International money transfer platform Transferwise has opened a euro account with the Bank of Lithuania, thus gaining direct access to the instant euro payments system.
This means that euro transfers moving through the account are now instant, due to Bank of Lithuania’s participation in the Single Euro Payments Area’s (SEPA) instant payment system, Transferwise said.
The company also opened an account with the Bank of England in April, joining the latter bank’s interbank payment systems.
The Bank of England opened its payments systems to non-bank finance institutions in 2017, and Bank of Lithuania is the first euro area central bank to do the same, the company noted.
The new SEPA instant payments render euro transfer notably faster. Previously, euro transfers took approximately 24 hours to complete. With the new solution, however, the funds arrive within seconds, and the system is operational 24/7 throughout the year, including on bank holidays.
The international money transfer startup Transferwise was founded in 2011 by Estonians Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann. The platform has since raised $397 million in investments; its investors include IVP, Old Mutual, Andreessen Horowitz, Valar Ventures, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, and Richard Branson.