TransferWise rolls out global debit card programme with Visa
Unlocking a secure, cloud-based route for companies to connect to Visa’s global processing network (), this technology will be instrumental in TransferWise’s expansion of its multi-currency debit cards across APAC, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East.
The full extent of this programme will allow both individuals and businesses to simultaneously hold 55 currencies and exchange them at the real market rate. The debit card also allows customers to spend directly from whichever currency they choose.
Facilitating a cloud-based rollout
Such a large-scale product rollout would have previously necessitated expensive infrastructure investments, including data centres in the local area and telco/payment hardware.
However, the TransferWise team soon realised that employing Visa Cloud Connect could circumvent this cost and accelerate its strategy.
Jack Forestell, Executive VP and Chief Product Officer at Visa, recalled, “The TransferWise team came to us last year with a challenge: enable the global rollout of their debit card programme, and do it entirely in the cloud.
“With Visa Cloud Connect, we’ve created an approach that lets TransferWise tap into Visa’s global infrastructure—one of the most secure, reliable and resilient systems in the world—through a single integration.”
Finance without borders
The increasing sophistication of financial services has led to an erosion of border limitations between countries and regions around the world, feeding into TransferWise’s broader vision of ‘’. According to Kristo Käärmann, Co-Founder and CEO, the company’s aim is to make global finance truly harmonious:
“We’ve been working to remove borders in the world’s financial networks. Cards should work the same across borders too. In Visa, we found a partner who shares our ambitions to make money work seamlessly no matter where you are.
“We’re excited to see how the outcome of our collaboration impacts the next generation of multinational financial institutions across the globe,” he said.
Image source: TransferWise
Amber Group Valued at US$1bn in $100m Funding Round
Amber Group, a cryptocurrency financial services firm, has raised US$100m in a Series B funding round at a pre-money valuation of $1bn.
The funding round was led by Chinese investment firm China Renaissance, and other participants in the Series B include Tiger Brokers, Tiger Global Management, Arena Holdings, Tru Arrow Partners, Sky9 Capital, DCM Ventures and Gobi Partners. Existing investors Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures and Blockchain.com also joined in.
Michael Wu, co-founder and CEO of Amber Group said in a statement that the funding would be used to “expand global operations to meet client demand and develop market solutions for the world’s leading crypto investors and companies.”
“We’ve had record months over the past quarter across both client flow and on-exchange market-making volumes,” Wu said in a press release. “Our cumulative trading volumes have doubled from $250 billion since the beginning of the year to over $500 billion.”
Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular, with many people investing, although not everyone seems to know what they are investing in. Using survey data collected from 750 investors earlier this year, Cardify found that only 16.9% of investors who have bought crypto “fully understand” the value and potential of cryptocurrency, while 33.5% of buyers have either zero knowledge about the space or would call their level of understanding “emerging.”
Who is Amber Group?
Amber Group is a global crypto finance service provider with a presence in Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, and Vancouver. Founded in 2017, Amber Group services over 500 institutional clients and has cumulatively traded over $330 billion across 100+ electronic exchanges, with over $1 billion in assets under management. The company said that its assets under management, or AUM, reached $530 million in 2020, representing a 275% increase from the previous year.
Instead of being a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to trade individual digital coins, Amber Group CEO Michael Wu said the company is bringing a “private banking experience to the everyday customer.”
Their goal is to optimise investment flexibility, maximise investment returns and deliver long-lasting value for their clients. In 2019, Amber Group raised $28 million in Series A funding led by global crypto heavyweights Paradigm and Pantera Capital, with participation from Polychain Capital, Dragonfly Capital, Blockchain.com, Fenbushi Capital, and Coinbase Ventures.