Align Commerce, a San Francisco, Calif.-based cross-border payments service provider, has established a “China corridor” to allow businesses to easily send and receive payments to and from Asia’s largest economy.
With the value of bilateral trade between the U.S. and China surpassing $555 billion in recent years, businesses in both countries will now reap the benefits of Align Commerce’s multi-rail technology that combines the blockchain with traditional payments, real-time payment tracking and easy invoicing.
Align Commerce, in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year and to mark the opening of this new payments corridor, begins the Year of the Monkey with an $8 USD flat fee, including foreign exchange fees, for all export-import payments to China from the U.S. for eight days. The promotion runs through Feb. 15. Small business owners in the U.S. and China can access this promotional offer here.
“Align Commerce is excited to honor Chinese culture and tradition as we celebrate the Year of the Monkey,” said Marwan Forzley, CEO and co-founder of Align Commerce. “The number eight is traditionally a lucky number in Chinese culture, and we’re hoping to spread the luck around and help small business owners save some money with our ‘$8 for Eight Days’ promotion.”
There is no wire initiation fee, compared to $15 that international banks charge. Align’ss exchange rate spread is 1.9% compared to 3% to 6% charged by international banks. There is no beneficiary intermediary fee with Align, versus a $10 hidden fee from international banks. Nor is there a bank receiving fee, where international banks occasionally charge $15 to $35 in hidden costs.
New customers can send and receive payments in close to 10 minutes. The process involves signing up with Align, confirming your email, creating a payment request and getting verified.
Users can create payment requests for their customers. The blockchain service notifies a user’s parties when the user requests a payment. The service then tracks and updates the user on the payment’s status.
Once an account is established, Align can process an international payment in one to three days. It can often process the payment on the same day for pre-funded
Align requires an operating and liquid exchange in its customers’ locations. If such an exchange is not available, the company uses traditional methods for making payments like bank wire transfers.
The company claims to be the first company to combine three payment rails together. The first rail is the blockchain, which replaces the traditional settlement banks by recording all transactions on a block versus a bank statement.
The company raised $12.5 million in Series A financing led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in November of last year, marking the venture capital firm’s foray into bitcoin, CCN.com reported. The Series A round also includes investments from SVB Ventures (part of Silicon Valley Bank), Recruit Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, FS Venture Capital LLC and Digital Currency Group.
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