East & Partners Banking News – 30th March, 2017

CurrencyVue adds FX platform for SMEs

(30 March 2017 – Australia) With assistance from the NSW Government’s “Jobs for NSW initiative”, Sydney-based fintech startup CurrencyVue has developed a foreign exchange (FX) platform to provide small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) with yet another platform to manage their currency exposure risks.


Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said the platform, to be launched in mid-2017, connects directly to banking and accounting systems and comes as more small businesses want access to international markets particularly as they develop their digital presence.


“SME’s can be at a huge disadvantage when dealing in FX markets experiencing financial losses due to unpredictable market movements,” Mr Barilaro said


“Systems to manage FX dealings for big businesses can cost more than $50,000 a year which may not be affordable for many SMEs. CurrencyVue is targeting a global market for SMEs by providing an easy-to-use platform at a fraction of the cost.


“The company has been supported to develop and test its technology with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) grant from private-sector led, NSW Government backed Jobs for NSW.


“The platform uses innovative cloud technology to provide some of the sophistication until now only really available to large institutional businesses to the smaller end of town. It’s another great example of how the NSW Government is supporting the thriving fintech industry in NSW,” Barilaro said.


CurrencyVue chief executive Matthew Tyrrell said the MVP grant had been very helpful accounting for about 15 percent of the cost of developing an initial prototype.


“SMEs need to understand and manage financial risks. For example, post-Brexit the British pound fell about 10 percent against the US dollar, meaning an unhedged UK importer paying for USD goods would have added an extra 10 percent cost overnight,” he said.


East & Partners’ latest Australian business FX research shows that in Australia, small business engagement with FX risk products such as options and forwards remain relatively low, compared to other regions.


In November 2016, the research highlighted that around 85 percent of Micro businesses (A$1-5 million annual turnover) reported never having used Options or Forwards, while that figure dropped to around 70 percent of SMEs (A$5-20 million annual turnover).


However, according to the research, those numbers are trending downward as businesses become more educated, and FX platforms more accessible.