Estonian fintech bank connects to U.K.'s Faster Payments

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Fintech bank and payment services provider LHV is now providing real-time payments in the U.K. through the country's Faster Payments scheme, allowing it to handle U.K. currency in addition to euro payments in the Single Euro Payment Area through SEPA Instant.

The pound payments service has been operational since last May, but Pay UK, which operates the pound payments, delayed the service launch until now because of legal questions surrounding Brexit.

Because LHV is Estonia-based, there were matters to clear up regarding the common legal framework the company shares with the U.K. To ensure compliance in the post-Brexit environment, LHV says the Estonian Credit Institutions Act was changed to enable the pound payment service.

"From today, Faster Payments is available to our clients and this marks the official beginning of our business in the U.K.," Andres Kitter, head of LHV's U.K. branch, said in a Friday press release. "We have worked towards this moment ever since we expanded into London in early 2018."

The U.K.'s Faster Payments instant payment network enables real-time pound payments up to a value of £250,000 per payment.

The LHV Connect application interface makes the connection to Faster Payments, allowing clients to make payments within both the U.K. and the euro zone.

Despite the potential of some fintechs leaving London in the wake of Brexit, LHV feels confident of its role in the region.

"Despite the U.K.'s upcoming exit from the EU, we are confident that London shall maintain its position as a fintech capital of Europe," Kitter said. "LHV is in it for the long haul, with plans in place to continue our growth in upcoming years, providing the best possible services to our fintech clients."

Most of LHV's clients are neobanks or challenger banks, money remittance service providers, cryptocurrency players, and FX brokers.

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Cross border payments Real-time payments Estonia U.K. European Union