By Phillip Straley 

At the end of February, FNA headed to Abu Dhabi for Arab Payment Week at the invitation of BUNA (The Arab Regional Payments Clearing and Settlement Organization)’s Mehdi Manaa and Faisal Alhijawi. 



At the event, FNA President Phillip Straley joined a lively panel discussion along with industry peers Joyce L, Nizar Chadad, Shane Riedel and Alain Raes, moderated by Ian Hooper, exploring the opportunities and challenges related to Cross-border Payments.’The Rise of Fintechs in Cross-Border Payments’.  


The discussion centered around: 

  • The extent & pace of progress in cross-border payments transformation 
  • The respective roles in cross-borer payments (current & potential) of banks, other “incumbents” and newer Fintech entrants
  • Partnership & collaboration models 
  • What can/will drive greater cross-border innovation 
  • Risks associated with cross-border payments 



From our perspective at FNA, it’s clear that societal success in cross-border payments will be a tale with many actors. Regions are progressing with different areas of focus, serving the needs of their own economies and societies, particularly in low-value/ consumer payments. For high-value payments, there’s a greater likelihood of a smaller number of global “winners”, and the next few years will be critical. 


For cross-border consumers, as with domestic consumers, the biggest challenge will be managing the rapidly rising increase in fraud and cams. This will have to be tackled by national authorities working in collaboration with each other, as individual financial institutions simply don’t have the data and full network insight to combat fraud effectively alone. Supporting national authorities in managing this is a key focus for FNA. 


For cross-border high-value/wholesale liquidity, efficiency will be the critical factor that will drive adoption and progress, and we’re equally excited about our work with both payment operators and banks in driving this efficiency.  


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