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April 18, 2018

TransferWise gains direct access to UK’s Faster Payments Scheme

British money-transfer firm TransferWise has secured authorisation to hold a settlement account in the Bank of England’s Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system.

The money transfer firm has now become the first non-bank member to gain direct access to UK’s Faster Payments Scheme.

The move will enable TransferWise to process payments faster at lower processing costs.

In July 2017, the Bank of England allowed non-bank PSPs such as TransferWise to apply for a settlement account in the Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system in order to boost competition.

The decision allowed non-bank PSPs to access UK payment systems that settle in central bank money such as the Faster Payments, Bacs, CHAPS, LINK, Visa and digital cheque imaging system.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said: “I am pleased that the first non-bank payment service provider now has direct access to the UK’s payment systems. By stimulating competition and innovation, we anticipate increased diversity and risk-reducing payment technologies will reinforce financial stability while enhancing customer service.”

Financial Conduct Authority CEO Andrew Bailey added: “Connecting non-bank payment firms to the payments systems promotes innovation and competition in payments and financial services more widely – two of our key objectives. Our approach to supervising firms like TransferWise means that they can safely access the Bank’s payment systems and so contribute to a thriving and dynamic marketplace for UK consumers.”

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