A strategic partnership announced today between Central 1 and Agility Forex allows Central 1 to offer a low-cost, innovative foreign exchange service to their clients, as well as Canadian credit unions and their members.
Working with Agility Forex, a Vancouver-based fintech company that offers a proprietary way to move money cross-border with low or zero cost, provides an advantage to Canadian credit unions and expands Agility Forex’s reach across Canada.
This partnership was formed through Central 1’s newest subsidiary, C1 Ventures, a venture capital corporation which secured a 28 per cent ownership stake in Agility Forex, and a seat on its three-person Board of Directors.
“Forming C1 Ventures and our partnership with Agility Forex is key to our client-centric strategy, and an example of how we are focused on the needs of our credit unions and clients to bring them proven, innovative solutions that provide them with a competitive edge,” said Mark Blucher, President & CEO of Central 1.
The ability to offer credit unions and their members a low-cost, cross-border payment solution propelled Central 1 to make the investment in Agility Forex. This new service will help credit unions reduce costs, improve client experience, and make them more competitive with Canadian banks and other payment providers.
The partnership provides Agility Forex the ability to service Central 1’s broad retail and corporate client base. “Agility Forex is excited to partner with Central 1 to provide credit unions with easy, low-cost international payments, 24/7,” said Andrew McGuire, CEO of Agility Forex. “This partnership will help us achieve our goal of being Canada’s foremost provider of international payments for consumers and businesses.”
Agility Forex offers a proven software platform and business model with over two years of operational success. Their provision of low-cost, fully digital, next-day settlement of cross-border payments is coupled with integrated automated identity verification and anti-money laundering procedures. Another advantage is Agility Forex’s currency pricing – normally reserved for large corporations – which is extremely competitive with, and often better than bank rates with a very low cost per transaction.
“The Canadian foreign exchange transaction market is ripe for disruptive change, and we believe this partnership will take advantage of that opportunity,” said Blucher.
Canadian banks currently capture up to 95 per cent of the market share; in Europe, however, the market is much less concentrated with firms specializing in foreign exchange conversions capturing a much larger proportion of the market, which has resulted in a migration to lower margin foreign exchange transactions.
This partnership is the first of its kind for Agility Forex, and the investment from C1 Ventures was a significant part of a successful capital raise. Central 1 is currently working on making this cutting-edge technology available to credit unions and clients and more information will be available as integration progresses.