W2 Global Data secures new co-investment

W2, a provider of SaaS, B2B software solutions and data services, has secured a series A investment. The investment is for growth capital to fund the expansion of its sales, marketing and technical capability in the UK and international markets.

W2 Global Data (W2), which provides a range of Software as a Service (SaaS) products for the Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti Money Laundering (AML) and fraud prevention due diligence markets, has received Mercia Fund Management’s largest ever Growth Fund investment and a substantial follow on investment from Finance Wales. The rest of the co-investment comes from existing shareholders and Thorium Technology Investors (TTI).

Since 2014, W2 has almost doubled its revenue every year and following this substantial funding round, it is now able to accelerate plans to expand the team, develop new products and extend its global reach.

W2 offers customers the ability to perform real-time identity verification and anti-money laundering checks against consumers and corporates during the process of opening an account.

The company targets firms in the regulated, government and business community across the globe, and is primarily focused on selling to the gaming, payments and foreign exchange markets on multi-year revenue contracts.

Cardiff based W2 was founded by CEO Warren Russell in 2011 after building significant experience in the anti-money laundering, fraud and identity verification markets.

Warren Russell, CEO of W2, said:

“W2 has grown from strength to strength in the last few years and this investment will allow our business to establish its position as a key world player in the field.  We have a rapidly growing customer base and we can support them with an expanding team, creating job opportunities in the local area and further afield.”

Julian Dennard, Investment Director at Mercia Fund Management, said:

“We are delighted to support W2 and back a management team which is highly experienced in in the anti-fraud sector and cloud-based software companies. SaaS technology is one of Mercia’s chosen areas of focus and so we are pleased to be able to support Warren and his team as they continue to scale.”

Richard Thompson, Senior Investment Executive at Finance Wales, said:

“We are delighted to co-invest with Mercia in this latest round to support Warren and his team in the next phase of their expansion. W2 has made impressive progress year-on-year since our initial investments, when they moved their headquarters to Cardiff. With this investment they are positioned to accelerate their growth as their customers address the increasing regulatory demands companies must now meet.”


PRESS CONTACTS: For further information contact -

Jen Lau – Marketing & PR Executive for Mercia Technologies PLC.
Tel: +44(0) 345 094 8886
Mob: 07940 938 488
Email: jen.lau@merciatech.co.uk

Katy Horrocks – Marketing Director for Mercia Technologies PLC.
Tel: +44(0) 345 094 8886
Mob: 07725 218 579
Email: kh2@evgroup.uk.com

PRESS CONTACTS: For further information about Mercia Technologies PLC contact -

Buchanan (Financial PR Advisers)

Bobby Morse, Victoria Hayns, Stephanie Watson
Tel: +44 (0)20 7466 5000

About Mercia Fund Management Ltd

Mercia Fund Management provides tax-efficient SEIS & EIS capital to early stage businesses, particularly those residing in the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland.

Mercia Fund Management is an FCA-authorised and regulated fund manager under FSMA (FRN: 524856).

Mercia Fund Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercia Technologies PLC.


About W2 Global Data Solutions (W2)

W2 has been trading since 2011 as a trusted provider of SaaS, B2B software solutions and data services enabling organisations to achieve regulatory compliance in relation to KYC (Know Your Customer), combatting fraud, AML (Anti Money Laundering) protection and frictionless customer on-boarding.

Over 100 organisations around the world rely on data and/or services provided by W2 to meet their regulatory or risk management requirements, and W2 have partnered with some of the world’s largest data providers to ensure their customers get simple access to reliable information.

The unique W2 solutions require minimal implementation and simplify how organisations conduct regulatory customer due diligence on individuals, organisations, suppliers, staff, tenants and employees on an international scale.


Alexia Mei – Marketing & Support Manager for W2 Global Data (W2)
Tel: +44(0) 300 088 9542
Email: Alexia.Mei@W2globaldata.com

About Finance Wales

Finance Wales was established by the Welsh Government in 2001 and provides commercial funding to small and medium-sized businesses throughout Wales to enable them to realise their potential for innovation and growth. The company is part of the Finance Wales Group and in 2015-16 the Group invested £63 million through 268 debt-equity investments in growing businesses.

The Finance Wales Group, one of the UK’s largest SME investors, has in excess of £1 billion of funds under management across all SME investment fund and the Help to Buy – Wales scheme.  The Group has invested more than £500 million through more than 4,079 investments.


Jayne Lutwyche
Tel: 029 2033 8128
Email: jayne.lutwyche@financewales.co.uk

Prepaid Industry is “Poised To Completely Replace Cheques For Canadian Businesses”

DCR Strategies Inc: With an annual decline in cheque use of 7 percent across the nation, Payments Canada predicts that, by 2020, virtually every business and government office in Canada will have switched from cheques to electronic payments, including prepaid.

Consumers, businesses, and the financial system are all migrating away from the outdated cheque-based system and choosing electronic payments–particularly prepaid–because of Canada’s stable regulatory environment and the benefits of prepaid compared with credit, debit and cash. Read the full article

PIF in the News: PIF Seeks Clarity, Exemptions as U.K. Moves toward PSD2

Paybefore: As the U.K. moves ahead with plans to implement the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), the Prepaid International Forum (PIF) has asked regulators for more clarification on certain aspects of how the framework will be applied in the country. In a response letter to HM Treasury’s February request for industry consultation on its PSD2 implementation plan, PIF expressed support for the government’s strategy.

The U.K.-based prepaid industry association also encouraged regulators to take advantage of certain exemptions in PSD2 to benefit U.K. payment services providers facing uncertainty during the ongoing Brexit process. (The U.K. will implement PSD2 by January 2018, despite its planned departure from the European Union.). Read the full article

PIF in the News: U.K. Makes Official Its Intent to Leave EU

Paybefore - 29 March 2017

A little after noon in Brussels March 29, a British ambassador delivered a letter to EU Council President Donald Trusk that set the wheels into motion for the U.K.’s exit from the EU. Today’s announcement makes official the results of the historic vote June 23, when 52 percent of voters in the U.K. stunned many around the world when they opted to leave, or “Brexit,” as it’s commonly called.The letter triggers Article 50, the legislation enabling a country to leave the union, of which the U.K. has been a member since 1973. The article provides a two-year period of negotiations to reach an agreement on the terms of the U.K.’s exit—and there’s much to be discussed. In addition to such topics as trade, financial regulations and immigration, a huge issue for the payments industry is how passporting will work because a large majority of European e-money issuers have licenses in the U.K. that they passport elsewhere.

The Prepaid International Forum (PIF), a trade association for the prepaid financial services sector, urged Prime Minister Theresa May and the U.K.’s Brexit negotiators to avoid any scenarios involving trade barriers to the financial markets, especially in the fintech sector, according to an announcement. Read the full article

PIF: ‘Frictionless’ Brexit Key to FinTech Sector’s Success in UK and EU

29 March 2017 - The Fintech sector has called for a ‘frictionless’ Brexit deal for its sector, highlighting how this is in the best interests of both the UK and the EU.

The Prepaid International Forum (PIF), the not-for-profit trade association for the prepaid financial services sector, is advising Theresa May and the UK’s Brexit negotiators, that a scenario where barriers to trade are strictly enforced in the financial markets, especially in the fast-growing financial technology sector, is a ‘no-win’ game.

PIF points to the key role that the UK currently plays in the EU’s FinTech sector, in particular the prepaid financial services sector which is estimated to be worth £65 billion annually across the EU and UK.

The trade group highlights the concentration of skills and expertise in the UK which is currently seen as the gateway to Europe for US and other international FinTech businesses.

Alastair Graham, spokesperson for PIF, says:

“The UK has become the European capital of FinTech because of the size of its domestic market, a concentration of a highly skilled workforce and high quality regulation that supports innovation and growth.

“Removing financial passporting to the EU, that currently allows UK based businesses to access Europe and vice versa, will harm both parties. 

“A pragmatic approach from both parties in the Brexit negotiation would not only protect jobs and the wider economy, but also ensure that the EU continues to benefit from the advances in innovative financial services and greater financial inclusion being driven by FinTech and prepaid sector businesses.”

PIF also believes that the UK should maintain the standardisation of regulatory standards post-Brexit.

Alastair Graham, spokesperson for PIF, continues:

“FinTech is an increasingly international sector, with the UK very much seen as a flag bearer of regulatory standards and consumer protection.  Maintaining this role will require keeping at least the minimum standard regulation applied in other territories, including the EU.

 “We call on the UK government to address passporting matters early on in the process to bring about clarity and safeguard business continuity.”


About PIF

The Prepaid International Forum (PIF) is a not-for-profit trade association representing the prepaid financial services sector. We believe that prepayment is a responsible way to pay for goods and services, and that consumers should be confident in the security of prepaid services and the money that is stored on their behalf.

Established in 2007 as a not-for-profit organisation, PIF works closely with industry, regulators, government departments, consumer bodies and the media to promote understanding of prepaid as well as providing support and education to proponents of prepaid worldwide. To learn more about PIF visit www.prepaidforum.org

For further information

Rick Hollister
PR Agency One
T: 0161 871 9140
E: christine@pragencyone.co.uk

Steve Leigh
PR Agency One
T: 0161 871 9141
M: 07734 805 499
E: steve@pragencyone.co.uk

James Crawford
PR Agency One
T: 0161 871 9141
M: 07793 441 686
E: james@pragencyone.co.uk


London’s shared service alliance of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and City of Westminster appoints Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) to manage its direct payments prepaid card programme

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS), has been appointed by shared service alliance of local authorities (Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and City of Westminster) to manage a prepaid card programme for all social care service users who are in receipt of a direct payment.

The turnkey solution will initially target 140 users who had previously held a prepaid card and then will subsequently roll out to all 1,400 adult service users, followed by children. The alliance also aims to apply the same prepaid model for other departments in future too.

The deployment of prepaid cards is part of the local authority transformation agenda: by increasing the uptake of prepaid cards, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and City of Westminster are not only meeting the Care Act obligations of inclusion and enablement but they will also significantly streamline the administration of their payments operation.

Prakash Daryanani, Director of ASC Finance said: “We are looking forward to experiencing the immediate returns of leaner working practices and cost savings but a longer term benefit will be an improvement in our understanding of users’ spend which will help shape commissioning. Whilst it was possible to analyse all the paperwork provided by service users, a real-time, digital system will enable us to better monitor spend and ensure that there is a spectrum of high-quality support available.

“Prepaid cards will also completely remove the end user’s administrative headache of reconciling paper-based receipts and bank statements to provide transparency of spend.”

Noel Moran, CEO, Prepaid Financial Services said: “Our experience and expertise in managing other local authorities’ programmes meant that we were well positioned to understand the challenges of developing a prepaid solution to disburse social care direct payments.

The simplicity of using a PFS prepaid card belies the agile technology platform that underpins it - meaning that the three local authorities have the ability to create a bespoke programme that suited their specific requirements tailored to benefit their end users.”


Notes to editors

PFS Media Contact

Ali Cort
0207 099 0945

Vic Spall
0207 099 0945

About Prepaid Financial Services:

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) is an award winning payments technology specialist offering a comprehensive range of e-money and banking solutions including e-wallets, physical and virtual prepaid cards and current accounts in the UK and the Eurozone. Authorised and regulated by the FCA in the UK, PFS has passported its e-money license across the SEPA region to enable card issuance throughout the region.

Founded in 2008, PFS is now one of the fastest growing issuers in Europe, with programmes live and active in 23 countries with the ability to transact in 20 different currencies. Its products and cutting-edge technology platforms are utilised by governments, local authorities, non-governmental organisations, mobile networking operators, banks, and corporates globally.

For more information about PFS’s payment solutions please contact: sales@prepaidfinancialservices.com

The evolution of contactless prepaid cards


Kevin McAdam, Director of Prepaid at allpay Limited

The speed and ease of online payments, as well as direct debits, has led to high expectations from those making a purchase or paying their bills.

People in all financial situations are looking for improvements to payment solutions that will save time and make their lives easier. Luckily, those in payment solutions are making small improvements that will lead to big change. Read the full article


European Online Transaction Rule Revised after Payments Industry Complaints

Paybefore: After absorbing hundreds of complaints from the payments industry, the European Banking Authority will relax its pending customer authentication rules for online transactions. The new rule, which requires two-factor authentication, will apply to transactions of €30 (US$32) instead of €10 (US$10.60), according to Andrea Enria, the authority’s chair. But given the rise in popularity of online shopping, 30 euros may not be a high enough threshold to assuage industry concerns. Read the full article

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Prepaid International Forum Argues against European Plan for Online Authentication