Podcasts

WorldFirst’s Mike Ward: ‘There are alternatives to the incumbents’

  • Moving money internationally is easier and cheaper than most customers think.
  • Mike Ward, chief revenue officer of WorldFirst, joins us on the podcast to talk about the money transfer market.
close

Email a Friend

WorldFirst’s Mike Ward: ‘There are alternatives to the incumbents’

This week’s guest on the podcast is Mike Ward, the chief revenue officer of WorldFirst, which is a strong competitor in the international payment and money transfer industry. We discuss why historically it’s been so hard, expensive, and frustrating to move money around the world and how new financial technology firms like WorldFirst have improved the experience.

Subscribe: iTunes I SoundCloud

Below are highlights, edited for clarity, from the episode.

Why people feel it’s so hard move money internationally
“There are two reasons why people still feel like it’s hard to move money around. The first is that they’re probably still using their banks. We believe, in most markets around the world, banks own 85 to 95 percent of the market share in money transfer. The banks have been trying to incorporate technology and make transactions easier. But with an incumbent, you still have to go into the branch and talk to a teller. The teller is a generalist and not an FX expert. You have to fill out a large form and pay high fees.

The second reason is that most people and businesses don’t realize there are alternatives. Financial technology companies have disrupted and changed the transaction in terms of speed, price, and complexity.”

Financial technology begins to disrupt banking money transfers
“The original approach to competing with banks in money transfer probably began 25 to 30 years ago. We’re going to compete against the banks with pricing and service. Travelex would be a good example. To them, service was picking up a phone. Have a matter expert, not a generalist, behind the counter. They’d have better pricing because Travelex would go out and make a market and trade with the big banks. Higher volumes resulted in better pricing Travelex could pass on to their customers.

Then technology came and said let’s make technology core. Let’s not have feet-to-the-street sales people running around to land one customer at a time. Let’s not have it phone-based. We want our technology to solve the issues, answer questions, and conduct the transaction. That’s really what customers want. They don’t want to talk to someone to manage the transaction. The next wave of disruption to banking over the past 10 to 15 years created an interesting dynamic as we’re seeing a lot more collaboration between fintech and banks.”

Growth in the industry
“Consumers are 20 percent of our business. Those needs come and go and we need to continue going after the next client. It’s a good business but there’s a lot of competition out there, like Transferwise. Corporate customers and e-commerce is very big for us. In the U.S., a lot of people still deal with the banks. Many owner/operators of businesses don’t understand currency exposure of working internationally. If you look at e-commerce, growth is being driven by e-commerce marketplaces you’ve never even heard of.”

0 comments on “WorldFirst’s Mike Ward: ‘There are alternatives to the incumbents’”

Podcasts, The Green Finance Podcast

The Green Finance Podcast Ep. 3: Banks’ role and responsibility in the climate crisis with Chris Skinner

  • In this episode, we explore the role of banks in the climate crisis – big banks historically supported the global fossil fuel industry, but now they’re being pressured to change.
  • My guest today is Chris Skinner, a financial technology expert, global commentator, bestselling author of multiple books, and owner of the website The Finanser.
Iulia Ciutina | June 24, 2022
Where Credit's Due Podcast

Where Credit’s Due Ep.3: Looking at the future of lending as a service with Amount and Stilt

  • As banks and fintechs increasingly focus on the end customer, lending software companies are coming in to help them improve their underwriting services, giving rise to lending-as-a-service as a new market segment.
  • In this episode, we chat with Adam Hughes, who’s the CEO of Amount and Rohit Mittal, the chief executive of Stilt.
Iulia Ciutina | June 22, 2022
Podcasts

Tearsheet Podcast: Takeaways from this year’s Money 20/20 Europe

  • Taking place on June 9, Money 20/20 Europe is the largest European fintech conference of the year.
  • Tearsheet sent two reporters and this was what they had to say about the show.
Zachary Miller | June 21, 2022
Payments, Podcasts, What's Happening in Payments Podcast

What’s Happening in Payments Ep. 8: Klarna and the future of BNPL, PayZen’s ‘Care Now, Pay Later’, and Mastercard’s ‘Smile to Pay’ system

  • This week, we discuss whether BNPL offers a sustainable business model for providers, and whether it’s even viable as a standalone business.
  • We also talk about PayZen’s ‘Care Now, Pay Later’ offering, as well as Mastercard’s ‘Smile to Pay’ system, and what it tells us about the future of privacy and security in payments.
Ismail Umar | June 17, 2022
Acquire Podcast, Modern Marketing, Podcasts

The Acquire Podcast Ep. 11: Movement as marketing and transformation with StrawberryFrog’s Scott Goodson

  • StrawberryFrog’s founder and CEO Scott Goodson joins us on the Acquire Podcast.
  • We talk about doing marketing with soul and intention, the shifting pyramid of power where the boss is no longer God, and the power of truly taking on corporate responsibility.
Rebecca Cohen | June 14, 2022
More Articles