Financial institutions help to funnel money to the most successful businesses, which allows them to grow faster and supply even more of the desirable goods and services. We introduce you to Euro Exim Bank Limited, an innovative global financial institution that holds a “Class A” international banking license from Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of St. Lucia. This license permits authorisation to conduct business with third parties across industries and geographies worldwide, exercising strong due diligence, full compliance and operational excellence within the firm’s processes.
In conversation with Kaushik Punjani, Director.
Q. Everyone looks for flexible and integrated savings solutions, how will Merchant accounts be helpful?
Navigating a safe passage for payments through the myriad of players can be challenging for new market entrants, so companies need assistance with simplified processes and guaranteed payment corridors.
Buyers do not always wish to settle through traditional payment channels such as mainstream banks or an ACH, especially where additional charges, time and basic financial institution inefficiency may hold transactions for 3 days and beyond, with little traceability, audit, responsibility or liability.
Customers are demanding a more instant approach and easy access out of business hours. The account accepts online payments once approved, using any type of card, with low rates, safe and secure transactions from anywhere in the world.
In what way is Euro Exim Bank matchless?
Our management team have created a very successful, focused and pragmatic business model serving the corporate community in facilitation global trade. EEB are a wholesale banking organisation (i.e. without high street retail outlets, specifically working with clients in key trade locations.)
We provide the following services:
Financial instruments facilitating trade for Importers – such as Letters of Credit and Standby Letters of Credit providing rapid processing of digitalised documentation with minimum time on paperwork.
Bank Guarantee for Contractors- for those who need a guarantee to bid and win big budget tenders, EEB is authorized to issue Bid Bonds, Tender Guarantees and Retention Guarantees.
Advance Payment Guarantee and Performance Bank Guarantees - For exporters who need specific instruments to guarantee trades.
Online Bank Accounts – With 24×7 availability, providing safe banking facilities.
Merchant Bank Accounts - For buyers and sellers who operate across the globe, the facility accepts online payments, using any type of card, with low rates, safe and secure transactions.
Q. How to gain sustainability, speed and cost out in order to expand in trade finance—particularly with the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) segment?
International trade favours large transactions, commonly used transport routes, use of fiat currency where there is immediate liquidity, known buyers and sellers, economies of scale related to shipping costs and ability to navigate non-complex terms.
However, the majority of smaller players in challenging jurisdictions such as Africa and parts of Asia are subject to a number of problems. These include costly movement of goods (especially to landlocked countries), undeveloped infrastructure, complex trades, excessive duties, regulatory disparity, lack of experience within local banks, low levels of liquidity, preference for payment in local currency, exchange controls etc.
Q. How secure is Smart Banking App? Tell us about your Online Banking.
Following the general trend of financial institutions offering smart banking solutions, the consensus is that mobile banking should be as safe and as trusted as online desktop banking.
Currently smart phones have 100,000 times more power and up to 1Million times more storage capacity that the Command module of Apollo 11, but complexity can also bring vulnerability.
In our continued efforts to provide peace of mind to users, our banking apps require a PIN code that requires authentication before the user can access the platform but do not store any of the user’s banking information on their SIM card or phone.
The key elements of our smart banking offering are a) zero monthly fees without the need for integration, b) the comprehensive dashboard enabling clients to evaluate business insights and manage overseas payments c) 24/7 support and d) extensive privacy and security of transactions.
Our flexible approach means we can accept payments via:
Credit card - with strong fraud protection feature, auditability and ease of fund reversal in the event of wrong transactions.
Debit cards - inexpensive, with funds deducted directly from the account, and zero liability protection.
Prepaid cards – inexpensive, only deducting funds which have been pre-loaded.
Alternative payment services- such as PayPal Google Wallet, Payoneer, Skrill, almost as safe as credit cards whenever payment or goods don’t arrive so that you are not disadvantaged.
Mobile Wallet payments - customers using M-Cash, M-Pesa, TIGO, MTN, and VODAFONE can all pay directly from their mobile wallets.
Q. How is International Wire Transfers advantageous?
The clear advantage of an international wire transfer is the way in which sellers provide an account number and sort code into which funds are to be transferred. After transferring funds, the transaction ID is shared with them for confirmation and to complete transactions.
Typically bank wires are performed through the SWIFT system using a standard format, Message type 103. The two main advantages of this solution include high level of security (they are considered to be more secure than ACH transfers) and surety, with fast access to funds where recipients will be able to use the money after 2-3 days.
Q. How does appropriate collateral affect international trade?
In international trade, collateral is the asset that a buyer will offer to secure the purchase of goods. That asset could be cash, property or funds certified with a trusted financial institution.
Where trades occur cross border, buyers and sellers may not know each other and may operate in jurisdictions which have little infrastructure and where local banks more use to supporting retail business, do not have the liquidity, infrastructure, experience or desire to support international trade.
As a result, small importers turn to international banks to provide the financial guarantees pertaining to relatively small value trades, however, the risk averse nature of banks, sees them requiring full collateral cover for every trade and more besides.
We have frequently been approached by buyers which have investigated local offerings for issuance of instruments, but found themselves declined, or required to lodge face value + 10% of deal values for the entire period of the transaction.
So, imagine a 1M USD trade with terms of 360 days. Banks will demand that 110% of face value of the transaction is held in a dedicated account, to cover the risk (often unfounded) of any non-payment or non-performance, thereby negating any responsibility or liability.
Q. Detail us about your new venture for company’s expansion.
Our mission is helping corporates in the process of importing goods from around the world. The ecosystem of trade with all its players and the complexity of regulation and documentation makes trade difficult for smaller inexperienced companies in often difficult jurisdictions.
We remove that burden and provide comprehensive, competitive and compelling services using or digital platforms, blockchain enabled applications and years of experience, ultimately facilitating global trade.
Q.What are your philanthropic initiatives?
Euro Exim Bank are already known for fund raising efforts in St Lucia, the UK and for international charities across Africa and Asia, through the medium of sponsorship at a number of concerts planned through the year.
With our strong CSR policy, we had already seen incredible results and built local respect and trust.
As a result of the restrictions and difficulties that COVID-19 has made on everyone, today, we are justly proud of our affiliate company in India.
Whilst starting up a new commercial business venture in production of Fasta Pizza, all efforts have been diverted from its initial profit goals to a philanthropic operation, providing vitally important free meals to essential workers, vulnerable groups and the poor.
Greet the luminary
From originally obtaining a degree in Chemistry, Kaushik Punjani moved into manufacturing, global distribution and into the finance industry, where he has used his accountancy talents in the role of CFO, and ultimately becoming owner of Euro Exim Bank.
His experience covers on-line payments systems, confirmations, reconciliation, and his roles have covered management and delivery of financial solutions at UK businesses at all levels.