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Atlantic Money recently accused its more illustrious British rival Wise of undermining competition in the money transfer space.
Wise Plc (LON: WISE) has come under fire for allegedly stifling competition by delisting a rival startup in the money transfer market. On Friday, Atlantic Money, a smaller foreign exchange service, accused Wise of undermining its status in the international money transfer business. According to Atlantic Money, the $6.6 billion UK fintech firm unfairly delisted it from the price comparison section of Wise’s website. Atlantic Money also alleged that Wise refused to include the company on the Exiap foreign exchange fee comparison site it also owns.
Atlantic Money currently offers a flat £3 charge on all currency conversions amounting to £1 million. Furthermore, the London-headquartered firm’s costs are lower than Wise’s for transfers of £1,000 or more.
Atlantic Money Dispute with Wise iver Unfair Competition Practices
In a letter to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Atlantic Money aired its grievances against Wise, saying:
“Wise is effectively acting as a gatekeeper to the market and creating a substantial barrier to entry for cheaper and more innovative providers to establish themselves. This conduct is harmful to competition across the UK and EU and, we would submit, ultimately results in higher fees for end consumers.”
Atlantic Money further explained that it was initially listed by Wise on its website on October 14th, 2022. However, the fintech giant later delisted it on January 20th this year, claiming that it was no longer deemed it a “legitimate competitor.”
A Wise spokesperson responded to Atlantic Money’s claims, saying:
“We decided to remove Atlantic Money for the time being for a number of operational reasons, including queries received from customers about their business. We take any complaints very seriously. We’re really proud to have the comparison tool as part of our website, and we’re not afraid to list cheaper competitors. We’ve done that for years and still do.”
Wise also said that Atlantic Money was not the first provider ousted from its price comparison lists. According to the leading fintech and money transfer facilitator, the removal process is part of regular reviews. Wise further suggested that it keeps the list “useful for our customers” by pruning it. The company, formerly known as TransferWise, has long promoted itself as a pioneer of consumer rights. This agenda also includes agitating for more transparent bank charges to move money across borders.
Wise said it has not received any official correspondence from the CMA regarding Atlantic Money’s complaints. A spokesperson for the UK competition watchdog suggested that it is conducting a formal investigation. However, the CMA spokesperson did not offer any specifics about the exact probe or investigation.
Wise’s shares were trading at £5.14 during the early morning London session. The company’s stock, which debuted on the London Stock Exchange in 2021, was 2% below the Thursday market close.
Wise currently has a market capitalization of £5.3 billion, or $6.6 billion.