This week - Alpha FX, Ebury, Finastra, Intermex, MoneyGram, mPesa, OFX, Paysend, Paykii, Skrill, Walmart
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New data, new insights on cross-border payments. Every week.

Challenging times remain and we hope all our readers and families are staying healthy. I'm pleased to say that our team is fully remote as of last week and doing a great job keeping our data and research flowing.

This week, we cover a range of topics. First, we look at some examples of Covid-19 marketing initiatives across the sector. Second, as margin optimisation becomes key to help generate cash, we dig into an example of regional pricing trends using Walmart and MoneyGram. And we cover reporting by both Alpha FX and OFX that you may have missed.

We also continue to update our Covid-19 industry resource hub. Thank you to everyone who continues to add content to it. A special thanks this week goes to the Ebury team, corralled by Mark Hewlett, for their significant contribution.

Marketing in a time of crisis

Most of the sector is going above and beyond to try to support new and existing customers. In a few instances, we have seen special offers instituted. We've collated some examples below, which may give a few of you ideas.

In addition to these company specific initiatives, there are a range of industry pushes such as:

  1. Promoting contactless payments
    As cash is considered to be a driver of Covid-19 infections, a number of countries have decided to improve the limit for contactless payments. The UK raised it from GBP30 to GBP45, while in the Netherlands it is now possible to pay up to EUR100 by contactless, up from EUR50.
  2. Providing extra support to customers
    Some banks and payment companies around the world are providing help to customers in need in different ways. While Citi is waiving fees on monthly services for both retail and small business customers, Sberbank opened a hotline to help its business customers deal with the financial and organisational issues that the virus forces them to face.
The most important element of all of this, though, is going to be whether the banks will start providing the credit (backed by governments) to the small businesses that are struggling the most. Initial reports suggest that in the UK for example, banks are currently tightening their lending provisions and asking for even more burdensome personal guarantees - not the direction governments are hoping for right now. 
Help the industry get through the COVID-19 crisis

What's fallen under the radar?

Understandably, a lot of company specific news, especially about trading and annual reporting, has fallen under the radar over the last few weeks. We've uncovered a few interesting items for two of the publicly quoted companies, Alpha FX and OFX. 

Let's start with Alpha, which released their full 2019 results late last week.

Alpha continues to be one of the leaders in the corporate FX space and its share price has held up much better than similar publicly listed competitors such as Argentex.

The most interesting trend is that whilst forwards drive Alpha's revenue, it's the expansion of the spot revenue per client that is most pronounced. The question is whether continued growth in the spot FX segment, which is much harder to differentiate, is sustainable.

What's happening at OFX?
Two interesting low key filings by OFX over the past week. The first was as part of a trading update. It was an acknowledgement that OFX had been the recipient of an unsolicited takeover bid but those talks had been shelved due to the recent market volatility.

The second was a purchase of shares by co-Founder Matthew Gilmour at what was a historic low share price to take his holding in the company above 5%. OFX has felt the brunt of the market downturn like many other companies in the space. So, it's encouraging to see those who likely know the company very well picking up shares believing that company is undervalued at its current price.

Who else joins OFX and Alpha FX in the industry's top 100

Maximising margin using pricing as a lever

Many companies are focusing on getting the most from what they have. Pricing is the greatest lever available to optimise and maximise margin as cash generation right now is key. 

In some market segments, regional pricing is also possible, a factor we track within our pricing data.

This particular example is additionally interesting as MoneyGram powers one of Walmart's money transfer offerings. MoneyGram commented in its latest earnings release that it has seen less fallout from Walmart opening up its platform to other players (such as Ria). Part of this may simply be because the mainstream MoneyGram offering is undercutting Walmart's white-labeled MoneyGram offering (of which Walmart earns a healthy share of the economics).

If you are looking to better manage your margins for your remittance, consumer or SME business lines, please get it touch.

Help me manage my margins with better data
On our radar this week:
Curated by FXC Intelligence's Team
WorldRemit expands bill pay options
A partnership with bill payment specialist PayKii add this payout method.
Finastra hit by breach
The next fintech company to be hit by ransomware. Beware.
Intermex is using Ripple
But not where you think. The US Mexico corridor is not where they want help.
Coin Telegraph
Revolut launches in the US
Maybe not the best week. Maybe it is the best week. We'll see.

Missed the last few weeks?

COVID-19 Resource Hub for the industry (here)
Cross-border payments lessons from the 2008 Financial Crisis (here)
The sector goes digital (here)
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Stay healthy and please continue to support your employees, clients, suppliers and partners,

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