A Chat with Ola Oyetayo, Founder at B2B Cross-Border Payment Provider: VertoFX

VertoFX is a single destination platform that enables businesses to make cost-effective cross-border and domestic payments quickly and securely worldwide. We are a start-up, backed by the YCombinator, that is committed to solving the fragmented landscape of cross border payments in emerging market economies. We address the multitude of challenges businesses in these emerging markets face, such as a lack of foreign exchange liquidity, poor access to competitive foreign exchange rates, and the inability to move funds quickly and securely without incurring excessive transaction fees.

Solving the trade and cross-border payment complexities that companies face is a great foundation for building a future with greater financial inclusion. However, this is only the beginning. We are excited to continue to pursue our ambitious goals of creating a fairer and more inclusive financial ecosystem, and hope to become the go-to platform for businesses in emerging markets around the globe.
B2B Currency Exchange Marketplace | Pay Suppliers Abroad with VertoFX

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

VertoFX began with a commitment to create a more inclusive finance and business landscape; to consistently ensure companies, irrespective of size and net worth, have access to the global financial system, regardless of where they are based. The idea to create a marketplace solution that makes cross-border payment complexities simple for everyone surprisingly originated from a poker game between two friends.

In 2017, I found an opportunity to set up an online remittance company to help individuals within the UK, particularly residents with families back in Nigeria, send money back home. At the same time, my friend Anthony was launching a prop-tech company and starting his MBA. Coincidentally they both decided to quit their respective jobs to pursue their new ventures.

It was around the same time that, over a regular game of poker, I spoke to Anthony about all the issues he’d seen with paying suppliers abroad, especially in emerging markets.

This led to Anthony suggesting we build a marketplace solution that could solve problems concerning a lack of liquidity, long settlement periods and high transaction fees. This is what gave life to Verto FX, a platform that has changed the way businesses across the globe transfer money.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

The pandemic, an economic crisis like no other, has enveloped the entire globe and changed it permanently. During this unprecedented time, we have witnessed two main trends. Firstly, digitisation and remote working helped the acceleration of digital technologies. For us, this meant that more traditional businesses had started thinking about moving away from legacy structures and adopting new ways for making cross-border payments more efficiently from anywhere. We have really benefited from this digital shift; helping us to move even closer towards our goal of becoming the go-to platform for anything from payments to foreign exchange to lending.

Secondly, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty to many employees as they experienced financial and employment insecurity unlike any other time. As more people began looking at online alternatives to supplement their incomes, particularly around the e-commerce sector, Verto was proud to provide a digital payments platform to those that wanted to manage their foreign exchange online.

What can we hope to see from VertoFX in the future?

VertoFX is committed to solving the problems experienced in the finance and business landscape, continuing to build upon the already game-changing digital banking infrastructure we provide, to help make cross-border payments even more seamless and instant for companies. We ultimately want to become the go-to platform for businesses in emerging market economies, which is why we are always working on various products to continue to deliver our mission to build “modern banking” solutions for all businesses around the world.

We have built a price discovery platform that has the potential to become our very own Bloomberg FX terminal with the hope of making the Intra-Africa currency conversion problem a thing of the past. Combined with our innovative instant payout via wallet, businesses can potentially stop using their local banks, ultimately allowing free flow of payments across borders, even in emerging markets.