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FairFX positive on 2019 outlook after strong start to the year

"2018 was a transformational year in the evolution of the group," said chief executive Ian Strafford-Taylor
OVERVIEW: FFX The Big Picture
FairFx is a low-cost payment services provider based in the UK
  • Strong start to year after 2018 revenues and profits surge

  • Investments in technology and acquisitions bearing fruit 

  • FairFX confident of meeting 2019 expectations 


What FairFX does:

FairFx Group PLC (LON:FFX) is a low-cost payment services provider based in the UK.

The company has a cloud-based peer-to-peer payments platform that allows personal and business customers to make payments in different currencies and across a range of foreign exchange products through one system.

The FairFX platform facilitates payments in a number of countries via mobile apps, the internet, SMS, wire transfer and debit cards.

What it owns:

The group bought digital banking products firm, Q-Money, and its e-money licence in 2017.

FairFX said the acquisition had been “an important milestone” in the evolution of the group, with the licence underpinning its digital banking products as well as its direct membership of Mastercard to issue its own bank cards.

It expects to focus the business on small and medium enterprises that are looking for affordable current account services.

FairFX owns international payments and risk management firm City Forex, which was acquired in 2018.

Before it was taken over, City Forex had undertaken travel currency operations for FairFX since 2007.

FairFX said the acquisition brought further scale in international payments and travel currency while allowing it to control the entire supply chain for the travel currency service.

Inflexion points:

  • FairFX had a strong start to 2019 with first quarter group turnover up 33% year-on-year to £620.5mln
  • In 2018, group turnover rocketed up 111% to more than £2.3bn while adjusted pre-tax profit surged 650% to £6.79mln
  • FairFX has been given access to settlement accounts at the Bank of England following an independent assessment. Access to the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) accounts at the central bank will allow the firm 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.
  • In December the company entered into an agreement with New York-based Metropolitan Commercial Bank to provide payments services to its customers in the US. FairFX expects the deal to open up “promising opportunities” in the US market to complement its operations in the UK and drive further growth for the group.

What the CEO says:

"2018 was a transformational year in the evolution of the group. We continued our strong growth, both organic and via acquisition, and combined this with significant investment in our people and technology to lay the foundations for our ongoing expansion. The addition of the City Forex business in February provided both an increase in revenues and a payments platform that combines a full front-to-back process which is now yielding efficiencies and capacity across the whole group,” said Ian Strafford-Taylor, the chief executive officer of FairFX.

"The group has enjoyed a strong start to 2019, with the first quarter delivering a further jump in turnover along with improved margins helped by supply chain rationalisation and improved commercial terms. The investments in technology we made in 2018 are already bearing fruit in 2019, just one example being the granting of Bank of England settlement accounts and direct access to the Faster Payments scheme,” he added.

“Our technology platforms are now enabling us to iterate our product suites rapidly in terms of both improved customer experience and functionality. Against this backdrop, the board is confident in achieving expectations for the full year," he declared.

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FairFX Group PLC Timeline

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