FairFX Joins UK’s Faster Payments Scheme

FairFX Joins UK's Faster Payments Scheme

Cross-border payments company FairFX is joining the U.K.’s Faster Payments Scheme after the Bank of England granted the firm settlement accounts.

In an announcement on Tuesday (Feb. 19), FairFX said its subsidiary, Spectrum Payment Services, has been cleared by the U.K.’s central bank for settlement accounts, linking FairFX to the Faster Payments Scheme via the Bank of England’s New Access Model.

“Obtaining direct membership of the Faster Payments Scheme together with settlement accounts at the Bank of England represents a major step in the progression of FairFX Group,” said the company’s Chief Executive Ian Strafford-Taylor in a statement. “This development is in line with the group’s strategy to streamline the payment supply chain, deliver lower payment processing costs, improve customer experience and facilitate product iteration.”

FairFX said it is now the fourth non-bank cleared to access the Faster Payments Scheme as a direct member. The move enables the company to generate international bank account numbers for its clients, without having to rely on another bank to move money across borders. Customers will benefit from lower transaction costs and an improved experience, the firm said.

Strafford-Taylor pointed to the Bank of England’s “extensive audit” as well as the Financial Conduct Authority’s review of the company, which “demonstrates the strong risk and compliance culture we have across the group and positions us well for further expansion of our product suites.”

He added that FairFX plans to continue to reduce the number of intermediaries it relies upon to move money across borders and to directly join additional payment schemes in the U.K. and elsewhere.

FairFX launched its small business current account in 2017, positioning the company closer to SMBs that need cross-border payments services. The offering, dubbed Fair Everywhere, includes a payment card for small businesses and competitive exchange rates.