€1 Million PFS Innovation Fund to be featured on National TV

Marie O’Riordan is Senior Marketing Manager at Prepaid Financial Services Limited (PFS), a leading e-money institution authorised and regulated by the FCA.

TV3, a national television station in Ireland, will broadcast three primetime weekend programme segments about PFS’ €1 million Innovation Fund starting this weekend. The newly launched fund which is open to entrepreneurs, SMEs, and schools will also be featured in November and December. Journalists at a national radio station, a national retail magazine, and national and local newspapers have also been quick to seek more details about one of the largest competitions of its kind.

The 7-figure fund is the brainchild of PFS CEO, Noel Moran. He hopes to discover the next big FinTech breakthrough that will complement the company’s focus on innovation and customisation. In particular, he is seeking to attract a number of compelling ideas to add to the current offerings provided by the enterprise. To date, submissions for the Innovation Fund have been coming in from around Europe as word begins to spread within the financial technology sector.

“I am looking forward to seeing a lot of new business technology ideas emerge during the Innovation Fund application process,” shared, Noel Moran, CEO, PFS. “It is an exciting process for us and we really want to attract new thinking in the e-money space. The scope of the fund embraces a broad cross-section to encourage entrepreneurs, small to medium enterprises, and schools to take part. This company also had to begin somewhere. My wife Valerie and I started PFS from our kitchen table.”

“If we see value in a new concept, we are prepared to take swift action to nurture leading-edge developments in the e-money industry. €1 million provides a concrete foundation from where we can bring a wealth of new ideas to reality. As PFS expands, it will give our fund winners access to industry-leading resources. We look forward to assessing the possible merits of all entries and I wish everyone the very best of luck with their submissions.”

From an early age, Mr. Moran exhibited many of the traits of successful entrepreneurs including being an early school leaver and starting his business from home. Today, PFS is one of the fastest growing e-money solutions in Europe working with banks, FinTechs, governments, local authorities, corporates, TELCOs, and NGOs. Last month, Noel was presented with The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2017. In September, his company was also named in The Sunday Times TECH TRACK 100 list becoming the only company in the 2017 rankings to appear 5 years in a row.

With headquarters on Regent Street and offices in Cheshire and Malta, PFS also has offices housed within a Government Business and Technology Park in Ireland. The state-of-the-art facility in Navan is strategically located in the country’s M1 Payments Corridor which has easy access to Dublin Airport. It is also a top employer in the region having hired 27 new staff in recent months with another 23 new employees on the way in the coming weeks. The CEO’s next project is to seek planning permission for a large financial services centre in his native County Meath in Ireland. The plans are currently at the architect stage and it is hoped that a submission will be made to the local council in Q1 2018. This would be a significant move for the region where up to 800 people could be employed.

Recently, the firm announced annual growth in 2016 of 45%. With a customer base of over 2 million prepaid e-money card account holders in 24 countries and the ability to transact in 22 different currencies, PFS made 3 acquisitions in the past year with one to two more a possibility before the end of Q4 2017. Since 2009, PFS has been operating in the prepaid payments and electronic money space. Technological innovation is the beating heart of the business. It is an all-in-one issuer, programme manager, acquirer, technology provider, and customer service entity.

€1,000,000 Innovation Fund Categories:

Entrepreneur FinTech Innovation Award and the Small-Medium Enterprise FinTech Innovation Award: Any amount of the €1 million fund may be attributed to both of these categories depending on the submission.*

Junior FinTech Innovation Award: €10,000 worth of IT equipment will be donated to each winning school and all winning student team members will receive an iPhone 8.*

Recently, the team was invited to make a presentation to 500 pupils as part of a regional student enterprise programme. It was interesting to see 1,000 ears perk up as soon as the possibility of winning the latest smartphone was mentioned. A list of school principals were also posted Innovation Fund packs with details and materials enclosed for management, teachers, and noticeboards.

Noel Moran, added, “There are many different areas within the company and we would like to hear from any entrepreneur, SME or school who can enhance our current offerings. The great thing is that we are not restricting creative minds to any one specific area. Importantly, flexibility is key. We will also look at 3 options when it comes to the entrepreneur and SME submissions including the possibility of investing, purchasing IP or bringing in someone as a partner. One thing is for sure – we will invest €1,000,000 as part of this initiative and the money is available immediately.”

The fund remains open to entrepreneurs, early-stage companies, and schools. PFS is keen to encourage entrants to centre their ideas around a number of key areas of interest including payments, AI and data intelligence, prepaid cards and e-wallet solutions, payment solutions linked to Blockchain, security-voice, facial recognition and biometrics, payments services Directive 2, open banking, API solutions, fraud, risk, and compliance. The expression of interest deadline for the Innovation Fund is Tuesday, October 31st and the submission deadline is Thursday, November 30th, 2017.

*Terms and conditions apply.

First published on PaymentEye.

To submit your entries for the PFS €1 Million Innovation Fund Awards 2017 or to learn more click here.

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