B2B Payments

Airwallex Inks Partnership To Expand X-Border Payments Service To Europe

International payments startup Airwallex is taking steps to link its corporate customers to the U.K.’s Faster Payments scheme.

In an announcement on Friday (Dec. 1), the Australian company said it is partnering with with U.K.-based RailsBank, an open banking platform that facilitates connectivity into the U.K. and the EU’s SEPA zones. Through their collaboration, RailsBank customers will also gain access to Airwallex’s cross-border payments and foreign exchange (FX) services.

The move expands Airwallex’s reach, with Europe now a part of its ecosystem that includes more than 100 countries. It also offers European businesses a way to begin trading with China, the companies said, by overcoming friction associated with international payments involving the country.

“As Airwallex continues to expand, we have partnered with RailsBank to ensure we can meet the demand we see from European businesses sending payments to Asia and vice versa,” said Airwallex VP of Europe Expansion Michael Stachowiak in a statement. “Our partnership with RailsBank means we can hook into domestic payment methods through one integration to offer our customers a fast and viable new access point to transact in and out of Europe, encouraging greater transactions and trade between a strengthening European economy and the tiger economies of the Far East.”

In another statement, RailsBank COO and Co-Founder Clive Mitchell said the collaboration with Airwallex will be beneficial to corporations looking to streamline their payments.

“We’re excited to help Airwallex customers turbocharge their business by massively reducing the time and complexity of opening bank accounts through our partner network, streamlining technical integration with banks, enhancing banking functionality with core RailsBank services and enabling trusted compliance relationships,” Mitchell stated.

Earlier this year, Airwallex announced a $13 million Series A funding round led by Chinese company Tencent. Mastercard and Sequoia Capital also participated, the firm said in May. Airwallex said it would use the funding to focus on the launch of a suite of APIs and to expand internationally; at the time, the company said it had particular interest in entering the European market.

Just one day before announcing its collaboration with Airwallex, RailsBank revealed news that it was chosen as one of 11 startups for Mastercard’s latest Start Path program.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.