Last week, our co-founder Neh Thaker was invited to discuss how the UK SMEs could start winning with fintech as part of the toolkit launch by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Finastra.
CBI and Finastra have recently launched the second toolkit in the Winning with Fintech drive. This toolkit aims to provide an understanding of fintech solutions currently available and needed to SMEs that are at different stages when growing and trading internationally.
As part of this launch, they organised a panel discussion where fintech professionals shared their views around the challenges and future of global trade, fintech innovation and accessibility for SMEs. Here, a summary of those discussions.
THE UNFAIRNESS OF GLOBAL TRADE FOR SMES
International trade comes with many challenges; hidden costs, currency swings and a greater risk of fraud. As SMEs grow, they want to buy or sell internationally, but currently they don't get the right tools and support from their bank - certainly nothing like what big companies can access.
SMEs are in a Catch-22: namely they want to grow by safely trading internationally, but they can't get a bigger finance team or afford enterprise financial software until they reach a certain size. This leads to a bifurcation and a fundamental unfairness between big and small companies.
THE 'FOREIGN TRADE' ICEBERG
The main barrier is visibility of what we call the 'iceberg'. Many people fixate on the costs of making foreign payments, but this is a fraction of the true size of the problem, most of which is hidden from the company's view until it is too late sometimes.
Accessing affordable funding and cheaper cross-border payments are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to international trade by SMEs - the chasm that separates them from steadier and safer international growth and solutions that their larger competitors can enjoy.
Many small and medium businesses don't have the time to find suitable and trustworthy solutions that can support them to grow safely and trade internationally. The CBI and Finastra toolkit is a great example that connects SMEs with innovative fintech solutions that help them grow and trade internationally.
You can explore more about this toolkit on the CBI website.
HedgeFlows exists to bridge the gap between big corporations and SMEs by providing accessible, fair and easy solutions that make it safer to grow internationally. Safer from fraud, safer from currency swings and safer from the other hidden costs of international trade that surprise companies all the time. Our easy-to-use platform helps remove the financial risks and complexities of trading in foreign currencies, eliminates manual process and errors and can help improve profitability.
Get in touch if you would like to find out more about what we are doing to make international trade fairer, simpler and safer for SMEs.