Tuesday, 11 February 2020 11:16

Airwallex announces 'soft' Visa cards

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Fintech firm Airwallex has launched a "borderless card" for businesses in collaboration with Visa.

iTWire has regularly written about the company, for instance here, here or here.

The company's primary offer is based on the ability to seamlessly and cheaply move funds between a variety of international currencies. For instance, any Airwallex account holder may open an account in Australian dollars and convert some funds to US dollars and move that money to a US-based account for the payment of an account (as an example).

The typical exchange fee is very low compared to the amount paid by most of us on our credit cards. Similarly, money earned in US dollars may be converted back to Australia at any time.

The process of opening a foreign account is near-instantaneous and contains all the routing information required to operate in the global market.

At last week's PauseFest, Airwallex announced a partnership with Visa to launch the Airwallex Borderless Card for businesses.

According to the company, "The Airwallex Borderless Card will be rolled out in two key phases. From today, Airwallex customers in Australia will be able to instantly generate and issue multi-currency virtual payment cards to pay suppliers in seconds.

"With the ability to make payments to merchants globally where Visa is accepted, the new card will provide greater efficiencies and improved financial oversight for business operators. Both single use or multi-use cards are available with individual transaction limits across currency and merchant types, providing total control and visibility over payments."

More features will be introduced in coming months, including the ability to set daily, weekly or monthly spending limits and time usage limits, as well as access to enhanced reporting and reconciliation.

The second phase, due at the end of Q1 2020, will see the Airwallex Borderless Card expand to offer multi-currency corporate cards for business owners and their employees, further empowering them to make every-day corporate purchase decisions.

Airwallex customers will be able to generate individual corporate cards instantly, bypassing traditional processes that require extensive paperwork, hefty annual fees and bank queues. The corporate cards will first be available in physical form, with a virtual rollout later in Q2 2020 in digital wallets and via the Airwallex corporate card mobile app.

According to Jack Zhang, chief executive and co-founder of Airwallex, "Airwallex's goal has always been to set up a global financial infrastructure that helps businesses to grow and scale. In the last few years, we have cemented a growing reputation as one of the world's leading cross-border payments providers. This partnership with Visa takes us to a new level, where we can now offer businesses an end-to-end financial services solution. We have evolved to become a business account that will support the financial needs of today's modern business."

These 'soft' Visa cards will permit any business to near-instantaneously create a card number that they may wish to link to an internal activity or to an external business partner. This means that (perhaps) all purchasing transactions for a project are isolated to a single card number or alternately, all charges from a supplier are also isolated in this way. 

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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