U.K. challenger bank OakNorth is teaming up with ClearBank, allowing OakNorth to link into the Faster Payments Scheme.
IBS Intelligence reports on Monday (Feb. 25) said that ClearBank’s real-time payments infrastructure will open up for use by OakNorth. In a statement, OakNorth COO Amir Nooriala said the company decided to work with ClearBank after exploring several partnership possibilities.
“Their API and virtual account support capabilities are best-in-class and in them, we’ve found a long-term, strategic partner who will enable us to provide an even faster and more seamless experience for our clients,” Nooriala stated of the ClearBank collaboration.
The tie-up follows OakNorth’s announcement earlier this month that it secured $440 million in funding from the SoftBank Vision Fund and Clermont Group. The company has now raised more than $1 billion – more than any other FinTech in Europe, according to the company, which added that it has now lent more than $3.7 billion to businesses.
OakNorth also said it has not had a single default or late payment from its small business borrowers.
The collaboration with ClearBank demonstrates the U.K. challenger banking industry’s willingness to work with traditional players despite their position as market rivals.
“We are delighted to announce our partnership with OakNorth,” said ClearBank CEO Charles McManus in another statement. “Since its launch just a few years ago, it has established itself as one of the fastest-growing and most successful FinTechs in Europe, and as a key enabler and supporter of businesses.”
ClearBank announced another challenger bank partnership earlier this year, teaming up with Tide, which enabled the challenger bank to enter the running for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) funds allocated to promote small business banking competition in the U.K. Their tie-up proved successful, as Tide and ClearBank were among three initial recipients of grant funds, as announced late last week.