Blog

7 Essential SMB Tools for International Trade

With 95% of the world’s consumers outside U.S. borders, more and more small businesses are wading into global waters. But doing business in the global marketplace is complex. You might have to change your product design some, you will certainly have to deal with new compliance issues, there will be freight forwarding to deal with, and of course you’ll have to start making global payments.   So...

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Using Blockchain for Global Business Payments

Is digital currency secure? What is digital currency? What is blockchain? Should I be using blockchain for global business payments? How can I be sure they will be secure?   A Review of Traditional Business Wire Transfers These are important questions. But before we dig in, let’s remind ourselves what a traditional business wire transfer looks like. It goes through a number of entities and processes before it’s complete....

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International Bank-to-Bank Transfers

Your commercial bank may sound like it can take care of your international bank-to-bank transfers soup to nuts, but really, it’s just a well-paid front man. The real performers are in the band behind the bank, the countless other networks, institutions and services that work as a chain (when everything goes right) to facilitate the transfer of your global funds.   Whether domestic or international, bank-to-bank...

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Hidden Bank Fees

Banking regulations imposed in 2010 after the financial crisis resulted in an explosion of hidden bank fees. While the regulations clamped down on some fees, banks responded by inventing a multitude of new ones to recover their losses from the new regulations. Ever since, banks have been devising new ways to charge fees in order to make up for the lost revenue from these tougher regulations.   How...

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Align Commerce gets $24M in new funding and changes name to Veem   Wow, what a year.   A little more than fifteen months ago, Kleiner Perkins, Silicon Valley Bank and few other great investors came together and provided $12.5M Series A funding for Align Commerce. Their investment was based on their support of our belief that we can revolutionize the way small businesses send and receive global payments,...

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globalization train

We lie at an unprecedented moment of global unity, even if it may not feel like it.  I think Mark Zuckerberg got it very right in his recent manifesto to re-boot globalization. In particular, this quote really jumped out at me: “If people are asking the question, is the direction for humanity to come together more or not? I think that answer is clearly yes.” It surprised...

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bank-to-bank wire transfer

2017 is certain to be an interesting year for small business America. With American trade policy unknowns causing uncertainty over the cost of global exchange, global SMBs will increasingly look for greater efficiency and savings. When it comes to bank-to-bank wire transfer cost and efficiency, there’s some good news and some bad news.   First, the bad news: Thus far, banks have done little to improve the back-end...

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Small businesses have been the growth engine of the American economy for years. But while many people still think of these small 1-50 employee businesses as local Mom and Pop shops selling to the neighborhood, these entrepreneurs and innovators and have leveraged the opportunity of globalization to grow faster and provide new jobs for a long while. Ninety-seven percent of US exporters are SMBs and they account...

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The current system of wire transfers has become increasingly outdated, as many SMBs have come to experience. Payment innovation, like the multi-rail system developed by Align Commerce, has stepped in to make cross-border business exchanges easier.   It's part of a new wave of tools available for SMBs to make them compete globally at an "enterprise" level. To find out more about this newest technology, as...

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“Going global” has been a consistent trend in the last 10 years or so and for any SMB thinking of expanding their client-base beyond their local market in 2017, there are certain key considerations that need to be made if your goal is to increase your bottom-line. In our last webinar, we took a look at the various tools that are increasingly required for international...

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The business technology revolution has hit small and medium sized businesses.  They can get help in expanding their top line and create savings in their bottom line with easy to access tools to open up the world of global customers and suppliers.  Submit your information below to listen to Frederick Crosby, CRMO of Align Commerce, as he highlights services in the market that can help...

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In this election cycle, both presidential candidates have done a lot to appeal to small and medium sized business owners. As an important voting block (more than 28 million people) Clinton and Trump released their own vision for supporting SMBs. However, in a recent poll done by Manta, a social networking site that caters specifically to business owners,Trump resonated with them more.  Now that he’s...

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The followers of our blog have known for some time that the rickety infrastructure of the 1970's-era SWIFT platform combined with the correspondent bank network has made bank wires overly costly and a painful experience for anyone using them.   Exchange amounts are never fully known, timing is inconsistent and unknown, and fees collected along the way make it an expensive process.  If you've ever...

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As part of our month-long promotion in helping SMEs, “Rethink Wire Transfers” Align Commerce began offering new customers exchange rates without any mark-ups or added fees if they choose to send or receive payments to any of our corridors in the Euro Zone – essentially making their entire transaction free. Since the introduction of this corridor, the Euro Zone has become an important and popular...

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I always like to kid around with my younger colleagues that I’m old enough to remember when Silicon Valley was called the Blossom Valley.  There are faint memories of when the land of Google and Apple was known as the land of apricots and cherries. Likewise, it wasn’t all that long ago that participating in global trade was a game for just the mega companies.  Headlines...

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