Payoneer – Cross Border Payments

September 28, 2018

In today’s borderless digital world, Payoneer enables millions of businesses and professionals from more than 200 countries, to grow globally by facilitating seamless, cross-border payments.

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Payoneer is a cross border payments company that enables small and medium-sized businesses to grow globally. We support a number of core verticals including freelancers, service providers, developers and eCommerce sellers. Additionally, Payoneer is the largest provider of currency conversion solutions for Amazon sellers enabling these sellers to expand internationally on all of Amazon’s international marketplaces. Payoneer’s go to market approach is to provision currency accounts (aka virtual bank accounts) to enable a seller to collect from Amazon in that local currency to avoid using Amazon’s currency conversion solution providing a more cost effective and flexible solution for Amazon sellers.

List of questions covered in this video:

00:28 What is Payoneer and what problems does it solve for Amazon sellers?
01:45 Which regions are covered by your service?
06:09 How Payoneer near compares to other service providers in this area and why someone would need to choose here against others?
08:35 What fees are involved when the Amazon services are using your service?
10:43 What are the requirements when someone wants to join the Payoneer system?
12:51 What are the risks about changing the bank account information?
15:53 How does it look like to initiate transfers on Payoneer and to use your user interface?
21:49 Is your Mastercard associated to the business Payoneer account?

Transcript – Introduction to Payoneer

[00:00] Augustas: This video is about Payoneer, the complete payment solution for businesses. It has a lot of features for Amazon and other eCommerce sellers. Richard Gilbert from Payoneer will be showing us what benefits Payoneer is offering and also how that platform looks from inside.[00:25] Augustas: Hello, Richard.

[00:26] Richard: Hello Augustas. How are you?

[00:28] Augustas: I’m good, thank you. Could you please briefly describe to us, what is Payoneer and what problems does it solve for Amazon sellers?

[00:35] Richard: Absolutely. Thank you again for inviting me and I’m speaking to you from our New York headquarters. I’d love to share more about Payoneer and what we do. We’re across border payments company. Specifically, we will be focusing on lots of different small business across border needs, but related to Amazon sellers. That’s one of our specialties. We are focused on helping Amazon sellers grow by expanding their presence across all of Amazon’s international markets. So if you’re selling on the Amazon U.S and you wish to sell Amazon UK, Europe, Canada, wherever, we can support that. Both those growth opportunities we provide, the way we do it is we provide a more cost effective way for Amazon sellers to convert their foreign earnings back to their local bank, to their home currency by saving at least 40% compared to what Amazon charges through Amazon currency converter. We also give Amazon sellers a more flexible option, enabling them to use their Payoneer account to make local purchases in that local currency. Effectively what we’re doing is eliminating the need for international wires.

[01:45] Augustas: So basically you talk about local currencies, local accounts. Can you tell us which regions are covered by your service?

[01:53] Richard: We provide cross border collection services, enabling sellers to have a virtual bank accounts. We call them receiving accounts for any of the Amazon marketplaces except Amazon India. We can offer a virtual bank account for the Euro, British Pound Sterling, the US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Japanese Yen, Chinese Renminbi, the Australian Dollar, and now we even offer it for the Mexican Peso as well, which is super exciting. In addition to providing these collection services, we also provide a payment services. Again, the idea is helping Amazon sellers make it easier for them to go across border and be able to use their local balances to make payments to suppliers, vendors. We even have a service that we launched, through the account portal, which is our Vat payments service, and you can actually make your back payments in GDP to the HMRC or to any one of the other European tax authorities in Euro and that’s a free service that we charge.

[02:56] Richard: We don’t charge at all for that. In addition, the other thing that’s very interesting about some other services that we provide, is that our focus here is that we want to help make it easier for our sellers to go cross border. So we’re actually now exposing APIs, to the Payoneer services. So for instance, we have some APIs that are related to invoicing and payment. And then we have other APIs that are related to having access to the pay in your accounts. We call them our ERP APIs and effective we’re doing is we are allowing sellers to have access to Payoneer functionality through their ERP or through their accounting solution. Then lastly, I think the other thing that’s very important to note about the services is that Payoneer provides, and this is particularly true for U.S sellers who want to sell internationally, where I’ve been focusing a lot of our efforts. U.S sellers are very happy selling in the US.

[04:00] Richard: And it’s rare when we find a U.S solid that has desires to expand internationally. I think maybe it’s an American mindset. We’re just very instantly focused on the United States, whereas you and Europeans are much more internationally minded and much more embracing of selling on international markets. One of the questions that we ask, when we talked to top sellers who sell on is, why don’t you sell internationally? Their typical responses is that, It’s just too hard. You know, I have to deal with international logistics. I have to deal with that. I have to deal with localization and translation, so one of the unique services or capabilities that we’ve been developing at Payoneer is aligning with different service partners and almost providing a bundled service if you will, to enable a seller to sell internationally.

[04:56] Richard: So If they have questions or concerns about international logistics, or questions or concerns about tax or Vat, we can put them in touch with our partners. They can actually engage with those partners. They can use their balances or painter balances to pay for those services and it basically eases them into the overall process of getting them into these international markets and enjoying the opportunities of selling internationally. One of the services that I forgot about is this brand new service that we’re just introducing. We’re piloting it right now. It’s in the spirit of trying to make it easier for our sellers. We’re going to be offering a merchant cash advance solution, where it’s in pilot stages right now, but basically we’re going to be offering a 30 days cash advance for Amazon sellers. They’ll have to connect their Amazon account to their Payoneer account and that will be able to ascertain how much they’re generating in sales and then we’ll be able to present them with an offer for a cash advance.

[05:59] Augustas: Cash advance means that the payments are more frequent.

[06:05] Richard: Yes, that’s right. We’ll advance them the money.

[06:09] Augustas: Cool. That’s something new and interesting. Payoneer sounds like it has a lot of additional features that I haven’t heard about like APIs, and it’s very nice for someone who has technical possibilities, to implement something special for their own business. And besides that, Could you tell us how Payoneer compares to other service providers in this area and why someone would need to choose Payoneer against others?

[06:42] Richard: Absolutely. So we do have competition. However, we believe that the Payoneer solution is uniquely positioned to support the needs of ecommerce sellers who wish to sell across border. Some of our competition had a specialization in Fx, in foreign currency exchange. What we really try to do is really think more around what are the specific needs that an ecommerce seller has. So some of our unique selling points include our coverage, so the fact that we support every one of the Amazon markets now, including the Mexican Peso, is super exciting. Our second unique selling point is our flexibility. The fact is that we are oriented towards helping ecommerce sellers, south across border, the ability to be able to do more with your Payoneer accounts. We enable these Payoneer accounts to facilitate payment, local payments to vendors and to suppliers. You can even pay your Vat payment with the Payoneer accounts.

[07:47] Richard: And then lastly, I think you know that our customer service levels are quite high. I’m speaking to you from our New York headquarters, we actually have three hubs. We have offices in 14 countries, but a three hubs, New York, Israel, and Hong Kong. Each of them has a customer service. We have probably about 1200 employees. I would say 350 employees that are customer service department. We support 8 languages. We have a 24/7 phone, email and chat support. And then we also have account management support for our VIP levels. So VIP sellers that are generating higher volumes, get dedicated account management as well. So customer service is a really important element to a Payoneer.

[08:35] Augustas: Great. So it sounds like very innovative company Payoneer. Can you cover the fees ? What fees are involved when the Amazon services are using your service? And obviously they can negotiate the fees. So what parameters are involved in that?

[08:56] Richard: Absolutely. So our standard fee is 2%.

[08:59] Richard: Up to convert your funds. And when we talk about a conversion, it’s when you withdraw to your bank, so you’re effectively taking your Payoneer balance. Let’s say your GDP balance or your balance and you’re withdrawing, to your U.S bank, we will take the midpoint between the bid and the ask of the exchange rate between the Dollar and Euro. And then we will tack on our 2% rate. We do tier down or higher volume sellers, typical thresholds are about $500,000 in volume. And then the discounts will come in. So usually ranges between 20 or 30 basis points lower. We have some multimillion dollar sellers who get charged well below 1%. And to your question regarding whether we negotiate, we certainly do negotiate. I would say that, you know, our position really as it relates to our competition. If we have a competitive rate that we’re negotiating against, we will tend to try to match the rate because we feel that the value proposition and our unique selling proposition is just so strong that we don’t necessarily have to beat the rate. If rate is the only thing that a seller is interested in, it usually leads to a zero sum game. So our position is we’d rather meet rate, than try to beat the rate.

[10:32] Augustas: And you mentioned 500,000 sellers, is it per month or per year?

[10:37] Richard: It’s $500,000 per annum.

[10:43] Augustas: Okay. Alright. So let’s talk about the whole system. So what are the requirements when someone wants to join the Payoneer system?

[10:54] Richard: The first thing that’s important is they need to be able to have some sort of identification. A passport, driver’s license and then we may also ask for a company registration of some sort. It could be a certificate of incorporation or stock issuance or something of that nature. Sometimes we may also ask for a website. This process is part of our KYC due diligence process. It’s not part of the application process. The only thing that you’ll need to see during the application process, I’ll show a demo right now of the flow on how easy it is to sign up. You just have to have a local bank account. So basically the signup process is fairly straightforward. Sign up, you fill in your name, your email, your date of birth.

[11:46] Richard: I meant to also show that you can either sign up as an individual or as a company. Typically the sellers that we have, they sign up as a company. You delineate what country you’re from, your address, your phone number and you put in your email. That is going to be your username, as well as your password. And then you’ll select some sort of a security question and then you’ll put in your bank details. You can read the terms and conditions. Here you can see our pricing policies as well. The signup process, the application process takes less than 24 hours. Sometimes approvals can happen within a couple of hours. And sometimes you have to look for your emails because they may ask for that additional information that I had mentioned before. Information such as a scan passport or driver’s license or certificate of incorporation. By the way, at the end, I’ll show you another short demo that will show the process of how you connect your Payoneer account to your Amazon seller central account.

[12:51] Augustas: When the Amazon sellers are using it , obviously they’re integrating your account with an Amazon account, right?

[12:59] Richard: That’s right, exactly.

[13:01] Augustas: So it means they have to change the bank account information. Can you talk about the risks? I know that some people are concerned about changing their bank account information. They are afraid to be suspended by Amazon.

[13:14] Richard: Yes, indeed. We have seen on occasion, Amazon has frozen accounts when there has been a change to the bank details. This stems from something that happened about 18 months ago where a number of sellers, seller central accounts were hacked and taken over and funds were taken away. As a result, Amazon has stipulated and enforced that seller use a two step authentication on their seller central account. And We’ve seen on occasion where the seller did not have two step authentication implemented and they made changes to their account that Amazon would freeze their accounts. Now mind you, there’s different levels of suspensions or freeze, but what we’ve seen mostly is that on many occasions Amazon will freeze an account for a couple of hours, maybe even a day. But even though the account has been frozen, the account is still actively selling.

[14:17] Richard: What they’re doing is they’ve effectively not allowing the Amazon seller to access their seller central account. Now, during that process, we’ve seen Amazon has done some additional investigation. Maybe they’ve a seller performance getting involved and if they uncover something that could be, God forbid terms of service related, then sometimes, we’ve seen a suspension happen and that becomes a lot more significant, much more serious. I will say that we’ve really worked very hard with Amazon. We’ve actually developed the process with them whereby, we issue bank statements. So sometimes during the freeze process, an Amazon account manager will actually request a bank statement from Payoneer, which we provide and it’s a bank statement that shows the seller central account holders a store name as well as the fact that they have a bonafide Amazon Payoneer account. And that process has worked very well to really mitigate any issues regarding, extended freezing times or even suspensions

[15:29] Augustas: Two step verification is very important and not so much to worry about. Mostly just for one day you might have some issues, but probably you will be lucky and nothing will happen.

[15:42] Richard: Yes. Again, typically If it happens, it’s usually just a freeze. Your account is still active and you’re still selling, you just don’t have access to your account.

[15:53] Augustas: Yeah, that’s good news. All right. And how does it look like to initiate transfers on Payoneer and to use your user interface?

[16:07] Richard: So this is a picture of the interface, we call my account. It’s your Payoneer portal. It’s how you access the Payoneer accounts. The global payment services are the services that we’ll talk about. Those are the receiving accounts that we have, the virtual bank accounts that we have for U.S Dollar, Euro, the British Pound Sterling, Canadian Dollar, Japanese Yen. Remember the Australian Dollar and Mexican Peso and other features that we have in the Payoneer account, is the ability to withdraw to bank, which I’ll walk through that with you as well, and then of course you can look at your transactions and transaction history through the Payoneer account. So now we’ll talk about the the global payment service. This is essentially what the global payment service and over here you can see in this demo that I have only activated a USD and a Euro account can see on the left hand side there.

[17:06] Richard: Here, I’m showing a USD bank account. It’s actually a bank of America, bank account number, with the routing number and account number. And then obviously the beneficiary name is the beneficiary name of the seller themselves. But If you were provisioned with a GBP, JPY, you would basically along the left hand side be able to see all of those different accounts, and be able to access each one of them individually. And know which account is which, and the numbers that are associated with it. And this is how you go into seller central. You actually will go into your seller central account and the global bank account information section. And you’ll switch your bank details now for a US based seller that’s selling internationally, but what Amazon typically does is they will take your seller central information. Let’s say you’re expanding to Amazon UK EFN. They’ll actually take all of your information including your U.S bank accounts and populate it in your seller central account for the UK. You can of course opt out of that. And that’s what you would do here, is you opt out and go into the global bank account information section and you would put in the Barclay’s bank account number that we give you, along with the sort code and the specific account number.

[18:30] Richard: Now accessing your funds. This is obviously the most important piece, the ability to be able to withdraw your funds from your Payoneer account. The first feature is withdrawing your funds at anytime to your bank. This shows the ability for you to add additional bank accounts if you want. When you first signed up for Payoneer, you have a default bank account, which is your U.S bank or whatever bank you use. But you can always add an additional bank if you choose.

[19:03] Richard: Additional features and capabilities that we offer. We give our sellers the ability to have a Mastercard debit card so you can actually load funds in British Pounds, Sterling, Euro or Dollar. Those are the three currencies we support with a debit card. It just gives more flexibility and allows our sellers to be able to use their funds in market. So if I’m traveling in the UK, I can transfer my UK balances to a UK debit card and not have to be subjected to any currency conversions. Probably one of the most important features, again, this gets to the point of flexibility, is the ability for you to use your Payoneer account to pay your suppliers for free. We have two features two capabilities. One is “withdraw to bank”, which I showed earlier. Another is being able to use the feature called “make a payment” where you can actually make a payment to another payoneer account holder.

[20:06] Richard: And then lastly, the ability to be able to pay your VAT. This is a really important service that we offer. We basically enable the seller, once they understand what their VAT obligation is and they’re prepared to file, to click on each one of these different icons and they can actually make the payment directly into that country automatically from their Payoneer account. And again, this is a free service. This is also something that we’re seeing globally really very important, on a country by country basis. So we’re now exploring this same opportunity both in the U.S and in Canada as well, where sales tax, GST and PST seem to be really important issues for ecommerce and for sellers.

[20:53] Richard: And that’s pretty much it. The last thing I wanted to do is, to present to your following, Augustus, an opportunity for them to sign up for an account for free. There is no charge to sign up. Our fees are purely based on when you withdraw your funds from your Payoneer account back to your U.S or to your local bank. Also, we want to be able to offer to your viewers a $100 offer. A $100 will be made available and be put into their Payoneer account once they loaded their first $1,000. And here is the landing page that will direct you to signing up again. The the signup is registered and you can sign up relatively easily and quickly as we showed you earlier in the demonstration.

[21:49] Augustas: Great. Thank you very much. One question about your Mastercard, Is it associated to the business Payoneer account?

[21:57] Richard: Yes, it is. It can be either to the business account or the company account or to the individual account. It used to be only for the individual account, but we now have the ability to support company account as well.

[22:11] Augustas: Yes. It’s a big advantage. Thank you very much Richard for this intro to Payoneer and everybody who wants to sign up for Payoneer, they will find links below this video. And thank you for this talk Richard. Bye Bye. Good luck in your business.

[22:27] Richard: Thank you Augustas, I appreciate it. Bye Bye Everyone.

About the author 

Augustas Kligys

Augustas Kligys is the founder of Orange Klik and has been delivering in-person and virtual events for Amazon sellers since 2016, including European Seller Conference, Seller Fest and PPC Congress.

Known in the business as the "Amazon Summits Guy", Augustas helps Amazon sellers achieve success through delivering expert sessions and online guides.

Focused on helping Amazon sellers build and scale their business, Augustas has spent the last years developing an industry-leading knowledge base, with over 700 sessions featuring Amazon industry leaders, experts, speakers and tools.

Augustas Kligys is the founder of Orange Klik and has been delivering in-person and virtual events for Amazon sellers since 2016, including European Seller Conference, Seller Fest and PPC Congress.

Known in the business as the "Amazon Summits Guy", Augustas helps Amazon sellers achieve success through delivering expert sessions and online guides.

Focused on helping Amazon sellers build and scale their business, Augustas has spent the last years developing an industry-leading knowledge base, with over 500 sessions featuring Amazon industry leaders, experts, speakers and tools.

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