France’s second-largest bank, BPCE Groupe, is to become the first in Europe to directly integrate with TransferWise to offer mobile money transfers to its 15 million customers.
Set to go live at the beginning of 2019, the service will enable BPCE customers to send money to over 60 countries at TransferWise’s usual low fee of 0.5% on most currency routes and at the mid-market exchange rate.
Having initially launched as a bank-baiter, Transferwise is now actively courting incumbents to embed its API within their platforms. However, bar existing arrangements with German challenger bank, N26 and Estonia’s LHV, the strategy has so far drawn a blank. A previously-announced deal with the UK's Starling Bank has already been quashed due to competing interests.
With the BPCE deal in the bag, Kristo Käärmann, co-founder and CEO, TransferWise, is more upbeat about future prospects: “For the first time a major mainstream bank is offering its customers the chance to benefit from TransferWise’s lightning fast, low cost service. It’s proof that we can scale our technology, which will allow other big institutions to seamlessly integrate with the service. The banking industry is beginning to embrace the services challengers can offer, and we look forward to more banks joining us on this journey.”