Realex in major e-commerce deal with Virgin Atlantic

17 May 2009

Realex Payments, the Irish e-commerce firm that processes €6bn worth of online payments a year for airliners, banks and e-tailers, has struck a major deal to process payments for transatlantic airliner Virgin Atlantic.

Speaking with, Realex founder and chief executive Colm Lyon (pictured) explained that the company has struck a five-year deal to process all of Virgin Atlantic’s payments across the world from its various websites and telesales centres.

“We have a developed a suite of web-based services and applications that Virgin Atlantic will use across the globe – from its websites and telesales centres.

“These internet solutions will allow for full data capture of flight information and ancillary goods on services such as car hire, insurance and hotel bookings. Via our global backend payment exchange, we will be processing payment for these transactions into banks across the world – the US, UK and India.

“For us this is a compelling example of how Irish Internet businesses can continue to scale, despite the current economic climate,” Lyons said.

Realex, which was established by former Ulster Bank head of central IT Colm Lyon, already employs 60 people in Dublin and brings in revenues of €6m per annum, out of which it generates a 10pc margin.

It is understood the company is creating new business and consumer electronic payment products and other financial instruments, as paper cheques become phased out across Europe.

The company has more than 2,000 clients and processes almost €6bn a year into over 20 banks or financial institutions across Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Clients include some major Irish household names such as Aer Lingus, Tesco Mobile, Aer Arann, Quinn Direct, Superquinn, Direct Ski, Vodafone and property website

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Realex founder and chief executive, Colm Lyon

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