Press release

New Survey by Cambridge Global Payments Finds 81% of Financial Decision makers at Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Maintain a Positive Business Outlook for 2020

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In a survey of financial decision makers at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in North America, Cambridge Global Payments found that executives are planning for a stronger U.S. dollar and increased volatility in 2020.The first-of-its-kind SME-focused survey of foreign exchange conditions in North America was commissioned by Cambridge Global Payments, a FLEETCOR company (NYSE: FLT) and a leading provider of international payments and foreign exchange transactions, and was conducted by a third party Leger.

“The majority of senior executives at SMEs have a positive outlook about the business environment, and over half predicted that we will see a rise in FX volatility,” said Karl Schamotta, Chief Market Strategist for Cambridge Global Payments. “With global uncertainties rising, currency market dislocations are increasingly likely – which could be a dangerous thing for companies who have not planned ahead.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 81% financial decision makers feel positive about the outlook for their business over the next 6 months.
  • Over half (55%) believe overall FX volatility will increase in the next 6 months, with Canadian financial decision makers more likely to say this than their American counterparts. (61% compared to 53%).
  • 61% of respondents think Donald Trump and U.S. political uncertainty will be the largest source of volatility in FX markets. Canadian SME financial decision makers were more likely to feel this way, when compared to those in the U.S. (70% vs. 58%).
  • 53% believe that the China-U.S. trade dispute will have the largest impact on FX markets, followed by Brexit (35%), geopolitical issues (27%), and central bank policy (23%).
  • Nearly half of North American SME financial decision makers (47%) believe the US dollar will be stronger on a trade-weighted basis by June 2020, while 29% feel it will remain stable.
  • Four-in-ten expect the EURUSD pairing to trade between 1.10 and 1.15 in June 2020.
  • Three-in-ten expect the GBPUSD pair to trade between 1.28 and 1.30 in June 2020, while fewer expect the pair to trade at 1.30 and above.
  • Canadian financial decision makers are significantly more likely to believe the USDCAD pair will trade between 1.29-1.35 (66% vs 52% American respondents).

“Despite rapidly shifting market conditions and political tensions throughout 2019, the majority of SME financial decision makers surveyed feel positive about their business for 2020,” said Don Curren, Strategist for Cambridge Global Payments. “Small and medium enterprises form the backbone of the North American economy, so a positive outlook among them is a good sign.”

Survey methodology

An online survey of 521 senior financial decision makers who work for North American companies with an annual revenue between $5M and $250M was completed between November 7 to 21, 2019, using Leger’s online panel.

The margin of error for this study was +/-4.3%, 19 times out of 20.

About Cambridge Global Payments

Cambridge Global Payments, a FLEETCOR company, is a leading provider of integrated cross-border payment services and currency risk management solutions. As a trusted partner for more than 25 years, Cambridge delivers innovative solutions designed to mitigate foreign exchange exposure and address unique business needs. Our award-winning capabilities and industry-leading technologies simplify the way businesses connect with the global marketplace. As one of the largest bank-independent providers globally, we are flexible and responsive, with offices and applicable licensing and regulatory approvals across North America, Europe, and Australia. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.