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Stripe rival Adyen secures banking license in the UK

The Adyen logo displayed on a smartphone.

Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

Dutch payments giant Adyen on Thursday said it won approval for a banking license in the U.K., marking a deeper push from the company into the banking sector.

The company said its new license would allow its merchants to offer cash advances to small and medium-sized enterprises in the U.K.

Crucially, Adyen said the license would enable it to continue operating under the U.K.’s Temporary Permissions Regime — under which it can provide services in line with its EU business — after Brexit.

Adyen already has a license in the Netherlands as an acquiring bank. In this capacity, the company can process merchant payments nearly instantly, rather than relying on banking partners to handle settlements, which can often take several days.

Adyen’s U.K. merchants can already offer customers bank accounts, virtual or physical cards, and cash flow and expense management.

“The U.K. is a key market for Adyen and we’re excited to cement our position here with this banking authorisation,” said Mariëtte Swart, Adyen’s chief legal and compliance officer.

“It will strengthen our ability to help domestic and international businesses achieve their ambitions faster. It’s another stride towards Adyen becoming a full spectrum global financial technology platform.”

A competitor to U.S. payments giant Stripe, Adyen is one of Europe’s largest technology firms, with a market capitalization of 23.4 billion euros ($25 billion). The company has been recovering after its first-half earnings numbers showed the slowest revenue growth on record.

The company’s shares fell as much as 39% on Aug. 17, wiping 18 billion euros from Adyen’s market value. Shares of Adyen closed down more than 2% on Thursday in Amsterdam.

Adyen’s permit approval comes as one of the U.K.’s own biggest fintech firms, Revolut, has been struggling to obtain a license from the Bank of England. Revolut applied for a license two years ago, but has faced delays. Regulators have had numerous concerns to consider, including the company’s late filing of accounts and internal problems with corporate culture.

Revolut says it has worked to improve its corporate culture internally. The company also saw its chief financial officer, who was at the helm at the time of its delayed accounts, leave earlier this year.

Correction: Adyen’s shares fell as much as 39% on Aug. 17. An earlier version misstated the date.

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