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Airwallex and McLaren Racing Forge a Pioneering Partnership to Revolutionize Formula 1’s Financial Operations

In the high-stakes world of Formula 1, where split-second decisions and cutting-edge technology define success, the collaboration between Airwallex and McLaren Racing stands out as a beacon of innovation and efficiency. In an exclusive interview with Ravi Adusumilli, EGM, Americas at Airwallex, we delve into the dynamic partnership that is set to reshape the global financial operations of McLaren Racing.

 

The narrative began in late 2023 when Airwallex’s Global Marketing team initiated discussions with McLaren Racing, searching for a partnership that echoed their shared commitment to speed, precision, and global excellence. What started as exploratory conversations quickly evolved into a strategic alliance, unveiling a perfect synergy between Airwallex’s financial prowess and McLaren’s need for a modernized global payment solution.

 

Adusumilli highlights the parallel trajectories of Airwallex and McLaren as both being relentlessly engineered for speed and precision, striving to set new global standards in their respective industries. The alignment is not just about a brand collaboration; it’s a fusion of two global entities operating across continents and time zones, both driven by a relentless pursuit of excellence.

 

The heart of the partnership lies in Airwallex’s mission to supercharge McLaren’s financial operations. In Formula 1, where efficiency is paramount, Adusumilli details how Airwallex will optimize McLaren’s supply chain payments for all Grands Prix. This involves a multifaceted approach, including leveraging Airwallex’s extensive local payment rail network, unlocking multi-currency options, and reducing SWIFT fees. The goal is to streamline payments to core suppliers, like hotels and event spaces, enhancing both speed and cost-effectiveness.

 

Beyond the track, Airwallex’s impact extends to McLaren’s digital partner merchandise platform. The partnership is not merely transactional; it’s a technological infusion that enhances McLaren’s multi-currency collection capabilities, providing fans and partners with a seamless and global payment experience.

 

Adusumilli articulates how this collaboration aligns with Airwallex’s broader strategy to become the financial platform of choice for innovative businesses worldwide. As global supply chains evolve, companies, including those in the automotive and manufacturing sectors, require adaptable financial tools. In the dynamic landscape of Formula 1, with races spanning 21 countries and a massive annual viewership of 1.5 billion, Airwallex’s partnership with McLaren becomes a strategic move to meet the growing demand for cost-effective and efficient cross-border financial solutions.

 

Quotes from key players further amplify the significance of this collaboration. Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, emphasizes the importance of efficiency and performance, expressing delight in integrating Airwallex’s innovative payment solutions. Jack Zhang, CEO and Co-Founder of Airwallex, emphasizes the shared spirit of innovation and global appeal, foreseeing the partnership as a key driver for mutual growth.

 

The visual manifestation of this collaboration, with the Airwallex logo prominently displayed on McLaren’s MCL38, driver overalls, and other branded materials, signifies not just sponsorship but a shared vision of pushing boundaries and setting new standards. As Airwallex expands its presence in markets like North America, the partnership with McLaren becomes even more significant, riding the wave of Formula 1’s surging popularity in the region.

 

In conclusion, the Airwallex-McLaren partnership is not just a union of brands; it’s a fusion of technological prowess, shared values, and a commitment to redefining global financial operations in the fast lane of Formula 1. As these two global entities hurtle towards the future, the roar of their collaboration echoes across continents, promising a thrilling journey of innovation, efficiency, and unparalleled success.

 

Automotive Industries interview with Ravi Adusumilli, EGM, Americas at Airwallex

 

Automotive Industries: Hi Ravi, what sparked the collaboration between Airwallex and McLaren Racing, and how did the partnership come to fruition?

 

Adusumilli: Our Global Marketing team began conversations with McLaren Racing in late 2023, after searching for a partnership opportunity with a like-minded global brand. It quickly became clear that there was an opportunity for a brand and technology partnership. As we got to know one another, we saw an opportunity to integrate Airwallex’s financial infrastructure to supercharge McLaren’s global financial operations.

 

We see a number of parallels between McLaren and Airwallex – we’re both relentlessly engineered for speed and precision, we’re both striving to set a new global standard in our respective industries and we’re both global businesses, operating across multiple continents and time zones.

 

Automotive Industries: In the competitive world of Formula 1, efficiency is crucial both on and off the track. How does Airwallex aim to enhance McLaren’s financial and supply chain operations to contribute to the team’s overall performance?

 

Adusumilli: McLaren will use Airwallex to optimize its supply chain payments for all Grands Prix. We’re working with McLaren in two primary ways:

 

McLaren will use Airwallex to optimize how they pay their supplier base ahead of Grands Prix. Core suppliers like hotels and event spaces typically require payment via bank transfer or card payments. McLaren’s existing payments infrastructure limits payment to these suppliers to a singular, UK-based currency account, resulting in high foreign exchange (FX) charges, slow transfer times and additional SWIFT fees. Airwallex will unlock more multi-currency options for McLaren, allowing them to hold core currencies and exchange with ease. Our extensive local payment rail network will also enable McLaren to reduce SWIFT fees and pay suppliers in a more cost-effective and efficient way.

 

Airwallex will also provide payment processing services to power McLaren’s new B2B e-commerce platform. Airwallex processes payments with all major schemes like Visa, MasterCard and Amex, and more than 160 local payment methods. This will enhance McLaren’s multi-currency collection capabilities and offer them a broad range of payment options.

 

Automotive Industries: With the partnership aimed at supporting Airwallex’s global expansion, how does the collaboration with McLaren align with Airwallex’s broader strategy to become the financial platform of choice for innovative businesses worldwide?

 

Adusumilli: As global supply chains continue to evolve, companies across all industries – including automotive and manufacturing – need tools that can adapt to the inflow and outflow of money. That’s where Airwallex comes in. We help simplify the global movement of money supporting borderless financial operations. As a leading global sporting event, F1 races are a perfect use case for needing cost-effective and efficient payment options that work across borders. They’re held in 21 countries, 24 cities and have a global viewership of 1.5 billion annually. We’re excited to be partnering with another globally oriented organization and look forward to working together in the years to come.

 

Automotive Industries: As an Official Partner, Airwallex is set to support McLaren Racing’s global financial operations. Can you elaborate on the specific areas or challenges within McLaren’s financial operations that Airwallex’s solutions are set to address and improve?

 

Adusumilli: McLaren will leverage Airwallex to transform its financial operations in two ways. They’ll both decrease foreign exchange (FX) costs, which will enable multi-currency payment options and increase the speed of payments via our extensive global proprietary payment network.

 

Automotive Industries: McLaren will benefit from Airwallex’s multi-currency payment options. Could you explain how these options will help McLaren optimize its supply chain payments during Grands Prix and reduce foreign exchange charges and SWIFT fees?

 

Adusumilli: The ability to hold multiple currencies in their Airwallex facility will reduce FX exposure. Furthermore, by leveraging Airwallex’s extensive global proprietary payment network, McLaren will mitigate the need to be as reliant on the SWIFT network.

 

Automotive Industries: In addition to financial operations, Airwallex will provide technology to support McLaren’s digital partner merchandise platform. How will this technology enhance McLaren’s multi-currency collection capabilities, and what benefits does it bring to the fans and partners?

 

Adusumilli: The Airwallex checkout experience will further enhance McLaren’s multi-currency collection capabilities, allowing them to offer a broad range of global and local payment options that will cater to their global network of fans.

 

Automotive Industries: With the Airwallex logo prominently displayed on McLaren’s MCL38, driver overalls, and other branded materials, how does Airwallex see this visibility contributing to the brand’s global recognition and audience engagement?

 

Adusumilli: We see a number of parallels between McLaren and Airwallex that make this partnership a perfect fit. We’re both engineered for speed and precision and both striving to set a new global standard in our respective industries. It’s also an exciting time for Airwallex, as we expand and deepen our presence in newer markets like North America. Similarly, F1 Racing is surging in popularity in North America – ESPN noted the 2022 and 2023 seasons were the most watched F1 seasons in US TV history. We look forward to working with McLaren in the years to come, as we both continue to grow and expand globally.

 

Automotive Industries: McLaren faced challenges with its existing payments infrastructure, resulting in high FX charges and slow transfer times. How does Airwallex’s financial technology address these challenges, and what innovations does it bring to streamline global payments for McLaren?

 

Adusumilli: Airwallex will enable McLaren to transform its financial operations both by increasing the speed of payments via our extensive global proprietary payment network and decreasing FX costs that previously limited McLaren to payments in only a singular currency.

 

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