Case study: TradeBridge integrates with Airwallex API for faster payments and data visibility

A case study exploring one application of an API architecture to speed up data transfer, payments and processes in the lending sector

by | June 29, 2022 | bobsguide

The world of open finance and API architectures has made great strides over the past five years and particularly since the introduction of the second iteration of the EU’s Payments and Services Directive (PSD2) in 2018. As APIs and embedded services make further headway into the sphere of consumer and business banking, as well as wealth management, fintech firms are developing increasingly innovative applications for the technology.

Since PSD2, API integrations have spiked in popularity, particularly among European financial firms and fintech providers, especially as the former seek to capture real-time data on user behaviour and meet customer needs for an increasingly diverse menu of services.

The potential applications of the technology extend far beyond consumer banking. Corporate and SME lending are some areas where APIs are just beginning to make headway. Through integrations like SME and bridge lending specialist, TradeBridge, partnering with payments provider, Airwallex, to use the latter’s connected accounts and payments capabilities, the industry is quickly uncovering a wide array of potential applications for the technology.

TradeBridge Airwallex integration

Introduction

In 2021, SME financing provider, TradeBridge, sought to streamline the process of sending funds to corporate loan recipients and receiving loan repayments.

TradeBridge needed a payment solution which would allow funds to be delivered to clients instantly, in the client’s preferred currency.

TradeBridge wanted to provide a business-focused service which would allow clients to access funds immediately, convert those funds to their preferred currency and use them, without waiting days for a bank transfer.

TradeBridge, a London-based firm founded by Olivier Bonavero, Mark Coxhead and Mark Spiteri, offers multi-currency funding to businesses in the ecommerce, healthcare and corporate sectors.

Following a procurement phase spanning several years and a dedicated request for proposal (RFP) process, the firm selected Airwallex to provide the payments platform, facilitate loan transfers to merchants and repayments back to TradeBridge.

Project scope

The key to a successful integration project is to establish a clear scope and allow for scale over time.

As a first step, TradeBridge was looking to integrate four services from Airwallex, including:

  • Global Accounts, which allows clients to open multi-currency accounts without visiting a bank branch in order to collect customer payments in their preferred currency;
  • Payments & FX, allowing users to make fast money transfers in over 30 currencies in almost 150 countries;
  • Payouts, leveraging Airwallex’s global network of payment providers;
  • Scale, bringing TradeBridge customers and payment service providers (PSPs) together with account management, cards, multi-currency wallet and payouts.

Combined, this set of services allows TradeBridge to create a multi-currency wallet for each client and instantly deliver funds into it.

This initial set of services allowed both parties to keep the scope of the project achievable within the limited timeframe, while also providing the means for quick and efficient repayments via PSPs including Amazon, among other key players in the market.

It also allowed TradeBridge to capture a wide set of business and transaction data from loan recipients, in order to be able to adjust the relevant loan facility based on the loan recipient’s trade flow and needs.

According to TradeBridge CEO, Mark Coxhead, the firm has particularly benefitted from the real-time data exchange facilitated by the integration.

“The scale product from AWX allows us to automatically post client receipts, transfer funds to our own account and manage fx. We receive various payment info including source of funds,” he states.

Integration timeline and process

A key factor in TradeBridge’s selection of Airwallex was integration time. From selection to integration, the process took a month to get the first connected account onboarded onto the TradeBridge platform.

“After the initial kick-off meeting, it took the combined team just one month to complete the entire implementation process which included integration testing/development, penny testing and live production,” says Ryan O’Holleran, director of enterprise sales.

“TradeBridge was then able to generate business via Airwallex in less than two months.”

This timescale included API development and performance testing, penetration testing and live production.

Airwallex provides several resources that are readily available to help customers transact on the platform. This includes a comprehensive onboarding document, API examples, SDK as well as GitHub repositories, providing ample resources for partner development teams.

For this specific integration, both firms’ development teams collaborated on a custom API. With the help of Airwallex’s documentation and the expertise of both in-house teams, TradeBridge was able to build a proprietary API to support their specific business needs, test and implement this in under four weeks.

Technology team resource

Airwallex employs API experts who assist partners with customisation and integration.

For this project, Airwallex allocated a core team of two technical members and one business member to drive the integration. One team member, a solutions engineer, was responsible for leading Airwallex’s team and worked alongside one TradeBridge engineer to provide ongoing support throughout the process and complete the implementation.

Results and forward-looking timeline

According to Coxhead, the integration will be a key growth driver for TradeBridge in the coming months, as the lender expands into several new territories.

“We are preparing to scale up our recent launches in France, China and Australia over the coming months and Airwallex is central to the architecture of this product,” Coxhead clarifies.

The firm currently has offices in London, Paris, Singapore and Shanghai in preparation for product launches in some of these markets.

“The next steps are to automate outbound payments and broaden the scope of collection side into our healthcare business to enable further automation of treasury management here,” the TradeBridge CEO notes

Following the success of this integration, TradeBridge is also considering ways to incorporate additional AWX products to add value to our clients.

“Since we have had a successful launch, we have now started to coordinate with TradeBridge around how they can utilise even more of the Airwallex stack to provide their customers with a seamless end-to-end payments experience,” adds O’Holleran.

Coxhead, however, specifies that the integration of additional products is unlikely to take place before the end of 2022, and will take place as and when the business needs to scale operations.

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