Exclusive Interview With Nagarajan Rao, SVP and Head of Transpay

Nagarajan Rao is a Fintech executive specializing in the high-volume, low-value payments industry. As the Senior Vice President and Head of Transpay, Rao is responsible for the overall leadership, strategy and execution of Transpay, a cross-border payment service focused exclusively on B2B/B2P transactions. In his role, Rao spearheaded the development of a robust, end-to-end global payments platform, creating a technology infrastructure capable of moving large volumes of transactions in a secure and compliant manner. This technology is enabled through direct relationships with major banks in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

LTP: For our readers who might not be familiar with Transpay, how would you describe Transpay? How did you get started in the cross-border payments space? Can you share some metrics (subs/accounts, transactions, volume, share, etc.) about the business?

Transpay is a simplified payment platform that allows businesses to send B2B and B2P mass payments all over the world, very quickly.

Transpay was conceived as a result of numerous issues I saw with traditional cross-border payout methods, which come with exorbitant and hidden fees, lack of transparency, and inexcusable lag times in delivering payments. Most people understand that sending international funds is a complicated process, and having worked in the payments industry for more than 12 years, I knew it didn’t need to be.

When Transpay launched in late 2012, we deployed robust, industrial-grade, back-and front-end technologies. Coupled with our own proprietary cross-border payments network, we were able to pioneer instant, direct-to-bank or cash pick-up payouts.

Today, we have the largest, independent direct-to-bank network in the world. We have partnerships with some 10,000 banks and payment processors in more than 120 countries. In most countries, our network reaches more than 90 percent of the banked population. We also send funds to 200,000 cash pick-up locations.

Transpay’s total global payout volume in 2014 was $4 billion, with 11.6 million transactions. We have 6,065 business clients and three million individual clients.

LTP: In addition to the banks themselves, there are many traditional alternatives (SWIFT Wire Transfers, international prepaid cards, eWallets) in the payments space. Why do your customers choose Transpay? What makes your solutions special?

Transpay provides businesses with simple solutions for processing near-instant global payouts. Transfer times are often in minutes – not days, like traditional payments methods.

Our system removes all of the additional costs associated with traditional payment solutions, specifically SWIFT, prepaid cards and eWallets.

Offering flexible options for sending and receiving funds is the core of our product. Unlike many of our competitors who ride the rails of others’ bank networks, we’ve built our own self-sustaining network that is mature and beneficial to both senders and receivers in terms of time, cost and convenience. Senders can deliver cross-border funds more reliably, faster and without hidden costs, while recipients can receive funds in local currency through direct deposits or cash pickup.

Being able to offer both direct deposits and local cash pickup payout options is a competitive advantage when working with individuals in emerging markets or rural areas where banks are not widely used or accessible.

In all cases, having our own independent global bank network allows us to not rely on correspondent banks to deliver our client’s money, a practice shared by the majority of global payout services. Our network also allows us to deliver superior service more reliably, faster and without hidden costs.

LTP: What is the sweet spot for your B2B customer base? Are there particular customer profiles that your service is most popular with?

Our B2B clients include freelance and e-commerce marketplaces, travel services, multi-level marketing companies, credit card acquirers, non-bank financial institutions, banks and more.

Transpay’s robust technology offers both a web-based and REST API solution. Businesses can use Transpay’s web-based solution to initiate payments using just a recipient’s email address and phone number, or integrate their system with Transpay’s robust end-to-end, white-labeled REST API.

LTP: Do you agree that regulation and technology are two of the most important aspects for an international payments service? What are your thoughts on either or both of those areas in terms of the effort and resources required to manage? Do you believe in those being core competencies or a cost of doing business?

You are correct that regulation is a priority for our business, so much so that I’d characterize it as a core competency. In fact, ten percent of our staff is dedicated full-time to compliance. This is part of the responsibility that comes with running a bank network that works across 72 jurisdictions around the world and 37 in the U.S.

Security and fraud are other key considerations. After all, being in the business of moving money makes anyone in this industry a prime target for fraud. We are constantly investing in developing new technologies to stay in front of this.

And yes, we are a tech-forward company. From a back-end perspective – in terms of enabling our network, or our plumbing -- technology is extremely important. Our bank partners and business clients expect us to have robust, state-of-the-art technology solutions in place, and we do not disappoint in that regard.

LTP: What are some key milestones in this coming year that you are focused on as a business? Any big announcements that we should expect in the coming months?

Actually, we are expecting to make some very big announcements in terms of expansion of our client base as well as our proprietary payout network.

We’ll be introducing additional capabilities in our key receive markets and exciting new bank and business partners for Transpay – including some that are already under way but not ready to announce.

We’re also working on new enhancements to our B2B and B2P services. It’s too soon to share the news, but stay tuned for more.

LTP: What else would you share with the LTP audience about Transpay? Any important areas that we might not have covered?

Banks are another big opportunity for us. Transpay’s white-labeled payments platform allows banks to offer a cross-border money transfer service that is quicker and more reliable than ACH and SWIFT, while again leaving the compliance to us for minimal risk. Banks will increasingly outsource core services like cross-border payments to specialized companies, and we’re excited to be well-positioned in this regard.

Note: This is a sponsored article