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Q&A with Christopher Morris
SVP, Payment, Treasury & Risk Solutions

by Don Curren | August 7, 2017

Tell us about Cambridge?

Cambridge Global Payments was conceived in the early nineties in Toronto by two savvy businessmen in an age when telegraphic transfers (TTs) were being replaced by modern-day wire transfers. It was during those formative years that the business owners carefully built a reputation in North America for reliable foreign exchange transfers with white glove service. Although in more recent years our press recognition and industry accolades share a view for our achievements in advancing industry-specific payment solutions, global money transfer with exemplary service remain the core strands of our DNA as over 13,000 clients on four continents trust Cambridge to process over 1,000,000 cross-border transactions annually.

What do you see changing in 2017 for delivering payroll globally?

The market for employee payment providers has a much greater appetite for technological differentiation through client portal capabilities. Payroll providers are developing more sophisticated user interfaces to enhance the overall experience while more efficiently integrating data between internal and external stakeholders. Specifically, these information gateways are harmonising data communication between the client and various partners through the use of web service APIs to deliver a more thoughtful, professional experience while automating traditional back-office processes.

These leading payroll organisations are seeking partners that have a full suite of productive APIs that match their internal treasury operations and compliance objectives with their IT/product and client service roadmap. While technology is changing the HR and payroll services market, other comprehensive factors driving change include the actual means and methods of payroll remittance delivery.

What is Cambridge doing differently to support payroll bureaux and corporations funding payrolls globally?

That’s certainly a question our thought leadership perpetually ponders. We strongly believe the most important aspect of disbursing payroll is to deliver these funds to the intended recipient on time, for full value, every single time. Given this approach, Cambridge set a course to become the industry’s most comprehensive gateway for international payment delivery.

At the moment, we’re offering liquidity in over 160 currencies to 175 countries directly through many of the world’s largest financial institutions and through 114 in-country banks. In 25 of those currencies we’re actually processing the equivalent of a direct deposit, often called International ACH (IACH) (e.g. SEPA, BACS, EFT, ACH). We undertook this monumental endeavour to ensure we could completely eliminate any corresponding/beneficiary bank charges (often called lifting fees) that can erode the financial amount of the payment deposited while offering fast, accurate payment execution. The world is a vast workplace and many of our clients pay employees in exotic or restricted currency jurisdictions. Cambridge is well positioned to remit payments through the most challenging corridors with ease while providing immediate proof of payment transmission on every single transaction.

What advancements does Cambridge foresee within technology?

As subject matter experts on international payments we remain on the forefront of developing tools to imbed payment formatting guidelines and data validation with mass payment automation to help our clients make more productive use of their time. Additionally, we’ve recently launched an enhanced version of our award-winning payment platform, Cambridge Link, which offers a unique interface exclusive to payroll providers. The architecture behind Cambridge Link allows us to provide a library of RESTful APIs to provide more flexible data integration with customer or employee portals.

Furthermore, we’re constantly receiving feedback from clients that they want access to alternative payment methods in use that can potentially reduce their expenses. We’ve already aligned with trusted blockchain companies to expand our cross-border payment offering to meet the needs of the upcoming generation of employees and early adopters in the current workforce. Alternative payment methods to fiat currencies that leverage blockchain technology (think Bitcoin) will likely become a mainstream method of disbursement in the not-too-distant future – especially for payroll in pockets of the world where these modalities are becoming commonly accepted.

What are the key factors for an organisation when evaluating international payments providers?

It is critical for an organisation to fundamentally understand the pedigree of each potential provider and have credible, industry-specific references with which to speak. For large-scale projects I would also recommend hiring an independent consultant that can advise on industry best practices and help rate/rank selection criteria. We are typically evaluated on the following six key areas:

1. Full currency delivery listing & methods of payment delivery.

2. Payments platform demonstration& mass payment file automation/API integration.

3. Global customer service coverage & global service level agreement.

4. Fee schedule & foreign exchange rates.

5. Compliance and independent audit of control procedures.

6. The strength of our client testimonials/recommendations.

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“Cambridge Global Payments” is a trade name, which in this document refers specifically to one or more of these legal entities: Cambridge Mercantile Corp., Cambridge Mercantile Corp. (U.S.A.), Cambridge Mercantile Corp. (Nevada), Cambridge Mercantile (Australia) Pty. Ltd.

Cambridge Global Payments (“Cambridge”) provides this document as general market information subject to: Cambridge’s copyright, and all contract terms in place, if any, between you and the Cambridge entity you have contracted with. This document is based on sources Cambridge considers reliable, but without independent verification. Cambridge makes no guarantee of its accuracy or completeness. Cambridge is not responsible for any errors in or related to the document, or for damages arising out of any person’s reliance upon this information. All charts or graphs are from publicly available sources or proprietary data. The information in this document is subject to sudden change without notice.

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This document is NOT: 1) Advice of any kind, or 2) Approved or reviewed by any regulatory authority, or 3) An offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any FXIs, or to participate in any trading strategy.

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FXIs are volatile and may cause losses. Past performance of a FXI product cannot be relied on to determine future performance.

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