As roughly one million international students visit the U.S. for higher education opportunities each year, many parents end up getting an unexpected crash course in cross-border car shopping. A slew of recent cross-border payment developments indicates that it’s time for various groups and markets to get a refresher on the shifting market. New solutions recently launched by players around the cross-border space are beginning to appeal to several sectors. They are impacting the way car dealerships, hospitality companies, banks and freelance workers exchange money across borders.
In the March X-Border Receivables Report, PYMNTS looks at how companies are launching a variety of new services aimed at improving the flow of payments in several different markets — and how blockchain-based solutions are gaining prominence as a viable cross-border payment solution.
News from the Cross-Border Space
Travel companies and several international banks are turning to blockchain to enhance their cross-border payment capabilities and improve receivable transactions.
In Australia, a hospitality company is putting blockchain solutions to work on payment reconciliation. Travel booking firm Webjet recently debuted its blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, Rezchain. The platform is designed to deploy smart contracts to help hotel companies reconcile both accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) tasks. But it’s not just the Australian hospitality industry that’s benefiting from new international receivable solutions. A new offering from cross-border payment platform provider Transpay could help workers in the Australian gig economy as well. The solution, which is also being launched in New Zealand and South Africa, is designed to provide direct-to-bank deposits, enabling freelance workers in all three markets to receive local currency payments in their bank accounts.
Meanwhile in Asia, Philippines-based UnionBank recently announced that four community banks had signed on as partners to develop and test Visa’s B2B Connect blockchain-based platform. UnionBank became the first bank to successfully pilot Visa’s solution earlier this year, with plans for a broader rollout later in 2018.
Easing Cross-Border Vehicle Leasing
More than one million international students travel to the U.S. for higher education opportunities annually — and many need a set of wheels during their stay. However, for students and families hoping to find the right car, negotiating prices and later selling the vehicle once the student graduates can be a considerable inconvenience. And while vehicle leasing presents an attractive alternative, a lack of U.S. credit history frequently puts this option out of reach for many international students. Swedish automaker Volvo, however, is looking to reinvent the wheel for international student leasing with its new International Student Program. In the March X-Border Receivables Report feature story, PYMNTS spoke with Volvo Car USA’s vice president of sales, Rick Bryant, to get the inside scoop on the program and how the company plans to use it to ease the pain of vehicle leasing for international students and their parents.