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Navigating the challenges of cross-border expansion

How to overcome the complexities and common barriers to global business operations and growth.

Domestic sales are important. Of course they are. But every business will eventually hit a domestic ceiling, so attracting more cross-border customers is key to driving long-term growth.

Take e-commerce as an example. It’s no surprise then that global B2C cross-border e-commerce is expected to increase tenfold over the next decade, going from $785 billion in 2021 to $7.9 trillion by 2030.

Digital business, distribution and service models help increase sales revenue without increasing basic operating costs. So much so, cross-border expansion looks easy: roll out, rinse and repeat.

That’s the theory, anyway. In practice, it’s far, far harder. We examine why.

Why is international expansion so hard?

The typical scaling story goes something like this…

You’ve got a great offer with plenty of satisfied customers. The next logical step is more. That’s more customers in your home market, overseas markets or both.

Over time, you innovate, adding to the product features or range. This enables you to attract more customers both at home and abroad.

But the trouble is that while your business ambitions may be global, customers will always be local. International expansion then becomes an adaption exercise.

You must understand and adapt to local cultural nuances, regulations, market preferences and consumer behaviors, particularly around how people pay.

The international payment problem

Just because cross-border payments are important, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they work well.

International pay-ins and pay-outs often take too long and cost too much, certainly when compared to domestic transfers. Execution times of 3-5 days and €15-20 in fees per transaction are not unheard of.

It’s not always clear where the funds are or when they’ll arrive. So much of the payment process seems to be a ‘black box’. It’s either hidden or out of the control of the sender or receiver.

For example, which banks are involved, which systems they use, whether transfers cross a business day, weekend or time zone. That’s quite apart from any language or currencies differences. No wonder that daily cut-off times, unexpected delays, nasty fee surprises, failed payments, and wasted time sorting out back-office admin are commonplace.

That’s just not helpful if your business wants to create new revenue streams. Or attract new customers in new markets. Or surprise and delight existing customers. Or if it wants to cut costs. Or improve things so it’s future-fit for years to come. Or maybe all of the above.

What will fix the problem?

More and more companies, like Inpay, have created different ways of moving money cross-border outside of traditional correspondent banking systems.

Inpay provides instant payments cross-border at a local price. How?

  • We’ve got you covered – our international network of sending and receiving institutions covers 200 countries with a 99% transaction success rate to power your international expansion.
  • International payments at local prices – cross-border payments across our proprietary network are priced as domestic ones for cheaper payments and no deductions or fee surprises.
  • Real-time as standard – much of the traffic across the Inpay network rides on real-time payment rails and may also be pre-funded, making transfers quicker than the 2-5 days an international wire typically takes.
  • Complexity simplified – access to Inpay’s entire global network is via a single, simple integration. What’s more, consultative support from human account managers, not bots, helps guide your cross-border expansion.
  • Closed-loop convenience – integrated Money In and Money Out solutions offer businesses and their users the seamless, cardless experience they’ve come to expect.
About Inpay

Inpay is a cross-border payments company, connecting businesses and communities to a global banking network that helps them thrive.

Since 2008, we’ve helped financial institutions, iGaming operators, corporates, NGOs and others move money to the right places quickly, easily and securely.

Our smart technology, innovative products, robust compliance and 200 in-house experts from 45+ countries solve complex payment challenges with an industry-leading 99% transaction success rate.

Regulated by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, we’ve been recognised as Denmark’s fastest-growing company, and Europe’s fastest-growing fintech.

For more information, contact us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.

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