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Case study:
IQU Group

Manage FX risk of importing smart devices to Oceania

IQU uses Paytron’s invoice automation process to make quick foreign currency payments and prevent fraud, utilising forward contracts in their foreign hedging strategy and execution.

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About Sam

Sam Skontos is the CEO and Director of IQU Group, an Australian consumer electronics company that offers affordable smart technology products. His business uses a network of suppliers and manufacturers from around the world.

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His goal

The big bank’s expensive foreign exchange rates were costing him money. Their constantly changing values affected everything from his retail pricing calculations to his final profits, causing uncertainty and stress.

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Results

Paytron has helped Sam and his team to take back control over their foreign exchange rates. This means they can make more accurate forecasts and predictions AND save on their FX fees.

“Paytron gives the best exchange rates and it’s the simplest and fastest way of making payments. A small business would be crazy not to go with them.”

About IQU

Sam Skontos is the CEO and Director of IQU Group, a new Australian consumer electronics company that offers affordable smart technology products.

IQU Group is a fast-growing business. It imports and distributes a variety of products from around the world, and also uses selected manufacturers in different countries.

Sam’s business is a global operation. But there’s one common element throughout its multi-national supplier network:

Currency.

“Whether it’s our own products we have made, or items such as electric scooters from Italy or batteries made in the Czech Republic, we always buy in US dollars,” says Sam.

You’d think trading in one currency would make things simple. But it isn’t when constantly changing exchange rates are involved.

They quickly became the source of his supplier-payment headaches.

“We were working with banks which was very frustrating, very difficult, and costly."

“It was costly because we weren’t getting the best exchange rates."

“And as a small business that’s growing, you need to save as much money as possible."

“And hedging with a bank wasn’t possible due to its sheer cost.”

There was also the not-so-small problem of timing payments to his suppliers.

“Timing is very important,” he says. “And the amount of time it took to arrange a US-dollar bank payment to a supplier was frustrating."

“The problem was made worse when an overseas supplier or factory needed 30% of an order paid when the purchase order is placed, and then the remaining 70% when it was shipped to us.”

Navigating big-bank payments was one hassle. But Sam’s single biggest challenge was the poor AUD-USD exchange rates he was suffering.

And it wasn’t just the stress of constant uncertainty that was his issue. It was costing him money.

Different currencies placed on financial newspaper

“The number one thing I needed was a better exchange rate than the banks were offering,”

“This was critical because by saving on the exchange rate we could be more price-competitive in the market."

“This would let us sell more products, which would then let us buy more products to sell, which would raise revenues and profits.”

Sam studied various alternatives and even tried a payment service. But it was designed for consumers and not businesses. It involved paying funds into the payment provider’s account, and then they would pay Sam’s supplier.

“It was clunky and time-consuming to use.”

But a catch-up with a colleague who’d worked in the banking sector for many years opened an unexpected door.

“He mentioned to me that he was working with a company called Paytron,” he says. “He introduced me to the Paytron team and we sat down together and discussed my pain points with payments and exchange rates."

“It ended up being a whiteboard session together. And it was here I saw that we’d be able to lock in an exchange rate for future use."

“I left that Paytron meeting thinking ‘Wow! This could make life easy!’”

“So I instructed my team to give Paytron a try.”

Sam and his team made their first transaction using Paytron. After all he’d been through with his bank, it was a bit of a surprise.

“The whole process was smooth. It was easy and fast.”

“We learned how to use the system and Paytron was just fabulous.”

“We had a person dedicated to us and they walked us through everything. They were always available and the whole company made sure we were onboarded properly and knew how to use the system.”

The level of personal help Sam received was a memorable part of his start with Paytron.

“We had real people working with us,” he says. “Not someone who was online who didn’t understand our needs and tried to convince us they knew what our problems were.”

“And of course we got a better exchange rate than our bank had ever given us.” It was an insight that stood out for Sam.

“It showed me how much the banks were ripping me off.”

Online banking on mobile

It wasn’t just Sam who was surprised.

“One of my team members is pretty conservative and he asked a lot of questions during the move to Paytron."

“But as soon as he used it for the first time he was sold."

“Now he’s our main interface – he’s well and truly onboard.”

When asked about his first win using Paytron, Sam’s memory of the event is as clear as water.

“It was when we made our first overseas payment to buy some products from a supplier."

“Between the time we made the payment and the time the goods arrived, the exchange rate had gone the wrong way for us."

“Before Paytron, a rate change like that would have lost us money, which would have meant raising our retail prices, which would have hurt our business."

“But because we knew what the exchange rate was before we made our payment, we weren’t affected by the rate change – and after all we’d been through, seeing that was amazing."

It was the start of a new period of certainty and confidence.

And his biggest result so far using Paytron?

“It’s a win for us every time we use it"

“It’s quick and easy to use. And when we compare our exchange rate against what the banks offer we can see we’re getting the best possible rate."

“You can’t beat that.”

Sam feels like IQU Group gained an extra gear by using Paytron. And there’s been one enjoyable effect that’s helped propel his business along.

“There’s now a comfort factor,” he says. “We have confidence that when we lock away an exchange rate we can accurately factor it into our detailed costings and cost analyses."

“When we launch a product with a particular price we know our profit margins are going to be the same as we’ve calculated them – and that a major exchange rate change isn’t going to affect them."

“It means we’ve now got certainty around a product before we launch it.”

And this certainty opened the door for Sam to grow IQU Group even further.

“These days I don’t hesitate to look at launching new products from different markets."

“Using Paytron has allowed us to be more creative and entrepreneurial in ways we wouldn’t have been before.”

“Having used Paytron for a while now I don’t know why any business would persist with banks and their poor exchange rates."

“My advice is simple: try Paytron once and you’ll see it speaks for itself."

“Paytron gives the best exchange rates and it’s the simplest and fastest way of making payments. A small business would be crazy not to go with them.”

“And I’ll add this: Paytron’s such a good service I’ve even enquired about investing in it,” he says.

Sam Skontos uses Paytron to put certainty into IQU Group’s product costs, giving him comfort and confidence with his retail pricing and profit forecasts. It also saves him money. Paytron’s not only let him escape the margin-crushing costs of big-bank exchange rates but given him the confidence to expand his product offers even further.

Get in touch to see how it can do the same for you.

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