Banking Circle is breaking the payments mould. Specialising in an area long hindered by processes that were in place before anyone had even thought of digital banking, they are making the process of moving money cheaper, quicker, and easier for everyone. Using innovative systems, they are making their mark in European — and global — banking, helping their clients make and receive payments, and ensuring that the end customers get a seamless service.
Anders la Cour, Banking Circle’s founder and CEO, shared some reasons why the Luxembourg-based bank is at the cutting-edge of payments.
Banking Circle’s work is driven by efficiency
Payments processing, especially when across borders, is slow and expensive. Businesses had to wait for money and small transactions were simply not cost-effective.
“The traditional correspondent banking network is the slowest and most expensive way to move money around,” la Cour explains. “A cross-border transaction costs €50 and can take up to five days to process.” This cost and delay creates significant barriers to cross-border trade.
Banking Circle’s mission, however, is to create a global infrastructure that minimises cost and delay. “The aim is for it to cost just 50 cents and to be completed within five minutes.” Their efficiency is already winning clients: in 2020 they processed 6% of European B2C e-commerce payments, a total of €155 billion in payments.
Banking Circle offers a safer payments process.
All banks must have robust anti-money laundering policies, but still miss most money laundering. “It’s estimated that more than 90% of money laundering goes undetected,” la Cour says, “costing the global economy $2 trillion every year.”
To make matters worse, the anti-money laundering policies have a serious impact on genuine customers. Based on behavioural rules, they frequently trigger against honest transactions. “The industry has false positive rates at an astounding 97-99%,” say la Cour, “and that has a serious impact on customer relationships.”
Banking Circle improves this by using artificial intelligence and machine learning, this greatly reduces the margin of error. Banking Circle’s clients benefit from increased detection and lower false positives. Most important, though, their end customers avoid the inconvenience, and sometimes embarrassment, from incorrectly flagged transactions.
Banking Circle helps clients improve their service
“Ultimately, the priority for our clients is keeping their customers happy,” la Cour tells us. “Our clients come to us looking for payments to be effectively regulated and processed quickly.” By using AI and machine learning, Banking Circle can help their clients offer fast payments while continuing to meet regulatory and compliance standards.
Above all, it helps their clients focus on their core business. By reducing costs and delays for their clients, they can, in turn, devote more resources to customers who can expect faster and better service. In most cases, this can mean more business. “Convenience is the main selling point for any payment product; the customer cares about ease.”
Banking Circle is leading the creation of payments partnerships
Banking Circle recognises that technology underpins the way that modern businesses operate and evolve, but also that technology alone will not transform payments. So, it is leading the way in developing partnerships to ensure they have the infrastructure to handle the payment needs of their clients.
“Being open to collaboration is a key factor,” says la Cour. “To be a good leader, you have to try new things and diversify your offering to stay competitive.” Research evidence has shown the value, and attraction, of FinTech partnerships.
One example is the Nordic payments initiative, P27. Banking Circle has partnered with P27 to offer payments across an otherwise fractured Nordic payment infrastructure. It has become the world’s first region to offer an integrated payments system that crosses national boundaries to work in multiple currencies.
Banking Circle: a fintech innovation
A business, whether it’s a bank, fintech or anything else, is only as good as the talent it attracts. Banking Circle has been ahead of the game in ensuring that it is a great place where great people work. “Our employees are at the heart of what we do and, ultimately, that’s what will help us thrive,” says la Cour.
Banking Circle was using remote, flexible and hybrid working before it was forced on many businesses by the Covid-19 pandemic. With a focus on finding the right people, they have teams and offices across Europe. And, combined with their cloud infrastructure, it means they can offer integration and updates to clients seamlessly and with minimal impact.
With the world increasingly using digital transactions, without regard to political or economy boundaries, la Cour relishes Banking Circle’s position. “Fintech is one of the most exciting industries to be part of,” he says, “We are in the middle of some incredible innovation, helping support payments businesses and traditional finance with their payments infrastructure.”