TransferWise announced a partnership Monday with France's Groupe BPCE to offer its low-cost money transfer service to the lender's customers, marking the first integration of the U.K. start-up's product with a major bank.
The London, U.K.-headquartered firm specializes in cross-currency money transfers at a lower cost than traditional banks. The process of moving currencies around the world is typically expensive because of a large cut taken by banks and unfavorable exchange rates. But TransferWise allows users to transfer money from one currency to another with a fee of around 0.5 percent and at the mid-market exchange rate.
TransferWise has around 3 million users transferring 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) each month, and it is looking to boost its reach through the BPCE partnership. BPCE is the second-largest banking group in France. TransferWise will have access to the company's more than 15 million customers.
The service will be integrated via the group's banking apps starting in 2019, the companies said in the announcement made at the Money 2020 Europe fintech (financial technology) conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Groupe BPCE is the first major mainstream bank to partner with TransferWise which has typically been seen as a challenger to the incumbents. German start-up bank N26 and Estonia's LHV have previously partnered with TransferWise.