Does Ireland have the right stuff to be a global fintech leader?

21 Dec 2015

Is the presence of global fintech giants and a vibrant fintech start-up ecosystem enough to make Ireland a global hub for fintech? PwC is endeavouring to find out.

PwC is including Ireland for the first time in a global survey to benchmark how Ireland is doing in the global context.

PwC Ireland partner and its lead on fintech John Murphy says that if Ireland’s fintech ambitions are to be realised a genuine sense of where we are in the global context matters.

“Given the increasing importance of fintech and the opportunities it presents for business globally and particularly in Ireland, PwC is keen to get views from stakeholders on the emerging key trends and challenges and potential benefits in the sector.


‘Access to finance for scaling companies remains a key challenge, although more numerous sources of finance are emerging’

“From an Irish perspective, we are really keen to get a significant Irish response to the survey, so we share the local market trends and thought leadership as to how Ireland benchmarks with the global experience.  We also want to share the Irish perspective within our network and make sure that Ireland is on the map as a key fintech location globally,” Murphy said.

Fintech resources are key to fostering a local ecosystem

Murphy believes Ireland already has the attributes of a global fintech hub but having the resources to foster an ecosystem is key.

“The presence of key global tech and financial services players in Dublin and elsewhere helps foster a fintech ecosystem as companies of scale with the resources to develop tech talent and with particular business issues to solve using fintech are basing themselves here. The mix of industries and issues helps to drive activity, encourage spinouts from established players and collaboration between scaling companies and the established players.”

Murphy says that key areas of focus on a macro level should include access to finance, incentives to drive entrepreneurship and ease of regulation.

“Access to finance for scaling companies remains a key challenge, although more numerous sources of finance are emerging.

“Further personal and capital gains tax reforms building off those in Budget 2016 are required to encourage investment, risk-taking and entrepreneurship. A business-friendly and flexible regulatory financial services landscape that can respond to opportunities in emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies and blockchain will be key to position Ireland favourably versus our global competitors,” Murphy said.

Dublin docklands image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years