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Hidden fintech fees are a barrier for many UK SMEs

(Image credit: Image Credit: MK photograp55 / Shutterstock)

The majority of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK would love to expand into new territories, but are being held back by hidden fintech fees. 

This is according to a new report from fintech platform Airwallex. Surveying 500 SME decision makers, the company found that 77 percent plan to expand their presence in Europe and other international markets in 2022. Most of the respondents believe expanding into new territories will help them source new customers and suppliers. 

However, they are not exactly excited about having to make extensive fee payments or handling foreign exchange (FX). The majority (53 percent) view international FX fees on cross-border payments as a pain point that “takes too much effort to work around”, while another quarter (26 percent) consider this an unavoidable pain point.

For an even larger majority (70 percent), hidden fees that come with dealing with international merchants are a “necessary evil”, while 58 percent say paying international suppliers in their local currency is a headache.

Business leaders in the UK agree that organizations that don’t try to reduce unnecessary fees for international trade are hindering their growth. The majority (75 percent) would love to put that extra bit of cash back into the business, while a fifth (21 percent) would invest savings back into staffing. Others would engage in more marketing, or open up new facilities and offices. 

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.