FairFX gets access to BoE settlement accounts

Maria Nikolova

FairFX also announces that it has become a Direct Participant of the UK Faster Payments Scheme.

Open a bank account directly with a central bank

E-banking and international payments provider Fairfx Group PLC (LON:FFX) has earlier today announced that it has been granted settlement accounts with the Bank of England. This happened via FairFX’s subsidiary Spectrum Payment Services (SPS). FairFX has, in turn, become a Direct Participant of the UK Faster Payments Scheme (FPS).

FairFX’s direct connection to FPS has been enabled by the New Access Model that extended access to Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) accounts held at the Bank of England, as part of a wider effort to propel competition and innovation into the UK’s payments systems.

Also, with access to RTGS accounts, FairFX is now eligible to join other UK Payment Schemes such as BACS and CHAPS. Alongside this development, FairFX will own its sort code, which, in conjunction with its SWIFT membership, means it can now create IBANs for customers with no other financial institution involved in the process. This will benefit the Company through enhanced economics via reduced cost per transaction coupled with enhanced customer acquisition and retention via instant payments which will vastly enhance the user experience and satisfaction.

Before granting FairFX access to settlement accounts at the Bank of England, an independent assessment was performed to ensure that SPS had the necessary technology, security and compliance processes to be granted this status.

Completion of this process and admission to the Bank of England RTGS accounts therefore represents a significant endorsement of the FairFX Group.

In 2018, FairFX processed more than 1 million Faster Payment transactions, which from today the Group will be able to process in real-time. This will provide tangible benefits to FairFX customers including instant transfers, improving cash-flow and providing certainty over payments. This development is set to support customer acquisition and improve retention across the Group.

During the year to December 31, 2018, turnover for the Group amounted to £2.36 billion, marking an increase of 111% on the prior year (2017: £1.12 billion) and in line with management expectations. Turnover grew 22% excluding the effect of the acquisitions of CardOne Banking in August 2017 and City Forex in February 2018.

Growth was supported by FairFX’s continued focus on its core products of International Payments (up 134%) and Prepaid Cards (up 8%). In keeping with the Group’s stated strategic objective of growing the Corporate segment of the business, usage of the Company’s corporate card platform rose by 30% compared to 2017. Furthermore, during FY18, 315,000 new UK domiciled retail customers were acquired bringing the total to 1,040,000 customers.

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