Streamlining cross-border payments for Indian businesses

Indian businesses face a lot of challenges in cross-border payments, including high transaction fees, unfavourable exchange rates, complex payment processing, currency conversion issues, and compliance & regulatory hurdles. 

In this interaction with IBT under the Tech Trailblazers series, Ankit Parik, Country Head, Ping Pong, shares how the company’s cross border payment solutions address these challenges faced by companies in the international market.

Cross-border payments_TPCI

Image source: Pexels

India Business & Trade: Ping Pong Payments has been enabling Indian businesses to scale globally since 2019 with its payment solutions. Could you elaborate on the journey that led to its establishment as a key player in the cross-border payment solutions industry?

Ankit Pareek: We embarked on a global journey back in 2015, starting in the US, and later expanding to India in 2019. Today, we proudly have a presence in multiple countries, including the UK, Europe, Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia. When we first entered the Indian market, we noticed that sellers were largely unaware of alternative payment methods that could help them save money.

So initially, we faced a lot of challenges in educating merchants about the solution and the value that Ping Pong could bring. However, through perseverance and dedication, we have successfully grown our business over these years. I am thrilled to share that we have cumulatively served nearly 16,000 clients to date. And we continue to empower businesses with our innovative solutions.

India Business & Trade: As a provider of cross-border payment solutions, what specific services does Ping Pong offer to Indian businesses looking to expand internationally?

Ankit Pareek: In the past, cross-border sellers enjoyed healthy profits due to limited competition. However, competition has intensified, making it challenging for businesses to thrive. To support clients, we offer currency-specific virtual accounts that enable sellers to receive funds in local currencies, saving conversion costs. Our solution also offers faster, 100% compliant payment solutions, ensuring a hassle-free payment experience.

We also offer free foreign inward remittance advice, helping clients close bank-received remittances (BRCs) at their banks. Clients share their Foreign Inward Remittance Request (FIRR) with us, which helps the bank close the entire VRC process. We also provide virtual credit cards for easy payments to global vendors, allowing them to use them on various platforms for vendor or supplier payments.

In addition to product-level solutions, we offer loyalty programmes, providing international trips and goal vouchers based on payment volumes. This is designed to repay clients for showing loyalty to us. By leveraging our offerings, cross-border businesses can overcome competition and boost their profitability. We offer a variety of cross-border payment solutions for merchants to enjoy the ecosystem of payments designed specifically for them.

India Business & Trade: What are some of the major challenges faced by Indian businesses when it comes to cross-border payments, and how does Ping Pong address these challenges through its tailored solutions?

Ankit Pareek: Cross-border payments pose significant challenges for businesses, including high transaction fees, unfavourable exchange rates, complex payment processing, currency conversion issues, and compliance and regulatory hurdles. Merchants often face high transaction fees and unfavourable exchange rates when receiving international payments, leading to high costs for their payment partners.

Complex payment processing involves multiple intermediaries, resulting in delays and confusion for end customers and clients. Merchants also face delays in receiving payments due to the involvement of multiple partners. Currency conversion issues can result in losses due to poor exchange rates, as many companies enjoy high FX margins.

Payment security and risk are also core issues for cross-border transactions, with fraud and security breaches being key concerns. Indian businesses must navigate complex regulations and compliance requirements. Traditional payment mechanisms lack dedicated dashboards, making it difficult for them to reconcile or access payments.

Ping Pong addresses these challenges through its tailor-made solutions. They provide comparative exchange rates and lower fees, reducing costs for Indian businesses. Clients can log into their dashboard to view real-time exchange rates, ensuring they receive the exact amount in their Indian bank account. Ping Pong’s platform simplifies and accelerates payment processing, reducing complexity and delays.

Currency conversion optimisation is another key aspect of Ping Pong’s services. Currency-specific virtual accounts enable Indian businesses to receive payments in local currencies, minimising currency conversion losses. We implement robust security measures to protect transactions and prevent fraud. Their team assists Indian businesses in navigating regulatory requirements, ensuring compliance and peace of mind.

Ping Pong supports dedicated account managers for all clients, regardless of their business size. This personal interaction allows clients to address any queries and resolve issues with their account managers. By implementing these solutions, Ping Pong empowers Indian businesses to overcome cross-border payment challenges and expand their global reach with confidence.

India Business & Trade: Given the importance of regulatory compliance in the fintech sector, how does Ping Pong ensure adherence to relevant regulations and standards in India, and what are your perspectives on recent regulatory developments affecting cross-border payments?

Ankit Pareek:  We have operated under the OPGST licence until now, which allowed us to work with the banks to facilitate cross-border transactions for our customers. Recently, RBI has made changes and asked for everyone operating with different licences to come under its new one, including both bank and non-bank entities.

So we will be compliant with these changes as well and strictly adhere to new guidelines. Even currently, we make sure that all customers and transactions we process are weighted through our system of carefully designed checks at each stage, starting with the ever-important KYC. We make sure that our standards of KYC are never compromised.

India Business & Trade: Considering the rapid evolution of the fintech ecosystem in India, what role do you envision Ping Pong playing in shaping the future of cross-border payments within the country, and what are the key growth drivers for the industry?

Ankit Pareek: Ping Pong is expected to play a significant role in shaping the future of cross-border payments in India by offering a competitive exchange rate, streamlined payment processing, currency conversion optimisation, enhanced payment security, and compliance expertise. Key growth drivers for the industry include the rapid growth of the banking sector, rapid digitalization, changing customer preferences, and increasing support from investors and regulators.

Additionally, the demand for fintech products is increasing globally, with retail consumers having the same level of satisfaction and trust in fintechs as they do in banks. Furthermore, B2B firms are also increasingly demanding fintech solutions, right? And the one-in-generation technology revolving around it is generating more value creation opportunities.

Ankit Pareek is Country Manager at Ping Pong Payments. He has nearly 12 years of experience in the e-commerce domain, with exposure to sub-verticals like marketplaces and fintech. 

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