A New Administration Spotlights Cross-Border Payments

America is just weeks away from inaugurating President-elect Joe Biden as the new commander-in-chief, beginning a new chapter in the country’s history. In addition to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic head-on, Biden has committed to making sweeping overhauls to position America as a welcoming country to foreign entities.

Many world leaders embraced the incoming administration, offering congratulatory messages to the Biden campaign shortly after the results of the election were confirmed. Comments from Germany’s chancellor and Italy’s prime minister echoed the opportunity to strengthen transatlantic partnerships.

Biden’s goal to strengthen international relations combined with the arrival of vaccines in many countries, has the world hopeful that cross-border travel, commerce and immigration will increase as early 2021. This global cooperation is not only good for the economy as a whole, but also marks a positive shift for the fintech industry as it will create even more need for cross-border peer-to-peer payments for two key reasons:

• More migrants are anticipated to come to the States, which means more payments will be sent back to home countries.
• Americans and foreign-born workers alike were forced to use digital, contactless payment methods during the pandemic; a behavior shift with permanent staying power.

Renewed Foreign Relations Opening New Doors
From Senator to Vice President and now President-elect, Biden has long been an influential voice when it comes to foreign relations and policy. Throughout his 2020 campaign, Biden outlined a plan to improve international affairs. A cornerstone of this initiative is his plan to make travel from Muslim-majority countries accessible.

In addition, Biden has promised to modernize America’s immigration system and welcome immigrants into our communities with a number of sweeping changes. According to the National Foundation of American Policy, by 2021, legal immigration to the U.S. will have decreased by up to 49%. The declining number can be attributed to restrictions around H1-B visas. However, these restrictions are set to expire at the end of the year, and the incoming Biden administration has already signaled that it plans to increase the number of H1-B visas in 2021.

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