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Banking red tape holding back UK retailers abroad

by LLB Reporter
6th Jun 19 8:48 am

Almost three-quarters (71%) of UK retailers would like their businesses to further expand internationally, however most (57%) believe overseas expansion is fraught with risk, according to new research conducted by buy now, pay later service Laybuy.

This aversion to risk is likely related to the political uncertainty regarding the UK’s future relationship with the EU and other countries.

The research, published today, surveyed over 200 UK retailers and revealed a range of concerns harboured by the sector when faced with the prospect of selling goods in new territories outside their country of origin.

Although Brexit is likely having a huge impact on international growth, the research found other factors are also at play. In fact, almost two-thirds of UK retailers (62%) believe that they don’t have the local banking and currency expertise required to expand overseas.

Other complexities holding back international growth include, lengthy international supply chains and more complex financial bureaucracy. Other challenges identified by the research include:

  • Seven in 10 (70%) of retailers believe that international expansion is complicated due to increased bureaucracy;
  • More than three quarters of retailers (80%) don’t have the time and money to manage the difficult process of international expansion;
  • The biggest challenge retailers face is a lack of local market expertise (56%);
  • Almost half (49%) cited cross-border regulatory issues as a challenge
  • The management of currency conversions is a challenge for three in 10 retailers (29%)

Despite the issues voiced by the retail industry however, most retailers (79%) still acknowledge the significant opportunity for growth offered by international expansion.

Gary Rohloff, co-founder and MD of Laybuy said, “The introduction of legislation designed to crack down on anti-money laundering, terrorist financing and other illicit activity, although all extremely important, now means that even a basic task like opening a bank account in another market, for example, can be a very arduous process.

“Technology partners are a retailer’s best friend when it comes to global expansion. The right solution can now do much of the legwork. Meaning that challenges like managing currency exchange rates no longer need to be a reason to suppress the global aspirations of UK retail.”

Laybuy was the first in the world to offer a buy now, pay later solution in multiple markets. Having successfully launched an online payment form for international customers based in Australasia and the UK, location is no obstacle either for consumers or merchants who use Laybuy.

Merchants therefore have the ability to offer Laybuy to any customer who has been credit checked via the Laybuy sign up process, without the need to set up a bank account or transact in the customer’s currency of origin. For example, this enables retailers in the UK to sell into Australasia, with Laybuy taking total ownership of the currency conversion.

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