Who is Banking Circle?+

Banking Circle was established in 2013 and is a next-generation provider of mission-critical banking infrastructure. Banking Circle is underpinning the service proposition of Financial Tech businesses, PSPs, FX providers and banks, helping financial institutions to provide their customers with faster and cheaper cross border banking solutions, without the need to build their own infrastructure and correspondent banking partner network.

Banking Circle has been granted authorisation as a payment institution according to the Danish Payment Services and Electronic Money Act and is under the supervision of the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (www.finanstilsynet.dk). The authorisation granted enables Banking Circle to carry out its payment service activities within the European Union and in countries with which the European Union has entered into an agreement for the financial area.

In September 2018, Banking Circle was acquired by EQT VIII and EQT Ventures, in partnership with Banking Circle’s founders. The acquisition will see EQT support Banking Circle’s continued acceleration of its growth strategy, in current and new geographies, as well as the expansion of the product portfolio.

Where does Banking Circle operate?+

Banking Circle has offices in Copenhagen, Luxembourg and London and provides services that facilitate international transactions across the globe.

What is Banking Circle?+

Banking Circle is a next-generation provider of mission-critical financial services infrastructure, and is leading the rise of a super-correspondent banking network. Banking Circle empowers financial institutions to support customers’ trading ambitions – domestic and global - whilst reducing risk and the operational cost of transactions.

Banking Circle allows financial institutions to provide their customers with banking services – from local and cross border payments to loans – to help them trade domestically and globally, efficiently and at low cost.

Why is the Banking Circle needed?+

Currently the traditional banking model for international commercial payments adds significant cost and time to transactions. Banking Circle is designed to remove cost and time from international business to business banking.

By becoming a member of the Banking Circle, financial institutions can offer their customers banking services – from payments to loans – to help them trade domestically and globally, efficiently and at low cost. Importantly they can help their customers improve cash flow through enhanced speed of settlement whilst remaining fully compliant with financial regulation.

Banking Circle solutions are increasing financial inclusion by helping thousands of businesses transact across borders in a way that was previously not possible. The cost and time involved with traditional cross border payments have been prohibitive to many businesses, halting their global expansion plans and limiting their prospects.

How does the Banking Circle work?+

Banking Circle is a financial utility, which gives banks and Financial Tech businesses the opportunity to provide their customers with access to international banking solutions – including accounts, payments and loans – without the need to invest in developing and deploying solutions in-house.

The future of banking is in ecosystem models: financial institutions including banks and FinTechs working together with financial utilities, building alliances with partners which complement their own customer proposition, allowing them to provide the best, most cost effective and efficient solutions.

Banking Circle is empowering financial institutions to support their customers’ international trading ambitions, without the need for multiple banking relationships, whilst reducing risk and the operational cost of transactions. Businesses which were previously financially excluded are now able to participate in the digital economy in a way which was not previously possible.

How do I become a member of the Banking Circle?+

To be part of the Banking Circle, you will need to join as a Member or a Merchant Member.

Members include Card Acquirers, PSPs, APMs, banks, and FX Payment Providers. Merchant Members are the merchants of our Members, and are able to join via their payment solution providers.

What are the benefits of the Banking Circle?+

Banking Circle enables financial institutions, including banks, FinTechs, Card Acquirers, PSPs, APMs, and FX Payment Providers to extend their value chain and product offering by allowing them to plug directly into the banking infrastructure. As Members, these organisations can offer their customers IBAN accounts, instant international B2B payments and flexible, affordable business lending solutions.

Merchants can benefit too by joining the community as a Merchant Member. They will be able to reduce the cost of international bank transfers significantly and can send transfers instantly to a recipient within the Banking Circle – no matter where they are in the world.

How do I join to become a Member?+

You can apply to become a Member of the Banking Circle by completing our contact form.

What is the account setup process for Members?+

Once we have received your completed contact form, a member of our team will be in touch to complete the standard KYC and Money Laundering checks. The account setup process, subject to approval, is completed instantly. Once approved, you will have access to a segregated IBAN account from which you can begin making and receiving payments immediately.

As a Member, is there a limit to the number of accounts I can open?+

No – all Members are able to open an unlimited number of accounts to serve each of their suppliers or merchants.

How can I offer the Banking Circle to my merchants?+

Members of the Banking Circle can provide their merchants with banking services including IBAN accounts, cross border payments and business loans. This can all be done through a secure web-interface branded in your company name. Your Banking Circle account manager will set this up for you once your membership has been confirmed.

How do I join to become a Merchant Member?+

You need to apply to become a Merchant Member of the Banking Circle through your payment services provider. They must already be a Member of the Banking Circle.

Who are the Members of the Banking Circle?+

Banking Circle is already working with a number of leading FinTechs, banks and payments businesses. To find out if your payment service provider is already a Member please contact us.

Financial tech businesses bank on us to access accounts everywhere, settle payments quickly and improve customer services, by:

- Offering banking services to their clients
- Improving cash flow through enhanced speed of settlement
- Building client loyalty and retention through added value
- Offering fast access to affordable, flexible business loans

Banks bank on us to reduce operational costs and risk while increasing their global reach:

- Reducing overheads through lower operational cost of transactions
- Reducing administrative resource needed to identify transaction laundering and lower risk
- Servicing global markets and extending their service offering to encompass different payment types

What is the account setup process for Merchant Members?+

Your payment services provider will submit an application on your behalf.

What payment types and methods are accepted?+

Banking Circle provides a range of offerings to meet the payments needs of Banks and FinTechs, and their businesses themselves. Payment solutions from Banking Circle provide faster and more cost-effective ways for businesses to make and receive local and cross border B2B payments.

Through Banking Circle, members can access payment methods including Faster Payments, BACs, Chaps, SEPA and SWIFT. Banking Circle also has a wide range of local payout capabilities. Businesses are able to receive funds within minutes of clearing, rather than having to work to conventional banking timescales.

What is an IBAN account?+

Any organisation wishing to make international transfers requires an International Bank Account Number – IBAN. The IBAN is an internationally agreed system of identifying bank accounts across national borders to facilitate the communication and processing of cross border transactions.

What is SEPA?+

SEPA stands for Single Euro Payments Area. It is the area in which individuals and businesses can make and receive card and electronic payments in euros, across Europe, simply, cheaply and efficiently, regardless of their location.

What are SWIFT payments?+

The SWIFT international payment network is one of the largest financial messaging systems in the world. SWIFT codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers.

What are Faster Payments?+

The Faster Payments Service (FPS) allows the submission of GBP payments with a guaranteed delivery time for the beneficiary to receive funds in near real-time. The current guaranteed delivery time is 2 hours although payments are typically credited within 15 seconds.

What is BACS?+

BACS is the oldest electronic payment system in operation in the UK. Formed in early 1968 as the Interbank Computer Bureau, the transmission of BACS payments has changed very little over the past 50+ years.

BACS is a UK domestic file based payment method available in GBP only. BACS payments take three working days to clear, and can be cancelled up until midday of day two in the processing cycle.

Banking Circle accepts inbound BACS payments only.

What is CHAPS?+

CHAPS is a same day payment type available in the UK only – including Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey & Gibraltar. The clearing infrastructure is owned and managed by The Bank of England.

What currencies does Banking Circle handle transactions in?+

The Banking Circle enables transactions to be completed in more than 20 different currency accounts.

How do I ensure I get the best FX rates?+

Banking Circle offers competitive FX rates through direct sourcing access to a 15B Euros daily FX liquidity pool.

How fast are transfers?+

Cross border transfers are made instantly within the Banking Circle.

How much does it cost to join the Banking Circle?+

Pricing is provided on application – based on the value of transfers to be made. Contact us to find out more.

How is Banking Circle regulated?+

Banking Circle S.A. has been granted authorisation as a credit institution in Luxembourg by the European Central Bank in accordance with Luxembourg Law of 5 April 1993 on the financial sector and Council Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013. Banking Circle is under the supervision of the Luxembourg Commission for the Financial Sector (www.cssf.lu). The authorisation granted enables Banking Circle to carry out financial service activities within the European Union and in countries with which the European Union has entered into an agreement for the financial area.

How secure is the Banking Circle?+

The Banking Circle runs on a secure and compliant cloud Oracle-based banking platform.
Get in touch

Email us at info@bankingcircle.com and one of our team will be in touch shortly.