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Travelex launches fintech platform for B2B customers

Travelex has launched a digital platform that enables businesses to use its services via application programming interfaces

UK foreign exchange company Travelex is opening up its technology to businesses that require payment and foreign exchange services through a business-to-business (B2B) platform.

Travelex, which provides physical and digital cross-border money movement, has launched Travelex Business, which uses application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable other financial services firms, such as banks, credit unions and retailers, to use its services.

Business customers will be able to offer Travelex services directly from their own platforms. These include cross-border payments and currency conversion. The services will also be available to digital technology firms that want to provide the services to their own customers through a white-label model.

The cloud-based platform is part of a four-year digital transformation at Travelex. It has been made possible by the company’s move to the cloud, which, when complete, will see 95% of its estate there. This project has increased operational efficiency and enabled the company to develop new services and adapt existing ones.

As part of this it partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a microservices-based setup to support the international payments business and move away from its on-premise datacentre.  

It has also created a modern engineering team with a DevOps-based engineering culture, with small cross-functional teams centred around individual products and domains.

The Travelex Business project has also harnessed the capabilities within Travelex’s parent, Finablr, which also owns Xpress Money, Swych and Ditto.

Gareth Williams, chief product and innovation officer at Travelex, said the platform was the culmination of years of hard work by Travelex and collaboration across the Finablr network.

“By revolutionising how we work, the technology we use and the partners we work with, we have combined four decades of experience with a new microservices architecture to build a market-leading global fintech platform,” he said.

“By revolutionising how we work, the technology we use and the partners we work with, we have combined four decades of experience with a new microservices architecture to build a market-leading global fintech platform”
Gareth Williams, Travelex

Williams said part of this included adopting a modern engineering culture with self-organising teams that could create and iterate on a new and innovative suite of services.

In 2014, Travelex launched a £25m digital growth fund to invest in financial technology (fintech) with the goal of developing products and services linked to mobile, payments, cryptocurrency and location technology.

Travelex offers physical and digital foreign currency services in more than 70 countries, with over 1,000 physical stores.

Traditional businesses in financial services face increased competition from fintechs, which have adopted the latest digital technologies to provide services such as cross-border payments in a fraction of the time at a much lower cost. Fintech firms offering cross-border payments include Azimo and InstaRem.

Azimo, for example, which was set up in 2012, enables people to make cross-border transactions in seconds via a smart phone app. Azimo removes time and complexity from transactions by automating a number of steps. The company has now facilitated $2bn worth of transactions from more than a million people.

Large businesses such as Travelex are now emulating the agile development techniques of fintechs in a bid to retain market growth.

Read more on IT for financial services

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