Visa on Tuesday announced a partnership with Currencycloud to facilitate cross-border and travel payments. Currencycloud, an enterprise payments platform, will work with Visa's banking and financial tech partners to offer multi-currency wallets, foreign exchange transaction notifications, and other services for customers.
Visa account holders should notice increased ease of managing their money when traveling abroad or purchasing from international retailers, a Currencycloud release said. "Today, 1 in 5 payments is a cross-border transaction, whether that's from a consumer [traveling] internationally or buying from an international seller online," Visa Europe CEO Charlotte Hogg said in a statement.
The first initiative in the partnership will be to allow customers to pre-purchase travel currency, along with real-time notification of changes in foreign exchange rates when a customer uses their Visa card overseas.
Efforts to streamline cross-currency payments may provide a small reduction in stress for retailers as e-commerce continues to evolve and the U.S. faces a looming trade war. According to a McKinsey report cited in the announcement, the market for cross-border e-commerce is expected to reach $900 billion in value by 2020, accounting for over a fifth of the global e-commerce market.
While international e-commerce is booming, shopping revenue from tourists could decline, according to some reports. Tiffany & Co. cited a decline in Chinese tourism for its poor first-quarter performance, and China issued a travel warning this week urging citizens not to travel to the U.S. due to the ongoing trade dispute. With brick-and-mortar stores already struggling to stay relevant, a decrease in tourism revenue could be a harsh blow to some chains.
Visa's partnership with Currencycloud aims to give cardholders more control over digital payments, whether at home or while traveling. "Banks are under pressure to provide better user experiences in an increasingly connected world, and our partnership with Visa will enable us to deliver that on a grand scale," Currencycloud CEO Mike Laven said.