Payments provider startup Align Commerce has released a public beta of its blockchain-based payments platform. The new platform is opening in beta to 34 countries to promote efficiencies in global payments
Marwan Forzley, CEO and Founder of Align Commerce, commented:
The $24 trillion cross-border payments market is growing at a breakneck pace, expected to eclipse $54 trillion by 2022, despite a highly inefficient and expensive system in which businesses spend over $50 billion on wire and foreign exchange fees, wait up to seven days for transactions to complete, and have no visibility into the process. The blockchain offers a ready alternative. The Align Commerce Payments Platform is the first in the industry to use this global rail to help small and medium-sized businesses quickly collect and receive payments in their local currency while avoiding high wire fees and various hidden fees.
The University of Nicosia in Cyprus has been using Align Commerce to process cross-border payments in its international divisions. Antonis Polemitis, a Board Member at the university, noted:
The process has been faster and less expensive on a total cost basis (fees and currency spread) than wire transfers. The platform has also been very simple to use.
Dan Morehead, CEO at Pantera Capital, which invested in Align Commerce, added:
Align Commerce is the first company to successfully tackle international payments between businesses using the blockchain, allowing companies an easier, faster, and less expensive option for cross-border transactions. Marwan and his team are an important addition to our portfolio, as they continue to strengthen and grow the ecosystem by creating a better solution for a real business challenge.
According to Align Commerce, it seeks to bring transparency to an opaque transaction ecosystem. Wires typically travel through a closed system of multiple banks, leaving both buyers and suppliers unsure of where their money is and when it will arrive. The company says that, by using the Align Commerce Payments Platform, businesses can track the status of each transaction from beginning to end.
Hans Morris, Managing Partner at another investor NYCA Partners, said this:
Unless you are a really big company, making cross-border B2B payments is a shockingly bad experience. Businesses pay opaque fees, and neither the recipient nor the payer has any idea when the payment will be credited. Align Commerce has low fees, real-time tracking, and complete transparency on foreign exchange costs. We invest in companies with innovative solutions to big problems in financial services. This is central to our business model, and Align accomplishes just that.
In addition to Pantera Capital and NYCA Partners, Align Commerce has also raised funds from Pivot Holding, FS Venture Capital, Boost VC Fund, R3, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., The Whittemore Collection, Bayhill Capital Management, and Ledra Capital.