No one likes making payments. And even less so when it’s international. The process is fragmented and cumbersome. In order to send money between countries, there is an ever-changing mountain of variables. The fluctuating exchange rate. The inconsistent fee structures. The unpredictable time lag. These factors combine to create an inefficient experience for companies making international payments at scale.

There is, however, an Australian startup that is focussed on improving this status quo by removing the ambiguity built into cross-border transactions.

AirWallex is a platform that “uses machine learning to determine the most cost-effective way of settling” international payments. The startup was founded in 2015 by CEO Jack Zhang and his colleagues Lucy Liu (who was selected for the 30 Under 30 in Asia in 2017), Jacob Dai, Ki-Lok Wong and Max Li as a way to simplify an inefficient financial process. In my conversation with Zhang, he detailed that the platform was born out of an anecdotal pain point.

“While importing custom packaging for our products, we found that the foreign exchange spread and transaction fees were really high; much higher than they should be. That’s where the idea for Airwallex came from: it was established as a cheaper, more efficient and scalable alternative to traditional processes for cross-border payments.”
The platform gives businesses “of all shapes and sizes” a more intelligent payment solution. Companies can set up their own Airwallex account or integrate the startup’s proprietary APIs to get started. From there, Airwallex facilitates the transfer of payments to over “100 countries globally” with the lowest possible exchange rates in real-time and take a minimal transaction fee. This shows pricing and information transparency.

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Ahmed Rauf Essa is a business graduate from IOBM. He is the only Pakistani entrepreneur to win 7 Global & 2 National Awards at the age of 27. He has been a jury member for 9 Global Awards & was also selected as Rising Star by the world retail congress. Ahmed Rauf Essa was also featured in Forbes “30 Under 30” List 2019.