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Atlantic Money takes Wise beef to EU

Atlantic Money takes Wise beef to EU

Money transfer startup Atlantic Money has taken its complaint about being de-listed from rival Wise's price comparison search engines to the EU Directorate-General for Competition.

Atlantic Money says it has "raised concerns" with the Directorate General about Wise's conduct and is "seeking greater clarity in the cross-border transfer market for EU consumers".

The move comes two months after Atlantic Money registered a complaint with the UK's Competition and Markets Authority about the issue.

Founded by two early employees of Robinhood, Atlantic Money moved out of stealth in March last year with a promise to take on the likes of Wise with a cheaper offering for larger value transactions.

Atlantic Money's pitch is that the fixed percentage rates charged by Wise penalise customers with progressive fees for costs that do not exist. The company corrects the imbalance by offering the live mid-market currency rate and a flat fixed-fee of £3 for transfers up to £1 million.

Wise took the step to delist its competitor from its well-known price comparison tool in January. Wise has also declined to list Atlantic Money on the numerous external price comparison sites that it owns, like Exiap, Geldtransfer and Currencyshop.

At the time, Wise said it took the step "for a number of operational reasons, including queries received from customers about their [Atlantic Money's] business. We take any complaints very seriously.”

In response, Atlantic Money now notes that it, like Wise, is regulated and authorised by the FCA in the UK and the National Bank of Belgium in the EU. The firm adds that it has asked for details on customer queries but details have "failed to materialise".

Neeraj Baid, co-founder, Atlantic Money, says: "Wise’s conduct is clearly not in the interests of consumers who ultimately will suffer in the form of paying significantly higher fees. Wise is exploiting its previously established, and now false, image as a consumer advocate to drive profit for its shareholders by unfairly promoting its own products.

"We think this is unacceptable and look forward to working with the European Commission and all other necessary regulatory stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, Atlantic Money has set up its own price comparison page, with Baid saying: “We're not afraid to be compared against Wise, so we created this page to ensure consumers can do just that.”

Wise tells Finextra: "We’re really proud to have the comparison tool as part of our website, and we’re not afraid to list cheaper competitors. We’ve done that for years and still do. We decided to remove Atlantic Money for the time being for a number of operational reasons, including queries received from customers about their business. We take any complaints very seriously."

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