FairFX Group Plc (LON:FFX) has been given access to settlement accounts at the Bank of England following an independent assessment, in a move it said represented “a significant endorsement” of its services.
The e-banking and international payments firm said access to the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) accounts at the central bank would now allow it to process payments made through its platforms, which numbered over 1mln in 2018, in real-time as well as providing other benefits to customers including instant transfers.
The RTGS accounts also allowed the company to own its own sort code and create International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs), used to transfer money across borders, without the involvement of any other financial institution.
These benefits were expected to accelerate customer acquisition and retention across the group as well as reducing transaction costs.
The agreement also made FairFX a direct participant in the UK’s Faster Payments Scheme (FPS), a real-time, 24/7 payments service, of which it is only the fourth non-Bank to be connected directly.
Membership of FPS also gave FairFX access to other UK payment schemes such as BACS, which handles direct debits and current account switching, and CHAPS, a same-day payment settlement system.
“As a directly connected settling participant we can provide and directly manage instant faster payments, both in and out of our customers' accounts, 24/7”, said Adam Rigler, FairFX’s head of banking.
"It is essential for payment providers to be able to offer instant payments in the modern world and we are now at the cutting edge of this service. The scale of our in-house gateway means that we are even in a position to offer the service to other payment providers on a B2B basis, thereby providing yet another revenue stream for the Group."
Ian Strafford-Taylor, chief executive, added that the developments were in line with the firm’s strategy to streamline its payment supply chain, lower processing costs, and improve “customer experience”.
“Direct access to payment schemes was traditionally the exclusive preserve of Clearing Banks, so joining this select group clearly demonstrates FairFX's credentials as a leading payments provider with bank-grade capabilities”, Strafford-Taylor said.
In mid-morning trading Tuesday, shares were down 0.6% at 89.5p.
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