Circle appPayments services provider Circle has commenced its operations in Europe, starting with euro availability in Ireland and Spain.

Circle says that, being an EU-licensed e-money issuer, it will commit to serve all of the 500 million European consumers in the EU/EEA, and will be announcing more countries in the coming months.

The expansion will enable people in the EU/EEA region to send and receive person-to-person (P2P) payments with native Euro support to friends and family within their countries and across borders instantly – with zero fees.

The UK and US customers who hold GBP and USD currencies can now also send and receive euros with customers in Spain or Ireland “in the same way they share messages, photos, or any other content”, state Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville, co-founders of Circle.

“Circle’s vision is that money should work the way that the internet works: instant, global, free and fun,” they state.

“We can send and receive emails, text messages and share personal content through messaging in this way, but only now has it become possible to share and exchange value and money in the same manner.”

Circle app 2Changing user experience
Circle app is available on the Android and iOS devices. “iOS 10 customers can use Circle directly from within iMessage, in the context of conversations with friends and family, without leaving iMessage and without launching a separate app,” according to the company.

Allaire and Neville promise “a delightful customer experience”.

“Customers can easily connect any bank debit card to fund and receive payments. Money is available instantly to send and instantly upon receipt, even across currencies. Circle brings all of this together in a manner that combines payments with familiar messaging behaviours and features (contacts, emoji, messages, images, conversations linked to events, etc).”

For FX sake
Circle aims to deliver “the best rate possible in the world”, with its exchange rate typically being around 0.2% to 0.3% above the market rate, the co-founders state.

“We are introducing FX pricing that aims to commoditise consumer value exchange across currencies. Over the long run, we believe that the ‘spread’ paid by consumers when exchanging value across currencies will not only approach zero, but reach zero, just as the cost of a voice chat, a text message and an email have reached zero.”