Ipagoo, a pan-European online current account designed for Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), will launch next week in the UK, France, Italy and Spain.
Developed by the Orwell Group, an investment management and banking services specialist with offices in the four countries, ipagoo is aimed at the growing number of SMEs looking to trade and transact internationally and will offer real time cross boarder banking services across Europe.
Announcing its launch, ipagoo cites a YouGov survey that shows six in ten 10 SMEs expect to be exporting by 2016, a 20% increase on current levels. The UK’s Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) claims that £792m could be added to the UK’s economy if more small businesses exported.
“With the government seeking to double UK exports by 2020, reducing barriers for SMEs to trade internationally is vital,” the company adds. “The challenge for SMEs is that traditional banks have proven themselves unwilling and/or unable to provide the convenience and choice that modern internationally-minded SMEs require.
“Whereas ipagoo enables instant cross border transactions and cash management facilities for SMEs with the freedom and control to operate multiple accounts in multiple currencies to suit different markets. Plus SMEs can expect savings of £292 a year in fees by comparison to operating a traditional bank current account.”
Among the other benefits being promoted under the new service:
- Online application process to remove high levels of bureaucracy often associated with opening a bank account particularly in a foreign country.
- Accounts are accessed online or via a mobile app for Apple users.
- Instant reporting of SME income and outgoings across ipagoo accounts.
- Holding accounts in different currencies can reduce the need to make purchases in a foreign currency and the accompanying fees charged by traditional banks.
- Cash pooling and other features such as conditional standing orders, direct debits and other payments helps customers to maximise their cash flow. An ipagoo account will only pay a conditional standing order when sufficient funds become available.
- £10 monthly fee for SMEs, which covers up to three ipagoo accounts.
However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.
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