When people or businesses want to transfer money abroad, they tend to initially turn to their bank. If a bank offers international payments, it’s usually a slow and expensive experience and the fees they charge upfront aren’t always transparent (something that will hopefully change in Europe, once new European regulations come into place).
Banks are tied to an ancient method of sending money abroad, which causes some of these problems: a method that is called Correspondent banking. Think of it as a chain: money moves from bank to bank to bank before it reaches the beneficiary. The routes through which it moves aren’t always clear, which causes delays; and, at each link in the chain, a fee can be added, which leads to high and unexpected costs.
In that sense, it’s a problem for the bank too - it’s a costly solution and customers are still unhappy. We set out to solve this problem for banks and asked the question: what if a bank could offer international payments to their customers, without using this slow and costly method and its associated systems? Wouldn’t that be great? No more complaints about high prices. No more explanations for why it takes so long to send money abroad. No more unhappy customers trying to figure out where their money is.
Well, we think it can be done - in 5 days, with little to no help needed from us. And we’re organizing a hackathon to prove it. We’re looking for real “Challenger banks” for a five-day hackathon in our office in London, competing against other banks that are up to the challenge.
Subscribe through email@example.com to participate.
Here is what you’ll do in 5 days:
Grab a coffee and start reading our API documentation. It helps if you’re a user of TransferWise as well, you’ll recognize the concepts and flows pretty quickly. Get your access to our test environment, get your client keys, and start building and testing your apps. Read up on how we authenticate and authorize. By the end of the day, you should have a wireframe in place to onboard an existing TransferWise user.
Start building the steps to do a transfer into your wireframe. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we don’t mind if you cheat a bit and look at our app how to design the currency calculator and the flows. The guide, and testing in our sandbox, will help you figure it out.
From there, you’ll be able to initiate a transfer through your own app. Now here’s the cool bit - since you work for a bank, you can automate the pay-in to TransferWise. More and more instant payment networks are emerging across the globe which allows us to instantly receive funds from your customers. That means from the moment you create a transfer over our API, TransferWise would receive the money almost instantly and start processing those transfers for your customers at lightning speed. We only accept deposits from the customer itself, so send the pay-ins directly from the customer’s own account
Set up credentials for live. Start testing the payment flows. Does the look and feel within your app resemble the experience you have as a TransferWise customer? Does it match the experience your users have in the rest of your app? Are you only sending transfers to TransferWise if the customer has enough balance on their account?
Today, you’ll focus on a more specific bit of the Transfer flow: setting up recipients. We recommend that you choose no more than ten to fifteen currencies to go live with. That’s because some currencies have specific details and your customers might come back with questions on them.
Don’t overload your Customer Service teams! Give them time to accommodate to this new functionality. Make sure they are accustomed to the TransferWise product and each specific currency. They can find all the details they need on each currency here.
The final day, The rush is on! There’s only one more thing left to do: enabling the option to show your customer an overview of their past transfers, to see the status of each transfer and check the delivery time estimate. The most up-to-date status and our delivery estimate are available through our API. This will definitely make your customers happy, as they don’t have to call you asking how much longer it takes before their money arrives on the other side. Test the thing one final time and then… BOOOM! Welcome your customers to Money without Borders
Maybe this 5-day schedule sounds a bit daunting. We understand that there might be more to it when you’re actually implementing this across your organization. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you out and support you during your preparations, implementations, Go Live and beyond. There are several tweaks we can show you to make your customer experience as good as it can get. (For instance: Building a solution that is easy for people without a TransferWise account and making sure your Customer Service can support your customers the best way, when they ask for help on any TransferWise transfers done through your app)
Sounds interesting? Contact us
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