How to optimise SME payments in the on-demand economy

Wednesday 30 November 2022 08:30 CET | Editor: Raluca Ochiana | Interview

Dennis Nemerov, CEO and Founder of Berg Money, discusses how his company is reinventing financial services for UK SMEs by helping them optimise their payment operations in the on-demand economy.


Can you tell us more about Berg Money and its future of money concept?

Berg Money is a team of international financial technology experts who are passionate about building a solution poised to disrupt the red-hot B2B cross-border payments market, which is expected to reach USD 35 trillion in value this year. 

It’s not a secret that the explosive growth of neobanks was brought about by changing consumer preferences and a generational shift to an on-demand economy. The same applies to the SME market which is still lagging when it comes to speed, efficiency, and transparency of its financial operations. These rapid innovations that have been seen and experienced in consumer banking are now expected by SME business owners as they have become accustomed to the benefits that the fintech revolution has provided. SME customers of today have different expectations too - they want their payments provider to keep up with the times and become a focal point of their business operations. Simply put, it’s not just about a bank account and moving money from point A to point B, it’s about creating a digital experience facilitating an exchange of value with a particular business need in mind. This transition created an opportunity to build such a customer-centric solution and address the pain points of everyday business finance. 

This has sharpened the focus for fintechs like Berg Money to be more customer-centric and ensure better financial outcomes; this ensures that we are helping businesses become more competitive, save time, and build agile payment operations for a digital economy. Our team has built a unique platform that allows customers to consolidate their finances in one place and have full transparency of their payment cycle. We are a technology company that provides integrated financial solutions. Our goal is to challenge the status quo and radically revamp the established patterns of providing financial services to this market segment. Essentially, we offer a step-change in customer onboarding, support, and relationship management, leading to a radically better customer experience as result. All of the above results in significant cost savings and improved efficiency, providing clear-end benefits, and higher levels of customer satisfaction. 

What are the main issues SMEs and businesses face when it comes to operating in multiple geographies, amid the current economic landscape?

Based on recent research companies lose 4-5% of their revenues due to payment inefficiencies and fragmentation. We live in an on-demand world where businesses want to pay and be paid instantly, and this trend is going to intensify even further. SMEs want money to be mobile, so they can conduct their business on the go, 24/7, across borders in a safe and secure manner. 

That’s why we have created a hub that allows businesses to open their multi-currency business accounts, pay suppliers, and partners overseas without any friction, reduce lead times, and offer significant savings on foreign currency conversion versus high street banks and traditional players. We are offering a 360° view of your finances through one dashboard where you can see balances, incoming and outgoing transactions, order debit cards for your employees and even apply for a business loan to improve your cashflow. 

The latter is especially timely given the fact that many businesses are currently confronted with existential challenges as they seek ways to control their expenses in the face of rising costs and a slowing economy. Overall, it’s all about ease of use, convenience, transparency, and control - to help businesses keep their payment costs down and supplier relationships flourishing. 

What are the most common use cases and types of customers that you serve?

We want to become indispensable for rapidly expanding startups that are setting up shops across multiple geographies and trading with multiple business partners across different countries. Naturally, they have an immediate need to settle in multiple currencies, collect funds locally, and set up their treasury operations. This is where we come into play giving them an opportunity to save on operating costs and minimise currency exposure. 

Our biggest bet is with the ecommerce sector which is experiencing tremendous growth – we partner up with marketplaces that source their inventory from developing markets and need to pay their suppliers on a regular basis. Given the volume of their operations, they are very sensitive to payment fees and the exchange rate. We are able to offer companies rates close to the interbank exchange rate and same-day delivery to their beneficiary accounts. Gone are the days when a business was prepared to pay punitive exchange fees and wait 4-5 days for the money to arrive – the market has moved to a near-instant, mobile-first, and on-demand settlement and reconciliation. 

With many employers outsourcing more and more to a gig economy where people are juggling several projects across different time zones, they want to pay their employees on time and in the currency of our choice – that’s why we are also partnering up with payroll companies which have an on-going need for mass payouts, crediting beneficiaries accounts across the globe usually as recurring payments. 

What is unique about the Berg Money approach?

Our team was created by industry experts in this space to address the most pressing needs of modern-day business banking. We aim to build a financial ecosystem that exceeds expectations and creates richer experiences for our customers. In order to do so we are partnering up with the best third-party providers to add to our platform other value-added services which are very relevant to our target audience: card programs, accounting integration, expense management, credit products, and invoice financing. 

Putting ourselves in our customer's shoes is a key to our success – we understand their daily challenges and are looking to find solutions to their pain points. All-in-all we want to offer relevant and highly demanded services simplifying all payment-related processes for our customers and making them more competitive as a result. 

Moving forward, what is the future of SME payments?

The truth is that high-value transactions (GBP 50K+) are still dominated by high-street banks which are using antiquated SWIFT rails. Instead, we partner with several infrastructure providers allowing us to offer near-instant delivery to beneficiaries overseas. Our smart routing allows our customers to choose their preferred delivery method based on their destination country. 

In my opinion, this will be an AI-based functionality – where based on your previous transaction patterns you will be offered the best price, best exchange rate, and fastest delivery time allowing you to see real-time savings for your business. Needless to say, any finance manager would be able to have full visibility of their transaction flow and run payments on autopilot, adding value to the business due to the improved efficiency and control. 

Payments schemes innovation and distributed ledger technologies will be gradually removing the current complexity and fragmentation. Interoperability between various local and international payment networks and schemes will continue to evolve too – this will result in faster lead times, better service levels, and lower fees for businesses. The SME segment stands to benefit the most from these advances. At some point disbursement and collection of funds will be a smooth and frictionless experience but of course, all the players must contribute to making this a reality by building industry partnerships and gradually upgrading their IT infrastructure. As a technology company, we would like to be at the forefront of these changes and invest heavily in our people, technology, and know-how. 


About Dennis Nemerov

Dennis Nemerov is a serial Fintech entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Berg Money. Dennis is passionate about building new ventures in the payments space and creating industry partnerships to  unlock value for its participants.




About Berg Money 

Berg Money is a financial technology platform helping companies open business accounts and provide payment services to start-ups and SMEs across Europe.  We help businesses optimise their payments and save on operating costs while doing business internationally. Berg Business offers in-house technology to automate customer onboarding and streamline cross-border payments. Berg Money has positioned itself as a Fintech leader that provides integrated financial solutions including local and international payments, company card programs, foreign exchange services, and business loans. 

For more information visit: 

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Keywords: online payments, SMEs, neobanks, customer experience, financial services, ecommerce
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Berg Money
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce

Berg Money

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