Santander launches money transfer service PagoFX to compete with fintechs

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Banco Santander has launched a new standalone international money transfer service called PagoFX in the U.K. to compete with fintechs.

PagoFX will allow anyone with a U.K. debit card to send money using real-time foreign exchange rates. The service is available to both Santander U.K. and non-Santander bank customers and is designed to compete with cross-border payment fintechs such as TrasnferWise, Azimo and WorldRemit. Santander said that due to the coronavirus, it will make the new service free for the next two months up to a cumulative send limit of £3,000 (about $3,750). After the limit has been reached standard upfront fees will apply.

Using the PagoFX service consumers can make international payments from the U.K. to the U.S., all 19 eurozone countries, Poland, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Czech Republic. PagoFX has plans to introduce additional currencies and payment options in the near future.

“PagoFX ... draws on our world-class technology and talent to deliver a new and highly relevant service for everyone in the open market,” said Ana Botín, group executive chairman of Banco Santander in a press release.

PagoFX has been set up as an autonomous fintech startup with more than 50 people in offices across three European cities – Madrid, London and Brussels. PagoFX will be rolled out to sole proprietors and small and medium-sized enterprises in the U.K. through the PagoFX website and Apple App Store and Google Play in the near future. Santander also plans to launch in other European countries later this year with a goal to be present in around 20 countries in the next three to four years.

The no-fee program launched in response to the coronavirus pandemic will be available to all registered U.K. users of the PagoFX app through June 16, 2020.

The standard fee for transactions above the promotional limit and after June 16, 2020, is 0.70% of the sent amount to eurozone countries, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and the Czech Republic. For transfers to the U.S., Poland and Denmark the fee is 0.80% of the sent amount.

According to the World Bank consumers sent over $10.23 billion in remittances from the U.K. to other countries in 2018, which are the latest figures available.

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Cross border payments Fintech Santander