UK FinTech Firm, Ziglu, Receives FCA License, Launches Crypto And Fiat P2P Transfers
- U.K. based crypto-friendly firm, Ziglu, receives an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license from the top financial authority, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
- This adds to the AMLD5 license obtained in the past week.
- The crypto challenger bank becomes only the second firm in the country to receive the licenses allowing users to send peer to peer crypto and fiat payments to each other.
According to the official FCA website, Ziglu officially received its EMI license on Sept. 1 after four or five months of waiting from its application. The company launched earlier this year in June, promising to offer a new payment gateway for crypto users to purchase, send, and receive any form of currency seamlessly.
At the start, the company will only allow Ziglu to Ziglu customer crypto transfers in a bid to comply with the AMLD5 directive, CEO and founder of the crypto challenger bank, Mark Hipperson said. Starting Sept. 7, the platform will allow peer-to-peer payments in four cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – and the British Pound (GBP) as well.
Mark further confirmed that Ziglu is working on adding a host of other cryptocurrencies in the future, starting with XRP later in September. The challenger bank follows in the steps of Revolut, also a U.K. crypto challenger bank, offering a select number of currencies and no support for transfers to external crypto wallets.
Cryptocurrency and fiat currency holders are insured up to £50,000 (~$66,100), with each trade on the platform charged a 1.25% commission fee.
Ziglu completed its seed round funding in June this year, raising £5.25 million (around $6.94 million). Hipperson said the company is looking to raise more through crowdfunding to enhance the features and expand its market base.
A beneficial platform for crypto payments
Speaking to The Block, Hipperson confirmed the platform currently serves a few thousand customers but targets over a hundred million in the “coming six to seven years.” In this light, Ziglu will add more features to pull customers to its platform.
First, the FCA-regulated entity announced its multi-exchange support. This allows cryptocurrency buyers to have the best rates as the platform automatically scouts the lowest price from the available exchange list and converts the fiat payments to crypto instantly.
Moreover, Ziglu also plans on adding features on its global account, starting with the MasterCard crypto debit card. The debit card will allow users to spend their crypto and fiat from their wallets directly. The crypto-to-fiat conversions will happen instantly at the point of sale.
Currently focusing on U.K. customers only, Ziglu will expand to select European states in the coming months, Mark confirmed. The remaining states in Europe will be added by the end of Q1 2021 with an eye on the U.S. markets before the end of H1 2021.
Complying with the FCA regulations and AMLD5 directive
As only the second crypto challenger bank in the U.K., Mark confirmed the process of getting the EMI and AMLD5 licenses was no easy feat. However, in a statement obtained by BEG, he said the process ensures only serious companies are selected; hence “he wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“The [authorization] process is long, arduous, and hard. I wouldn't want it any other way,” Hipperson said. He further explained that the long process showed that companies selected by the FCA take “governance, compliance, risk management, and customer data seriously.”
According to Mark, the AMLD5 directives were harder to comply with as a virtual asset service provider need to collect KYC and report suspicious transactions to authorities. However, the process was made more accessible as Ziglu only allows in-app crypto transfers reducing the cases of not knowing where cryptocurrency is from.
While not fully licensed as a bank, Hipperson said Ziglu is planning to add services such as loans, overdrafts, interest-earning accounts, and insurance products in the future.