It's not often that those of us who work in the world of financial services get to say that we've made something that's pretty cool, but our new international payments app has really made me feel like it might be one of those times.
I can now make currency transfers from my mobile phone, in the cab whilst on my way to the airport, and, before I've even got to check-in, my money will already have arrived at my final destination - that's pretty cool, if you ask me.
Mobile technology has obviously taken massive strides in the last few years and that's meant that habits have evolved considerably, even since the start of this century. We use our Kindles to read on holiday, we shop online, we do our banking online and now we have the capability to manage international transfers on-the-go. These tools are revolutionising the way people live their lives and manage their money.
There's already growing evidence that the initial fears over online security have changed. In a recent World First YouGov survey we found that 54% of respondents were 'comfortable' paying for items via a portable device. However, more people, 83%, said they were comfortable using a laptop or PC. With the advance of new apps we expect those figures to come more into line in the next few years.
New apps like ours will empower people with more freedom to take care of their finances wherever they happen to be. You can press a button and go onto the app, book the transfer and be out back to your game of Angry Birds in just 30seconds. In all seriousness, in an ever faster, globalised world, this kind of technology is entirely necessary as we all come under increasing pressure try to keep ahead of the curve.
And the benefits of mobile payments will help both private individuals and businesses alike. Overseas travel and trade is part of so many people's lives these days - whether you're a small businessperson who imports or exports goods and services overseas, or somebody who regularly travels for business or pleasure, whatever the reason managing international money transfers is a fact of life, and something which has historically taken up valuable time. However, with ever faster payments and the emergence of new ground-breaking mobile platforms, everyone will have access to a better solution.
Apologies if I sound like I'm getting a bit excited about this, but as both a consumer and a business traveller I'm constantly frustrated by limited technology on my phone. It's great to be able to bring new technology like this to market and we're really looking forward to hearing more from our customers about just how much easier, faster and cheaper it is to send money around the world thanks to this new pioneering app.
Alex Sullivan is Managing Director at World First UK