Ireland is fast becoming a fintech hub. The Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland (FPAI) has gotten on at the ground floor of the industry’s growth, and last week hosted the first Fintech Nation event.
Fintech Nation brought together players from across the fintech sector to discuss the state of fintech in Ireland, and its future.
We spoke with FPAI chairperson Colm Lyon and FPAI director Anna Scally at the event, to get a feel for the genesis of the association, and how they see the sector developing.
“The FPAI’s primary function is to try to unify the industry, so to bring people from all areas of fintech and payments to the same table at the same time,” said Lyon, CEO and founder of Fire Financial Services, and former CEO of Realex Payments.
According to Lyon, the FPAI brings together nearly 1,000 individuals and more than 200 corporations, from banks and payment processors to start-ups and public service entities.
Scally, who leads KPMG Ireland’s fintech practice, highlighted the importance of organisations like FPAI and events like last week’s conference: “There are an awful lot of companies doing fantastic work in this area, but there was no forum for them to collectively come together and speak with one voice.”
As for Ireland’s future success in fintech, much of that will stem from the International Financial Services strategy, IFS2020. Designed to create 10,000 fintech jobs by 2020, the public service strategy is fairly unique within Europe – it gives us an edge.
“It’s a really positive thing, because it forces the agenda and it brings people from the public sector and the private sector together to create programmes and action plans that can then be implemented to achieve that [10,000 jobs] goal,” said Lyon.