This year a new correspondent bank has joined Sterling Payment Services, a financial company that provides money transfer, money exchange, and account opening services. In January the new system became fully operational and functions without any delays.
Today we are talking to Stanislav Sokolovsky, General Counsel of Sterling Payment Services Limited about the results of the past year and plans for the future.
Tell us what is happening with the company now.
We keep working as usual, money is deposited on time. Last year we had some problems with transfers because our main correspondent bank at the time (Lucayas Bank) did not notify our organization on time about issues that led to administration being installed at the bank. Fortunately, the situation stabilized and we continue working on solving problems that some clients had because of transfers through that correspondent bank.
We started working with new correspondent banks that ensure uninterrupted SWIFT and SEPA transfers. We hope to have some good news soon about expanding our list of available currencies and launching a new card project.
We keep catching up on transfers that could not be completed last year. We established an internal schedule regarding requests for payments from the correspondent bank.
What sets Sterling apart from other payment systems?
We aim to provide our clients with affordable, practical and convenient payment solutions while ensuring high customer service standards without any need to go to a brick-and-mortar office. Sterling makes it easier to open business bank accounts while adhering to international compliance standards. Our key advantage has always been and will be the speed with which you can open an account as well as a highly qualified internal compliance team that works with payments.
Where can users find the latest information?
Recently we launched the Sterling Payment Alert Telegram channel that you can join. There we will publish latest news on payment statuses including SWIFT that causes problems for some of our clients. Besides, via this chat you can always access our Telegram sypport bot where a support specialist will answer to your questions. Here our main priority is improving client experience with customer support and informing clients about available payment methods and statuses of their current payments.
Can transfers take more than ten days? Recently we’ve heard that some clients face problems with SWIFT, is this so?
Delayed transfers are frequent but not a rule. Yes, a SWIFT transfer might be delayed but everything happens for a reason.
Most of the time a correspondent bank has questions about the source of funds. If this happens, a transfer might be delayed by three to six months. We try to minimize risks by conducting our own compliance check but, unfortunately, no one is immune to a situation like that. The main difficulties happen not on our side but on the correspondent bank’s side, which might suspend a transfer.
Is it possible to avoid that?
Yes, it is. A correspondent bank pays close attention to the transaction history when working with payment systems and fintech: what’s important to them is how much money is left in an account. The thing is, when money is deposited and then transferred the next day, this creates a lot of questions, which makes it harder not just for one client who makes such payments but also for other clients.
When there is something left, a bank has fewer questions and all payments are on time. Obviously, we do not force our clients to keep money in an account, this is up to them. But when we adhere to a deposit policy so that most of the deposit is not sent the next day and there is a correct schedule of incoming and outgoing payments, payments become much faster and easier to understand both for the correspondent bank and for the client. We are always happy to set up a call with a client and help them determine such a schedule for payments.
What was 2022 like for your business?
The last year was not an easy one but we managed to “stay on top.” The key achievements of 2022 are expanding the structure of correspondent relationships and supported currencies, significantly improving the app as well as effectively introducing new compliance procedures to conform with changing regulations.
How will you structure your work this year?
This year we have left behind compliance issues and delays with transfers. We are beginning to transfer funds as usual for new clients from new incomings and we are forming transfer schedules for existing clients: that’s what we will focus on for the first half of the year.
Sterling Payment Services is a financial company that provides money transfer, money exchange, and account opening services. The company is headquartered in Hong Kong and is regulated by local and international financial laws. Its management team has over a decade of experience in banking and finance.
Earlier this year the company started working with a new correspondent bank that ensures uninterrupted new SWIFT and SEPA payments.
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