Money20/20: Convera CEO on trade-boosting fintechs

Convera CEO Patrick Gauthier speaks from Money 20/20 about the ways fintechs are boosting global trade through innovation in cross-border payments

FinTech Magazine speaks with Convera CEO Patrick Gauthier at Money20/20 about the anticipated growth in global trade, and how fintech innovation in the cross-border payments space is helping to fuel this growth.

Our chat with Gauthier comes just before the fintech partnered with Temonos for its scalable platform, boosting its cloud payments technology, and the completed transition of Western Union Business Solutions into its operations, which it acquired for US$910m in 2021. 

How are fintechs boosting global trade? And how are evolutions in cross-border payments helping them achieve this? 

It's quite simple actually, when you think about it. There's so much functionality now in the way businesses are managed compared to 10 or 15 years ago when so many of the tools were really only available to large companies.

Through the emergence of the cloud, what you've seen is companies like Convera and many others democratise sophisticated tools to manage a business. For instance, in our case, we are providing our clients with hedging strategies that not so long ago were tools reserved for very large companies. 

Now, we’re able to allow our clients to make decisions on how to grow their business with greater agility, greater speed, and greater accuracy. This is thanks to our ability to deliver our services with a lower cost base than some of the larger, established providers. 

We're able to build from my 30 years of industry experience and marry that with new technologies to provide a superior service for companies that would otherwise be underserved. It allows us to give businesses the opportunity to grow globally with confidence. 

A Convera report suggests the global services trade is set to grow 44% in the next five years. What is spurring this growth?

The trend towards zero carbon emissions is clearly creating a demand for a whole slew of new products, in particular, capital goods and transportation products. What we're also seeing still is the aftereffects of COVID-19. During Covid, it is very clear that we all learned of a different way to work and that is now translated into a different way to operate with companies. 

What we see is driving growth in services that can be delivered digitally and a rebound in travel. No surprise there. I think all of us at this show have been at the, uh, Amsterdam Airport Schipol and found that the lines were long. So travel has not fully recovered yet, but all signs point to an acceleration. 

More generally speaking, this shift in commerce corridors presents an opportunity for growth as well. So while 2023 and 2024, given some of the headwinds related to inflation, interest rates, and the possibility of a recession in certain parts of the world make the immediate future a little bit difficult to predict, I believe beyond 2024 the market is going to be quite bullish. 

How important is Money20/20 for you as an event?

Money 2020 is one of the three shows that we attend across the world every year. This is actually the first time we are attending in Europe, as we are finally in the process of uncovering to the world our brand, what we stand for, and how we can help potential customers. Europe is about 45% of our business overall, so being able to attend this show is very important. 

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