UK fintech Paysend has partnered with Israeli-Swiss fintech startup Okoora, a developer of a cloud-based automated currency risk management platform to expand operations in the local market and facilitate cross-border payment transactions.
Established in August 2021 by its CEO Benjamin Avraham, the founder of Ofakim Group, an Israeli financial risk management company, Okoora says its artificial intelligence platform mitigates foreign exchange rate risk that businesses with global operations are exposed to.
The platform has a command center that assists firms in planning and controlling foreign currency transactions for making and receiving payments, including hedging strategies to minimize the risk of fluctuating exchange rates, fees and margins.
The AI-based currency management system continuously analyzes customers’ activities and characteristics to execute cross-border payments and transactions across more than 100 currencies at competitive rates, using alerts and recommendations.
As part of the partnership with the Israeli-Swiss fintech startup, Paysend will be using Okoora’s platform, to offer its payment network to Israeli consumers and facilitate payments to all Israeli clearinghouses. The UK firm’s payment network through which consumers can send, request, and receive money anytime in 170 countries, will get access to Okoora’s virtual system for shekel transactions, “bypassing the complexities of traditional banking,” the two firms said in a statement.
“Paysend understands that there is a market here as Israelis are transferring funds,” Avraham told The Times of Israel. “We have what Paysend needs to operate and expand in the Israeli market: the regulation; the infrastructure for transferring funds, as we are well-connected to local banks; the liquidity and conversion sources and can provide them with great quotes for their needs in Israeli shekels.”
“We mainly serve large businesses and corporates and that’s why our transaction volumes are very big, while Paysend is serving individuals who want to transfer funds, and by using our platform, Paysend can offer great conditions and terms even for small amounts,” Avraham added.
The partnership come as Israelis, local startups, and entrepreneurs are taking active steps in recent months to pull money and shift parts of their businesses outside the country due to the uncertainty created around the proposed judicial overhaul first announced at the start of the year.
“For the last several months we are seeing a lot of transactions going out of Israel,” said Avraham. “That indeed also plays a part in the ecosystem.”
“We are looking at great volumes of funds in a lot currencies going up every month that are moving out of Israel and they [Paysend] are addressing the individual and offering them a simple way of transferring funds,” he elaborated.
Through the Paysend payment network customers can send funds instantly worldwide to a bank or to a credit card across 170 countries for the collection and settlement in the desired currency while lowering conversions and fees by reducing the number of intermediaries in the payment chain.
To date, more than 7,000 enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses, including the Israel Post, car importers, and startups, use Okoora’s platform, to process tens of thousands of payment transactions totaling billions of dollars a month, the fintech startup said.
The Bnei Brak-based startup, which has a total of 70 employees in in Israel, Switzerland, Germany, and India, plans to double its workforce in coming as it seeks to expand its services to other European countries.