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Industry roundup: 23 July

Visa to acquire Currencycloud

Visa has announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Currencycloud, a global platform that enables banks and fintechs to provide foreign exchange solutions for cross-border payments. The acquisition builds on an existing strategic partnership between the two companies and values Currencycloud at £700m, inclusive of cash and retention incentives. The financial consideration will be reduced by the outstanding equity of Currencycloud that Visa already owns.

Currencycloud’s cloud-based platform offers a broad set of APIs enabling banks and financial services providers to offer currency exchange services, including real-time notifications on foreign exchange transactions, multi-currency wallets, and virtual account management. The Currencycloud platform supports nearly 500 banking and technology clients with reach in over 180 countries.

Visa says that Currencycloud will strengthen its existing foreign exchange capabilities by extending them to better serve financial institutions, fintechs and partners while enabling new use cases and payment flows. Currencycloud will accelerate the time-to-market and improve payment transparency for clients looking to offer flexible, digital-first, international payment services that provide better visibility and control to consumers and businesses around the world.

Cross-border payments have seen significant growth due to rising demand from businesses of all sizes to engage in international trade. A recent study by Mercator Advisory Group revealed that 43% of all small businesses conducted international trade in 2020. The addition of Currencycloud’s capabilities to Visa’s network will widen access to innovative international payment products that help businesses meet their cross-border needs.

"The acquisition of Currencycloud is another example of Visa executing on our network of networks strategy to facilitate global money movement," commented Colleen Ostrowski, global treasurer at Visa. "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."

Currencycloud will continue their operations from their headquarters in London and will retain their current management team. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.


Kyriba platform selected by Thales for payments management

Kyriba, a provider of cloud treasury, payments and finance solutions, has announced that Thales, the technology group specialising in aerospace, digital identity and security, ground transport, defence and security, has selected Kyriba to accelerate the digital transformation and security of its global payments platform.

This project is part of the modernisation of Thales’s treasury tools and their migration to the cloud. Thales will have access to all Kyriba’s Connectivity-as-a-Service functionalities (including its global bank formats library and SWIFT gpi connectivity), as well as advanced payment security services (fraud detection including artificial intelligence technologies) and integrated management tools based on business intelligence. Thales will also benefit from a Service Bureau integrated into the Kyriba solution.

"Given our very strong international presence, we were looking for a partner capable of supporting us in all of our geographies, and offering an end-to-end payment solution that meets our security requirements," said Jean-Claude Climeau, VP, Treasury and Finance at Thales. "This project will enable more than 150 subsidiaries to make payments in 34 countries, through harmonised processes and workflows."


Banking Circle chooses SIA to launch instant payments service in Europe

Banking Circle has selected SIA, a European hi-tech company in payment services and infrastructures, controlled by CDP Equity, to launch its new instant payments service in Europe connecting to the TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) service of the Eurosystem.

With SIAnet, the ultra-fast fibre optic network infrastructure, Banking Circle plans to enable European financial institutions and corporates to execute instant payments in less than 10 seconds with a maximum amount currently set at €100,000 per individual transaction, 24/7, all year long, in line with the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme of the European Payments Council (EPC).

The partnership with SIA also allows Banking Circle customers to benefit from the concession granted by the European Central Bank to SIA and Colt as Network Service Providers for the Eurosystem Single Market Infrastructure Gateway (ESMIG). Beyond TIPS, SIAnet enables all the key organisations in the European financial system to access also the platform for the settlement of large-value payments TARGET2, the securities settlement platform TARGET2-Securities (T2S), the Eurosystem Collateral Management System (ECMS), and possibly other new services and applications.

The high-speed, secure and low-latency network infrastructure SIAnet is specifically designed to meet the requirements of instant payments in terms of security, reliability and performance and it represents a single access channel to the main national and international payment platforms, also including EBA Clearing’s pan-European real-time payment system RT1.

"Banking Circle is making cross border payments faster and more cost effective for banks and payments businesses, in turn enhancing the service they provide to their customers," said Michael Boel, head of Local Clearing at Banking Circle. "Instant payments is a crucial part of this and we are delighted that our partnership with SIA enables us to connect to the TIPS platform via our cloud solution. We believe that being the first bank to utilise SIA’s network and cloud integration options sends a clear message that we are committed to getting as close as possible to central banks, automated clearing houses and clearing and settlement mechanisms."

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