LHV UK branch opened access to instant pound payments to customers

10. January 2020

As of today, LHV’s UK branch commenced providing real-time pound payments via the UK’s Faster Payments scheme. LHV also provides customers with real-time euro payments.

The pound payments service has been operational since May 2019. However, Pay UK, an organisation operating the pound payments in the UK, delayed the launch due to the requirement for further clarification on various legal questions. According to Andres Kitter, Head of LHV’s UK branch, it took a lot of legal clarification. “The pound payments service was developed fully operational already half a year ago, but in order to provide payments to fintech customers, many legal questions had to be resolved with Pay.UK the managing body of point payments. The questions arose in relation to Brexit and the future separation from the current common legal framework that Estonia shares with the UK. To ensure compliance in the post-Brexit environment, the Estonian Credit Institutions Act was changed. We are glad that the Financial Ministry, commissions and the Riigikogu acted swiftly and ended the contradictions,” Andres Kitter explained.

LHV has become the first bank capable of providing real time euro payments via Single Euro Payment Area Instant (‘SEPA Instant’) and processing pound (‘Faster Payments’) payments, giving it a unique competitive advantage and cementing its position as a leading services provider to the global fintech sector. The LHV Connect API is the first banking interface of its kind that provides these payments.

“In the last half-year regarding our payment intermediaries business, we grew the client number and developed services demanded by the fintech-industry. We are the preferred banking infrastructure provider to more than a hundred companies of all sizes, ranging from small pre-revenue start-ups to unicorns with global reach such as TransferWise, Coinbase, Paysafe and Trustly. From today, Faster Payments is available to our clients and this marks the official beginning of our business in the UK, as pound payments can only be made by customers of the branch,” Andres Kitter explained. “In addition to real-time pound and euro payments, LHV’s clients also have access, via the bank’s API LHV Connect interface, to safeguarding accounts, Virtual IBANs, currency exchange, liquidity services and possible financing,” Kitter added.

LHV is a preferred banking partner amongst fintechs. The Company established a presence in London in 2018 to expand its existing business line of servicing financial intermediaries. It chose London given its status as the undisputed capital of fintech in Europe.

The bank views fintechs as allies – not competition. It even integrated some of the services offered by the start-ups to its online banking, enhancing the offering to its own retail clients. LHV is extremely agile and ready to embrace change; notably, the board views the bank more as a technology company than a financial institution.

Most of LHV’s clients fall under the following categories: money remittance, neobanks/challenger banks, fx broker/remittance and cryptocurrency players.

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