Irish fintech player PFS hits €50m revenues and eyes potential IPO

18 Sep 2018

Image: NicoElNino/Shutterstock

Fintech player PFS is on track to hit more than €2.5bn worth of payments processed this year.

Navan native Noel Moran’s fast-growing fintech company Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) is on a roll and has just recorded its 10th consecutive year of returning record profits.

The company, which has operations in Navan and London, has reported that revenues have hit more than €50m and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of €6.2m.

‘We have grown organically, and our record speaks for itself’

Last year, reported how PFS surpassed a €1bn milestone in terms of payments processed. During the past year, the fintech player processed more than €1.6bn of payments and is on track to hit more than €2.5bn this year.

Moran, who left school early, founded PFS at the kitchen table of his home in London.

An agile technology platform knows no bounds

The company’s solutions include e-wallets, physical and virtual prepaid cards and accounts, and current accounts in the UK and the eurozone. PFS is authorised and regulated by the FCA in the UK as an electronic money institution and has passported its e-money licence to enable e-money issuance in the EEA.

PFS completed the migration of clients from two acquisitions in 2016, which brought more than 55 new local authority clients while simultaneously adding multiple corporate clients to the portfolio.

PFS commercial director Lee Britton said that PFS is a tech company at heart and is pushing towards revenues of €65m per annum. Moran, the CEO, said that PFS is on track to achieve EBITDA of more than €12m and is one of the few, if only, fintech companies in Europe that has managed to turn profits for a decade without taking on institutional investment. And now, the next phase could include a potential flotation on the public markets.

“We have grown organically, and our record speaks for itself. We do not have to focus on fundraising; we spend our time focusing on building the business and cutting costs that will in turn benefit our customers. We are now at a point where it makes sense to look at an IPO and take the company to greater heights.”

Moran said that the company’s business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) model and partnership structure enable it to avoid the pitfalls that await challenger banking players.

“As the majority shareholder in PFS, it is only natural that I continually evaluate our strategic options, including a potential listing of the business, trade sale, or indeed investing more in start-ups and other innovative financial technology companies, as evidenced by our innovation fund.

“I believe that PFS’s B2B2C business model is more sustainable and provides greater opportunities for potential investors and partners than a number of the consumer-facing challenger banking and money transfer companies, as we don’t incur the marketing burn in the same way. Instead, we focus on a white-label and partnership-led distribution model, and provide the underlying technology that enables a number of the B2C companies to succeed.

“We are also not industry-specific and, as our clients move into the remittance and international payments market, we are well positioned to leverage our technology platform and facilitate electronic transfers for our expanding customer base. This is just one area of significant growth and we expect to see our penetration into that market bear fruit from 2019 onwards. There are many established players in the market, but our agility and technology platform will enable us to make significant inroads.”

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