Startups

TransferWise’s next partnership could be with U.K. challenger bank Monzo

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Hot on the heels of announcing that it has partnered with France’s BPCE Groupe, TransferWise could be about to unveil another partnership with a bank. According to sources, the international money transfer service and European unicorn is working with the fast-growing U.K. challenger bank Monzo.

The tie-in will likely see TransferWise functionality offered within Monzo’s mobile banking app, courtesy of the TransferWise API. It will give Monzo customers the ability to send money in various supported currencies at the ‘mid market’ rate in addition to TransferWise’s low and transparent fees.

Along with the newly-announced partnership with BPCE Groupe — which won’t ship until next year — TransferWise is also working with Estonia’s LHV, and German challenger bank N26 (which also has plans to launch in the U.K.).

A partnership with U.K. challenger bank Starling was also announced last year, but integration with the bank’s app never materialised and TechCrunch learned last week that the partnership has now dissolved entirely. That is particularly noteworthy given that Monzo and Starling are direct competitors with an interesting shared history, shall we say.

Meanwhile, if confirmed, we can probably chalk this up as a decent win for TransferWise, which is best known for its consumer-facing international money transfer app, but has always had ambitions of being a broader platform play.

In fact, the company is attempting to position itself as entirely agnostic on how customers access the service: the more money moving via its infrastructure, the better, whilst economies of scale also mean potentially lower fees on specific routes.

This can be done directly via the TransferWise app and service for both consumers and SMEs, via third-party integrations, such as with incumbent and challenger banks, or via the company’s own Borderless account. In all three cases, TransferWise generates revenue, regardless.

I’ve reached out to both TransferWise and Monzo for comment and will update this post if and when I hear back.

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