Fintech unicorn TransferWise and one of France’s biggest banks join forces

The UK’s booming fintech industry has seen further evolution as TransferWise teams with major European bank BPCE Groupe

Fintech unicorn TransferWise and one of France’s biggest banks join forces

Fintech just screams ‘British business opportunity’ from the peak of the VC mountain. Take a look at Moneyfarm, the wealth management service, and its £40m investment received at the end of May, and unicorn Revolut, the digital bank, securing $250m in April. But beyond the unicorn status, TransferWise, the money transfer service, climbed even greater heights for UK fintech through a partnership with BPCE Groupe, France’s second-biggest bank.

The move will have TransferWise serving its international money tools to around 15 million BPCE customers as part of its first foray into a mainstream European bank.

After the new French partnership begins in early 2019, BPCE customers across 60 countries will gain access to the service, which includes the ability to transfer money outside the Eurozone. This will be achieved through BPCE’s integration of TransferWise’s API, coming with a 0.5% fee on the majority of currency routes.

This collaboration builds on current partnerships with smaller banks including LHV, the Estonian banking and financial services provider, and N26, the mobile bank based in Germany. According to TechCrunch, this partnership roster would have reached one more in May with Starling, the mobile-only challenger bank, but a deal reportedly broke down.

Commenting on the move, Kristo Käärmann, co-founder and CEO of TransferWise, said: “TransferWise has a mission to make money move around the world as fast and as cheaply as email. This partnership is a momentous step on that journey – for the first time a major mainstream bank is offering its customers the chance to benefit from TransferWise’s lightning fast, low cost service. It’s proof that we can scale our technology, which will allow other big institutions to seamlessly integrate with the service”

Although TransferWise is known for its app that supercharged the startup into a unicorn worth $1.6bn, it’s clear British fintech has stepped onto a large field of international opportunities. And with Brexit less than a year away, the most successful British industries need to shine brighter than ever to attract global attention. 

Angus Shaw
Angus Shaw

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