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Business Plus – Fire Targets Ulster Bank And KBC Business Customers

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.

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introducing fire uk web

Introducing Fire-UK

As part of our growth plans, we at fire.com are pleased to announce the launch of our new entity, “Fire-UK”.

For several reasons we decided some time ago to create a UK-based legal entity. Firstly, as an authorised e-money institution we are set up to ensure the services we offer our UK-based customers will not be impacted by Brexit. Secondly, as an active payments initiation and account provider in open banking we wanted to be close to the UK payments ecosystem. Finally, we wanted to make sure that we could continue to grow our team based in Shoreditch while staying close to our customers.

We are also delighted to welcome two new board members to the fire.com team – Mike Smith and Lucy McClements.

Mike joins us with a Director level background in Financial Services, having been a UK Bank Commercial Director and on the Board of an SME Lender. Mike was also: a member of the PSR-sponsored Payment Strategy Forum; on the Link Network Members Committee; a Non Executive Director of Faster Payment Scheme Ltd; a Member of the Emerging Payments Association Advisory Board; a Payments Awards Judge.

Lucy McClements joins us with over 20 years’ leadership experience following an executive career with the FCA, FSA and Bank of England. She has held a variety of Board Advisory and Committee roles and provided governance insight and executive advice to many regulated firms. As a newly licensed entity, Lucy will support Fire-UK by providing further Governance, Compliance and Risk Management expertise.

As a provider of multiple sterling and euro payment services, fire.com helps businesses manage and automate payments with all the tech, accounts and cards needed.

On the 16 October 2019, we took the final step in our preparations and our UK customers have now been migrated from Fire-EU, our Irish company, to Fire-UK. There is no change to the way fire.com customers use their accounts as a result of this move.

With thanks to all our customers.



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fire.com to open a development hub in Cork

As part of our continuing growth, we are pleased to announce the opening of a new development hub for fire.com in Cork, Ireland. Our Cork team, comprising development and product specialists will be based in our new private office at the Republic of Work on the South Mall, joining a community of start-ups and scaling businesses.

Cork was selected as it has a number of top-quality universities and technical graduates in the area. This served as a good fit for us as we look to scale our development function. With good access routes to London and Dublin via air, road and rail, it’s well connected to our two other offices in Shoreditch, London and Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin.

We aim to build a great development team in Cork and are recruiting ambitious individuals who want to join fire.com at a really exciting time. If you live in Cork or are interested in relocating to the banks of the Lee, have experience with Java and are as passionate about payments as we are….drop us a note with a covering letter and CV to jobs@fire.com.

Shane O’Brien
COO, fire.com

UK license flags

fire.com authorised as e-money institution in UK

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.”

Fire.com Founder & CEO Colm Lyon

fire.com Founder & CEO Colm Lyon appointed to UK Finance Payments Product and Service Board.

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).

About UK Finance

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.

About Colm Lyon

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.”

new payment services

fire.com authorised for new payment services

fire.com has today announced that it has been authorised to provide new payment services that will change the way businesses and people pay and get paid.

Earlier this year, the second payment services directive (PSD2) was implemented across Europe. The concept was designed to bring more innovation and competition to the payments market while enhancing standardisation and security for consumers. Central to the legislation was the definition and introduction of new regulated parties called Payment Initiation and Account Information service providers. fire.com has become the first Irish based payments firm to be authorised as a Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP).

Colm Lyon, founder and CEO at fire.com explained “For some time, the idea of being able to easily pay funds directly from an account to another person or business has been discussed, also some people don’t want to share their account or card details to make a payment. That is what being a PISP is all about. This enables numerous different scenarios – charities can display QR codes on social media, which can be scanned so potential donors are directed to their bank to authorise and approve the payment. Businesses can sell online; when someone checks out, they are directed to their bank to authorise the payment – straight from their account to the online retailer. Utility billers can add ‘pay from your account’ links to emails, enabling people to click and pay from their accounts without using a card or sharing any details. It opens up so many ways for payments to change.”

For the ecosystem to work, all account providers (typically banks) are working to open-up access to their accounts for authorised third parties (such as fire.com). Lyon believes this will now accelerate. “The legalisation took effect earlier this year and we expect banks to open up access via agreed standards over the next few months – indeed many already have done so.” Once that occurs fire.com is in position to help its customers change the way they get paid.

About Fire

fire.com provides business and personal customers with digital accounts and debit cards. The accounts are opened online and via their mobile apps. Customers can open multiple accounts in both sterling and euro, enabling bank transfers to and from any bank account in the UK or Eurozone. fire.com also provides Mastercard® debit cards to both its business and personal customers. For easy reconciliation and automation of payments, businesses can integrate their systems to fire.com via an application programming interface (API).

Debit Card and App

Launch of fire.com, new App and Debit Card

Fire Financial Services – now trading as “Fire” has today announced a number of key developments on its journey to develop a new digital account.

  • “paywithfire” rebrands and renames to “Fire” – www.fire.com
  • Launches a MasterCard® debit card & new mobile app
  • Almost 900 businesses now live with beta Fire business account

The business has rebranded itself to Fire and updated its web site www.fire.com to reflect its new name. Colm Lyon, founder and CEO at Fire explained – “we acquired the domain name some time ago and we were waiting for our product and brand to be at the stage where it was a match for such a great name – we believe that day has arrived.”

Fire provides businesses and personal customers with digital accounts. The accounts are opened online and via mobile apps. Customers can open multiple accounts in both sterling and euro enabling bank transfers to/from any bank account in the UK or Eurozone. Fire has now signed up with MasterCard as a principal member and is now offering both its business and personal customers a Fire debit card. Lyon added “this is a very significant step for us, to become a principal member of MasterCard and to issue our own card was a great achievement. This gives us great flexibility”. The new “Fire Personal” app is available in the Apple and Android stores and customers may order their cards via the app.

The Fire business account is in beta and to date almost 900 businesses have signed up and are using the Fire business account. Lyon confirmed that the adoption was increasing –“we have been on a soft launch with the business account and we are delighted that the number of businesses signing up each month continues to grow. We expect this further increase with the launch of the debit card.” Lyon added that “over 60% of our business clients are based in the UK – a market that is our primary focus.” Ends

About Fire

Fire Financial Services Limited – t/a Fire and fire.com provides digital accounts and debit cards to business and personal customers in the UK and Republic of Ireland. A Fire business account is suitable for all (UK and ROI registered) businesses and supports sterling and euro bank transfers, a MasterCard debit card and an API that enables integration from customer’s systems to the data in their Fire account. The personal app also supports sterling and euro bank transfers, a MasterCard debit card with real time notifications, social payments and requests to contacts and other apps. Fire was founded in 2009 and acquired by Colm Lyon in 2015 alongside a transaction to sell Realex Payments – a business founded by Colm Lyon in 2000.

© 2015 – 2023 Fire Financial Services Limited trading as fire.com and Fire.
Fire Financial Services Limited (Fire-EU) is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, Reference No: C58301. Registered address: Dogpatch Labs, The CHQ Building, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1, D01 Y6H7, Ireland. Incorporated in Dublin, Ireland, Registration No: 464819.
Fire Financial Services Limited (Fire-UK) is authorised as an Electronic Money Institution by the Financial Conduct Authority, Reference No: 900983. Registered Address: The Rise, 41 Luke Street, London, United Kingdom, EC2A 4DP. Incorporated in England and Wales, Registration No: 11549793.