For businesses that have an international presence as well as multinational market reach, online money transfer between international accounts overseas is a common practice. Organizations that move money from subsidiaries or satellite locations to their corporate headquarters too often consider high banking fees for international transfers to be an unavoidable cost of doing business.
Yet as Matt Jones and his team at Fiagon North America found out, an international money transfer provider like XE.com can help your business to control cross-border transaction costs without causing business disruption.
Born out of a doctoral thesis project by co-founders Dr. Timo Kruger and Dr. Dirk Mucha, Fiagon began in 2007 in Germany as a disruptive medical technology company with an innovative vision: making surgeries safer and more efficient by re-imagining medical image guidance technology.
After steady growth in European markets in its early days, Fiagon opened an office in Austin, Texas in 2014 and has since seen impressive growth in the North American market. Today, Fiagon offers surgeons around the globe – in various specialties – the ability to provide safer patient care, faster, and more efficiently.
Fiagon's Business Needs
When it comes to managing international currency transfer, Matt’s main concern is that it doesn’t disrupt their day-to-day business. Transferring money to Germany needs to be quick, easy, secure, and cost effective. Matt wants his team to focus on growing the business, instead of being distracted with lengthy processes or burdened with unfavorable rates.
“We want something that doesn’t disrupt our daily business. Transferring money can be an arduous task. For us, it’s something that we need to do, and XE offers a very user-friendly, efficient platform. That's critical."
Matt Jones, President, Fiagon North America
Minimizing Business Disruption
While Fiagon’s technology might be complex, their foreign exchange requirements are very similar to many other businesses.
In 2014, Matt Jones set up the North American division of Fiagon, and he is still leading the US operations today. In the five years since the business has grown significantly and now serves over 300 customers, generating about 65% of Fiagon’s total annual revenue.
However, Fiagon NA still works closely with its headquarters in Germany where most of the group's overall operational functions, as well as research and development, are based. As a result of this corporate structure, Matt and his team regularly need to transfer money to Europe to help fund the group’s infrastructure.
Further, for operational and financial reasons, the group prefers to hold liquidity surpluses at head office. This means that the North American office has ongoing needs to transfer money from the US to Germany.
Managing International Currency Transfers
In the first few years in the US, Fiagon did not pay much attention to how they were managing international transfers – mainly because they weren’t aware of services like those XE provides, and the benefits they could realize from contracting them. Matt believes that is the case for many smaller enterprises who leave money on the table by not utilizing the right services.
"We're still a relatively small, early-stage company but we have a
signficant money transfer requirement. It's extremely important
to us as a small business to not get whacked with large currency fees."
Once Fiagon caught on to the benefits of well-managed currency transfer systems, they started working with a money transfer provider, which helped them optimize their processes. However, when the provider ceased local operations suddenly, and without any warning, Fiagon was facing significant disruptions to their business. Luckily, they were introduced to XE. The XE team met with Fiagon to present their offer, and Matt and his team were so impressed that they finalized the deal right there and then.
"We set up a meeting with XE, and the offer and opportunity were so good
that we agreed to it there and then."
Matt has not regretted this decision. What he loves most about XE is the user-friendly online platform that allows him to transfer money in a matter of minutes – at very competitive rates. He also really appreciates the support he receives from the local XE team who are always available when needed.
“It’s very simple. We have an online option where we can set up a money
transfer in a matter of a few minutes and get it taken care of with XE.”
A Long Term Solution
Up until now, Fiagon has taken advantage of XE’s spot product to transfer money immediately. However, with plans to expand into other countries, and to further
commercialize new technology globally, not to mention the current political uncertainty in both the US and Europe, they are starting to look at XE’s wider suite of products and services.
Forward contracts, in particular, are a hedging solution that Matt sees Fiagon utilizing more in the future. Simply put, they allow Fiagon to book in a favourable exchange rate now for a payment date in the future when the rate may not be as good.
Given their global expansion plans, and the challenges that come with operating as a global business, Matt is glad to have a reliable partner like XE to help him manage their foreign exchange requirements.
Regardless of your business size or industry, XE can work with you to tailor an FX solution that suits your ever-changing business needs.