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Sep 11, 2023 14:50 EEST
September 11 (SeeNews) - French fintech iBanFirst has facilitated more than 2 billion euro ($2.14 billion) worth of cross-border payments for companies based in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in the two years since its entry into the regional market, the company said on Monday.
Bulgaria has shaped up as the fintech's most dynamic market, with the highest transaction volume per client and enabling over 1 billion levs ($548.3 mln/511.3 mln euro) worth of international payments for local clients via the online platform, iBanFirst said in a press release.
Thus, the annual growth rate on the Bulgarian market has exceeded the European average, as a rising number of larger companies opt for fintech payment solutions as an alternative to traditional banking services.
"iBanFirst’s success story in the CEE region and in Bulgaria is largely due to the people here, who are much more open to new technologies and digital solutions, compared to Western markets, where the uptake of innovative banking practices tends to be slower," iBanFirst regional director for South-East Europe, Johan Gabriels, said. He added that the fast-growing business climate in the region is driving up demand for cross-border payment solutions in different currencies as well as client-specific risk management strategies.
At present, iBanFirst has 13 offices in 10 European countries - France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and the UK. The group processes transactions totalling over 1.4 billion euro per month.
The French company relies on open banking capabilities to allow larger clients to combine their operations, like initiating payments, exchanging currencies or checking accounts managed by multiple banks in a single interface onto the centralised platform. Companies operating internationally can also hedge risks from foreign exchange rates volatility.
The fintech's Bulgarian portfolio includes companies active in cross-border trading, particularly with the EU, U.S., China and Turkey, across sectors like agriculture, IT, and wholesale and retail trade.
Given the size of the market in Romania, the country is among iBanFirst’s top three European markets in terms of revenue generation and rate of client onboarding.
In the CEE region, the fintech has attracted more than 1,000 corporate clients, active in the automotive sector, agriculture, energy, IT and telecommunications, construction, wholesale and retail. The company adds on average over 50 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) per month to its platform.
($ = 0.9316 euro)
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