Europe’s largest traditional bank Santander is within weeks of launching its fintech spinout and TransferWise-rival, PagoFX.
The project is part of the bank’s efforts to stay apace with digital newcomers, creating a competitive international money transfer platform for individuals and small and SME-s in Europe and beyond, writes Sifted.
PagoFX presents fresh competition to rapidly-growing fintechs, such as TransferWise, which since 2011 have seen explosive growth offering cheaper and faster currency transfers than traditional banks or Western Union.
In doing so, PagoFX essentially aims to disrupt the disruptors; designed to serve non-Santander customers outside the bank’s core infrastructure for the first time. This follows efforts by HSBC and RBS, who are building digital side-brands in the face of competition from the likes of Monzo and Revolut.
Despite being spun out of the Madrid-based bank, PagoFX has been built out of London with a team of external consultants, including Deloitte, over the last 18 months and spear-headed by executives Cedric Menager and Ed Metzger.
The project is now gearing up for a Spring launch, according to people close to the project, having been kept outside the public eye since it was announced in April 2019.
“This would not be the first competitor to look to challenge TransferWise for their crown and I highly doubt they will be looking over their shoulder with any immediate concerns… It’s still unclear what PagoFX’s USP will be,” said Azimo founder Michael Kent.
Meanwhile, TransferWise told Sifted in a statement that it welcomes PagoFX, but that the new project still needs to prove it can be fully upfront about fees.