The European Commission's revised Payment Services Directive, or PDS2, was crafted to encourage more technology in payments from non-bank as well as banking institutions.
Executives at Zopa, a P-to-P loans and money transfer provider in the U.K., have taken notice and are now promising to shake up the banking industry and deliver on consumer expectations.
Zopa is moving away from its longtime status of being a non-bank to apply for a banking license through the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.
“The regulatory authorities in the U.K. have created an environment that encourages innovation, the adoption of new technologies and an increase in competition in the banking sector," Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana, said in a Nov. 16 press release.
Zopa has a history of creating innovative retail-facing financial services, Janardana added. "We are responding to the positive regulatory environment and building on our experience to bring yet more choice to the market.”
At launch, Zopa Bank plans to extend the company’s suite of investor and borrower products by offering deposit accounts to savers and overdraft alternatives to borrowers. It will also provide the company with a diversified source of funding for its lending platform.
Zopa, which carried more than £1.8 billion in loans on its P-to-P platform since inception in 2005, moved into profitability just last month, the company said.
About two years after its debut in the U.K., Zopa tried to generate an online loan service in the U.S., but dropped that service in late 2008.
“We are uniquely placed to re-define customer expectations of what a bank should deliver in the 21st century," Janardana said.