Bill Deng

“With Cloud we build a bridge of trust and enable trade”

XTransfer facilitates foreign trade for small and medium enterprises from China by providing them with financial services. Their product – which fills an important gap left by banks – would not be possible without cloud technology.

Tomas Tu smiles when he speaks about smart wearables and sports equipment. The 30-year-old is a General Manager at Chileaf in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. Chileaf sells fitness equipment to sports companies and online shops mainly in the US, Europe and Asia. Chileaf has 146 employees and is making almost 10 million euros of revenues each year from smart watches, training monitoring systems and chest straps that measure the heart rate.

However, collecting payments for their products was not always easy for Chileaf. “Getting payments to our accounts was expensive and took three to five working days,” says Tomas. “This was really an obstacle for our overseas’ sales. It changed when we tried XTransfer and we now regularly receive our money in only 24 hours.”

How does XTransfer work?

XTransfer was founded in 2017 and is dedicated to helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from China to significantly reduce the cost of global expansion. They offer payment collection accounts backed by multinational banks, which enable Chinese SMEs to collect payments in more than 200 countries and regions. Cooperating with multinational banks, XTransfer furthermore offers services such as risk management.

“We enable SME clients to widen their reach, as we reduce their costs of doing international business,” says Bill Deng, founder and CEO of XTransfer. “SMEs trade less than large companies, but the risk they carry is high. So, banks using traditional methods of risk management can in some cases not afford to deploy sufficient resources for them.”

We enable SME clients to widen their reach, as we reduce their costs of doing international business.Bill Deng, founder and CEO of XTransfer

That is why XTransfer chose a different approach. Using cloud technology, they built a sophisticated anti-money laundering and fraud-protection scheme which is core to their service. “With our effective and cloud-based risk management on small-scale foreign trade transactions, we have been acknowledged by multi-national banks and regulators,” says Bill. “So, one can say that with cloud we build a bridge of trust and enable trade.”

Cloud is at the heart of everything

XTransfer ensures risk management practice by checking every transaction its clients make. They check their logistics, trade supporting documents and verify if the trade payment is legitimate: how did buyers and sellers get in contact in the first place? Through which channels do they communicate? Does the deal make sense or is there a sign of fraud? These checks are important to verify that the business deals are real and not fronts for money laundering. Therefore, XTransfer also checks the companies their customers work with.

A vast majority of risk management is done automatically, and quite a small portion manually. This is where cloud technology helps by offering unprecedented processing power. “This enormous calculating power enables us to do the automated checks for each of our clients. Without cloud we would still be busy building server rooms and could not offer our service to anyone,” says Bill about his five-year old company.

Without cloud we would still be busy building server rooms and could not offer our service to anyone.Bill Deng

That is why cloud technology has been at the heart of the company from the very first day. In 2017 XTransfer started renting cloud capacity from Ali Cloud, one of China’s biggest cloud service providers. “Being able to rent that capacity instead of building our own server rooms, not only accelerated the foundation of the company, but also offered it a lot of flexibility,” says Bill. When XTransfer enters a new market or gains a lot of new customers during a short period of time it can rent more capacity or reduce it when it is not needed.

Bill’s vision is a B2B version of Paypal

Chinese culture also made it pretty easy for XTransfer to convince their clients. “I know that some people in different parts of the world do not feel comfortable when their data is stored in a cloud.” says Bill. “But that’s different in China. Here, people see the cloud as a mature technology and are way less afraid.”

When there are concerns, Bill and his colleagues refer to the payment licenses they hold in other markets such as Hong Kong and the UK. “We explain to our clients why we need their data, what we use it for and what we are not doing with it,” he says. “For example, we have no interest in selling the data or use it for other purposes. We respect that our customers value their data. We just want to grow as a financial services company and have no other interest.”

This commitment also drives Bill’s long-term vision for the company. “We want to offer an easy instant payment service between companies with instant refunds – just as Paypal does for private clients,” he says. Tomas Tu from fitness company Chileaf smiles again when he hears that. “That vision sounds amazing. I use Paypal myself and would love to offer that convenience and ease to our corporate clients. And I am sure that this would make us more competitive in the international market.”

XTransfer reception

About XTransfer

XTransfer is cross-border financial and risk management service company that specializes in helping SMEs reduce the barrier and cost of global expansion.

Headquartered in Shanghai, it has branches in China’s major foreign trade cities such as Hong Kong, Shenzhen and has set up offices in major export destinations including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and Singapore.

To date, XTransfer has obtained local payment licenses in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Georg Berger

Georg Berger

… is interested in how cloud technology can change business models in different parts of the world. He wonders which concrete possibilities the technology offers and what its limitations are.

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