Why Functionality Over Expansion Is The Right Move

Pangea Money TransferVP of Global Partnerships

In the remittance world, expansion isn’t everything.

While there’s value in moving your business into new markets or regions, what's far more important is offering a compelling product to the markets that you currently serve. If you haven’t found the product-market fit, then expansion to new countries is at best meaningless, and at worst a huge distraction.

Before prioritizing geographic expansion, remittance companies ensure that they know how to serve their current market better than the competition. Whether it is additional cash-in locations or home delivery, bots or digital wallets, expanded money transfer offerings can attract new customers, retain current customers and provide a blueprint for expansion.

Getting cash fast

It's easy to forget that customers have markedly different preferences within a single market. While the convenience of bank transfers is obvious, nearly 40% of the global population is unbanked. It's important to know your customer to understand how payments can fit into their lives, and not the other way around.

Try taking the time to ask current and prospective customers what payment options work best for them. Although direct deposit to a bank account may be convenient for some receivers, others may opt for funds to be loaded on their debit card. Some receivers have a deep distrust of the banking system, and the best methods to receive funds are cash locations near their home or even home delivery.

Every customer has their own financial situation and preferences. Consider rolling out a variety of options to appeal to more customers and ignite word-of-mouth.

Catering to customers

Almost everywhere you look, consumers are going mobile. Led by India, China, and Indonesia, new research suggests smartphone adoption across developing markets will increase from an average of 47% in 2016 to 62% by 2020. And if history is any indication, users will continue to become increasingly dependent on these devices. In Australia – where smartphone penetration has already topped 80% – millions now rely on mobile phones for just about everything. In fact, nearly half of all owners say they can’t live without their smartphones.

Demand for the freedom and flexibility to transfer money anytime, anywhere continues to skyrocket; and mobile is the supply to that demand. Successful remittance companies will build their product offering around the continued mobile expansion in developing countries, leveraging mobile wallets, cash payment through mobile devices, and using mobile data as an underpinning for risk and compliance.

Simplifying the sending process

Cash is still king – even with the younger generation. About 58% of consumers aged 18-to-34-years-old prefer to use cash when paying their friends or family. Looking to appeal to these customers? Offer the option of paying for transfers with cold, hard cash.

Whether it’s a local convenience store or nearby gas station, partnering with businesses in the area can help entice senders who want a quick and easy way to pay their loved ones at home and abroad. Rather than heading to a bank, customers will enjoy the luxury of paying for transfers at locations they routinely visit.

Bringing convenience to the table

In many countries, reliable public transportation is a luxury – not an expectation. And without access to a private vehicle, traveling to receive payments can quickly become a troublesome affair. In a survey of 44 countries, Pew Research found that only one-third of respondents have a working car in their home. This lack of transportation often makes picking up payments both timely and expensive.

With home delivery, however, those worries could soon fall by the wayside. Instead of venturing out to a specific pick up location, recipients can put their time to better use while also saving money. To top it off, there’s no need to worry about having precious funds stolen during or even after a transfer. This unique combination of speed, savings and security can go a long way toward enticing potential customers.

Quality over quantity

Much is made of geographic expansion as the benchmark for growth – and it can be. While that may be an effective strategy for some payments companies, others stand to grow their customer base and cement their place in the competitive landscape by focusing on functionality. From additional payout options to home delivery, new features that cater to the needs of customers can help usher in new business in a big way.

Josh Gordon-Blake

Pangea Money TransferVP of Global Partnerships

Josh Gordon-Blake is the VP of Global Partnerships at Pangea Money Transfer, a Chicago-based international money transfer app, where he manages a team of professionals who develop and cultivate relationships with banks, processors, startups, foreign exchange houses, mobile wallets and retailers to expand Pangea and move money effortlessly throughout the world.

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