one can see an increase in cash flow, a hedge against the risk of currency, and also reduction in the dependency on a single market.

Bank transfers and credit card payments are some of the safe alternatives while conducting the transaction using cryptocurrency over the blockchain is also the most safe way for cross-border payments.

Businesses across the world can use cross-border facilities for a variety of purposes like purchasing goods and services, payment of salaries, remitting funds to foreign subsidiaries, and collecting investment funds.

Speed Team