Salt Simplifies Cross-Border Payments for Indian Businesses

Ankit Parasher, Co-founder of Salt, Discusses Innovative Solutions and Growth Strategies.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update
cross border payment india

The Indian business landscape is witnessing a surge in cross-border trade. With a growing focus on exports and a thriving freelance market, Indian businesses are increasingly seeking seamless and cost-effective solutions for international payments. In this interview, we speak with Ankit Parasher, Co-founder of Salt, a fintech company aiming to simplify cross-border payments for Indian businesses.


What is the current market size for cross-border payments involving Indian SMEs, and how do you see this evolving in the next few years?

In FY 2022-23, MSME products accounted for 43.6% of India's exports. In this scenario, the Foreign Trade Policy 2023 (FTP-23) serves as a guiding light, outlining a comprehensive roadmap for India's exports. FTP-23 sets its sights on propelling Indian exports to a remarkable $3 trillion by 2030, with eCommerce taking the lead and targeting $200-$300 billion.

Simultaneously, the government is actively streamlining business procedures, promoting digitisation, and implementing trade facilitation measures to cultivate a thriving export ecosystem for sustained growth.


What cutting-edge technologies or innovations give SALT a competitive advantage in the cross-border payments space?

SALT provides businesses with an alternative real-time payment mode, superior to the traditional mode of receiving their international payments via banks and SWIFT. We facilitate this innovative mode by providing them with a local bank account to receive payments in. This makes it extremely convenient for their clients as well.

Our presence across multiple countries, as well as licenses and partnerships to build integrations with local payment systems like ACH, FedWire and SEPA, all contribute to our offerings that make international business easy! We also have AI solutions that make these transactions 100% compliant with the local regulations as well as automate the required local compliance and documentation.


 How does SALT cater to the unique needs of Indian freelancers and consultants in the cross-border payments market?

With SALT, Indian freelancers, consultants, and exporters can create local bank accounts to receive their clients’ payments for services and goods exported, without the need to set up and create offices in each location.

They can collect their payments locally, which means that their customer does not have to travel to their bank branch and carry out an international transaction. This transaction creates a completely compliant mode of receiving their international transaction without the restrictions, high costs, and failure rates associated with card payments. Also, the services/goods providers receive required certificates like FIRC/FIRA for free, and immediately after their transaction, without the need to go back and forth endlessly with their banks.

What recent developments or trends in the Indian market are most influencing SALT’s strategy and growth?


Government initiatives that push Indian businesses to think global is a trend that is highly favourable to SALT’s growth, as well as the cross-border payments industry as a whole. Product Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes boost domestic manufacturing, increasing our ability to export high quality goods, adding to India’s total export volume. GDP growth and businesses expanding and going global goes hand in hand - all these indicators bode well for our goals here at SALT.

Regulatory amendments that foster a favourable environment for FinTechs to participate in the cross-border space allow for SALT to empower businesses looking to expand globally. The entrepreneurial outlook to build from India for the world is on the rise and will continue to grow with time. Our country has the potential and capability to be the world’s manufacturer. A fast growing economy also makes us one of the largest consumer markets for foreign brands to capture.

What are SALT's plans for further expansion within India, and what regions or sectors are you targeting next?

Traditionally, trade has been limited to clusters in specific cities across India. SALT aims to empower SMEs to seamlessly trade internationally from anywhere and be 100% compliant using the solutions we provide.

We are sector and region-agnostic. Our systems are configured for specific customer or industry needs. Our process improves service delivery and customer satisfaction, crucial for sectors like e-commerce, where real-time data processing and payment reconciliation are vital. Our goal is to make international trade for everyone - from freelance designers to large scale exporters, an obstacle of the past. 


How does SALT navigate the regulatory landscape for cross-border payments, and what are the biggest regulatory challenges you face?

Balancing innovation and compliance especially in a sensitive industry like payments is possibly the largest challenge within the FinTech industry. Complying with local as well as multiple international laws that have differing regulatory frameworks is as complex as one may imagine - a maze that has an end but you’re not too sure about the route. Integrating with payment systems is something we pride ourselves on as this makes payment processing extremely smooth for our clients (and theirs!). Regulations are dynamic in nature.

Hence, it is our prerogative to keep in touch and remain compliant with every minor and major change that is made by the regulatory bodies and relevant authorities. A sizeable chunk of our efforts goes towards staying in line with data security and privacy laws.


How user-friendly is your platform for small business owners and what feedback have you received from SMEs using SALT's services?

Banking and international payments/trade are innately complex, our systems are designed to take away that complexity and make it super simple for businesses to do one thing - get paid.

This philosophy is consistently applied right from our onboarding flow - ensuring that every step of the way is straightforward and compliant. You have a new client who wants to pay you in a different currency? Your SALT virtual account is just one click away from being able to receive that payment. Need an update about your latest transaction? You are one text away from your dedicated relationship manager. One piece of feedback we consistently receive is “Everything is just easier with SALT”.