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Collaborate and evolve

As the financial technology world congregates at Money2020, Jonathan Lear, President, Earthport North America, believes that only through collaboration and partnership will banks and businesses win.

We live in exciting, constantly-changing times. The payments landscape is rapidly transforming, forcing long-established providers to take a hard look at how they can adapt their business model to meet new challenges. Disruption is new the norm.

Sounds chaotic? Not at all. From the stone-age to the industrial revolution, people, markets and industries have had to contend with evolution. Right now, we are in the midst of a new industrial revolution which is impacting everyone and everything. It might be painful for some who aren’t willing to change, but there’s a certain amount of self-preservation that will ensure “life finds a way” to co-exist. The key is collaboration.

There’s a certain amount of self-preservation that will ensure “life finds a way” to co-exist. The key is collaboration.

There’s a lot talk about “banks versus FinTech”, but the truth is, both need each other and Earthport is a company that works with banks as clients, providers and partners. The coming marginalisation of banks is wildly over-reported and, as we are witnessing at the moment, many are realigning themselves to the new world.

Some banks and financial institutions will resist change and refuse to shift their approach and those organisations will be very tested by the new way of doing things. Put simply, they risk losing their existing customers and not winning new business. However, those organisations that dedicate resources to the new paradigm and successfully embed innovation into their thinking, will create new opportunities and win new clients. We are already seeing some successful partnerships being established between financial institutions and younger, swift-moving companies that are free of legacy structures and issues.

Ecommerce and the sharing economy are at the forefront of leading this change. At Earthport, we see great potential for the many different types of online businesses, consumer services and digital marketplaces that have emerged over the past few years. Amid their own frenetic activity, these new platforms need the specialist services that Earthport provides, for example, efficient low value payments and one-stop connectivity to the global marketplace. We collaborate - bringing together one set of expertise with another.

It’s not just about banks, although our link-up with Bank of America Merrill Lynch is something we are extremely proud and excited about. Through our strategic partnership Bank of America Merrill Lynch and many of our other global customers now see Earthport as a critical part of their payments infrastructure.

Earthport also services fast-moving disruptors who work across the consumer and business-to-business spaces. The specific requirements for both sets of clients are certainly different, although they both want similar levels of service and assurance from us. In an area such as cross-border payments, we bring to the table a proven infrastructure that is globally compliant, highly efficient and effective and a better end-to-end service than the current tired system that lacks efficiency, speed and transparency. Every organisation that has partnered with Earthport has directly won new business and driven top-line growth by using the Earthport Payment Network. We can offer banks and businesses a better way to execute a function that has been in need of an overhaul for some time. All by partnering and collaborating with Earthport.

Earthport’s own experience provides good examples of how the payments industry can collaborate and work together to survive and thrive amongst all this change and disruption. One thing is certain; it’s lonely working in isolation, and certainly not very beneficial, so pooling expertise and experience is surely a good thing.

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