Oct 9, 2020

Cross-border payments could mitigate post-Brexit fallout

Brexit
iBanFirst
Fintech
cross-border payments
William Girling
2 min
Late September brought the news that Lloyds and Barclays would be closing EU-based UK expat accounts owing to the end of ‘passporting’
Late September brought the news that Lloyds and Barclays would be closing EU-based UK expat accounts owing to the end of ‘passporting...

Late September brought the news that Lloyds and Barclays would be closing EU-based UK expat accounts owing to the end of ‘passporting’.

The development raised the possibility that neobanks and fintechs could leverage their technology and popularity to meet this ‘gap’ in the market. 

Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier, Founder and CEO of iBanFirst, contacted FinTech Magazine to offer his exclusive insights:

“The potential for a no-deal Brexit has led major UK banks to close the accounts of British expats in the EU. According to the financial community, it’s uncertain if corporate accounts will also be closed; it is highly likely that the decision will be a country-by-country and bank-by-bank approach. 

“For those EU businesses confronted with the closure of their UK bank accounts, they will incur much higher costs when receiving payments in EUR, since payments could be incorporated into international payments pricing models.”

A watershed moment for fintech

The issue is compounded by announcements made earlier in February by leading digital bank N26, which stated it would be withdrawing from the UK market due to the limitations of its European banking license.

Clearly, if consumers and businesses on both sides of the issue are to emerge from Brexit successfully, an innovative finance solution will need to present itself. This opinion is shared by Dusoulier.

“A service that can facilitate cross-border payments is an attractive option. Businesses can easily open a GBP account to receive GBP payments from their British customers, receive intracompany transfers from their UK subsidiaries and optimise their consolidated cash flow. At the same time, European businesses will be able to pay their suppliers in their own currency.

“Simply put, a cross-border payments solution can make it easier for companies to send and receive international payments without the need for a UK local bank account, while shielding themselves from political jousting and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.”

With companies like iBanFirst and TransferWise already primed to solve the UK-EU financial disconnect, the conclusion of Brexit could be a watershed moment for both cross-border payments and fintech to solve problems seemingly insoluble via traditional infrastructure. 

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Jun 22, 2021

Payment startup Mollie raises US$800m at a $6.5bn valuation

Fintech
Mollie
Valuation
Payments
3 min
A new funding round values Mollie at US$6.5bn making Mollie the third most valuable privately-held European fintech behind Klarna and Checkout.com

Mollie, one of the fastest-growing payment processors within Europe, today announced it has raised US$800m in a Series C funding round, now valuing the company at $6.5bn. The valuation, based on Dealroom data, makes Mollie the third most valuable privately-held European fintech behind Klarna and Checkout.com.

Blackstone Growth (BXG), Blackstone’s growth equity investing business, led the investment and included participation from EQT Growth, General Atlantic, HMI Capital and Alkeon Capital. TCV who led the Series B investment in September 2020 also participated in the funding round. 

According to the company, the funding will fuel Mollie’s international expansion, team scaling, and continued investment in product and engineering.

“There’s something very special about Mollie. In the three months since I joined the team we’ve achieved so much: making preparations for a full launch in the UK, driving 600% growth in Germany and hiring an impressive set of team members and executives,” said Shane Happach, CEO, Mollie. “Over the past months, Mollie has been receiving a remarkable amount of interest from some of the world’s foremost fintech investors. In bringing on BXG, we believe we have an investor who can help Mollie in our next phase of growth. The involvement of our new group of investors demonstrates confidence in Mollie’s growth, strategy and product set.”

The Amsterdam-based business was launched in 2004, and is one of the largest PSPs in Europe. Today, it serves more than 120,000 monthly active merchants of all sizes across the continent. During 2020, Mollie processed more than 10 billion Euros in transactions and is on track to handle more than 20 billion Euros during 2021. 

“Mollie is one of Europe’s most exciting high-growth businesses and is at the forefront of enabling next-generation payments for online SMEs across Europe. We are excited to partner with Mollie’s fantastic team and look forward to leveraging Blackstone’s capital, expertise and global network to unlock the company’s next phase of growth,” said Paul Morrissey, who leads European investing for Blackstone Growth. “This investment underlines Blackstone’s confidence in Europe as a place for high-growth companies to thrive.”

Competition 

In Europe, FinTech app usage grew by 72% directly after the pandemic outbreak, while the top seven digital banks in the US grew their cumulative user base by 39% throughout the year. Competition in payments has grown over the past few years with fintech players like Stripe, Square and Netherlands-based Adyen all competing for a bigger share of the market.

Unlike its American rivals, Mollie says it mainly focuses on transactions with small businesses in Europe. Shane Happach, CEO of Mollie said: “A lot of the bigger players in online payments come out of the US, like PayPal,”. Adding that even Visa and Mastercard are US companies.

“A lot of investors don’t have a bet on Europe,” Happach said. “Mollie’s one of those unique assets that offers exposure.

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