Best e-FX platform for corporates: Kantox

Kantox voted Best e-FX platform for corporates at the 2019 FX Week e-FX Awards

Philippe Gelis - Kantox - web.jpg
Philippe Gelis: “We wanted to make trading in foreign currencies as easy as trading domestically”

When Kantox launched its electronic foreign exchange platform in 2011, it was a young European-based fintech eager to challenge the status quo. Eight years later, it has succeeded in building a scalable set of modular solutions for corporate treasurers seeking to automate FX management – and now it has plans to expand its offering into the US.

“As a fintech, we are completely unburdened by the legacy issues that limit the banking industry when serving corporates,” says Kantox chief executive and co-founder Philippe Gelis. “We wanted to make trading in foreign currencies as easy as trading domestically, so we developed a set of FX solutions, including our fully automated micro- and mass-hedging module.”

The firm’s product was achieved through a combination of proprietary technology and leveraging liquidity partners. The Kantox e-FX platform currently has foreign exchange capabilities in 137 currencies with an API that connects to any enterprise resource-planning or Treasury management system, with optional connection to trading venues such as FXall and 360T.

The company plans to open an office in New York next year, in partnership with a US bank. This means it would serve the clients of that bank with its software, plugging into customer systems to automate their FX workflow and routing this flow to the partner bank for execution.

Kantox has also been developing more modules to answer client needs. This includes dynamic pricing of foreign currencies in real time, an automated payments hub, currency accounts to reduce friction when settling trades and simplified calculations for hedge accounting.

We’ve built the first fintech e-FX platform to attain significant FX volumes and reach among mid-caps and corporates
Philippe Gelis, Kantox 

Meanwhile, the company is poised to announce several large partnerships with leading global corporate banks in the coming months.

Building more bank partnerships is where the company is headed, Gelis says. These partnerships allow the company to provide their solutions to a difficult-to-reach set of corporate clients, and in some cases even act as a technology layer for banks through an as-a-service offering.

“We’ve built the first fintech e-FX platform to attain significant FX volumes and reach among mid-caps and corporates,” continues Gelis. “When we started out, we served a few key clients and industries, mainly SMEs. Now we work with thousands of clients across 25 industries and leading global corporate banks.”

Over the past five years, Gelis says he has seen bank attitudes changing towards fintechs: “They understand they can’t keep up with the pace of innovation and that they need to find a balance between investing in new technology, as well as partnering with or investing in fintech companies.”

But, he says, navigating banks is complex: “There are plenty of silos and people whose jobs are basically to spend time speaking with fintechs about innovation – and only that. Discussions can last forever if you speak to the wrong people.”

Kantox expects to have a pool of banks investing in the company in the near future. They will be minority shareholders, but their opinions will be valuable when developing new solutions to meet future client needs.

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