Payments

Inside Bank of Ireland’s cross-border payments push

  • Through Bank of Ireland's fee-free global payments service, the bank hopes to grow its business client base in the U.S.
  • The bank wants to grow its reach in a country where it doesn't have brick-and-mortar branches.
close

Email a Friend

Inside Bank of Ireland’s cross-border payments push

Bank of Ireland has launched a digital cross-border payments service to gain a foothold in the increasingly competitive global payments market and extend its reach to U.S. businesses.

For the payments service, which launched in mid-September, the bank worked with London-based fintech company WorldFirst for the backend technology. Customers can transfer funds through a smartphone, through online banking, or through an phone call and they aren’t charged service fees for the transactions. The bank makes money from derived from the exchange rate, not service fees.

“If we can start to develop a relationship with [businesses], they can become a [longer-term] customer and we have other products to fit with their strategy,” said Darsh Mariyappa, head of global markets at Bank of Ireland U.S.

The bank is growing its U.S. operations, which include business product offerings, including lending products, treasury services, interest rate hedging and foreign exchange. The foray into digital global payments is an entry point to offer small businesses other products as they grow internationally, the bank said. In addition to growing relationships with U.S. client businesses, the bank is also supporting efforts of Irish tech companies to expand to the U.S. through its New York-based Startlab.

The market for cross-border payments for businesses has become a hotly contested space among banks and startups, with major incumbents like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and TD Bank all getting in the game. PayPal has also expanded its offerings for business clients seeking cross-border payments services through its recently-launched concierge service for U.S.-based businesses.

“Banks have always been in the space through money wires overseas; fintech has come in and there’s a lot more companies in Europe and Asia offering tech solutions,” Mariyappa said. “Some banks have decided to build, some have decided to buy [startups] and we’ve decided to collaborate.”

Along with Bank of Ireland, WorldFirst works with other financial services companies on cross-border payments solutions, including Virgin Money and Harrods Bank. The company has been able to get in on a space where many incumbents are wrestling with ways to update the technology.

But paying fintech companies to build tech for cross-border business payments is a smart move for the banks, because businesses have a degree of trust for the incumbents that they may not share with an upstart player.

“A lot of the fintech startups have not done a great job when it comes to moving money from a corporate basis,” said David Pierce, director of business development at GPS Capital Markets. “In the larger corporate space, the fintech companies haven’t made a big dent in that market, the reason being that when you’re dealing with millions of dollars, transactional security becomes a much bigger issue.”

0 comments on “Inside Bank of Ireland’s cross-border payments push”

Finance Everywhere, Payments

Google launches digital wallet: 5 questions with Payments GM Arnold Goldberg

  • Google launched its digital wallet and virtual cards at its latest I/O developer conference, marking its first move in the payments space since the Plex project was scraped late last year.
  • Tearsheet spoke with Google's head of payments, Arnold Goldberg, about what this means for the Big Tech's journey in financial services.
Iulia Ciutina | May 13, 2022
Member Exclusive, Payments

Payments Briefing: ‘We penetrated the blue ocean opportunity of the Spanish-speaking market’ – NovoPayment’s Anabel Perez

  • This week, we take a look at Miami-based BaaS provider, NovoPayment.
  • We also discuss Bumped, a firm that rewards customers with equity in the brands they shop from.
Ismail Umar | May 12, 2022
Payments, Podcasts

What’s Happening in Payments Ep. 6: Quontic’s payment ring, Visa’s move into NFTs, and the new Square Stand POS system

  • This week, we discuss why Quontic Bank decided to launch a contactless payment ring.
  • We also talk about Visa's recent crypto and NFT-related activities, as well as Block's upgraded Square Stand POS system.
Ismail Umar | May 05, 2022
Payments

Rewarding shoppers with brand ownership: Bumped expands with a new browser extension

  • Bumped runs a service that rewards customers with fractional ownership of partner brands that they shop from.
  • The firm’s new browser extension notifies online shoppers every time their purchase is eligible for a stock reward.
Subboh Jaffery | April 27, 2022
Member Exclusive, Payments

Payments Briefing: ‘We want to be the bank that got people into wearables’ – Quontic Bank’s Steve Schnall

  • This week, we discuss Quontic Bank’s new contactless payment ring.
  • We also take a look at Square’s upgraded Square Stand POS system.
Ismail Umar | April 25, 2022
More Articles