Back in February, Ireland was considered to be lagging in digital services, while that is no longer the case. The Banking & Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) has announced that within the last five years, retail banks in Ireland have spent over €3 billion on improving digital services for customers across the globe.
The banks provide end-to-end online mortgages, advanced and secure payment apps, personal loan applications, instant account opening, data analytics, money management tools, and SME lending.
The Covid-19 pandemic was a large driving force in the growth of the fintech sector in Ireland. The pandemic pushed a lot of lenders to get involved with fintech with consumers’ increased demand for digital services.
According to the BPFI’s figures, around €400 million of the total €3 billion spent on digital services was from the collaboration of over 100 fintech companies on new products — 1 in 3 of those companies being Irish.
BPFI president and Permanent TSB CEO Eamon Crowley sees Irish firms making up a third of the 100 fintech partnerships as “[demonstrating] a major vote of confidence in the local fintech sector.”
“The reason we’re teaming up with so many Irish fintechs is because they offer the best solution, the best skills, and the best package that suits our requirements,” he added.
The amount of success stories there have been of banks partnering with fintech companies to better their services has led to an increasing desire from banks across the globe to do so themselves. To be more specific, Mr. Crowley adds: “This trend is very much in line with international developments. According to a recent PwC ‘Global Fintech Report’, 94% of Financial Services firms surveyed said they were looking to fintech to help grow their company’s revenue over the next two years.”
The greatest local success story would be the collaboration from four of the largest Irish banks — AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank Ireland, and PSB — to develop Revolut, a digital banking app made to compete with all other payment platforms. After only a couple of months, Revolut has over 1 million Irish users today.
The fintech industry in Ireland is on the rise, the sky being the limit. As we have seen, it takes a lot of dedication, collaboration, and hard work to get to where you want to be. Ireland was lagging behind many countries back in February. Today the country shows great potential to become the next global fintech hub.
News, RTÉ “Banks Spend €3bn on Delivering Digital Services – BPFI.” RTE.ie, RTÉ, 15 July 2021, www.rte.ie/news/business/2021/0715/1235196-banks-spend-3bn-on-delivering-digital-services-bpfi/.