Standard Chartered turbocharges digital payments proposition with investment and the merger of CurrencyFair with Assembly Payments
CurrencyFair, a global cross-border payments platform and Assembly Payments, whose platform automates complex payment workflows, today announce their merger as a result of a strategic investment by Standard Chartered, subject to regulatory approval. SC Ventures, the innovation, ventures and fintech investments unit of Standard Chartered is doubling down on its commitment to the rapidly growing payments industry, following its earlier investment in Assembly Payments in 2020.
Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered said, “Digital payments is a core strategic area for Standard Chartered and our 2020 investment in Assembly Payments greatly enhanced our presence in the domestic payments business. By bringing together the complementary strengths of CurrencyFair and Assembly, we are supporting the merged company in offering the full range of payment services, providing retail and corporate clients access to fast, high-volume domestic and cross-border payments.”
Paul Byrne (pictured), CEO of CurrencyFair, will lead the merged business.
Will Prendergast, Chairman of CurrencyFair said, “The merger of CurrencyFair and Assembly Payments partnering with SC Ventures is a strategic move which will see us develop beyond the traditional transactional nature of a payments company and provide a core suite of integrated financial services to businesses and individuals globally.
“CurrencyFair and Assembly will retain their ‘customer first’ cultures, deepen these relationships by enabling customers to easily access, build, connect, and use any payment service from within their existing business operations without any of the technical, compliance or geographical complexities associated with traditional financial services offerings. The merged proposition will focus on five core capabilities – payments, global payment accounts, partner ecosystem, lending and settlement, and services – to address the growth opportunities in the US$2 trillion revenue market for payments.”
Global e-commerce sales, estimated to be almost US$26 trillion in 2018, have further accelerated as businesses and consumers increasingly look to the digital marketplace due to COVID-19. A substantial number of these transactions have taken place between continents and markets, resulting in cross border digital payments becoming more complex and requiring workflows that involve many steps, systems and interactions. Corporate clients are also increasingly demanding more value-added services from their payments providers, to consolidate all aspects of their payment value chain within a seamless and cost-efficient offering that meets domestic and cross border payment flow needs.
Recognising this opportunity, the new company will focus on addressing key pain points including the fragmentation of payment ecosystems, the complexity of implementing different payment ecosystems from a technical, operational, financial, and regulatory perspective, privacy and security of data, and cross-border e-commerce for multi-market and multi-currency collection requirements.
Alex Manson from SC Ventures said, “E-Commerce is one of the highest conviction themes for SC Ventures, and we will continue to grow and scale our capabilities and geographies to support the transition to digital economies.”
The board of Assembly Payments added in a statement: “Businesses around the world continue to accelerate their offline to online journey, and increase investment into digitising their products and services. As a result, the importance of providing complementary payment services such as non-card payments, fraud management, reconciliation, foreign exchange and liquidity via a product-rich experience is critical. As a combined proposition, we believe Assembly Payments and CurrencyFair are perfectly positioned to address these challenges in the global cross border business payments market.”
The merger is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.