About Us Solutions Business Type Contacts Support

What Are the Main Forces Shaping the Future of Cross-Border Payments?

Boaz Gam

Boaz Gam


Average rating: 4.93, reviews: 1177
Thanks for the vote!
4 min
Article content
  1. Key Ongoing Changes in the Cross-Border Payment Sphere
  2. Other Trends Influencing the Global Cross-Border Payment Landscape
  3. The Future of Cross-Border Payments

Cross-Border Payment Landscape Overview: Key Trends & Developments

Historically, different currencies have played decisive roles in making international trade possible. What’s more, cross-border payments have been undergoing substantial transformations throughout the years, driven by innovations and shifting market demands. Even today, major shifts are still ongoing in response to global events, revolutionary technology, and dynamics in the global economy.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the key ongoing developments in the sphere of cross-border payments. We will also explain how this domain is expected to balance optimizing efficiency and managing mounting global risks in the face of seismic changes. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Key Ongoing Changes in the Cross-Border Payment Sphere

The modern cross-border payment scene is currently experiencing multiple major shifts that are sure to play a defining role in its future evolution trajectory. Here are the two main ongoing transitions you need to be aware of:

The T+1 Transition: What’s It All About?

Cross-Border Payment Landscape Overview: Key Trends & Developments

Currently, the settlement process of a spot FX trade in the US usually takes about two days after the transaction is conducted. This process is linked to a concern known as Herstatt risk, aka settlement risk, when one side may fail to fulfill their payment obligation while the other has already done it and cannot reverse it.

Fortunately, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is working on rules to shorten the standard settlement time from two days (T+2) to just one day (T+1). While this may seem like a small change, it is a major improvement that is set to bring about a lot of benefits, including:

  • Reduced counterparty risks
  • Increased market efficiency
  • Improved liquidity
  • Alignment with modern settlement standards

This change is expected to go into full effect in May 2024 and will affect those dealing with US stocks, corporate debt, and unit investment trusts.

The implementation of similar adjustments is also being discussed in Canada, the UK, the EU, Switzerland, Mexico, Peru, and some Asian countries, while India already completed the T+1 transition for its stock markets in January 2023.

Yet, although T+1 is a big step toward faster cross-border payments, it is still not completely free from the FX settlement risk and other operational challenges.

Due to this, the SEC states that an eventual shift to end-of-day settlement (T+0) is inevitable. However, as the industry is currently in the midst of switching to T+1, it is way too early to plan this transition just yet.

De-Dollarization Explained

Cross-Border Payment Landscape Overview: Key Trends & Developments

Another hot topic in cross-border commerce nowadays is de-dollarization. This tendency is linked to the fact that due to the fluctuation of currency values and market shifts, conducting trade using the US dollar has become less cost-effective for some nations.

This trend is especially prominent in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. For instance, in recent weeks, India executed its first crude oil payment to the UAE in Indian Rupees (INR).

What’s more, BRICS countries have expressed their intent to reduce reliance on the US dollar, with various banks in countries like Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar increasing their holdings of Chinese yuan (CNY) over the past decade.

Yet another tendency supporting the de-dollarization trend is the fact that currency pairs not involving USD are now witnessing narrower spreads, which makes them more appealing for international trade. The growing number of market participants quoting prices in a broader range of currencies has played a significant role in this shift, particularly in emerging economies.

Nonetheless, full de-dollarization is likely a long-term process and is not a guaranteed scenario. After all, many financial markets stick to the “if it isn't broken, don't fix it” principle. The US dollar’s liquidity and efficiency in facilitating cross-border transactions have proven effective for decades.

Other Trends Influencing the Global Cross-Border Payment Landscape

Cross-Border Payment Landscape Overview: Key Trends & Developments

Aside from T+1 and de-dollarization shifts, there are other noteworthy cross-border payment trends, such as:

  • CBDCs. These digital currencies often built on blockchain technology enable faster, more efficient, and cost-effective international transactions. As a result, they play a significant role in reducing reliance on traditional banking systems.
  • Real-time payments. Real-time payment systems accelerate the settlement of transactions and enhance the user experience by eliminating delays associated with legacy payment methods.
  • AI and ML. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are being actively implemented to improve cross-border payment processes. These technologies are used to detect fraud, automate compliance checks, and optimize currency exchange rates.
  • Financial inclusion. Many modern payment initiatives aim to provide underbanked and unbanked populations with access to cross-border payment services to ensure that everyone can participate in the global economy.
The combination of global efforts in these areas is gradually forging a next-generation Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI) that is expected to eventually make swift and secure PvP settlement possible for virtually all currency corridors.

The Future of Cross-Border Payments

Cross-Border Payment Landscape Overview: Key Trends & Developments

Now, you have an idea about the major shifts and key trends ongoing in the realm of cross-border payments. While the future of these developments depends on a variety of factors and thus remains uncertain, the majority of stakeholders are pursuing common goals, including:

  • Enhanced payment efficiency
  • An innovative and secure payment environment for all
  • Removal of unnecessary obstacles within the cross-border payment process

Thus, as of now, the trajectory of the cross-border payments’ evolution looks extremely promising. Regardless of the outcome of the T+1 and de-dollarization tendencies, industry experts predict reduced friction and improved transaction efficiency, which is an extremely positive tendency in the context of international commerce.

We use cookies What does it mean?

Payneteasy uses cookies to improve its perfomance and enhance your user experience