Buy flowers internationally using euros and dollars29 September 2020
Payment is a crucial part of being able to trade using Floriday - internationally, too. This is why the development of international payment solutions is one of the three strategic spearheads of Royal FloraHolland's strategy. This year, the first international transactions and payments will take place through Floriday. We asked Anneke, Teun and Sebastiaan, all three involved in the 'International Payment Solutions' programme, how the system works.
"We are creating a solution to a specific need of a group of international members: payment in dollars. The fact that it isn't currently possible makes trading between different countries outside the EU much more difficult. We want to do something about that," said Anneke van Beek, programme manager for International Payment Solutions. Until now, payments through Royal FloraHolland can only be made in euros. However, from the end of this year, it will also be possible to settle international transactions in dollars through Royal FloraHolland. Anneke: "By offering this service through Floriday, we want to stimulate international direct trade because Floriday, especially for our international members, is a showcase to the rest of the world. It makes it easier for them to find new customers. We will soon be able to facilitate this by registering these international buyers."
"It may not seem so complicated to pay in dollars in addition to the euro, but it is more difficult than you think," explained Sebastiaan Hoogendoorn, (Global Sourcing Services and MT International Sales & Account management). "Royal FloraHolland is certainly willing to settle transactions, but does not want to become the owner of the products. So, how does it work? "A buyer deposits an amount in advance into a so-called 'suspense account'. This suspense account belongs to Royal FloraHolland. Multiple transactions are possible from this suspense account. The grower only gets his money when delivery is in order. That way, Royal FloraHolland offers growers security of payment and buyers security of delivery, just like in the Netherlands." Anneke went on to say: "You have to make solid agreements with international banks. Legislation for payment transactions is complex and varies from country to country. What is compulsory in one country is absolutely forbidden in another. That's why we're consulting with authorities and partners from the world of finance about the conditions under which we can offer such services."
Trading based on the needs of growers and buyers is paramount. Proposition Manager Teun Verrest: "We have noticed that buyers find the charges for payment in international transactions to be high, but also that growers would prefer to be paid on a consolidated basis [one large deposit instead of numerous small deposits, ed.]. That's our starting point for the development of this service." An existing trade relationship between Kenyan growers and Saudi Arabian buyers is the first to start with payment in dollars. The first phase of the project will run until the end of the year. Then we will see which other countries we can include. Teun: "For us, this first phase will be a success if other buyers, who are still buying outside the auction, also want to participate and, of course, if growers also want us to extend this service to other countries."
The ambitions of Royal FloraHolland do not stop at the Dutch national border. International trade, too, must also run smoothly and hassle-free through our marketplace. Especially in international trade, we can offer benefits to our growers and their buyers. The services we're developing for this purpose enable hassle-free, end-to-end transaction processing. Scale is critical A dynamic B2B platform such as Floriday must serve the largest possible international network with the widest possible range of products and support services in order to be and remain successful.