Whether you’re a multinational corporation conducting large-scale transactions, a small business owner, or an individual sending money to family overseas, understanding the intricacies of international payment platforms is crucial for navigating the complexities of the global financial landscape. 

Singapore-based NIUM has been a popular solution for these market needs, connecting companies worldwide to a sophisticated real-time payment system. It acts as a service for businesses to instantly collect, convert, and send payments to accounts, cards, and wallets globally, fostering rapid business development. NIUM’s platform supports global payouts to over 190 markets with real-time processing.

NIUM and its Services

NIUM offers global accounts that streamline the processes of funding, collections, conversions, and disbursements in various currencies, promoting seamless international growth. The platform also facilitates quick setup of both physical and virtual card strategies through its global card issuance services.

NIUM caters to specific industry needs with services tailored for global payroll—offering competitive FX rates and immediate payment options, spend management—simplifying corporate purchasing and supplier payments, and travel payments—enhancing travel payment methods for the travel sector to boost efficiency and profitability.

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SOURCE | Digital International Payment

However, despite NIUM's targeted services in these specialised areas, its range of offerings may be more limited compared to other platforms. This limitation could potentially restrict the diversity of financial solutions available to users, especially those seeking a broader array of services beyond NIUM's specific industry-focused offerings. 

Users looking for a more comprehensive suite of financial tools and services may find NIUM's platform lacking in versatility and may need to explore alternative platforms to meet their varied financial needs.

NIUM is known to charge an exchange rate that is consistently higher by about one rupee compared to the prevailing market rate. This practice results in users losing money on each transaction due to the inflated exchange rate. 

In addition, high transaction fees, alleged compliance issues, a lack of customer services, and a less user-friendly or intuitive user experience can make navigating transactions and services more challenging. 

While NIUM offers its own set of pros and cons, there are alternative platforms that provide a wider range of services and more cost-effective international money transfer solutions. Some notable alternatives include PayPal, SALT Fintech, and Payoneer, each offering unique features such as competitive exchange rates, multi-currency accounts, and streamlined cross-border payments. 

These alternatives cater to diverse needs, from individuals seeking low-cost transfers to businesses requiring efficient global payment solutions. By exploring these alternatives, you can find platforms that better align with their specific requirements and offer enhanced benefits beyond what NIUM provides. 

PayPal

PayPal, a prominent American fintech company founded in 1998, has emerged as an international leader in online payments and international money transfers. Offering a comprehensive range of services, PayPal facilitates seamless transactions for businesses and individuals worldwide. 

From personal payments and online shopping to invoicing and international money transfers, PayPal's versatile platform caters to diverse financial needs with its user-friendly interface and widespread acceptance.

Key features of PayPal include its emphasis on secure online payments, mobile-friendly solutions, peer-to-peer (P2P) capabilities, and global acceptance. With a strong focus on convenience and reliability, PayPal has become a go-to choice for individuals and businesses seeking efficient cross-border payment solutions. 

The company now processes an average of 41 million transactions per day, representing a substantial 20.58% increase from the estimated 34 million transactions processed daily in 2019. 

Why not PayPal?

  • High fees associated with international transactions

  • Not ideal for high-risk or high-volume businesses 

  • A complex fee structure that can be difficult to understand

  • Customers report account freezes and terminations, resulting in loss of funds

  • Limited to only 25 supported currencies

Payoneer

Payoneer is a global payments platform catering to businesses, professionals, and freelancers worldwide. With a presence in over 200 countries, Payoneer simplifies cross-border transactions by offering services like receiving payments through local bank accounts in various currencies, sending payments to other users, and integrating with popular marketplaces. 

Users can withdraw funds to their local bank accounts. Fees range from 2% of the transaction amount plus a currency conversion fee to an annual fee of $29.95 for inactive accounts.

Payoneer empowers users to expand their global reach and efficiently manage international transactions by providing seamless payment solutions and marketplace integrations. 

With competitive pricing and a user-friendly interface, Payoneer has become a trusted partner for those navigating the complexities of global commerce. It enables businesses and individuals to focus on growth and success in the international marketplace.

Why not Payoneer?

  • May pose transaction delays when receiving large amounts

  • Limited functionality, cannot accept in-person payments

  • Slightly higher service charge for incoming payments compared to PayPal

  • Must pay a withdrawal fee to move funds from Payoneer account to bank account

  • Customer service can be slow and unresponsive

Salt

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SOURCE | International Money Transfer

SALT, an innovative Indian fintech startup, has set out to address the key challenges businesses face when navigating the complexities of international money transfers. 

Founded in 2020 by Udita Pal and Ankit Parashar, who bring firsthand experience in international business banking, SALT offers a one-stop solution to help companies overcome the hurdles of lengthy transfer times and burdensome compliance requirements.

SALT's comprehensive suite of services caters to the needs of small businesses and startups engaged in cross-border transactions. The platform automates the filing of crucial regulatory documents, such as RBI, MCA, and FEMA forms, while managing pre and post-funding compliance. 

Why SALT Fintech?

  • Transparent Currency Conversion: The platform adheres to Google rates for converting currency to INR, ensuring transparency and fairness.

  • Fees:  One of the key distinctions between SALT and other international payment alternatives lies in their fee structures. While other providers charge a percentage-based fee for each transaction, along with a forex markup, SALT takes a different approach. SALT does not apply any markup on currency conversions and instead follows the Google rate for converting to Indian Rupees (INR). Typically, other providers' transaction fees amount to around 4.4% of the transferred amount, plus an additional $0.30, whereas SALT maintains a flat rate of 1.75%, making it a more cost-effective solution for businesses.

  • Compliance Management: SALT stands out by offering a comprehensive compliance management solution, including pre-funding and post-funding compliance and assistance with FIRC (Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate) acquisition. In contrast, other international payment alternatives do not provide any compliance management services.

  • Currency Conversion: SALT deals in six major currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, HKD, SGD) and provides currency conversion at a competitive rate of 1.75% of the transaction. Other international payment alternatives, while supporting a wider range of currencies, charge higher fees for currency conversion. 

  • Dedicated Relationship Manager: Worried about your payment not being received on time? You can reach out to your dedicated relationship manager to solve your exact issue. 

Final thoughts 

SALT Fintech is specifically tailored to assist Indian companies that engage with foreign clients. It offers a specialised suite of services designed to streamline international transactions and compliance processes. 

Focusing on addressing the challenges and needs faced by Indian businesses operating in a global market, SALT provides a dedicated platform that simplifies cross-border payments, regulatory filings, and currency conversions. 

By catering to the requirements of Indian companies with foreign clientele, SALT aims to enhance operational efficiency, reduce complexities associated with international transactions, and facilitate seamless financial interactions on a global scale.