(PYMNTS) In this era of digital commerce and payments, it can be easy to forget that many small and medium-sized business often fall through the cracks.
That holds especially true when it comes to letters of credit – an old, perhaps even outdated device that is involved in some $3 trillion in annual global trade. Those letters of credit, of course, are meant to provide assurances for such transactions, but SMBs have difficulty getting them – they mainly go to large firms.
But as cross-border payments gain power in this interconnected world, options are increasing for those SMBs that want to play bigger roles when it comes to imports and exports.
As he told Karen Webster, the company’s brand-new Payment Assurance program will launch with Tempus, a foreign exchange (FX) and international payment solutions company with 50,000 corporate clients on its platform. It will help enable SMBs to engage in more trade without the risk of being left holding the bag when doing business with buyers outside of their domestic market.
In a general way, the Payment Assurance platform functions as an escrow device, ensuring that suppliers and buyers get what they have both agreed to. SMBs can access the platform via integrations with freight forwarders and even B2B marketplaces that also leverage the TangoTrade API. An online interface provides management for the entire supplier-and-buyer international transaction. Payment from the buyer is held by what the company calls a dedicated licensed holding account. TangoTrade then validates the shipment has been made and transfers the payment to the seller, with competitive exchange rates and local payment options provided via the Tempus part of the operation.