2 London startups who both enjoy stellar reputations as customer focused, tech savvy disruptors of their big bank rivals are joining forces to launch an international money transfer service.
Monzo bank and TransferWise have decided to form a partnership so that Monzo can offer International money transfers from the payments tab of its banking app, enabling users to send money to 16 major foreign currencies.
Monzo was founded in 2015 by a group of ex-Starling employees, who left one so-called “Challenger bank” to start another. The company raised an incredible $1m in seed funding, in just 96 seconds, by using crowdfunding site Crowdcube, and has since gone on to raise a further £109m from venture capital firms.
Monzo was granted a full banking license in April 2017, allowing the firm to offer a current account and launch their iconic orange debit cards. Monzo also offers a variety of services such as Apple Pay compatibility, and the ability for users to set spending levels, categorise their spending and see transactions appear in their statements in real time.
TransferWise, founded by 2 Estonians, Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, offers customers a peer-to-peer matching service for international money transfers which avoids the third party charges and uncompetitive exchange rates used by banks, allowing them to offer international money transfer at a fraction of the cost of the average high-street bank.
TransferWise recently partnered with a French bank, Groupe BPCE, which raised a few eyebrows within the fintech / startup community, but a partnership with a fellow startup, with ambitions to take market share away from the traditional “Big Four” high street banks will definitely resonate with TransferWise fans and users; the company says it has more than 300m customers and processes $2.3bn of money transfers every month.
Monzo banks boasts just under 800,000 customers, with its banking app proving especially popular with millennials, and early adopters of the latest financial technologies.