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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
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International money transfer specialist has a new partner in Dutch challenger bank bunq, which announced today that it is integrating with TransferWise’s API to enable its customers to send money in up to 15 different currencies directly from the bunq app.
“Our mission is to free our users from borders and barriers in traditional banking, such as hidden fees,” bunq CEO Ali Niknam said. “We think TransferWise is a valuable addition to solidify that mission.” Founded in 2015, bunq is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Bunq users will also benefit from access to real exchange rates, TransferWise’s transparent and competitive fees, and fast transfer speeds – the latter courtesy of the instant SEPA payment system that shortens the time it takes EUR to GBR transfers, for example, from days to minutes. “In the future,” TransferWise noted in a blog post announcing the partnership news, “it should only take a few seconds.”
bunq is the second challenger bank that TransferWise has teamed up with this year. In June, the company partnered with Monzo, powering international money transfers for the digital bank’s 750,000 customers. And just weeks before announcing the Monzo partnership, TransferWise reported that it was working with Groupe BPCE, providing money transfer services to the French banking group’s 15 million retail customers.
TransferWise demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2013. Earlier this fall, the company announced its second profitable year and annual revenue growth of 75%. This summer, TransferWise announced the opening of an office in Hong Kong as part of its expansion into Asia. With more than $396 million in funding, TransferWise is one of fintech’s “unicorns” with a valuation in excess of $1.6 billion. The company has more than three million users, and facilitates the transfer of more than $2.65 billion a month. TransferWise was founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann (CEO) in 2011.
The fintech space is filled with new players bringing to market new innovations and solutions to old business and consumer problems, as well as traditional businesses looking to develop in-house innovation teams and partner with start-ups. But what they both have in common is a desire to meet and exceed changing customer demands, make financial services more accessible and user-friendly, and keep up with the fast-paced technological advances. During FinovateFall, we sat down with the experts on the ground to ask them about what’s driving the fintech ecosystem where they work.
Andrew Boyajian, Head of Banking, North America, Transferwise on overcoming regulatory challenges to launch a global product.
Neeraj Arora, Global Head of Decision Science and Data Automation – Personal Insurance at AIG on the importance of an innovation branch in the business and why they should work hand-in-hand with start-ups.
David Snitkof, Head of Data Integration & Insights at Kabbage discusses leveraging data and why it should be more than just plugging in some numbers to get an output.
Christian Zimmerman, Co-founder & CEO, Qoins on the pain points which lead him to Qoins and what the future has in-store for crowd-funding to pay back loans.
Alyson Clarke, Principal Analyst, Forrester on the three components for a quality customer experience.
As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Latin America and the Caribbean
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TransferWiseopens office in Hong Kong as part of expansion into Asia.
AsiaCollect, a credit management services provider based in Singapore, raises $4.5 million in funding.
Foreign exchange and international payments company, Frontierpay, opens Asian headquarters in Singapore.
South African fintech walletdoc partners with EasyPay to make it easier for consumer to pay monthly subscriptions and utilities.
Foreign currency exchange platform TransferWise just landed a new partnership with challenger bank Monzo. This agreement marks the fintech’s first U.K. bank client to go live and comes just weeks after the company announced a similar partnership with France’s BPCE Group.
Through today’s agreement, TransferWise will power international money transfers for Monzo’s 750,000 users. Starting today, Monzo has integrated with TransferWise’s API to allow its users to send money from their Monzo checking account in 16 currencies. The bank is working to add more currencies in the near future.
Monzo opted to leverage TransferWise for international money transfers because of the positive user experience co-founder Tom Blomfield has had with TransferWise in the past. Blomfield told TechCrunch in an interview, “I’ve personally been a TransferWise customer for five or six years and the service is amazing. Compared to my old bank, it’s really, really transparent, the fees are really fair, and they’re continually working on bringing fees down and to make transfers more instantaneous. So I can’t think of a better partner to do foreign transfers with than TransferWise.”
Many Monzo clients already use TransferWise, but for those who do not, TransferWise will automatically set up an account for them when they initiate their first bank transfer. For all users, the international transfers will be syndicated across both their Monzo and TransferWise accounts.
With more than 3 million users, TransferWise facilitates the movement of more than $2.65 billion each month. Today’s partnership marks TransferWise’s first U.K. bank client to go live, adding to the fintech’s other bank partnerships, including N26 and LHV. TransferWise had– at one point– announced an integration with Starling Bank in the U.K., but the partnership was never finalized and fell through.
TransferWise does not charge users to sign up and there are no monthly fees. By leveraging the ability to transfer money within its network of banks, the company makes sending money abroad up to 7x cheaper than using a bank account. The company was founded in 2010 and showcased its P2P currency exchange services at FinovateEurope 2013. TransferWise recently launched in Argentina to allow Argentinians to move money to and from more than 60 countries.