Airwallex, a global fintech leader with the vision to build financial infrastructure to scale the digital economy, has been granted an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company was recently named by KPMG as one of the top 50 Global Fintech Companies of 2018, and the EMI license will further boost its growth by allowing operations throughout the EU by passporting through the region. Airwallex can then onboard clients across Europe countries, integrate with local banks to provide better financial infrastructure and provide payment services.
Airwallex has also applied for the new virtual bank license in Hong Kong, which would allow it to build one of the first challenger banks in Asia and beyond. Asia is becoming one of the hottest markets for payments and Fintech, and Airwallex sees an unprecedented opportunity to build a digital bank that can more than replicate the success of Monzo, Revolut or N26 in Europe.
The UK and Europe are high on Airwallex's list of priorities for international expansion, both on potential clients and access to world class talent. The company now plans to further expand its London office by the end of 2019, and sees existing pain-points insufficiently addressed by incumbent banks. The size of the global ecommerce market is forecasted to reach US$2.8tr this year and US$4.8tr by 2021. Serving these clients is a growing opportunity that Airwallex is looking to capitalise on, given the lack of efficient international payment solutions being offered.