This Fintech Company is Turning its Rivals Into Partners Globally

'We are partnering with a lot of banks to ensure better settlement, better transparency, hence, better services to the end consumer,' says COO Keren Levy

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Payoneer, a global digital payment company, is steering a steady growth by targeting small businesses globally. It has registered triple-digit growth in payment volume in Asia since 2012.


The New York-headquartered company, which processes around 150 currencies across 200 countries, is making cross-border payment easier globally. It helps small and medium business owners solve the pain points related to digital payments. The company has four-million-strong clientele that includes Airbnb, Google, Amazon, Getty Images and Upwork.

Globally, the company's payment transaction volume in 2016 grew 86.2 percent to $7.82 billion, whereas Asia saw a massive 153 percent increase on-year. The company is planning to increase its presence in more Asian countries after making inroads into China, Japan, South Korea and India.

Keren Levy, the chief operating officer of Payoneer, says the company’s strategy is to build partnerships with companies throughout the e-commerce ecosystem, including manufacturers, sellers, logistics and providers of other auxiliary services.

Partnering with its Rivals: Banks

“Everything around the seller ecosystem is very important for us when it comes to partnerships, it could also be banks. We are partnering with a lot of banks to ensure better settlement, better transparency, hence, better services to the end consumer,” says Levy.

“The ultimate aim is to give the best experience to end users, and therefore, we put every seller in same parity when they come to us,” adds Rohit Kulkarni, the India country manager. “We partner with banks because we believe that they are not as ready as they thought they would be.” 

To facilitate payments across the globe, Payoneer has a network of over 40 banks and financial partners such as Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, RBS, Barclays, PingAn, MasterCard, Indusind Bank and ICICI Bank. In India, it has partnered with five banks, including ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank.

Glocalization Across the World

The localization approach is helping the company mitigating the challenges in different regions and understand consumers better. “As much as we would like to expand globally, it is important for us to localize operations,” says Levy.  The company has been facing communication barrier since every country has a different culture and language. To build a bond with the sellers, Payoneer adopted a strategy to build a domestic team and move with the more localized approach to communicate with the sellers.  

Levy says if a company wants to penetrate in a particular market, it has to "localize more."

“Fill the sense of urgency and the needs of customer with the localization approach,” she says. 

“Being locally present is much more nuanced. Without having local operations, we wouldn’t have these figures,” adds Kulkarni.

The company will also soon start offering its “working capital” for sellers in India. “There isn’t a business out there that doesn’t need more capital to grow. We are looking into bringing our working capital products here and allowing small businesses to receive this service from us as well,” says Levy.