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Webinar Aims to Improve International Payments Process

By Kerry Cole

With remote work complicating an already difficult process, two experienced professionals sought to demystify international payments in the GPMI webinar “Simplify, Streamline, and Control Your International Payments Process,” sponsored by B2B payments technology firm TransferMate.

“We are in this business because we actually experienced the pain of trying to make and receive international payments ourselves,” said Chief Product Officer Gary Conroy, who presented the webinar along with U.S. National Sales Director Michael Ramsey. “We wanted to help streamline the international payments process.”

Conroy chose to look on the bright side of the pandemic and subsequent remote work, seeing it as an expansive opportunity for employers and employees.

“Is there an opportunity to employ the best talent where I would not normally go looking because I don’t have an office location there?” he asked. “I think the world is going to evolve as we continue to come out of this COVID situation.”

He said international reporting, compliance, and legislation add complexity to business processes.

“What you want to have is a standard process across as many of your countries as possible that can still give you compliance in each individual country,” he said. “The last thing you want to do is invest heavily in a process and partner and then in a year’s time have to rip all that out again and have another implementation project.”

Ramsey explained that some countries and areas—specifically the Philippines, French Polynesia, Cambodia, and the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in Europe—have especially challenging rules.

“In regard to time impacts in foreign payments, the biggest misconception is that people believe that all currencies are created equally,” he said. “That’s really not the case. Every country has different timelines for processing international or local payments. Whatever jurisdiction you work in, there will be some sort of restrictions in place.”

When asked what their biggest challenge with international payments was, 34% of webinar participants chose remote working. Unexpected fees due to process changes was next at 24%, followed by business environment/cash flow at 22% and volatile payroll providers at 18%.

The webinar also covered how to deal with missing or delayed payments, local regulations and compliance, unexpected fees, and more. The presenters touted the benefits of a streamlined international payroll, citing the following:

  • Fund from existing currency
  • Eliminate bank account maintenance
  • Globally standardized processes
  • 100% accuracy—full value, received on value date
  • Automation and tracking
  • Compliance

Conroy and Ramsey also included case studies on companies that improved their international payments processes.

The free webinar is available on demand until July 31, 2021.

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Kerry Cole is Senior Editor of Membership Publications for the American Payroll Association (APA) and the Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI).