The biggest advantage of FCI is that we are a distinctive organisation. You won't find the equivalent anywhere. It is unique because it's so powerful and strong. We have so many members, almost 400 in more than 90 countries. All in all, we are a powerful organisation, what with edifactoring, the GRIF (General Rules for International Factoring), etc. There is no organisation that can possibly compete against this.
The second thing is the trading platform: edifactoring.com. The platform is a web-based solution for sending and receiving two-factor transactions as export and as import factor. The new edifactoring 2.0 that we are building for tomorrow will be novel to the world.
Third, you are business-minded and you enter into the community of receivables finance. This is a new way of looking at your business and becoming a real professional.
Fourth, education: you cannot become a member of the family and don't understand what the business is and how to deal with another partner. This is key and that is the key to the success of a proper factoring operation.
Of course as European member, we don’t use so much the two factor system for import or export within our European region. But FCI is absolutely created for intercontinental business and helps us to provide import and export for different regions that are very far from us. So we do a lot of trade coming from Turkey, coming from China or Asia and that’s great because the only way we can do it is through FCI. There is no other possibility. Let me say that sometimes I get calls from my bank saying, “Well how do will you do this with this platform that wants to finance SME’s somewhere n Europe?” I tell them, “Well we have a solution. We have this correspondent factoring through FCI. We have no other possibility to compete. We are the only ones.
FCI surprises me. It surprises me as an expert because I’m always amazed when I see the community we make with our partners. I mean, with other players, co-factors, we know each other year after year. Because we see each other every year at annual meetings. We work together so closely, so at the end we can really find swift solutions for clients with a lot of energy, a lot of efficiency and that’s great! So hospitality, community, intercultural relationships, multi-lingual, multi-country, will bring us to work really so expeditiously to find good and efficient decisions.
Let me just give you an example of the positive effect of factoring which I experienced some years ago during an annual meeting. We were attending one these Thursdays, nowadays it’s Wednesdays. We were doing some tourism with members and visiting ruins in Athens. A member asked me to do a very important, huge programme between Asia and Europe. He was exporter, I was importer. Within a few minutes of discussing, between the ruins, nice, we found the solution. We found the solutions and afterwards, because we knew each other pretty well and had complete trust between ourselves. We managed to do the deal within a week or two week’s time. Incredible because it was more than 100 million euros deal. So believe me, personal relationships, capacity, to have trust and confidence 100% the one to the other is really very, very useful to make deals and to make deals that you wouldn’t do if you wouldn’t have these annual meetings and close physical human relationships between members.
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