Currencycloud Spark attracts Starling, TranSwap and Remitr
Founded in 2012, Currencycloud has rapidly expanded its capacity, popularity and global reach. Now operating in more than 180 countries and having processed in excess of USD$65bn, the company is an invaluable resource for banks and FinTechs.
Renowned for its multi-currency infrastructure which can allow account holders to store, receive and make payments in over 30 currencies, Currencycloud Spark acts as a background process whilst client companies fulfil customer relationship and experience management responsibilities.
The platform is easily integrated within a pre-existing framework and also possesses the following features:
- Named customer accounts
- Flexible receivables and payments
- Reduced costs via automation
The company emphasises that its international transaction process has been streamlined to be as effortless as possible; it gives the following hypothetical example of a US-based company selling goods and services to the UK:
- Raise an invoice wherein the customer pays in GBP and customer bills in USD.
- Provide the customer with a unique, named account receiving GBP through Currencycloud.
- Once the details have been provided, the customer pays in GBP to the specified account.
- After the money has been received and processed it is converted into USD and the US-based company receives the sum.
- Finally, the balance is reconciled with the invoice.
“For too long businesses around the world have faced unacceptable levels of friction when trading with each other,” said the company in its press release.
“Payment processes are opaque, expensive and protracted. And businesses end up over-charged for needless FX transactions when they are unable to store foreign currencies.
“Currencycloud Spark allows Fintechs and Financial Institutions (FIs) to easily create accounts for their customers to receive, pay-out, and move money in different currencies at their convenience.”
Spark’s pilot programme was announced in 2019 and immediately caught the attention of the global FinTech community.
Starling is helping its SMB clients open USD accounts, TranSwap has been using Spark to develop its Global Borderless Virtual Account and Remitr has similarly launched a Global Business Account using the platform.
Fintech Timeline: Tink’s acquisition by payments leader Visa
Tink was founded in Stockholm, Sweden. The company’s integrated, API-based approach was soon met with widespread acclaim for its ability to enhance the customer experience, streamline payments and increase financial transparency.
Through its technology, users can access aggregated financial data, utilise smart finance tools (risk insights, account verification, etc.), and create personal finance management solutions. Tink had become an early leader in a trend still gaining momentum today: Open Banking.
2014 to 2017
The fintech’s Series A, B, and C rounds netted $4mn, $10.2mn, and $14mn respectively. In a short span of time, Tink had already elevated itself to being one of Europe’s leading Open Banking platforms.
- 400 employees
- Serves 18 markets
- Covers over 3,400 banks
- Customer reach of more than 250 million
2018 to 2019
Tink democratised API by launching a platform specifically for developers. This empowered third-parties to create next-gen products for customers.
Furthermore, Tink consolidated its leading position in Europe with expansions in Italy, Portugal, and Spain, as well as appointing former Stripe employee Rafael Plantier as its Country Manager of UK & Eire.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Tink managed to maintain the momentum of the previous year and secured an additional $213mn from two venture capital rounds in January and December.
In May, Tink joined forces with American Express as the latter entered the European Open Banking market. This news was exciting in and of itself, but it paled in comparison to the surprise development on 24 June that Visa had signed an acquisition agreement for the sum of $2.15bn.
“Visa is committed to doing all we can to foster innovation and empower consumers in support of Europe’s open banking goals,” said Al Kelly, CEO and Chairman of Visa. “By bringing together Visa’s network of networks and Tink’s open banking capabilities we will deliver increased value to European consumers and businesses with tools to make their financial lives more simple, reliable and secure.”
“For the past ten years we have worked relentlessly to build Tink into a leading open banking platform in Europe, and we are incredibly proud of what the whole team at Tink has created together,” added Daniel Kjellén, CEO and Co-Founder of Tink.
“Joining Visa, we will be able to move faster and reach further than ever before. Visa is the perfect partner for the next stage of Tink's journey, and we are incredibly excited about what this will bring to our employees, customers and for the future of financial services.
Pictured (left to right): Daniel Kjellén (CEO) and Fredrik Hedberg (CTO)