Business Irish

Wednesday 19 June 2019

TransferMate seals major deal with US giant Wells Fargo

Kilkenny company in talks with 30 banks in bid to capture payments market

Sinead Fitzmaurice
Sinead Fitzmaurice

Fearghal O'Connor

Payments company TransferMate has struck a "game- changing" deal to handle global payments for the third biggest US bank, Wells Fargo.

The strategic relationship between the bank and the Kilkenny-headquartered fintech will see the TransferMate platform exclusively handle all Wells Fargo's inbound payments into the US from overseas, estimated to amount to many billions of dollars.

TransferMate is expected to see a significant increase in its customer base following the deal.

It will add a team of 25 staff in New York and North Carolina and a further 25 staff in Kilkenny to manage the Wells Fargo partnership.

TransferMate co-founder and chief executive Terry Clune said that the global payments market was worth $240 trillion (€215 trillion) annually and the Wells Fargo deal was another step in TransferMate's efforts to replace the Swift system used by most banks.

"We are now talking to, in total, about 30 different banks worldwide about a similar proposition in places such as Japan and Australia," he said.

"We went through a two-year due diligence process with Wells Fargo and we are the only fintech company they have chosen to administer their inward payments globally. For other banks, that vetting and compliance that we have gone through makes us a much easier choice."

The Irish company has built a network of payments licences around the world with local bank-clearing access, alongside a technology interface that allows corporate clients to transfer money internationally more quickly and for lower fees than standard international bank transfers.

TransferMate - part of Clune's rapidly-growing Taxback Group - has previously agreed major investment deals with AIB and Dutch giant ING, which last year valued the company at €350m.

The firm is also heavily focused on Asian expansion and has regulatory approval to operate in Singapore.

Regulatory approval is pending in Hong Kong.

The company's chief financial officer and co-founder Sinead Fitzmaurice said the deal with Wells Fargo - which is the bank of choice for one in three US citizens - was "a huge leap" that would mark the beginning of TransferMate's "next accelerated phase of growth".

"This shows the quality of Irish fintech when you have somebody like ourselves, headquartered in Ireland, powering a tier-one US bank," she said.

The Wells Fargo deal was a major endorsement for TransferMate, said Fitzmaurice.

“A tier one US bank endorsing the technology we have developed brings immediate credibility and trust to the product. Other banks, both in the US and abroad, will be very focused on the fact that this is a unique product that one of the biggest banks in the world has chosen.”

The payments company has developed a new product for the partnership, called ‘Wells Fargo Global Invoice Connect powered by TransferMate’.

Judd Holroyde, head of global product management at Wells Fargo, said the deal was part of its “continuing commitment to innovate new ways to help break down physical borders and ease access to new markets for our customers”.

“The pace of globalisation in the digital economy continues to grow and opens a wide variety of new opportunities for businesses around the world,” he said. “Collaborating with a leading fintech like TransferMate to bring Global Invoice Collect to market is a powerful demonstration of how partnership and collaborative design can result in real value for customers by significantly reducing the costs and complexities associated with managing international receivables.”

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