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Secrets of Success: Will Marwick, CEO, IFX Payments

Will Marwick is on a mission to debunk the traditional structures of the FX and payments industry and position IFX as a well-established model for industry best practice.

Following his appointment to CEO, IFX has increased the number of payments it handles monthly by 3000% to 175,000 a month and doubled its turnover to £20 million.

IFX Payments was recognised as a Fintech Power 50 member in 2021 and has recently become a British Banking Award Pioneer Award nominee. As part of his role,  As a self-proclaimed ‘fintech enthusiast’, Will has a laser eye focus on nurturing a culture of innovation and transparency within IFX, and paving the way for a customer focused and well governed fintech industry. He shares his thoughts with Business Matters.

What products or services do you provide?

IFX offers a range of complete banking processes through both modern API-driven and web-based platforms. This includes Foreign Exchange which IFX has successfully managed for private and corporate clients since 2005. Whether its customers are paying staff or suppliers around the world, buying property overseas or sending money to friends and family abroad, IFX acts as a trusted partner to identify the right global solutions for all currency exchange needs. IFX also specialise in Mass Payments with their international liquidity network allowing clients access to over 90 currencies in over 120 different countries.  Clients can leverage their real time API file upload infrastructure to send up to fifty thousand payments in one simple process. Integrated into this service is IFX’s third speciality; our virtual iBan offering ‘ibanq’ which allows their clients to maintain, manage and distribute funds in up to 39 currencies from one single account.

What type of businesses do you work with?

IFX specialises in managing payments for a mix of corporate businesses who have a host of cross-border reconciliation and payment requirements. Whether that is collection accounts for merchant acquirers, mass payroll for international corporations or foreign exchange for those with currency exposure.

What problem does your company solve?

We help businesses manage their currency exposure and improve their payments and reconciliation processes through our multi-currency virtual IBAN and bespoke FX brokerage services. We developed a virtual IBAN solution so businesses can work with global funds the same way they would with a regular bank account. Virtual IBANs enable corporates to segregate remittance flows with 100% accuracy and without the need for reconciliation via a master account. So our customers can be confident knowing it’s safe and simple.

More broadly, IFX is on a mission to help the FX industry shake off its somewhat negative perception of being the‘ wild west’ due to the lack of regulation in the sector. Through embedding values of transparency, trust and reliability, the IFX team hopes to help the sector at large to make the transition, and ultimately safeguard its reputation.

What is your USP?

IFX offers a market-leading liquidity management system with flexible payments and foreign exchange solutions that can fit any business model whilst championing transparency and reliability.

What are your company values? Have you ever had them challenged and if so how have you dealt with it?

Transparency, traceability and trust are key to us at IFX. We work to allow our clients complete control of their report generation and management information whilst adopting stringent standards of risk management and regulatory compliance to reassure them.

How do you ensure that you recruit a team that reflects your company values?

There are a host of factors that need to be considered in the recruitment process; from identifying a candidate’s fit in with our culture and values, to their work ethic and how they might function within our corporate structure. Our culture is a proactive one and we look to cultivate an environment of innovation. Doing so requires a very high degree of trust so we look to identify experience and values within candidates that meet that ethos. Upon employment, we offer staff the choice of autonomy, working in groups, or a hybrid of the two to offer a structure that harnesses their best attributes – but always under clear performance indicators to ensure we can provide an environment that gets the best out of our people.

Are you happy to offer a hybrid working model of home/office post-covid?

Even prior to the pandemic and government guidelines, we rolled out a flexible working policy that gave all of our staff the flexibility to choose working arrangements that worked for them. Whether people wanted to work remotely, work from our offices, or a hybrid of the two, we wanted to offer our staff the benefit of managing their own time to meet the demands of their own personal lives. That being said, we continue to operate key working hours and require people to attend the office where necessary.

Clear objectives and deliverables are the foundations of a successful flexible working model to ensure there is no miscommunication about what is expected. Investing in your recruitment process to identify people who are aligned with your values and work ethic gives you comfort to trust people to achieve their goals, even if they’re not physically present.

Any finance or cash-flow tips for new businesses starting out?

Look at R&D tax breaks to help recover development costs to give yourself some extra financial breathing room.

If you could ask one thing of the government to change for businesses what would it be? 

More financial incentives and tax breaks for startups, especially those in financial technology. The development demands for product innovation are extensive which are swiftly followed up by significant (albeit entirely necessary) client money safeguarding requirements putting new businesses with legitimate products and services under immediate financial pressure.

What is your attitude towards your competitors?

We always keep a close eye on all businesses operating in our industry to analyse how we can keep our competitive advantage and ensure that we’re offering our customers the best service they can get in the market. But as fintechs, whilst we look at our competitors to refine our methods of development and service offering, we share a ‘client-first’ mantra and thus can easily identify partners to collaborate with by way of improving and expanding our offering.

Any thoughts on the future of your company and your dreams?

Since my appointment as CEO, IFX has increased the number of payments it handles monthly by 3000% to 175,000 a month and doubled its turnover to £20 million. As such we wish to continue this momentous growth, and in the next five years will look to establish ourselves in new markets by opening offices across the world and identify new ways in which we can help our clients mitigate their payments and FX risks.

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Secrets of Success: Will Marwick, CEO, IFX Payments

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