multicurrency, FX, currency conversion, local payments

Introducing Multicurrency Pay Outs

International multicurrency payments play a crucial role for many businesses, enabling them to conduct cross-border transactions with customers and suppliers located in different countries.

As these payments can be more complex and time-consuming than domestic payments, we have developed a solution to provide businesses with access to local payment rails for outbound payments in 14 countries offering an easier, quicker and cost effective way to make international payments. This is also a great alternative to SWIFT payments.

Make Payments Like A Local

With Fire, businesses currently have access to SEPA payments in the Eurozone and to Faster Payments in the UK. We are now introducing payments to the following countries and currencies:

  • Australia – Australian Dollar
  • Canada – Canadian Dollar
  • Czechia – Czech Koruna
  • Denmark – Danish Krone
  • Hong Kong – Hong Kong Dollar
  • Hungary – Hungarian Forint
  • Norway – Norwegian Krone
  • Poland – Polish Zloty
  • Romania – Romanian Leu
  • Singapore – Singapore Dollar
  • Sweden – Swedish Krona
  • United States – US Dollar

Benefits of Multicurrency Payments

Access to these local payment rails offers many benefits, such as:

  • Increased Competitiveness: Multicurrency payment options help businesses remain competitive in the global marketplace, as customers often prefer to do business with companies that pay them in their preferred currency and payment method.
  • Reduced Currency Risk: By sending payments in the local currency of their customers or supplier, businesses can avoid currency risk, as they are not exposed to fluctuations in exchange rates.
  • Streamlined Processes: Using an API to automate international multicurrency payments can greatly streamline the payment process, reducing the time and resources required to manually process payments and enabling businesses to focus on other important tasks.

Remove the Friction of International Payments

By using the Fire API, businesses can automate payment processes, eliminate the need for manual data entry and reduce the risk of errors. This can save time, reduce costs, and improve the accuracy and speed of a businesses payment processes.

Try It Out

If you are already a Fire Business customer, you can start making payments in these 12 new currencies right now using our Creating an International Transfer User Guide.

If not, why not learn more about Fire and how we can help your business reduce the friction in the your payment processes.

Introducing the new Fire Debit Card

Introducing the new Fire Debit Card

Think of the last few times you used your debit card. Were you holding your card sideways or vertically? What way do you hold it while making a contactless payment? When is the last time you swiped and signed using your debit card?

For practically all modern uses of a physical debit card, the card is held and used vertically. With all of the above in mind, we set about redesigning our cards to match modern use. 

Landscape is out. Portrait is in.

At Fire, we’re shaking up the payments industry by offering (API accessible) digital accounts that compete with high street banks. And now, we’re taking it one step further with our sleek new Fire debit card design. The portrait orientation sets it apart from traditional cards, and the simple, clean design is perfect for those who appreciate minimalism and functionality.

Feature rich.

Don’t let the minimalist design fool you. Our Fire debit card is packed with features that make it a must-have for anyone looking to manage their money on the go. You can use it to make contactless payments, withdraw cash from ATMs, and make online purchases. Plus, with the Fire app, you can easily monitor your spending and track your transactions. Plus, businesses can use the Fire API to control and track card usage.

One of the best things about our debit card is the peace of mind it provides. Unlike traditional banks, we don’t charge hidden fees or surprise you with unexpected charges. With Fire, you’ll always know what you’re paying and why. And if you ever have any questions or concerns, our friendly (and real) customer service team is always here to help.

So if you’re ready to upgrade your payments experience and join the Fintech trend, sign up for a Fire digital account today and get your hands on our new portrait debit card. It’s the perfect way to make a statement while staying on top of your finances.

 

 

Sign up today.

Interested in getting one of our new cards? Then join Fire today and order your first debit card free of charge. Click the Register Now button below to get started. If you already have an account with Fire and want to order a new card, follow the link to our FAQ to find out how.

Fire – A Real Alternative for Ulster Bank Business Customers

Getting a new Business Account shouldn’t be a “big move”.

Opening a new business account shouldn’t be a big move. With Ulster Bank now sending out thousands of letters to businesses across Ireland, customers will be assessing their options and deciding what works best for them. We at Fire are here to help business customers of Ulster Bank.

We aim to make a Fire business account an ideal alternative for Ulster Bank Business Customers. Businesses may apply online, so no branch visits or delays, the accounts are low cost and include a great range of payment services to cater for all business needs.

Who we are

Fire is an Irish headquartered business, founded in 2010 by Colm Lyon, one of Ireland’s leading fintech and payments entrepreneurs. The business is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as a payments institution since its establishment. The team is based in the CHQ Building on the North Quays in Dublin. We also have offices in London, UK where we have been regulated by the FCA since 2019 (post Brexit).

Fire has thousands of business customers across Ireland and the UK including some very large financial institutions. As an Irish business we aim to understand the needs of the local market.

What’s a Fire Account

With a Fire Business Account you will get access to:

  • euro and sterling accounts – open as many as required

  • all the debit cards you need for your business and staff

  • bank transfers, FX services, pay by direct debit

  • mobile app for real time notifications and security

  • open banking payments – so you can get paid more easily

  • integration options for accounting systems

Additionally with a Fire Business Account, customers can integrate their systems for better reconciliation and straight through automated payment processing.

As Fire is a local and regulated account provider, all euro accounts have Irish (IE) IBANs, and sterling accounts have UK sort code/ account number – so former Ulster Bank business customers will have no problems paying and getting paid.

How to apply

Our mission is to remove friction and hassle for businesses when it comes to accounts, cards and payments. You can apply for an account here and the process is completely online – so no branch visits and no waiting lists to see someone to talk about opening an account. You’re in control.

See this page to find out more about how we compare to Ulster Bank we have created a dedicated page or you can email us on sales@fire.com

The Fire team.

Apply Here

Fire Open Payments – New User Interface Guide

Introduction

We are very pleased to announce our new Fire Open Payments User Interface, delivering enhanced branding and less friction in the payments flow.

The aim of this new UI is to provide users (payers) with a more seamless Open Banking payments flow. Our Opening Banking Payments feature enables businesses to accept account-based payments from their customers; if you would like more information on Open Banking follow this link.

The new Fire Open Payments flow provides businesses and merchants with the opportunity to customise the interface by adding their brand to the payments page. Businesses can add their logo, edit the page colouring, and include additional text fields.

This release is designed to remove friction and streamline the payment process. We have shortened the customer journey and enhanced the user experience to provide seamless account-to-account payments.

Enhanced Mobile Flow – less friction.

The new mobile flow is designed to streamline the payment process and provide the user with a better experience. The new flow is now a page shorter and offers a Cancel and Return button to allow payers on the eCommerce journey to return to their shopping cart. The images below show the new user interface and flow.

Fire Open Payments – Mobile User Journey

Open Payments

Enhanced Desktop Flow – less friction.

The desktop flow has been optimised to provide a frictionless user interface and provide the ability for merchants to customise the page. The new desktop flow is also shortened by a page and offers the option of a Cancel and Return button.

Fire Open Payments – Desktop User Journey

 

Customisation of Payment Pages

This new release now includes the capability for businesses/merchants to brand the payment pages.

Fire Business customers may customise everything from the background and text colours, to the text displayed within action buttons and adding their own business logo.

Fire Open Payments – Customising the Desktop Payment Pages

 

Follow up

We would be very interested to receive your feedback. If you wish to follow up please email support@fire.com and why not try the process yourself – scan the QR code below on your mobile or click the link.

Irish Guide Dogs – EUR Donation

Click the link to donate – https://payments.fire.com/j4vv5xkf

Calcutta Connect – GBP Donation

Click the link to donate – https://payments.fire.com/evfilskr

 

Fire Open Payments – New User Interface (Technical Guide)

Introduction

We are delighted to release improvements to the Fire Open Payments User Interface to all customers. If you are unfamiliar with Open Banking, click here to learn more, but at a high level Open Banking and our payment requests enable businesses to accept account-based payments from their customers.

The most exciting change is that you can now customise the design of the Fire Open Payments pages! In this new update, you can add your business logo, edit the page colouring, and even include additional text fields. If you are interested in making some minor changes to the Open Payments pages, please let us know by mailing support@fire.com and we can schedule a meeting to work through some of your requirements.

We have a couple of other functional changes to the Open Payments flow, but the majority of changes are in relation to the User Interface only. In updating the flow, we have sought to shorten the customer journey and make it more appealing and intuitive across the desktop and mobile interfaces.

Mobile Flow

1. Payment Details Page

The Payment Details Page is the first landing page for customers on the Fire Open Payments journey. They can be redirected here from a merchant’s shopping cart, or scanning a QR Code, for example.

Within the new flow, the user can see both Payment Details and select their ASPSP on the same step, shortening the journey by one page.

Functional Improvements:

  1. The URL of the old second page https://payments.fire.com/{code}/aspsps has now been removed.

    1. The URL of the new first page is still https://payments.fire.com/{code}, but the user will now go directly to the consent page https://payments.fire.com/{code}/aspsps/{aspspUuid}.

    2. If you are routing your customer directly to https://payments.fire.com/{code}/aspsps, you will need to change this to https://payments.fire.com/{code} or https://payments.fire.com/{code}/aspsps/{aspspUuid}.

  2. The addition of a Cancel and Return button. This will return the user to your returnUrl (if specified – otherwise the button will not be visible) with the following URL: {yourWebsite}/return?status=cancelled. You can use this to return the customer to their shopping cart.

    1. This button will be visible up until the user consents to a payment.

Current Pages

New Page

 

The Consent Page contains regulatory text Fire are required to display. At this point, when the customer clicks the ‘AGREE’ button they will be redirected to their third-party ASPSP/bank to authorise the payment.

Current Page

New Page

 

3. Response Page

Once the user authorises the payment via their third party ASPSP/bank, they will return to the response page. On this page, Fire displays the status of the payment to the user, as well as a reference they can use to query the payment.

Current Page

New Page

 

Desktop Flow

1. Payment Details Page

The Payment Details Page is the first landing page for customers on the Fire Open Payments journey. They can be redirected here from a merchant’s shopping cart, or scanning a QR Code, for example.

Within the new flow, the user can see both Payment Details and select their ASPSP on the same step, shortening the journey by one page.

Functional Improvements:

  1. The URL of the old second page https://payments.fire.com/{code}/aspsps has now been removed.

    1. The URL of the new first page is still https://payments.fire.com/{code}, but the user will now go directly to the consent page https://payments.fire.com/{code}/aspsps/{aspspUuid}.

    2. If you are routing your customer directly to /aspsps, you will need to change this to /{code} or /{code}/aspsps/{aspspUuid} if you host the list of banks on your website.

  2. The addition of a Cancel and Return button. This will return the user to your returnUrl (if specified – otherwise the button will not be visible) with the following URL: {yourWebsite}/return?status=cancelled. You can use this to return the customer to their shopping cart.

    1. This button will be visible up until the user consents to a payment.

Current Pages

New Page

The Consent Page contains regulatory text Fire are required to display. At this point, when the customer clicks the ‘AGREE’ button they will be redirected to their third-party ASPSP/bank to authorise the payment.

Current Page

New Page

3. Response Page

Once the user authorises the payment via their third party ASPSP/bank, they will return to the response page. On this page, Fire displays the status of the payment to the user, as well as a reference they can use to query the payment.

Current Page

New Page

 

Customisation Example

As alluded to in the introduction, Fire is excited to offer our customers the capability to put your own stamp on the payment pages.

You can customise anything from the background and text colours, to the text displayed within action buttons and adding your own business logo.

Please feel free to reach out to support@fire.com if you are interested in working on customised options.

Default User Interface

Customised User Interface (example)

Conclusion

We are excited to be launching these changes to our Open Banking and we hope they streamline the experience for you and your customers.

Announcing Direct Debits for Euro Accounts

We are pleased to announce that our business and personal customers may now pay by direct debit from Fire euro accounts. Direct debit is a very common way to pay for utility bills, card acquirer charges, Revenue Commissioners taxes and other regular payments, with the funds taken directly from your account automatically at a specified date. Direct debit payments have been available on Fire sterling accounts for some time, so with the addition of this new feature we hope that more customers will use Fire for more of their day to day payments.

All of your direct debit mandates – the permission you give billers to take funds from your account – are available to see and manage using the Fire online portal.

Managing direct debit payments with Fire

For a euro direct debit to be collected from your account, you will need to provide the direct debit collector with your account name, and your Fire IBAN.

IE IBANS – all your euro Fire account are issued with “IE” IBANs so there should be no issue with businesses collecting funds from your Fire accounts.

Disable DD collections – your euro Fire accounts are by default enabled for direct debit payments. You may disable the collection of direct debits for each account using the “Actions” menu.

Notifications – you will receive notifications in advance of any direct debit payments due from your account.

This gives you time to ensure you have the funds to cover the payment, and helps with cash flow planning. If you feel you shouldn’t be paying a certain direct debit, you can cancel the mandate easily to prevent funds being taken from your account (but be sure to let the biller know so they can correct the issue).

Fire already supports payment by direct debit from sterling accounts, so now, with Fire, you can pay by direct debit in both currencies. This new feature is available to all personal and business customers.

Moving from Ulster Bank or KBC?

Fire provides euro and sterling accounts, debit cards, and a range of payment and integration services – check out our full features page for more information. If you are an Ulster Bank or KBC business current account holder you may consider a Fire account as an alternative.

Once your Fire account is open, you will need to contact your billers to give them your new Fire IE IBANs and account details. Check out our Ulster Bank/KBC information page for more details.

We look forward to introducing more features to the Fire business account throughout 2022. If you have any feedback or queries on this feature release, please do get in touch by emailing support@fire.com.

 

Batch API Tutorial

Automating your payout process with batches

In a previous blog post we described the payouts pain point some businesses experience today, how Fire can help automate this process and examples of automated payout processes some Fire customers have implemented today. In this blog post we’ll walk you through the steps needed to set up an automated payouts process in your organisation using payment batches via the Fire API.

Application Set-Up

Firstly, you will need to set up set up a Fire Application to access the Fire API. To do this:

  • Login at https://business.fire.com.

  • Select the “Settings“ Menu.

  • Select the “API” tab.

  • Click “Add New Application“

Give you API Application a name, and select the required permissions.

For this Tutorial we will be showcasing the Batch functionality so select the Batch permissions below:

You then can configure how many approvers are need prior to processing a batch. There are 2 types of approvals:

  • Approvals for adding a new payee for a batch – in line with legislation, you are required to approve new payees on your account using Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). The first time you make a payment to a payee, Fire will send notifications to Full Users so they can approve. This will be a single notification containing the details of all the new payees in the batch. Once a payee has been approved on your account, it is not necessary to approve payments going forward (although you can can opt to approve all payments – see below).

  • Approvals for batches of bank transfers – you can set this to 0 to automatically process batch payments to previously approved payees. This is useful for setting up unattended automated batch payments.

You can also have multiple approvers if you want for either type to enhance security. All full users will get a push notification to approve to their linked mobile devices to approve the batch.

Once you’ve finished above, click “Create“, and take note of your Client ID, Client Key and Refresh Token – the Client Key will not be displayed again.

Note  If you ever accidentally reveal the Client Key (or accidentally commit it to Github for instance) it is vital that you log into firework online and delete/recreate the App Tokens as soon as possible. Anyone who has these three pieces of data can access the API to view your data and set up payments from your account (depending on the scope of the tokens).

Authentication

You now use these pieces of data to retrieve a short-term Access Token which you can use to access the API. This will be set as the Bearer Token in the ‘Authorization’ header for all API calls. For security reasons, the Access Token expires within a relatively short timeframe – there is a 15 minute window to use it.

In order to create an Access Token, you require:

  • Client ID – The app’s Client ID created above.

  • Refresh Token – The app’s Refresh Token created above.

  • Nonce – A random non-repeating number (that is incremented from the previously used value) used as a salt for the clientSecret below. The simplest nonce is a unix time.
  • Client Secret – A Client Secret is the a SHA256 sum of the nonce concatenated with the Client Key: sha256(<NONCE><CLIENT_KEY>)

To retrieve the Access Token, send a POST request to https://api.fire.com/business/v1/apps/accesstokens containing the following JSON body:

You will receive an Access Token and details of the allowed permissions in response:

Once you have the access token, pass it as a header for every API call, like so:

Authorization: Bearer $ACCESS_TOKEN

Whenever it expires, create a new nonce and get a new access token again.

Processing a Batch

The process is as follows:

  1. Create a new batch

  2. Add payments to the batch

  3. Submit the batch for approval

Download a Postman Collection which contains all of the main batch calls you can use to follow along with this tutorial.
In Postman, you can import this collection by copying this URL and pasting it in the import section.

1. Create a new Batch

The first step in making a making a batch payment is creating the batch itself. The batch object can be thought of as a container which you can add multiple payments to which are to be made at the same time. The batch object specifies the name, currency and type of the batch.

There are 2 batch types you can create:

  1. INTERNAL_TRANSFER – All the payments are funds movements between your own Fire accounts.

  2. BANK_TRANSFER – All the payments relate to fund movements outside of your own Fire accounts (e.g to a Payee)

For this tutorial, we will be making a BANK_TRANSFER batch. Send a POST request to https://api.fire.com/business/v1/batches with the following JSON:

  • callBackUrl:An optional POST URL that all events for this batch will be sent to – see the section on webhooks below.
  • batchName: An optional name you give to the batch at creation time. Say January 2018 Payroll.
  • jobNumber:An optional job number you can give to the batch to help link it to your own system.

You will receive the batch UUID in response:

2. Add a bank transfer to a Batch

Now that we have a batch UUID, the next step is to add some bank transfers to the batch. This is done by passing the account details, amount and references to the API. If the account details relate to an existing payee, the batch will be processed as normal. If this is your first time making a bank transfer to these account details, you will get a push notification to your phone to approve the new payees in the batch once you submit the batch in the next step. Once these new payees have been approved you won’t need to approve them again in future batches.

POST the bank transfer details as a JSON object to https://api.fire.com/business/v1/batches/{batchUuid}/banktransfers

You will receive a bank transfer item UUID in response. You can use this UUID to query the status of the payment, or to remove the payment from the batch.

3. Submit the batch for approval

Once you have added all the bank transfers you wish to make, it is now time to submit the batch to make the payments. Send a PUT request to https://api.fire.com/business/v1/batches/{BatchUUID}. This will result in a 204 NO CONTENT response.

Depending on how you configured the API keys above, this may trigger a request for approval to all full users of the account. They can login to the Firework mobile app to view the details of the requests and approve/reject. Once approved, all the bank transfers in the batch are sent out to the payees and the batch process is complete.

Callback/Webhook real-time notifications:

If a callbackURL was specified in the Create Batch API call, you will be notified in real time when payments are submitted, approved and complete. This is a popular feature Fire offers and will allow your systems to make real time updates accordingly.

Below is an image (using webhook.site) to showcase what a webhook call may look like:

Each webhook call will contain a JWT payload (as seen in the Raw Content section) in the body. You can decode this JWT payload token to JSON in your own code, or by going to https://jwt.io for testing purposes. Your system can now receive live updates when Batches are made, approved or submitted.

 

Jake McCarthy is a Product Analyst at Fire with experience across partner payment solutions, transaction monitoring and payment processing.

Meet Product Owner, Jonah Craig

Product Owner Jonah is one of our Open Banking and technical specialists in Dublin, so we spoke to him about his career so far with Fire – the challenges but also the highlights!

What does your job involve?
Hi there, my name is Jonah and I work on the product team here in Fire. In my role here, I mainly focus on designing new products and technical solutions. This ranges from Open Banking to the technical re-design of some of our systems.

What’s the most rewarding thing about working here?
I enjoy the challenge of everyday life here. Working in Fire on the product team, you get a lot of responsibility and control over the product you’re working on.

Biggest work challenge you’ve faced?
When developing a new product, there are a lot of challenges that arise throughout the journey. In order to cross the finish line, you have to be ready to adapt to new unforeseen challenges and be able to address them.

Why Fire? Why FinTech?
The Fintech industry is a fabulous industry to be in and Fire is right at the center of it. In Fire, you get direct hands on experience of what this industry is like and you play an important role in it.

Summarise the culture in 3 words?

Innovative, Driven, Collaborative

What do you do for fun?
I joined Fire in the middle of the Covid Pandemic and even still, I have had a great social experience here. Some of us hang on after work on a Friday to have a drink and catch-up. The culture here has been very inclusive and I’m glad I’m apart of it!

What’s something new you’ve tried out since lockdown
I’ve started working towards my private pilot license as becoming a pilot has been a childhood dream of mine. I’m usually in the air 1-2 times per month!

Any unusual skills, fears, or interests?
Most of my professional interests are based around technical architecture, cloud architecture in particular. I am sitting a series of AWS Solution Architecture certificates to build up my technical knowledge. The knowledge directly applies to a lot of the products and projects that I work on.

Meet Compliance, Risk & Oversight Officer, Shruti

Compliance, Risk & Oversight Officer Shruti Patel is a core part of our London team. We sat down with her to find out what it’s like working with Fire, as well as a few fun facts!

What does your job involve?
I’m primarily responsible for making sure Fire complies with the necessary legislation and regulation. I also act as Money Laundering Reporting Officer and Data Protection Officer for Fire-UK, with oversight of risk, compliance, and audit.

What’s the most rewarding thing about working here?
I love working with a team who have the same vision and drive. Compliance is also not simply about following the rules but importantly ensuring customers are treated fairly, being directly involved in the fight against financial crime and improving conduct across the financial services industry. I see the greater good beyond my own individual role.

Biggest work challenge you’ve faced?
Regulation never decreases, it always increases and changes. The regulatory landscape is constantly evolving so it’s important to keep up to date on a daily basis. This means working to very strict deadlines and managing my time effectively but I love how varied the role is day to day.

Why Fire? Why FinTech?
I was attracted to Fire in particular because of its innovative technology and I wanted to be involved in a growing business where you have a lot of responsibility and can develop your skills and experience very quickly.

Summarise the culture in 3 words?

Transparent, collaborative and innovative.

What do you do for fun?
I practice yoga and meditation daily and love going to the gym.

What’s something new you’ve tried out since lockdown
Road cycling. I was always terrified of cycling on London roads but I’ve gained a lot of confidence and it helps me to stay fit.

Any unusual skills, fears, or interests?
I am training as a Reiki practitioner. Reiki is a spiritual healing practice promoting stress reduction and well-being by helping the flow of energy through our bodies.