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FairFX targets small business with CardOne acqusition

The decision to complement its retail offering with a corporate service is quite literally paying off
different currencies
You won’t see FairFX on the high street, but you might well do on Sky Sports…

FairFX Group Plc (LON:FFX) was voted the UK’s most trusted pre-paid card provider in 2016.

It beat off competition from the likes of Travelex and Thomas Cook to win the award and the business is now scaling up to match those giants.

FairFX original business was a cloud-based peer-to-peer (P2P) payments platform to change money easily and cheaply, but that focus has now shifted in to digital banking with the acquisition of CardOne for £15mln.

CardOne adds bank function to currency expertise

That has made it one of the few card providers able to offer a comprehensive digital banking service.

FairFx will use CardOne Group's infrastructure and technical capability to speed up its own roll-out of a small business banking product.

Business foreign exchange offers a bigger market opportunity than consumer cards and FairFx’s business expense management platform has already given it a good starting point in this market.

A multi-currency business current account, Fair Everywhere, launched in November and will offer SMEs current accounts in multiple currencies that will incorporate full-service banking services combined with a low cost, international payment facility.

Earnings boost

The CardOne acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in the first full year following completion, with cost savings and synergies estimated at £3.5mln over 3 years.

CardOne made a profit of £800,000 on sales of £5.5mln in 2016 and posted a profit of £600,000 in the first half of 2017.

FairFX posts first interim profit

On its own, there was a first interim net profit since floating in 2014 in the first half of 2017, with a 25.8% year-on-year increase in turnover to £433.8mln.

FairFX said a combination of a more profitable business mix, leading to an improved gross margin and cost benefits of rationalising the supply chain, resulted in the better-than-anticipated performance.

Total turnover from pre-paid cards and international payments rose 23% and 35%, respectively.

Usage of the company's corporate card platform rose 93% year-on-year, despite the fact sterling took a biffing both before and after the General Election.

On the retail card and travel money side of the business, the focus has remained on improving the user experience of FairFX across all its platforms.

Sky Sports’ F1 coverage

While you won’t see FairFX on your local high street, if you’re a fan of Formula One racing there’s a good chance you will have see it on Sky Sports.

For the second season, FairFX is sponsoring the coverage on the broadcaster’s dedicated racing channel, Sky Sports F1.

The latest advertising campaign features the group’s various currency products, including currency cards, corporate cards and international payments and will help to raise awareness of the brand.

At 77p, FairFX is valued at £120mln.

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FairFX Group Plc Timeline

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