Open banking boosting fintech growth: London-based Token snaps £11M funding to expand across Europe

Token team

Since the last few years, open banking is proliferating technology within digital banking across the globe, forcing banks to change their business models. For the uninitiated, Open banking is a method under which banks open up their application programming interfaces (APIs), allowing third parties to access financial information needed to produce new apps and services and giving account holders more incredible financial transparency options. And this system is set to flourish the financial experiences for customers around the world.

London-based Token, an open banking payments platform is also one of them and aims to drive the shift from traditional payment options to bank payments.

In a recent development, Token announced $15M (nearly £11M) Series B funding. The investment was led by SBI Investment Co. Ltd. and Sony Innovation Fund by IGV as well as existing investors Octopus Ventures, EQT Ventures and Opera Tech Ventures, the venture arm of BNP Paribas.

This investment will let Token continue driving the shift towards account-to-account payments rather than traditional payment methods. It will also provide the fastest and simplest path to adoption for large merchants, PSPs and banking-as-a-service platforms.

“Token’s payment volumes have more than doubled every month since March and our platform is now processing live transactions through PSD2 APIs from over 600 banks in 14 countries across Europe. This Series B investment reconfirms Token’s leadership in the open payments space and will ensure our platform development continues at pace,” commented Todd Clyde, CEO, Token.

Yoshitaka Kitao, Director & Chairman of SBI Investment, commented: “We believe it has continued to outperform the competition throughout the year and has a clear roadmap for development in 2021. We’re very excited to be part of Token’s mission to equip the key players in the payments market with open payments capabilities.”

Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO and Chief Investment Manager for Sony Innovation Fund (SIF) and Chief Investment Officer for Innovation Growth Ventures (IGV), said: “Token offers a credible alternative to card and wallet payments while helping merchants, PSPs and banks offer streamlined UX’s that deliver better payment experiences for customers. This investment adds to our growing FinTech portfolio that we’ve been steadily building, and we look forward to working with the Token team in 2021 and beyond.”

Bypasses traditional payment methods

Founded in 2016 by Marten Nelson, Steve Kirsch, and Yobie Benjamin in London, Token is one of the first UK companies to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a payment initiation and account information service provider. In 2018, the company became the first payment initiation service provider to carry out an end-to-end payment via a PSD2-compliant bank API.

Currently, Token builds a stack of open payment and data services that power a range of corporate and consumer applications already. These services reduce the cost of digital payments all over Europe and deliver unparalleled API connectivity.

The initial open payment use-cases include funding an account, making a utility bill payment, paying off a credit card, and other one-off payments. Besides these, the complimentary open data use-cases include credit risk analysis, accounting package integration, cash flow management, and more.

Token’s complete toolkit creates new capabilities and revenue streams for merchants, banks and PSPs. Notably, it is bank and developer-friendly as well. With Token, it is possible to accept faster and lower cost bank payments directly to your account from apps and websites from a single interface.

Customers on board

Token’s customers include BNP Paribas, and HSBC, which recently launched its fast and secure alternative to online payments service called HSBC Open Payments. Other recent announcements are the European PSP Contis, the Banking-as-a-Service provider OpenPayd, the popular Italian messaging app UpCo, and personal finance management tool Money Dashboard.