Marketplace Payments Specialist Payoneer Signs Rakuten.com

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / LindaJ2New York-based money transfer service Payoneer has signed with e-commerce player Rakuten.com, formerly known as Buy.com.

Payoneer doesn’t enable purchases on the platform, but rather enables Rakuten to compensate its suppliers, who may be located anywhere in the globe, particularity East Asia. “We’re a bridge between marketplaces and sellers,” said CFO Michael Levine.

“We don’t participate in consumer remittance,” Levine told Bank Innovation. “We’re in a quiet corner of the space that is much, much bigger.” That quiet corner is of course business-to-business payments, where Payoneer serves companies such as Airbnb, Shutterstock and Fiverr. These marketplaces have complex webs of users supplying products or services, and paying each of them one at a time, in different currencies and different geographies, would consume enormous resources.

Payoneer covers this much ground with a patchwork of solutions. In its most important markets it has bank partners, but sometimes it employs an “ecosystem approach” to reach its clients. Banks have little to fear from Payoneer, Levine said, because Payoneer works with banks and brings them business. “Banks want to become our partners. We’re middleware, we’re not trying to displace the banks,” Levine said. “Not much has changed in international payments — you still have wires running over a correspondent banking system,” Levine said. “Banks love to work with us. We’re paying fees to use that infrastructure.”

What Payoneer does offer is a decade’s worth of compliance and onboarding expertise. Payoneer brings in small business customers far more cheaply and efficiently than a bank could do. “Our business is very different,” Levine said. “We’re online, very efficient, so we can be cheaper and more transparent.”

Payoneer can also move funds faster than banks because it relies on automation. Ultimately, the time funds can take to arrive depends on the market and financial infrastructure there. It can be same day or it can be a few days, but it’s “usually quicker than the wires,” Levine said.

Payoneer was founded in 2005 and has approximately $90 million in financing, according to Crunchbase. Year-to-date volumes have grown 57% and revenue has grown 75%, Levine said.

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