Interbank FX: Leveraging Prepaid MasterCard to Speed-up Global Earnings Payments

06 January 2010 8:17:00 PM

In the exciting, highly liquid world of foreign exchange (forex) trading, collecting your earnings and dividends from abroad can be more challenging than predicting the next big swing in the USD/JPY rate. Traditionally, globally dispersed traders collect their earnings and dividends by paper check or wire transfer, which can be costly and time consuming. Fortunately, one forward thinking forex dealer is leveraging the efficiencies of the credit card networks to transfer profits to its customers on demand.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, Interbank FX LLC (www.interbankfx.com) is a leading provider of online forex trading services. The “off-exchange” retail foreign currency broker serves approximately 35,000 clients in over 140 countries including individual traders, money managers and institutional customers. Competition in the forex business runs high, and the difference between success and failure is very often customer service. Also, like many off-exchange brokers, Interbank FX was stuck with outdated methods for remitting its international customers’ earnings. Cutting checks and sending wire transfers were just too inefficient.
It seemed ironic that traders were working all over the world trading major currencies, yet this very global distribution caused difficulty in collecting profits. Paper checks posed obvious problems. Checks must be produced and mailed, a very slow process for many living abroad. What’s more, waiting for a foreign check to clear could easily take as much time as it took to arrive. Lost and stolen checks are extremely inconvenient. International wire transfer, while better, can take several days to complete, tends to be expensive and in some countries is quite paperwork intensive.
Interbank FX knew that it would take a well developed financial network to allow tens of thousands of traders spread across the globe to quickly access their profits. It’s not surprising then that IBFX chose MasterCard®. Interbank FX also knew that the delivery system would require an easy-to-use, 24/7 online interface. To pull the solution together IBFX chose Payoneer, an innovative, New York based international payments distribution firm that is quickly becoming a standard solution for global e-commerce companies.
Interbank FX decided to provide its traders with an option to receive their earnings on a reloadable Payoneer Interbank FX Debit MasterCard card, in addition to paper checks and wire transfers. Payoneer issues and delivers the prepaid cards to IBFX’s customers throughout the world for free. Interbank FX customers can then use a Web-based interface to activate the card and transfer profits. Two hours after loading, IBFX’s customers can use the card to withdraw earnings in their local currency from over a million cash machines (ATMs) in more than 210 countries. These prepaid cards can also be used at more than 30 million merchants accepting Debit MasterCard worldwide, or can even be used to buy more positions at Interbank FX.

This inventive solution addresses more than customer service. Payoneer allowed Interbank FX to co-brand its cards and customer web portal, increasing its brand awareness. Payoneer, being a registered MasterCard Member Service Provider (MSP) is required to enforce the highest privacy and data security standards. In addition to PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) compliance, the Payoneer system conforms to U.S. Patriot Act, OFAC and “Know Your Customer” regulations.

The Payoneer card offers IBFX’s customers a lot of advantages. For instance, the card is protected like any prepaid MasterCard debit card, so in most cases, the PIN-based card can be reissued with funds intact if it is lost or stolen. In addition, withdrawals are subject to MasterCard exchange rates, often more favorable than those of local banks. Moreover, Interbank FX customers don’t need to have a local bank account to retrieve their earnings, virtually any ATM will do.
In the competitive struggle to keep traders happy, Interbank FX has smartly tapped one of the world’s strongest and most flexible financial networks. On demand payment and greater convenience have replaced processes like paper checks, which precede the card networks by a century. After all, one would expect an industry based on the movement of money across borders to be able to guarantee the speedy delivery of profits. Interbank FX customers certainly expect it. 

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