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Navigating CrossBorder Payment Challenges - Insights from the FSB


In an increasingly interconnected global economy, cross-border payments are the lifeblood that keeps businesses, economies, and individuals connected. However, as the world becomes more digital, the complexities and challenges associated with cross-border payments have come into focus. On September 25 2023, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) shed light on the data frameworks that pose hurdles to enhancing cross-border payments. Let's delve into these challenges and their implications.

The FSB's Identification of challenges

The FSB's recent report identified several data-related challenges that hinder the efficiency, transparency, and accessibility of cross-border payments:

1. Data Fragmentation: Cross-border payments involve multiple entities, each maintaining its own data systems and standards. This fragmentation can lead to inconsistencies, errors, and delays in transactions.

2. Data Privacy and Security: As data flows across borders, ensuring compliance with data privacy and security regulations becomes increasingly complex. This can hinder the smooth movement of funds.

3. Data Standardisation: The lack of standardised data formats and messaging systems makes it challenging for different payment networks and platforms to seamlessly communicate and process transactions.

4. Data Transparency: The opacity of cross-border payment fees and exchange rates can result in hidden costs for users. Improved data transparency is needed to ensure individuals and businesses can make informed decisions.

5. Data Accessibility: Some regions still lack access to modern digital payment infrastructure, leading to financial exclusion. Bridging this accessibility gap is crucial for financial inclusion and global economic growth.

Implications and the path forward

These data-related challenges have tangible effects on cross-border payments. They contribute to higher costs, slower transaction times, and reduced transparency. Businesses face uncertainties in planning international trade and transactions, while individuals may encounter obstacles when sending money abroad.

To address these challenges, the following actions are necessary

1. Global Data Standards: Collaborative efforts among regulators, financial institutions, and fintech innovators should aim to establish global data standards and messaging protocols to enhance interoperability.

2. Data Privacy Harmonisation: Regulators worldwide should work towards harmonising data privacy and security regulations, allowing for smoother and compliant cross-border data flows.

3. Transparency Initiatives: Initiatives to increase transparency in cross-border payment fees and exchange rates should be encouraged and adopted, enabling users to make informed choices.

4. Digital Infrastructure Development: Investments in digital payment infrastructure in underserved regions can facilitate greater financial inclusion and participation in the global economy.


Enhancing cross-border payments is not just a technical challenge; it's a vital step towards fostering global economic growth and financial inclusion. The FSB's identification of data frameworks as key hurdles highlights the need for concerted efforts to streamline, secure, and standardise data in the realm of international finance. As stakeholders across the financial landscape collaborate to address these challenges, we can look forward to more efficient, transparent, and accessible cross-border payments, benefitting businesses, individuals, and economies worldwide.

How can we help you? 

Thistle Initiatives has supported payments firms for over 10 years as a trusted compliance and regulatory adviser. In addition to assisting you as-and-when, our team of specialists can serve as your right hand in meeting and complying with regulations. We understand the importance of staying up-to-date and compliant and are dedicated to providing the guidance and support needed to do so.

Are you looking for help with your cross-border payment services arrangements, or more general regulatory questions? Contact our specialist team now to schedule a free consultation. Get in touch with us by calling 020 7436 0630 or sending an email to