Exclusive: French fintech app Lydia to exit UK market

By Daniel Lanyon on Tuesday 4 August 2020

Digital Banking

The Paris-based payments app Lydia was founded in 2013 and expanded across a number of countries but will exit business in the United Kingdom.

Exclusive: French fintech app Lydia to exit UK market
Image source: Lydia

Lydia, the French payments app, will cease its activities in the UK by October.  

As a result, it will be closing all user accounts set to Pound Sterling from August 3, 2020 and it will also no longer be possible to set up a Lydia account in the currency. 

Users can keep using Lydia after this date by requesting a euro Lydia account.

In a message to users, it avoided offering a full explanation of the decision but cited that ‘local constraints’ were preventing its continued existence in Europe’s fintech capital. 

“As a European player, we have to adapt to local constraints and unfortunately the UK will no longer enable us to offer an optimal service. We therefore decided to end our operations in the UK on October 3rd,” the message said. 

Founded in 2013, the Paris-based fintech payments app aim allows users to connect bank accounts and cards and then use Lydia at the point of sale by holding up a QR code for the amount required. 

Particularly in its native France, the firm has become extremely popular among young people eschewing cash in a manner similar to the rise of payments apps in Asia. It has 3 millon users in France alone. 

Lydia raised $45m led by Asian internet giant Tencent at the start of the year. It last hit the headlines with a partnership with Younited Credit, allowing users in France to access loans, according to Techcrunch.  

The firm is not the first high profile fintech to exit the UK market this year with German neobank N26 announcing its own intentions to do so in February citing Brexit uncertainty. Although, several commentators noted the reason was more likely owing to fierce competition in the market.

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