January 19, 2016 / 9:44 PM / 3 years ago

UK-based payments provider HiFX goes on aggressive U.S., Canada push

A man walks by a board showing currency exchange rates of the U.S. dollar and euro against the rouble, in central Moscow, Russia, January 11, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

NEW YORK (Reuters) - HiFX, a UK-based foreign currency provider owned by Nasdaq-listed Euronet Worldwide (EEFT.O), is going on an aggressive expansion in the United States and Canada over the next two years, Jeff Matheson, the company’s managing director for North America, said in an interview late Friday.

The strategy comes in the wake of HiFX’s acquisition by Euronet in the first quarter of 2014.

“We were purchased by Euronet with the goal of coming to North America,” said Matheson in an interview.

HiFX, which generates about $100 million in revenue annually, posted $30 billion in currency transaction volume in 2015 with a focus on retail customers and small and medium-sized corporations, he said. It transacts more than 400 currency pairs worldwide.

Matheson said HiFX wants the United States to become the largest revenue-generating business for the company in three years. It launched its first office in Los Angeles and will soon open in Washington, D.C., Miami, Chicago, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. Washington will serve as its U.S. hub.

“We are going to scale extremely quickly. We have lofty goals for North America,” said Matheson.

Matheson does acknowledge there is a risk of a global slowdown given the decline in oil prices and the slowdown in China, but believes that demand for foreign currency payments and money transfers remains solid.

“International business is continuing to churn,” said Matheson. “There are still a lot of markets in the medium to small business space that need to do cross-border transactions and payments.”

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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