3S MONEY
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The most annoying things about making payments

Recently we asked our community members to take part in some research to help us figure out how people feel about and cope with the payments process. Through the latest LinkedIn feature, we created a poll with four options: compliance, payment limitations, chatbots and user-unfriendly platforms. The opinion poll lasted for a week and then we counted the votes and compiled the results:
The majority of respondents, i.e. 41%, said that the most unpleasant and exasperating thing to deal with is compliance. After this came user-unfriendly platforms, selected by 37% of the voters. In third place in the unpopularity stakes, with 14%, were chatbots, and only 8% chose payment limitations.
The majority of respondents, i.e. 41%, said that the most unpleasant and exasperating thing to deal with is compliance. After this came user-unfriendly platforms, selected by 37% of the voters. In third place in the unpopularity stakes, with 14%, were chatbots, and only 8% chose payment limitations.

It’s always about compliance

The results were totally in line with our own views. After all, it’s well known that compliance methods are outdated, and so many modern payment services are battling to improve the compliance journey for their customers. In terms of regulations, it’s completely understandable that compliance should focus on the details as it plays an important role in creating a favourable business environment while protecting us from money laundering and fraud activities. What annoys entrepreneurs and finance professionals is the lack of workarounds and improvements to procedures like payment behaviour analysis, data collection and processing.

Case scenario: For many years a businessman sells washing machines that are produced in the UK (low risk). Suddenly he sees a demand in the Turkish market and starts selling his products there, accepting payments from Turkey (potentially high risk). When he creates a joint venture with a local Turkish entrepreneur to increase sales, the bank identifies it as a high-risk business and starts to treat him accordingly. The business owner is happy to be as transparent as possible, but for the bank it’s too time-consuming and, consequently, too expensive in terms of compliance. There’s no one to advocate for this merchant, so the bank decides to shut him down. To prevent this from happening, the businessman tries to find a way to prove that his business is genuine, provides huge amount of additional documents to make himself compliant.

To get to the point, this is why people see compliance as a huge annoyance. Basically, it’s because they’re offended by the countless requests for information from the compliance officers, who have little understanding of the ways in which different businesses operate. 

In an effort to address this problem, 3S Money aims to automate these requests by building a user-friendly online wizard that collects, analyses, verifies and stores transactional data for compliance purposes. Delegating KYC/AML responsibilities to a customer, giving him/her a better, user-friendly journey and guidance but leaving all the checks and controls to us – that’s what we’re aiming for. By sharing this responsibility, we share cost – that is how the core service becomes cheaper to the customer.

Payment platform: friend or foe?

In general terms, a user-friendly platform is a well-designed product with a clean and modern interface – accessible, practical and easy to use. But in reality, payment systems aren’t always that friendly. Customers have to spend a lot of their precious time learning how to use the platform. It’s frustrating for them to have to wade through so many different options and routes in order to find what they need.

Another challenge is the unnecessarily complex functionality, which offers very little guidance. Even small procedures require the involvement of ‘support’. To be intuitive, a payment platform should provide customers with high availability of the required services. In short, it should focus on the core product with as few operations as possible.

Case scenario: Online payment services receive numerous requests from business customers asking them to add more roles to the management of the account. Payment services with non-friendly platforms continue to ignore these requests or create complicated systems with endless security checks, including many useless dashboards and confirmation requests from the account owners. Payment systems with user-friendly platforms are devising seamless technological solutions that allow to add more team members to the account’s management and assign them different types of access. An example of a possible workflow from such a platform is this: with multi-role feature 3 members are using platform at the same time – a treasurer asks for a payment to be made, the CEO approves it with one click, and the accountant reviews it. To make this process easy and transparent, the platform has an activity log that records all team’s actions.

Always keeping in mind our clients’ needs, we’ve put a lot of effort into creating our core product – a digital, multi-currency, e-wallet account with electronic money in 30+ currencies. This can be used by business customers to collect third-party payments for products and services rendered, to add one’s own funds transferred from another account, to exchange currencies and to pay out to counter-parties globally.

Our customers have access to all of these products and services via the 3S Money dashboard. Regardless of which payment or collection options (or currencies) our clients use, they can carry out their business and see the history of all their transactions from one single dashboard. Setting this product apart from others, multiple corporate users can access the same account for a variety of reasons – from actioning payments to accounting and control functions.

All client activity is monitored live, logged and protected by a two-factor authentication protocol (2FA) installed on the users’ mobile phones or tablet devices:

 
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No robots or chatbots, only humans!

We agree with 14% of our respondents that most chatbots are irritating. Why? Because they fail to provide us with natural, friendly human conversation and they’re slow to respond. And chatbots are killing customer service: they can handle only very basic enquiries, so are often a waste of time. Clients with complex business structures need real specialists to help with their requests, not machines. Services that offer dedicated personal managers are much more reliable and supportive than chatbots. And when a real person is assigned to every single client, the service is much more likely to understand the nature of each client’s transactions, so payments almost never get stuck.

Case scenario: Each month a European entrepreneur makes one large transfer of funds to a non-EU country. As the cross-border payment exceeds standard amounts, the system automatically marks this payment as ‘suspicious’ and registers it as requiring additional investigation – despite the fact that this happens each month. The client is delayed every single month while waiting for his payment to be approved for one simple reason: chatbots are programmed to deal with general-knowledge questions and can’t be taught to initiate dialogue with clients or solve non-typical queries. This complex task requires the expert attention of a payment specialist, who will simply remember this particular case and speed up the validation of these monthly payments.

That’s why our company has meticulously gathered together a highly qualified, professional team with an in-depth understanding of the challenges of international trade and cross-border KYC. Our dedicated personal managers understand the nature of business transactions, and that any delays can cost our clients dearly. Our personalised customer service ensures that payments don’t get stuck or lost. At 3S Money, we aim to provide a much-needed personal touch in a highly technological industry.

Payment limitations: adapt to change or die trying!

Payment limitations are mostly concerned with the processing of instant and cross-border payments, integration options and connectivity. A lack of flexibility and support in these areas hold traditional payment services back and cause distress for customers. The modern business world requires fundamental change – and advanced technology is now here to serve these scaled demands.

Case scenario: A wholesale trader needs to pay $100,000 in rupees to its supplier in Sri Lanka. Having been rejected by several banks due to the restricted currency, the partners decide to change their payment terms and agree to pay in dollars. To their surprise, this new payment is rejected as well. This time, the reason given is to do with limitations coming from the correspondent bank that prohibited making international transfers to Sri Lanka. So, the trader decides to try an online money transfer service, but in accordance with the platform’s regulations, new clients’ payments are limited and must not exceed $10,000 per day. After ten days, the payment is finally completed. However, the delay has caused major financial losses to the trader and resulted in the termination of a lucrative contract.

How can we meet the needs of modern business customers and be more flexible in our payment limitations? Here’s our approach: 3S Money’s digital platform integrates multiple payment providers and banks with the help of multi-rail technology. In so doing, we deliver single-platform, uninterrupted access to multiple payment networks (SWIFT, SEPA, TARGET2, ACH, UK Faster Payments, BACS and CHAPS) and collection capabilities (EUR IBANs in four countries, UK GBP local account and sort code, AmazonPay and Paypal). Additionally, the platform connects clients with a live currency desk (with 30+ currencies available) and will very soon be able to provide integration with the Xero accounting system.

Our platform helps cross-border merchants to streamline their Treasury function, enabling them to single-source their cross-border payment solutions, rather than engaging in multiple banking relationships. While there’s no shortage of e-wallet providers offered by other emerging electronic money institutions, these tend to focus on domestic transactions and/or micropayments. We believe we have very few competitors capable of processing cross-border corporate collections and pay-outs in the efficient way that we do.

Other Beats

Local Dutch IBANs are now available for our clients – 3S Money's business customers can accept and send out payments using local NL account number. They will benefit from a full range of foreign currencies including USD, CNY, RUB and SGD. Our CTO, Eugene Dugaev, hints some details on this update:
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