Equals Group expands into Europe

Company news
James Simcox

We are excited to announce that today, subject to regulatory approval, we have agreed to acquire Oonex SA/NV a Belgian regulated payments institution.

Please see Regulatory News Service (RNS) announcement here.

Go to Equals Money

For the past 17 years Equals has serviced clients around the globe, however we have only been physically established in the UK. Whilst this has served us well to-date, in the ever more complex world of payments and regulation there are some things you just can’t do without being on the ground in a market. This is where Oonex will play a significant part in Equals’ growth, in allowing us to directly sell our Equals Money products across the EEA. Coupled with our ability to service US customers via our partnership with Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Equals is on the track towards becoming a truly global financial institution, helping our customers “Collect globally, deliver locally, control centrally”.

Adding Oonex, soon to be Equals Money Europe SA, to the family will allow us access to a whole new suite of capabilities. Oonex is based in Belgium with a Belgian Business Identifier Code (BIC), an international standard for routing business transactions and identifying business parties,  allowing us to issue Belgian International Banks Account Numbers (IBANs). IBAN discrimination, where banks add fees to payments in a currency when leaving a payment area, can be a real problem with Euros leaving the Eurozone. Collecting funds within the single currency area will allow our customers to avoid this problem. Equals will also be able to directly market to and onboard customers across all European Economic Area (EEA) states significantly increasing our addressable market and offering a whole swathe of new customers access to Equals’ unique suite of cash flow management and payments products.

We will also be bringing our Banking as a Service (BaaS) offering to Europe meaning that our customers can access the UK, US and EEA through a single interface, be it front-end, white label or API allowing our customers to develop innovative cross market products where Equals will take on the complexity of regulation, market interfaces and payments allowing them to focus on delivering a fantastic customer experience.

Over the last couple of years we’ve been working hard on a modular, multi-license, multi-product platform setting us up to be able to deploy into new markets rapidly. There is a fair amount of heavy lifting to do, however we intend to be offering our full Equals Money product in some select EU markets within six months of regulatory approval.

Coming the other way from the Oonex side is a whole new business line for the Group - merchant acquiring. We purchased Roqqett in January this year which was the start of that journey allowing us to collect Open Banking payments and bringing with it some checkout software. Oonex comes with direct acquiring access to the Mastercard network with Visa on the way as well as access to all card networks via ISO relationships. This means Equals, as a Group, can begin to offer acquiring services to our clients, completing the payment lifecycle.

Our CEO, Ian Strafford-Taylor said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Oonex which enables us to bring our market leading products to new customers across Europe. We are excited to establish our European headquarters in Belgium and to make use of the investment in technology that we have made over the past few years to rapidly deploy our global platform.”

It’s a very exciting time for the Equals Group. We can’t wait to be offering European businesses access to all our great products, and we will be hiring lots of roles in Belgium and the Netherlands over the coming months - so keep an eye out.

Go to Equals Money

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