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TransferWise expands to Middle East with a new Abu Dhabi licence

By Ramla Soni

From 2020, users in the United Arab Emirates will be able to transfer local currency to accounts around the world

TransferWise expands to Middle East with a new Abu Dhabi licence

TransferWise, the $3.5 billion financial technology start-up, is expanding its money transfer service in the Middle East.

The company obtained a Money Services Provider licence in Abu Dhabi which will allow users in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to transfer funds in the local currency (AED) into accounts around the world.

As reported by CNBC, Kristo Käärmann, chief executive and co-founder of TransferWise, said: “Money transfers from AED have long been one of our most wished-for currencies, so we always knew we’d begin our expansion into the Middle East in the Emirates.”

In September, the company reported a net profit of £10.3 million ($12.8m, E12m) in the fiscal year ending March 2019, up 66 per cent from the previous year.

TransferWise also said it would open a global office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

The company will be regulated by the ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority as part of the new licence and will bring its first product to the UAE in 2020.

Founded in 2011, TransferWise has more than 4 million customers and manages more than $4 billion dollars every month, saving them $4 million in bank fees every day.

Backed by investors including, Richard Branson and PayPal founders Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, it has opened 11 offices, with more than 1,300 employees across four continents.

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