Visa buys UK’s Currencycloud to boost cross-border payments

23 Jul 2021

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Currencycloud’s foreign exchange services will tie in to Visa’s strategy to facilitate global money movement amid increasing international trade.

A month after announcing its acquisition of open banking start-up Tink, Visa is placing its bet on yet another fintech. The financial services giant has agreed to acquire Currencycloud in a deal valued at £700m.

Currencycloud, which already counts Visa among its clients, is a cloud-based platform that offers banks foreign exchange services such as real-time notifications, multi-currency wallets and virtual account management.

The UK-based software company is expected to strengthen Visa’s existing foreign exchange capabilities, accelerating time-to-market and transparency of payments services for clients.

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly engaging in international trade, correlating with increasing demand for cross-border payments. A recent Mercator study found that 43pc of small businesses conducted international trade in 2020.

Colleen Ostrowski, Visa’s global treasurer, said that the acquisition of Currencycloud is an instance of Visa’s strategy to facilitate global money movement.

“Consumers and businesses increasingly expect transparency, speed and simplicity when making or receiving international payments. With our acquisition of Currencycloud, we can support our clients and partners to further reduce the pain points of cross-border payments and develop great user experiences for their customers,” she said.

Currencycloud will continue to operate from its headquarters in London under its current management team.

Currencycloud CEO Mike Laven said: “At Currencycloud, we’ve always strived to deliver a better tomorrow for all, from the smallest start-up to the global multinationals. Reimagining how money flows around the global economy just got more exciting as we join Visa.”

He added that Currencycloud’s fintech expertise coupled with Visa’s extensive global network will help them deliver greater value to businesses engaged in cross-border payments.

Visa is the one of the world’s largest electronic payments networks. Its global network is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages per second.

Currencycloud is set to continue operations from its London headquarters and retain its current management team. It has offices in New York, Amsterdam, Cardiff and Singapore.

Founded in 2012, Currencycloud has since processed more than $100bn in around 180 countries. Apart from Visa, some of its major banking and fintech partners include Revolut, Starling Bank, Penta and Lunar.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic