Co-founder and CEO of Fire, Colm Lyon joins Mary on In Business
Listen back on Radio Kerry.
Co-founder and CEO of Fire, Colm Lyon joins Mary on In Business
Listen back on Radio Kerry.
Thousands of Irish customers are scrambling to open new current accounts as KBC and Ulster Bank leave the country – with more than 400,000 people thought to be switching over. But those searching for an alternative bank will hardly be spoilt for choice.
Only three bricks-and-mortar banks based in Ireland will remain once the two banks close their Irish businesses, far fewer than even the smallest EU nations.
Colm sold Realex in 2015 for €115 million & immediately launched a new venture. He has designed Fire.com for businesses and other financial institutions to easily access a range of payment services.
In a wide-ranging chat, we discuss everything from the future of payments, why he didn’t settle after selling Realex and the reason why the Fontaines D.C. have the world’s greatest song.
With KBC and Ulster Bank leaving the Irish market, their customers are in the process of switching accounts to other banks which are advertising for their business. But plenty of pitfalls lie in wait for the unwary.
Irish entrepreneur Colm Lyon CEO, Fire Financial Services spoke to Gavin this morning to discuss how his fintech business hopes to win customers from the departure of two of the main banks.
Annual Mizen to Malin Cycle takes place from 28 May – 3rd June
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind has today announced that it has teamed up with Fire to encourage donations for the annual Mizen to Malin Charity Cycle via the use of QR codes.
Fire, a digital account provider, will be helping Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind’s fundraising effort by enabling people to scan QR codes and donate directly from their mobiles in the upcoming cycle which takes place from Saturday May 28th to Friday June 3rd.
Fire’s solution will make the donation process seamless and convenient. The use of QR codes means donors can scan and approve the payment with their mobile. There’s no need to enter card details as the donors pay directly from their mobile banking apps. The ambition is to exceed the fundraising target of 120,000 euro.
Liam Linnane, Operations Team Lead & Product Analyst at Fire, is taking part in the fundraising event which was established by his father Eamonn 20 years ago in memory of his own father who was vision impaired. Liam said; “The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind were a massive help to my grandad and our family after he lost his sight. The dogs that the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind gave to my grandad over the years gave him the independence that would have been impossible without them.”
To help with the fundraising effort, and enabled by Fire’s payment solution, Liam’s jersey will have a QR code on the back allowing supporters to easily donate directly from their bank accounts, along the 657km route.
“I’m very proud of my father for all the work he’s done for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, over the last 20 years raising more than €1.2m and I’m also proud to be part of Fire whose QR code payment technology which can make a real difference to the amount of money raised.”
Tim O’Mahony, Chief Executive Officer with Irish Guide Dogs for Blind said “We’re extremely grateful to Eamon, Liam and the entire Linnane family for the support over the last 20 years. What they have achieved is phenomenal with the event growing every year. The use of the QR codes is an exciting fundraising avenue for us and hopefully it means donating can be made easier and ultimately, we can change more lives as a result.”
To donate Scan the QR code or visit https://payments.fire.com/j4vv5xkf
Photo from L to R: Mizen to Malin Cycle 2022 in aid of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. From L to R: Ambassador Dog Belle – Pat Harney, Chair of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind’s Malahide/Portmarnock Branch – Assistance Dog Owner Charlotte Gregg with Assistance Dog Ambrose – Liam Linnane, M2M cyclist and Operations Team Lead & Product Analyst at Fire – Eamonn Linnane M2M Founder – Jennifer Nora Hurley, Regional Development Officer, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind – Constanze O’Toole, Puppy Raiser with Puppy in Training Olan.
Fintech entrepreneur Colm Lyon’s digital payments company Fire is targeting between 5,000 and 10,000 business customers of Ulster Bank, which is exiting the Irish market.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, he said that after a very difficult period during Brexit, the company was well-positioned for growth.
Irish fintech Fire Financial Services is targeting Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland business customers seeking an alternative account provider as both lenders prepare to exit the Irish market later this year.
The company, which has set up a dedicated website to for Ulster Bank and KBC customers, offers digital accounts and allows customers to open multiple euro and sterling accounts for payments, to hold funds and pay out in both currencies.
fire.com has today announced that it has been authorised as an e-money institution in the UK to provide a range of payment services, changing the way businesses pay and get paid.
Following the decision of the UK to leave the EU, fire.com embarked on a journey to ensure its customers and its own ability to scale would be secured, no matter the outcome of Brexit. As a provider of payment services, primarily to businesses, fire.com has been regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland since 2010 as a Payments Institution. It was re-authorised in 2018, when new payments regulation took effect. Now as a regulated provider in the UK, all fire.com customers can be assured that they can continue to access their payment services – including sterling & euro accounts, integrated banks transfers and debit cards, irrespective of the final outcome from Brexit.
In the last few years, fire.com has focused on the business and corporate market, which has seen its number of customers grow to approx. 3,000. Colm Lyon, CEO & Founder of fire.com said “Since the firm has a significant customer base in the UK, along with our business development offices being in Shoreditch, London, we needed to ensure that we could not just continue to scale, but also continue to be a leading player in the open banking ecosystem in all the regions relevant to us.”
In addition, Lyon added that “Over the last two years we have seen real change in the way businesses wish to pay and get paid. Today it’s all about the integrated experience and allowing businesses to create accounts and issue cards via APIs, to enable businesses to process large volumes of incoming or outgoing payments in an automated and fully integrated fashion. So, our API has become almost more relevant than the payment itself, as it provides real time, instant and fully reconcilable data.” Case studies on the fire.com website, include profiles of Grid Finance – a business finance specialist, Accelerated Payments – an invoice financing business and Buymie – an on-demand grocery delivery platform.
Looking to the future, Lyon doesn’t see Brexit getting in the way, “on the contrary, we are now extremely well positioned to help any business or corporate client that needs to pay and get paid in an integrated way and in a post-Brexit world. And with open banking getting closer and closer we see huge benefits coming down the line and our role is to help businesses execute on these changes.”
Colm Lyon, the Founder & CEO of fire.com has been appointed to the Payments Product and Service Board (PSB) of UK Finance – the UK’s leading trade organisation for the finance and banking industry. Colm has worked in the financial services sector for over twenty-five years and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his new role representing Digital Payment Service Providers (PSPs).
UK Finance is a trade association which was formed on 1 July 2017 to represent the finance and banking industry operating in the UK. It represents around 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. The new organisation brings together most of the activities previously carried out by the Asset Based Finance Association, the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association.
Colm is the Founder & CEO of fire.com, a digital account provider to business and personal customers across the UK and Ireland. He has previously held positions as Founder & CEO of Realex Payments, who were acquired by Global Payments in 2014, while undertaking roles in trade associations such as Director and Chairman of the Fintech Association of Ireland and Head of the Irish Internet Association.
Colm Lyon said, “I am delighted to be joining the UK Finance Payments Product and Service Board, representing Digital Payment Service Providers, in what is a very exciting time for payments and the broader financial services sector, not only in the UK, but across the globe. UK Finance plays a vital role in fostering innovation within the industry and the emergence of new payments organisations will inevitably drive better outcomes for consumers – individuals and businesses – and I am excited to be a part of that.”