Irish banks’ Revolut rival to use Italian tech for mobile app

30 Jun 2022

Image: © Aris Suwanmalee/

Synch Payments has taken another step towards launching its app after receiving the green light from the Irish competition watchdog.

Synch Payments, the mobile app venture launched by major Irish banks to take on Revolut and N26, has appointed an Italian paytech company to be its platform and service provider.

Synch said picking a technology partner marks a key milestone as it works towards launching its mobile app, which is understood to be called Yippay.

The Italian company, Nexi, is well known in the European mobile payments sector as its Jiffy platform powers the Bancomat Pay service in Italy.

Working with Nexi, Synch plans to offer Irish banks a way to reduce costs and accelerate the use of digital payments via a mobile-only experience for consumers.

It will develop a multi-bank payments app, allowing users to make purchases online and in stores, and to send and receive money instantly to contacts through their smartphone.

Synch was started as a joint venture between AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and KBC, with the aim of taking on emerging neobanks such as Revolut and N26 that provide more digital-friendly banking and payment options.

The venture was established in 2020 but soon ran into trouble with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

Last December, the Irish competition watchdog launched a full investigation into Synch to determine if it meant “foreclosing potential new competitors from entering the market for the provision of banking products” by not allowing them to participate in the mobile payments service.

After these stumbling blocks, Synch was given the go-ahead by the CCPC earlier this month, leading to the possibility of its mobile app launching as soon as the end of the year. But the CCPC said Synch must set objective eligibility criteria for any other financial institutions that want to be part of the payments system.

“Since the recent CCPC announcement a week ago, we have had a number of enquiries from organisations that want to join the service.” Synch managing director Inez Cooper said.

“It is a really exciting time and we are delighted that we will have Nexi working alongside us – ensuring that we have a trusted partner with world-class credentials in digital payments.”

Nexi’s director of cards and digital payments, Andrea Mencarini, added that the company is eager to work with Synch in delivering an “instant mobile payment solution” for Ireland.

While KBC Ireland was involved in setting up Synch Payments, the bank recently confirmed that it will exit the venture “at the appropriate time”. This is because KBC is one of two major banks exiting the Irish market this year, the other being Ulster Bank.

Emerging neobanks such as Dutch fintech Bunq have their eyes on the customers these banks will leave behind.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic