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This week: Airwallex, Credit Agricole, Facebook, Huawei, Natwest, Paysend, Western Union, WorldRemit
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New data, new insights on cross-border payments. Every week.
 

Big trends, big numbers

I’ve been at the Money20/20 conference in Amsterdam this week. Announcements in the sector have some thick and fast - some more exciting than others. We share our initial takeaways on the conference. Also below, more changes to pricing in the sector.

But first, let’s turn to WorldRemit’s giant $175m raise announced this week.

This is one of the biggest raises in the sector to date and since no fanfare was made of a Unicorn valuation, we have to assume the deal was done at less than $1bn. WorldRemit stated the funds will be used for diversification and to build out an SME offering. 

Why this is great news:

- $175m of firepower is substantial. This pulls WorldRemit high up in the top 10 cross-border companies and neobanks. Why do we include the neobanks above - they all have competitive cross-border offerings and are emerging as strong competitors.  
 

What gives us pause for thought:

- WorldRemit has just under 4 million customers and 2018 revenue north of £90m (50% year on year growth). This is approximately 2% of Western Union's customer count and revenue, the core remittance player it is chasing. 2%.

- The announcement to begin diversifying the business already when so little share has been won from the incumbents suggests it is isn’t winning share nearly as fast as it would like. In 2017, WorldRemit targeted 10 million emerging market connected customers by 2020 so against that target, it is a long way behind.

We talk a lot about staying focused in this sector, how hard it is to win at one customer segment so taking the decision to already broaden focus so early in the journey suggests the journey may not be going quite as planned. $175m should give WorldRemit a good chance to fix this.

Track WorldRemit and its competitors

What's happening in the industry?

I've just returned from Money20/20 Europe, the key payments conference of year in Europe. My big takeaways below, some further thoughts to follow next week.

How do you tell the difference between Gucci and Gap?
It was clear from the trade show floor and a feedback from many people I spoke to that there are a lot of companies offering virtually the same services. How all these players are going to manage to differentiate, win and retain customers will define who is and isn't going to make it.

Partnerships are the focus
The announcements, the content and many attendees were focused on partnerships, especially the big banks (who have moved from exhibiting as in previous years to walking the floor). We'll dig into these partnerships next week - for example, Visa and their play with Currencycloud (and Western Union and Earthport).

Cross-border and FX not on the agenda
Although there were a number of cross-border companies present and a small number with stands such as Currencycloud, InstaReM, Moneycorp and TransferMate, cross-border just wasn't represented in the content or the panels. Don't worry, we shared this feedback and we're working to change this. 

Hot and not in the exhibitor halls:
HOT: Lots of payment processing, AML/KYC "AI" and banking/payments as a service
NOT: Traditional banks and blockchain

Company that is least understood:
Airwallex

Most awkward, quiet stand:
Huawei.

The Top 100 Market Map

Well of course prices change over time

We track FX pricing of the major banks and payment companies over time. Obviously some change, sometimes by a lot.

In recent weeks we’ve covered the highly competitive INR corridor. This week we look at one provider that decided to increase its FX margin on the GBP-INR corridor, while leaving them unchanged on other corridors. If you want to be able to track and respond to these types of price movements, get in touch.

If you want this level of insight and to know who "Provider X" is above, we're here to help.

Do you have all the pricing data you need?


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On our radar this week:
Curated by FXC Intelligence's Team 
Natwest launches video banking

Is this the future and the death of the branch? 
Computer Weekly
Paysend goes to the crowd

Another payments player looks to supplement with crowdfunding
Finextra
Facebook's GlobalCoin progresses

Facebook meets with a regulator as the journey continues
Financial Times
Putting tech budgets into perspective

Credit Agricole plans to spend EUR15bn on tech between now and 2022.
City AM

Missed the last few weeks?

What smart investors in cross-border payments think (here)
TransferWise's $3.5bn valuation and future growth (here)
The implications of Facebook's GlobalCoin (here)
 
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Have a lovely week 

Daniel
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New York | London

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