TransferWise Helps Monzo Clients Send Money Abroad

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.

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Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World

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.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Revolut announces recruitment initiative in Kraków, Poland to hire 100 new workers in a single day employment in its offices in Eastern Europe.
  • Forbes features Tinkoff Bank in look at Russia’s efforts to develop its digital economy.
  • Polish financial group Aforti Holdings to launch non-bank lender for SMEs and startups in Romania.

Asia

  • Banks in South Korea to introduce blockchain based identity verification for mobile and online logins. The technology is reportedly built on a private blockchain system developed by Samsung SDS.
  • Daon Partners with Tradelink to Bring Biometrics to Dah Sing Bank.
  • Bank of Thailand is developing and testing blockchain apps in its regulatory sandbox.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Financial technology services firm, One Global, discusses plans for expansion into Egyptian market.
  • ADGM Reglab reports record number of fintech applications for its third cohort.
  • Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange turns to Equifax for advice on development of new technologies to improve operational efficiency.

Africa

  • TransferTo, Orange Money Botswana, and EcoCash partner to support digital money transfers between Zimbabwe and Botswana.
  • IMF review of South Africa suggests “increased focus on the role fintech …” could access to credit for SMEs and promotion broader financial inclusion.
  • Nigerian startup, Piggybank.ng, raises $1.1 million to further develop its online savings platform.

Latin America

  • Diario Financiero interviews Ángel Sierra, executive director of La Asociación Fintech Chile, on digital innovation (video in Spanish).
  • TransferWise initiates service in Argentina.
  • PayU goes live in Colombia with its PayU te fía (PayU You Trust) solution that enables borrowers to extend repayment terms (in Spanish).

Top image designed by Freepik

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

First to Faster: TransferWise Joins U.K. Payment Scheme

In gaining direct access to the U.K.’s Faster Payment scheme, Transferwise is the first non-bank to take advantage of a settlement directive from the Bank of England. The new policy, designed to add both competition and innovation to the country’s payment system, will give non-bank payment service providers (PSPs) direct access to the payment systems that settle in central bank money.

Accessible systems will include Faster Payments, Bacs, Chaps, Link, and Visa. The BoE’s new digital cheque imaging system, once activated, will also be available to non-bank PSPs. In addition to reducing processing costs, the move by TransferWise will enable it to leverage its new borderless accounts further by offering instant transfers to GBP. TransferWise customers paying with debit and credit cards will also benefit from TransferWise’s direct connection to RTGS (Real-Time Gross Settlement) and the Faster Payments scheme.

“Today is game changing for TransferWise and millions of our customers around the world. The Bank of England is giving tech companies the same rights to process payments as the retail banks – enabling us to cut out the middlemen and offer people a faster, cheaper service,” TransferWise CEO and co-founder Kristo Käärmann said. “I truly believe that money should move around the world as quickly and as cheaply as email, and this is a vital step on that journey.”

The company said the initiative will help provide a level playing field with banks and encouraged central banks around the world to pursue similar policies. Previous to gaining a settlement account in RTGS, TransferWise was relegated to using the traditional banking rails to access the fastest available system. Käärman told Reuters that his company has been seeking this kind of access for five years.

Ranked by The Financial Times on its FT 1,000 list of Europe’s fastest growing companies earlier this month, TransferWise demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2013. Earlier this year, the company partnered with Wirecard to launch a debit card to accompany its new digital borderless account offering, and teamed up with Seedrs to power payroll for the crowdfunding platform.

TransferWise has raised more than $396 million in funding, and includes Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Seedcamp, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), IA Ventures, Valar Ventures, Bailie Gifford, and Old Mutual Global Investors among its equity holders. The company facilitates the transfer of more than $2 billion worldwide every month and claims savings of $80 million a month for consumers compared to transfers made using traditional banks.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.