Whilst the focus is always on the FinTech party eating the incumbent lunch, HSBC has struck back in the money transfer battle by launching Global Money Account, its own fee-free international transfer service.
The move means US customers of the bank, who have traditionally had to pay transfer fees both for sending and receiving funds, can now transfer money to other HSBC customers around the world for free.
To benefit from the change customers will have to sign up for the new Global Money Account, which is designed to accommodate the kinds of people who have previously switched to a FinTech such as Revolut or TransferWise.
“The ambition for Global Money Account is to provide our customers with one global account for all of their financial needs so that if they move from one market to another, they don’t need to open a new account, they just take their existing account with them,” explains Carolyn Criscitiello, head of digital payments wealth and personal banking, HSBC USA.
“This will allow them to pay bills in multiple markets, make cross border transfers and spend like a local wherever they are.”
While for US customers the Global Money Account is novel and potentially game-changing for those who haven’t left for FinTechs, the bank’s UK customers will likely be less excited given they already benefit from free transfers.
What might be game changing, however, is the fact that HSBC says its free transfers will eventually be extended to other banks, something which it currently charges for both in the UK and US.
It’s also worth drawing the comparison between the Global Money product and products such as Santander’s PagoFX, a low-cost international transfer app which operates at an arm’s-length from Santander’s in-house and more-expensive international money transfer service.
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