Announced earlier this year, the merger between cross-border payments marketplace CurrencyFair and payment workflow automation platform Assembly Payments has secured regulatory approval. The merged company has also rebranded as Zai as part of a new focus on providing a wider set of integrated financial services to mid-market businesses and enterprise-level customers within and beyond the Australian market. The CurrencyFair brand will remain intact to serve consumers and small businesses with the kind of fast, affordable foreign exchange the company has offered for nearly a decade.
Paul Byrne, who served as CEO and President of Currencyfair for more than five years, will now serve as CEO and President of the new entity Zai. “Our vision with Zai is to boldly transform the future of financial services,” Byrne said in a statement. “The Australian market is very close to our hearts – both Assembly Payments and CurrencyFair were founded by Australian innovators.”
To underscore this point Byrne added that Zai was first to market with NPP, Australia’s New Payments Platform, and that the company planned to launch its new, real-time digital payments solution, PayTo, in the middle of next year. PayTo will enable merchants and businesses to initiate real-time payments from their customers’ bank accounts.
“Zai will continue our tradition of being customer-centric, solving problems and adding value around our five core capabilities,” Byrne said. These areas – payments, global payment accounts, partner ecosystem, lending and settlement, and services – represent major growth opportunities according to Byrne, in what he described as a “$2 trillion revenue market for payments.” In addition to expanding its presence in Australia, Zai plans to launch in the U.K., the U.S., and Asia in 2022 and to grow its workforce from 170 to 450 by 2025.
“We are already seeing the benefits of expansion as we forecast a second successive year of 60% growth in processing volume to $6.5 billion in 2021,” Byrne said.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and launched in 2009, CurrencyFair has been a Finovate alum since 2012. Ahead of the merger with Assembly Payments, the company had securely exchanged the equivalent of €10 billion, enabling its customers to send money to more than 150 countries. The company had raised more than $24 million in funding before acquiring Assembly Payments, picking up an additional $35 million in funding from Standard Chartered afterward.
“By bringing together the complementary strengths of CurrencyFair and Assembly, we are supporting the merged company in offering the full range of payment services,” Standard Chartered group chief executive Bill Winters said earlier this year, “providing retail and corporate clients access to fast, high-volume domestic and cross-border payments.”