The Republic of Ireland has created a brand new trade association for fintech and payment companies, as the nation looks to establish itself as a leading hub for the financial services sector.
Ireland is quickly becoming a ‘global fintech centre’
The Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland (FPAI) is a non-profit organisation that looks to create an innovative environment in which both local and international payment and fintech companies can prosper in.
Officially launched on September 14th, the association has the full support from Enterprise Ireland, the IDA and the Department of Finance. The group has opened its doors to a wide range of contributors from the fintech industry, including startups, app developers, banks, credit unions and government departments.
Joining FPAI’s board is two of Ireland’s leading payments experts. Colm Lyon, founder of Realex Payments and now Pay with Fire, and Morgan Lynch of Senddr, an Irish fintech startup have been hired to ensure that FPAI is a success.
Also joining the board is Anna Scally of KPMG and Colm Rafferty of Maples and Calder, who have both been working on the project since the beginning of this year.
‘‘Ireland is one of the best places in the world for tech companies to do business and is fast becoming a global centre for FinTech,’’ commented Scaly.
‘‘We already have a vibrant, dynamic technology sector, a well-established global Financial Services centre and a strong eco-system of tech start-ups. FPAI aims to bring all of this together and will provide a strong, united voice for the growing FinTech community and its investors.’’
A co-ordinated approach
The association has been launched as way to improve Ireland’s financial services sector. In March 2015, Ireland’s government launched IFS2020 – ‘a new Strategy for Ireland’s International Financial Services Sector,’ which hopes to develop a co-ordinated approach to improving the nation’ fintech sector and becoming more financially inclusive. The FPAI has positioned itself as a key contributor to the strategy.
Only three days in and the association is proving to be popular with Ireland’s financial sector, with the board announcing that they have secured founding membership from a number of businesses and partners.
Working closely with Simon Harris TD, Ireland’s minister of state, the trade body hopes to become an international fintech hub.
‘‘Today’s launch is an important step forward for this increasingly influential sector. It is a strong signal to the international FinTech community of Ireland’s ambition in this area,’’ commented Harris.
‘‘It is equally important as a statement of intent by private sector stakeholders to support the implementation of priority IFS2020 actions in a coordinated, informed and pragmatic manner. I look forward to working closely with the FPAI in delivering on these objectives and in the identification of 2016 actions.’’
Ireland is slowly moving away from physical cash and heading towards a more digitized financial sector.
In June, Payment Eye reported that Ireland’s Central Bank recommended for the abolishment of its one cent and two cent coins. This follows on from a successful trial conducted in Wexford in 2013 where cash payments were rounded off to the nearest five cents.
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