Frédéric Simon (Convera Europe) : Transforming Global B2B Payments
Convera, a global B2B payments company, simplifies foreign currency payment management and risk coverage.
Can you introduce Convera in a few words?
Convera is a global B2B payments company that brings people, technology, and commerce together to help companies of all sizes to manage foreign currency payments and hedge foreign currency risk. Our expertise in moving funds around the globe includes access to over 140 currencies and a financial network that spans more than 200 countries and territories. We provide technology-led payment solutions to 30K+ customers – from small business owners to enterprise treasurers, financial institutions to educational institutions, and law firms to NGOs. Our purpose is to make moving money so easy that any company in the world can grow with confidence. https://convera.com/en-lu/
Why did Convera choose to establish itself in Luxembourg?
Convera chose Luxembourg as its European headquarters for several strategic reasons. First, itscentral location makes it a perfect hub for easy access to major European markets and our seven branches within the region. Secondly, we can tap into a large, highly skilled, and multilingual workforce to build a solid foundation for our European operations.
As a home to major players in the fintech and banking industry, Luxembourg has a large potential customer pool for us and provides an opportunity to liaise directly with financial industry decision makers. Furthermore, Luxembourg is an excellent environment for cross-border financial services products due to its growing economy, political stability, innovative data infrastructure and unparalleled financial services ecosystem that is both multilingual and specialized in international and pan-European business. The city also offers a highly developed, innovation-friendly, and responsive regulatory and legal environment.
Our CEO, Patrick Gauthier, who has previously worked at PayPal and Amazon Pay, was alreadyfamiliar with the country’s business environment and regulatory framework, and that played a pivotal role in the decision as well. Having recently obtained regulatory approval from the CSSF (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier) for both payment and financial instruments, we were encouraged by working with a proactive and responsive regulator who showed interest in our operations.
Finally, the attractive weather and the warm welcome we received further solidified our choice. Convera aims to bring payment and risk management solutions to businesses in Luxembourg, thereby contributing to the local economy and fostering innovation.
"Our purpose is to make moving money so easy that any company in the world can grow with confidence."
What will Convera’s focus be on the near future; is it going to be purely focused on payments?
Not at all. It is an assumption that we plan to move away from FX hedging and focus only on payments. As always, our focus is to serve our customers, but we are investing heavily in technology to meet our customers’ needs today and in the future. Our current product portfolio will stand as it is, but we are working towards building a platform that serves the diverse needs of our customer base.
Not only do we provide customers with a way to transfer payments across borders, but we also help them manage the impact of currency fluctuations on their business. We support them with solutions that help them gain confidence in how they run their business and predict their cash flows*. Through our annual reports, such as the Are You Ready for 2024, we empower customers with key insights focused on different industries, countries, and currencies.
Convera was in the news recently about a complete migration to AWS. Can you talk a bit about that and what are some of the immediate efficiency gains through it?
Sure, the two key goals of this initiative were to deliver a faster payment network and enhance customer experience. Convera successfully completed the migration of its payments network and customer services to Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS). In a nutshell, it migrated petabyte-scale data across more than 200 applications, with hundreds of databases spread across four legacy data centers to AWS in a record time of under ten months.
Our AWS migration will help us enhance customer experience through a 64% decrease in patching time and reduction in human intervention due to automation. This allows for strong payment network resiliency, robust layers of security, and unparalleled scale. We have already noticed that the integration enables fully automated transaction processing with rates increasing up to 80% post migration. And the elimination of manual efforts for application server cycles through scripted automation has led to 75 percent reduction in timing (from 8 hours to 2 hours).
The migration also allows for new features and services to be developed and deployed faster using agile methods and enables us to quickly scale up or down its infrastructure on demand.
*Our hedging products are derivative financial instruments which may expose you to risk should the underlying exposure you are hedging cease to exist. They may be suitable if you have a high level of understanding and accept the risks associated with derivative financial instruments that involve foreign exchange and related markets. If you are not confident about your understanding of derivative financial instruments, or foreign exchange and related markets, we strongly suggest you seek independent advice before making the decision to use these instruments.”