Posted Under: News
What leads to inertia when there’s basically free money out there, and minimal effort to benefit from it?
This time around we’re investigating what leads businesses, specifically the people in control of the financials, and sometimes business owners, to staying the course and not making the changes required to save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
We’re talking about migrating from using a bank or credit union to a dedicated specialist in currency conversion and global money movement. In short, moving to a company that knows FX and global payments better than your branch contact, so is better positioned to increase your net profit!
We’ve had the absolute pleasure of meeting many companies, over the last few years, who have taken the decision to boost their bottom line after we highlighted the poor currency exchange pricing they were receiving from their bank. In some cases, this improvement has been a mere few hundred bucks per month. For another, almost a million bucks for the year.
But we’ve also met with many companies who just…do…nothing.
While we might find it frustrating, more so because we can’t sit by and watch them hurt the business, we have taken the initiative of a deeper dive into the human psyche to understand what prevents someone from taking the next next steps; this has included speaking with CFOs, Finance Directors, Controllers, Accounts Execs, and so on, opening up to us and bearing their souls.
Let’s unpack this using Donald Miller’s StoryBrand ‘be punchy and keep it simple’ approach in blue followed up by the nerdy lengthy explanation from us at GreenShootsFX (which we know Don absolutely hates, by the way!).
Balance protection – “Surely our balances aren’t safe?”
“Your funds are safe.”
Actually, they are. Ensuring our client’s funds are held safely and securely is of paramount importance. Funds are safeguarded by our FCA regulated e-money partners at reputable banks. Find out more HERE.
Company concerns – “You’re too new at this!”
“We’re the most experienced people you’ll ever know.”
Well, the skin’s new but the bones are hyper-experienced. As a group of ex-bankers, we’ve kinda been part of the problem and so we know how banks act, react, and price their transactions. We know which bank buys product from which bank and at what cost before it’s delivered to the underlying client at a high price.
Breaking it down, in the currency exchange and global payment space we’ve had clients such as large financial institutions, global companies, insurance firms, broker dealers, SMEs, and Mom & Pop shops. And over the decades (we’ve something close to 100 years combined experience) we’ve witnessed many events so there’s nothing that can surprise us.
Therefore, we might say “No. We’re actually far from new at this” and you can learn more about us HERE.
Savings are too small – “It’s not enough to make a difference!”
“So what. Why give away income?”
Quite subjective this one. Even the smallest amount of boost to the bottom line can be used for something positive and could drive the change needed within a company. It’s rare not to speak to a CFO who must finance something or a business owner who wants to grow the company, or retain talent, yet doesn’t have the resources to do so. Give some thought to being able to:
- Implement or increase employee benefits (401k, healthcare)
- Upgrade the network or system
- Install new technology
- Repair, upgrade, or buy new machinery
- Hiring new people from your community
- Increasing your CSR contributions
- Not having to furlough employees
- Move to larger premises
- Pay down debt faster
- Increase dividends to shareholders
- Offer discounts to prospects to attract new business
- Increase the marketing budget
- Throwing the monster of all office parties!!!
Needless to say, even the smallest increase can support someone or something in your company, and all for the time it takes you to run to Starbucks and back for an overpriced Skinny Blonde Caffe Misto with an 8-ounce pour steamed to 120 degrees with 2 pumps of vanilla.
Paperwork. Takes too long – “When we opened our bank accounts it was painful and took months.”
“Opening a multi-currency suite of accounts is way faster than you think.”
An online secure, paperless, registration process will take you about 15 minutes, on average, and it’s typical, in our case, to have the 36 currency accounts we offer opened within 24 – 48 hours.
Long gone are the days of protracted account openings coupled with reams of documents to sign.
Naïve – “We’re all set!”
Oh if we had a dime every time we heard that response. This is true inertia at play. “We’re all set” actually means any one of the reasons we’ve described and rarely it’s because of the last one we’ve listed, further down.
Yes your day is busy and for many the focus might be on sourcing raw materials for a good price, manufacturing efficiently, and struggling with marketing and sales. Therefore, every other aspect of the business that was put into place when it was founded remains untouched and without review.
Carve out 30 minutes of your entire year to check and make sure you’re not getting a poor exchange rate. Most of the time you are, and that 30 minutes could boost your bottom line significantly.
Lack of education – “I don’t really understand currency exchange!”
“There’s nothing we can’t teach you.”
It’s really not that complicated, to be honest, and no different from any other commodity sold. Tins of beans are bought from a wholesaler and marked up before they are put on the shelves at WholeFoods, and your bank buys currency from a wholesale market and is marked up before shown to you.
What we propose is marking up the currency by a significantly lesser amount and thus the result is you will either pay less in your currency, or your beneficiary will receive more in their currency.
If you’re paying vendors in your home currency today the actual money movement to them in a foreign currency is pretty much the same. So, you’re already somewhat educated more than you realize.
To this last point, the other education you might require relates to asking your vendors for a dual-price: one in your currency, as you’ve always done, and one in theirs. You’ll likely find the currency payment to be a lot less (in your home currency value) and the time it takes to ask is roughly 6-seconds. We’ve timed it.
Security concerns – “How can I trust the safety of the platform?”
“We’re as safe as houses.”
We love safety and security, and we know companies do too. Despite living in the safest of neighborhoods we still lock our cars at night and constantly peek out from behind the blinds.
Our platform provides a role based, hierarchical security model with two-step authentication and multi-factor authentication for sensitive systems. All access is logged and audited for suspicious behavior.
All network traffic is encrypted at a transport level and confidential information is encrypted at rest PLUS we use best practices in terms of encryption key storage and security.
In addition, there are dedicated systems in place to protect against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks as well as man-in-the-middle attacks where the use of reputable registrars to protect against domain hijacking and “phishing” attacks are in place.
Boiling it down to Don’s point – we’re as safe as houses.
If you’re still awake you’re really going to need to click HERE but make sure you’re not driving or operating heavy machinery!
Skepticism – “If it sounds too good to be true, then…..”
“Unless you spend 30 mins taking a look, you won’t know, and can’t know.”
Yes. We understand, believe it or not. But we can actually, physically show and prove to you that either (a) your current rate is poor and our rate is better, thus boosting your bottom line and giving you a good night’s sleep, or (b) as unlikely as it actually is you might be getting a great rate, meaning you can sleep better at night.
Laziness – “Honestly, I can’t be bothered!”
“Don’t be lazy. Stop checking the Red Sox scores (they lost) and spend a minute doing what’s right.”
Well, thanks Don. But, there’s not a great deal we can do here. If you fall into this category, well, good luck keeping your job. But, we remain hopeful that one day you’ll have a bored moment and instead of checking TikTok you’ll summon the energy to call a dedicated specialized payments company.
No recognition – “I get a fixed salary and some bonus. I’m not compensated for saving money.”
“Do the right thing and be a hero, even if you personally don’t financially gain.”
In our company, and in the friends we keep, we ensure everyone lives their lives by the right moral compass. We don’t get paid to help someone cross the road (unless your job is actually a crossing guard!) but in this example we get to provide assistance and, maybe selfishly, get to feel good.
We have to believe that putting good things out into the world means we’ll get some good back. But you have to want to do it, of course.
Fear of losing their job – “I just can’t admit to my C-suite we’ve been overpaying all these years!”
“We’ll make you the hero, not the villain.”
Yep, we’ve seen it. “Ah man. If I go to my board and CEO and explain I can save $500,000 per year they’re going to ask what I’ve been doing all this time!”.
This is a relatively easy one to address. Firstly, you don’t know what you don’t know and banks prey on the goodwill of their customers, taking advantage of trust, so it isn’t your fault they aren’t transparent with pricing, markup, or education.
Secondly, we can make the first year’s saving a bit less and then, miraculously, in the next year you beat us up and demanded more and we had to cave in! Ouch. You bullies.
Result – hero for two years running.
Truly already set – “We use ABC company, a rival of yours.”
“The first sensible response we’d seen in years!”
First up – yaay. Seriously! Pretty much all we need to say here. If you’re using an FX payments company you should be receiving a bank beating exchange rate and thus saving thousands of dollars each year.
Plus you’ll be getting the tools and handholding you need to mitigate and/or manage risk.
Naturally, we’d love your business, but we can still provide any help and guidance despite using another firm. We’re just nice like that :)!