Originally known for its FairFX travel and expense products, Equals Group has in recent years rebranded and made a significant push into B2B, led by CEO Ian Strafford-Taylor. With Equals publishing its 2020 results, now seemed a good time to catch up.
Our main takeaways:
- Equals is firmly on the path to focusing as a B2B player. In 2018, 36% of revenue was B2B, in 2020, this number was 70%. Part of this comes from the natural contraction of its travel money business during the pandemic, but corporate travel expenses contracted too, allowing the rest of B2B to shine.
- B2B payments for SMEs is a competitive space. Equals’ core metrics, such as total revenue per head (c. £120,000) and B2B spot and forward revenue per customer (c.£3,000), are in line with other SME-focused players, and after headcount reductions from 2020, significantly improved.
- Equals is shifting its focus to an integrated B2B offering of cards, payments and current account banking services (unique IBANs). This forms its targeted product set. With little cross-selling done to date (these capabilities were added through acquisition), this seems a good upside opportunity.
- The company has also added support for cross-currency cryptocurrency payments through a partnership with Tap, which Ian characterises as simply adding support for another exotic currency. Like many in payments, he is concerned about the lack of regulation, but is responding to demand. He says the company is likely to expand its efforts in this area, potentially even connecting directly with exchanges if flow rates become high enough.
How are cross-border B2B companies pricing?