Ireland

Part
01
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Part
01

English Usage: Ireland

English is the dominant language in Ireland, with over 90% of the population speaking it as their main language. Below is an overview of the findings.

Republic of Ireland

  • English and Irish are the official languages of Ireland; however, English is the dominant language, with 94% of the population speaking the language.
  • Government communication is usually offered in both languages after the Language Act of 2003. That being said, 64% of press releases between 2016 and 2018 were issued in English only (the rest was bilingual).
  • Other government publications in English only are reports with limited circulation aimed at specialist groups, all other publications are available in both languages. No official government communication is released in Irish only.
  • The most recent census showed that about 39.8% of the population can speak Irish, still, only 4.2% used it daily outside of the education system. Of the 39.8% that can speak the language, 23.8% never speak Irish.
  • That is not to say that Irish is a dead language; the introduction of the Official Languages Act and the recognition of Irish as an official working language in the EU have created a surge in the interest for Irish courses, probably related to the availability of well-paid translation jobs.
  • English is the language most commonly used in business meetings (especially outside of Gaeltacht); however, the language is rarely free of local dialects and accents.
  • A look into Ad World Ireland shows that English is the language of advertising in Ireland, and several examples of this can be found here.

Northern Ireland

  • English is also the dominant language in Northern Ireland, with almost 97% of the population using it as their main language, according to the most recent census.
  • As for Irish, 10.7% of the population over the age of 3 have some level of knowledge about the language and 6% spoke or could speak Irish.
  • Language has been a source of conflict in Northern Ireland and it is a pain point between Northern Ireland and the British government and between politicians in the country.

Research Strategy

Because English is the dominant language in Ireland, there isn’t a lot of information and hard data regarding its use. We scoured through several news articles, databases, and government publications, but the information was still sparse, probably because it’s considered a normal factor.

Most of the conversation surrounding language in Ireland is regarding political and nationalism aspects of its use and it wouldn’t be relevant to this request. That being said, there are current efforts to maintain and reinforce the Irish language, but these efforts don’t seem to reach the business sphere, being most commonly discussed for government and, to a degree, for media publications. This discussion is also most prevalent in Northern Ireland as a reflection of it still being part of the U.K., as opposed to the Republic of Ireland.

To ensure that media is predominantly in English, besides checking the adverts, we also checked newspapers such as The Irish News, Independent, Irish Times, among others, all were presented in English. We also looked for the option to see the news in Irish, but the option is not available, at least not for non-subscribers. We also checked RTÉ, the largest TV network in Ireland and their content is also in English.

Part
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Part
02

Digital Banking By Industry: Ireland

Some industries in Ireland that have most embraced digital business banking services operate in the payments sector (26%), accounting industry (14%), funds & investment sector (13%). The regulation industry (12%), and the financial operations' industry (9%).

PAYMENTS INDUSTRY/SECTOR

  • According to Fintech Ireland, the payments sector/industry is one of the sectors with the highest uptake of digital business banking services in Ireland.
  • The payments sector/industry represents about 26% of business organizations using Fintech services in Ireland.
  • The Fintech revolution across the world is democratizing payment solutions, advancing digital banking services, and shaking "up the world of payments and investments."
  • According to KPMG, Ireland is becoming a global center for a broad category of FinTech opportunities. Its vibrant and dynamic technology sector, well-entrenched global Financial Services center and proactive ecosystem provide the perfect arena for international FinTech organizations seeking to grow/expand. Fintechs have over 30,000 people working across financial services and more than 100,000 people working to profer technology services in Ireland.
  • Ireland "is a compelling location" for FinTech known to offer digital-only banking services, given Ireland's position as an international center for financial services for 25 years.

ACCOUNTING INDUSTRY/SECTOR

  • The accounting industry/sector is one of the industries with the highest uptake of digital business banking services in Ireland.
  • About 14% of businesses using Fintech services in Ireland are from the accounting industry.

FUNDS & INVESTMENT INDUSTRY/SECTOR

  • The funds & investment industry/sector is one of the industries with the highest uptake of digital business banking services in Ireland.
  •  About 13% of businesses using Fintech services in Ireland are from the funds & investment industry/sector.

REGULATION INDUSTRY/SECTOR

  • The regulation industry/sector is one of the industries with the highest uptake of digital business banking services in Ireland.
  • About 12% of businesses in Ireland using Fintech services are from the regulation industry.

FINANCIAL OPERATIONS INDUSTRY/SECTOR

  • The financial operations' industry/sector is one of the industries with the highest uptake of digital business banking services in Ireland.
  • About 9% of businesses in Ireland using Fintech services are from the financial operations' industry.

CREDIT & LENDING INDUSTRY

RESEARCH STRATEGY

The research included publications of financial technology agencies such as Fintech Ireland. We researched industries that have had the highest uptake of digital business banking services in Ireland. Fintech Ireland revealed that the payments sector/industry of Ireland is one of the sectors with the highest uptake of digital business banking services. The financial services industry represents about 26% of business organizations using Fintech services in Ireland. It also revealed statistics that identified other sectors with the highest uptake of Fintech services across Ireland.

We researched the link between FinTechs with digital-only banking services and Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs). This process revealed that Fintechs are known to offer "digital-only" banking services. For some time, Fintechs have been advancing (leading) digital banking services, and shaking "up the world of payments and investments." Since Fintechs have been leading the innovative world of digital-only banking services, we assumed that the percentage of various industrial sectors in Ireland with the highest patronage to FinTechs would represent the industries that have had the highest uptake of digital business banking services in Ireland. This assumption is reasonable because of our definition of digital business banking services. Note that, digital business banking services are defined as banking services offered to businesses by digital-only banks/EMIs (they do not include traditional banks that may also offer some digital services).

We have assumed that there are little insights into companies that have had the highest uptake of services from Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) in Ireland. This assumption is relevant because the battle of Fintech just ended, while the struggle of TechFin (which deal with EMIs) has just commenced.
Part
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Part
03

Digital Banking: Ireland

The online banking penetration in Ireland increased from a paltry 13% in 2005 to 58% in 2018, thereby depicting a 45% absolute rise in the digital banking penetration in the country. Also, 70% of the users who used the internet in the last 3 months of 2018 in Ireland used it for digital banking. This has grown with immense celerity from 34% in 2005 to 58% in 2013 to the current levels. Below are the key findings apropos of the request:

(A) Digital/Online Banking Growth In Ireland

  • The online banking penetration in Ireland increased from a paltry 13% in 2005 to 58% in 2018, thereby depicting a 45% absolute rise in the digital banking penetration in the country.
  • Additionally, over the past 5 years, the digital banking in Ireland has grown consistently from 46% in 2013 to current levels of 58% corroborating the fact that digital banking usage within the country is on the uptick.
  • Also, 70% of the users who used the internet in the last 3 months of 2018 in Ireland used it for digital banking. This has grown with immense celerity from 34% in 2005 to 58% in 2013 to the current levels.
  • As per data from EuroStat, the online banking penetration of 58% in Ireland is higher than the EU average of 51% and significantly higher than countries such as Bulgaria and Romania where digital banking penetration is at abysmal levels of only 5% and 7%, respectively.
  • According to the data from the Ireland Central Statistics Office (CSO), 71% of households in the country used Internet banking in 2017 and about one in three (33%) credit transfers in the second half of 2017 were initiated via digital banking (online or mobile banking) in Ireland.
  • In H1 2018, Ireland digital banking increased by 18.4% y-o-y to 46.8 million. Online banking penetrated more in the mid-lands, 81%, and those who banked more using this method were 30-40-year-olds, they represented an 83% of the total banking.
  • According to Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), Internet/online banking usage in Ireland matched with the UK Switzerland, France, however, it was behind Benelux and Scandinavian countries.
  • Further, as per 2018 CSO data, it was revealed that online banking was used by 84% of individuals belonging to the 'Affluent' quartile of population, while only 57% of those belonging to 'Very Disadvantaged' quartile, leveraged internet banking.
  • The 'Big Four' banks in Ireland have laid a huge impetus on internet banking and have taken steps to promote the same vehemently.
  • The Bank of Ireland, for example, provides a guidebook in its website which highlights internet banking benefits such as customized services, posting quick services, processing time reduction, and reduction in paper usage along with the security of the transactions. The other retail banks in Ireland have also followed the suit and have provided similar guides.
  • As per the 2017 data from the 'Banking and Payments Federation' Ireland, the volume in payments transactions with bank credit and debit cards raised by 20.4% in 2017, of which the transactions made using contactless cards increased by 109.2%.
  • Additionally, the credit transfers using digital banking in Ireland grew by 27.2%, while those through cheques declined by 9.7% by volume and 30.7% by value in 2017 indicating the burgeoning preference for digital banking among Irish people.
  • In H1 2018, contactless payments increased by 66% in both value and volume to 158 million payments amounted (valued) at €1.9 billion. This growth was facilitated by the increase in penetration of contactless payments in Ireland, this is, mobile wallet payments and contactless cards.
  • The fintech banking startup space in Ireland is too ripe with activity with various types of digital banks such as Ebanks, Ibanks, and Neo banks coming into existence in recent times. Starling Bank has recently been approved by the Bank of England to operate in Ireland as an Ebank under the EU’s arrangement.
  • Additionally, in the Neo-banks category, N26 is one of the major banks to have ensconced its operations in Ireland. The two best known ‘Fintech’ players currently operating in the digital banking space in Ireland include N26 and Revolut.
  • The banks in Ireland are leveraging data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to take digital banking to an all-new height in Ireland. Bank of Ireland, one of the 'Big Four' banks in Ireland, has taken the lead in this regard and is preparing for the "Netflix-style future of banking".
  • The bank is leveraging complex data models and datasets to map out its customer journeys and running simulations to understand how each channel affects specific tribes of customers, hence, creating/designing better customized digital solutions for them.

(B) How the Irish People Access Digital Banking

  • According to Irish Tech News, 78% of Irish people are using mobile devices to bank and transact, monitor their finances, and pay bills.
  • Also, over two-thirds of Irish people (68%) use banking apps to undertake digital banking activities such as to check their balance, account details or access other services. This has increased from 39% in 2015.
  • Further, more than a third (37%) of Irish people use a smartphone or tablet to make fund transfers to friends and family from their bank accounts.
  • Almost four-fifths (79%) of Irish people leverage digital wallet like PayPal, a card-on-file service (where the website stores your payment details) or a mobile payment service such as Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay in order to undertake various digital transactions including the payments from bank accounts.
  • As per data from a survey conducted by Deloitte, 39% of Irish people use fingerprint recognition technology/method to authorize or access digital transactions.
  • The Deloitte survey also highlighted that in 2018, 73% of Irish people used mobile/online banking on their phones which represented a 5% increase from 2017.
Part
04
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Part
04

Apple Pay Statistics: Ireland

Useful Findings

Other Useful Finding


  • In 2017 there were over 3 million contactless payments transactions made each week in Ireland and these transactions included Apple Pay because Apple Pay is part of contactless transactions in Ireland.
  • Banking and Payment Federation Ireland have it that "Many credit and debit cards and their accounts also facilitate contactless payment technology. Cardholders pay by holding the payment card or phone with a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay or Android Pay up to a secure reader in a retail outlet. Credit and debit card payment activity in this report includes contactless payment activity. "






Research Strategy:

Business/ Mobile Payment Sites

We began by visiting business sites as well as mobile payment sites in a bid to unearth the statistics showing how widely used Apple Pay in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by volume in Ireland, Number of Apple pay users in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by value (EUR) in Ireland, and the Number of merchants accepting Apple Pay in Ireland.
The E-marketer had no data specific to Ireland but a general data on the number of people that use mobile Payment in the US, this information was not helpful to us to find the statistics showing how widely used Apple Pay in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by volume in Ireland, Number of Apple pay users in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by value (EUR) in Ireland, and the Number of merchants accepting Apple Pay in Ireland.
The Mobile Payment Guide had data N26 usage in Ireland, but no specific details to answer the statistics showing how widely used Apple Pay in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by volume in Ireland, Number of Apple pay users in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by value (EUR) in Ireland, and the Number of merchants accepting Apple Pay in Ireland.

Local Media

We also employed the use of local media i Ireland to see if we can find data as regard the statistics showing how widely used Apple Pay in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by volume in Ireland, Number of Apple pay users in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by value (EUR) in Ireland, and the Number of merchants accepting Apple Pay in Ireland.
The Irish Tech News gave us details that there are over 3 million contactless payments transactions in Ireland each week, but this data cannot assist us in the statistics showing how widely used Apple Pay in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by volume in Ireland, Number of Apple pay users in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by value (EUR) in Ireland, and the Number of merchants accepting Apple Pay in Ireland.
Banking and Payment Federation Ireland had no details on the statistics showing how widely used Apple Pay in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by volume in Ireland, Number of Apple pay users in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by value (EUR) in Ireland, and the Number of merchants accepting Apple Pay in Ireland, but gave us figures of digital banking transfer across various years, this data was of no help to us.

Business Statistics/Image Search

A visit to business statistical data base to see if we could get data as to the statistics showing how widely used Apple Pay in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by volume in Ireland, Number of Apple pay users in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by value (EUR) in Ireland, and the Number of merchants accepting Apple Pay in Ireland.
Statista Gave us digital payment transaction in Volumes without specifics to Apple Pay, hence the data was not helpful to find solution to the statistics showing how widely used Apple Pay in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by volume in Ireland, Number of Apple pay users in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by value (EUR) in Ireland, and the Number of merchants accepting Apple Pay in Ireland.

Conclusion:

After an extensive and exhaustive search without any fruitful findings on the statistics showing how widely used Apple Pay in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by volume in Ireland, Number of Apple pay users in Ireland, Number of Apple pay payments by value (EUR) in Ireland, and the Number of merchants accepting Apple Pay in Ireland. The was also no data sufficient to triangulate an answer, hence we came to a conclusion that there is no data available in the public domain at the moment.
Part
05
of twelve
Part
05

Google Pay Statistics: Ireland

While there is no publicly available information to answer the question fully, we have used the available data to pull together key findings that include the name of websites and banks supporting Google Pay in Ireland. Below is an outline of our research strategies to better understand why the information requested is publicly unavailable.


USEFUL FINDINGS

  • Some websites using Google Pay in Ireland include Folkster.com, Bed Time Baby, AYU, Golden Spider Web, Happee Shoppee, among others. Additionally, it is found that Ireland featured only 14 sites that use Google Pay for payments.
  • According to Irish Times, KBC is the only bank in Ireland to offer digital wallets from four of the world’s leading technology companies such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, FitBit Pay, and Garmin Pay.
  • Google Pay is currently available to a handful of European countries, including France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.


RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began by combing through reputable global publication in a bid to unearth data about how widely Google Pay is being used in Ireland, the number of Google Pay users and merchants in Ireland, and the volume and value (€) of payments by Google Pay in Ireland. We scoured through the Merchant Savvy site to see if any data concerning the above statistics could be shortlisted. We found information about the global data for various mobile payment platforms worldwide, but no data specific to the research mentioned above was found.

Next, we scored through a reputed Irish publication, The Journal; it gave us insight into the approximate amount of debit cards in use at about 4.5 million in Ireland. This data was not helpful in finding an answer to the statistics showing how widely used Google Pay in Ireland. Alternatively, the KBC report featured the number of approved banks that use Google Pay.

Additionally, we used Statista and image search to see if we could find statistics showing how widely used Google Pay in Ireland. The search revealed statistics on smartphone users in Ireland, along with Google Play Store users and other statistics. A deeper dive revealed no relevant or reliable information concerning our research.

Conclusion

Looking at the various analytical paths we had followed to arrive at the statistics showing how widely Google Pay is being used in Ireland, the number of Google Pay users and merchants in Ireland, and the volume and value (€) of payments by Google Pay in Ireland. The available data compiled for this research did not prove to a valuable guide for triangulation of statistics. Hence, we concluded that that data is not available in the public domain sufficiently to answer statistics showing how widely used Google Pay in Ireland.
Part
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Part
06

Digital Services Trends: Ireland

Some trends in terms of digital services being offered in the financial services sector to businesses in Ireland include RegTech and digital identity services, payments and remittance services, asset management solutions, financial software services, lending services (SME and corporate), and "online investments" services.

REGTECH AND DIGITAL IDENTITY SERVICES

  • Fintechs in Ireland are also known as online "digital-only banks" that operate without branches and offer several services, including digital identity.
  • According to Ernst & Young, some "B2B propositions" in Ireland include the provision of "digital identity" services.
  • As of 2018, about 17.5% of Fintechs operating in Ireland focused on the provision of "digital identity" services.
  • RegTech is a digital service used to verify the identity of an individual "time and time again." RegTech apps are used in proving who someone is for numerous businesses in a manner that is faster than ever.
  • Enterprise and RegTech solutions in Ireland are used to profer "core banking" solutions, insurance solutions, asset management, and capital solutions to B2B companies in Ireland.
  • According to Irish Fintech News, the Fintech Moqom has raised about $3 million in funding and provides frictionless, instant customer identity services across any channel for business organizations in Ireland, such as face to face ID services, App-based ID services, web-based identification, SMS, phone call, or video phone call ID services.
  • ID-Pal is a Fintech offered KYC solution for client onboarding by business organizations in Ireland. Through ID-Pal, businesses are able to verify the ID of their clients fast and efficiently. The ID-Pal smartphone application provides a simple, secure, as well as a convenient alternative to manual client ID information processes, and saves time while delivering an enhanced user on boarding experience.
  • Digital identity market size is estimated to surge from $6.0 billion in 2019 to $12.8 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 16.0%. Some factors driving the identity verification market include the rising incidences of identity-related frauds, data breaches, stringent regulations, as well as the requirement for compliance to "drive the adoption of identity" verification services and enterprise mobility.

PAYMENTS AND REMITTANCE SERVICES

  • Payments and remittance services are among the most prevalent services being offered in the financial services sector to businesses in Ireland. Remittance services include electronic payment services, mail payments, etc.
  • As of 2018, about 12.7% of Fintechs operating in Ireland are focused on the provision of "payments and remittance" services.
  • Some services offered to B2B organizations in Ireland include "payment optimisation and fraud detection" software solutions, loyalty software solutions, payments software solutions, etc.
  • As of 2018, some B2C services available to business organizations in Ireland include "mobile phone payment at checkout," payments through cryptocurrency (e.g., bitcoin), online foreign exchange, and overseas remittances, etc.
  • Founded since 2008, TransferMate is an Irish Fintech that has raised about $59.9 million in funding. TransferMate offers an online "payments platform," which enables businesses to send and receive foreign funds. The company's payments service allows users to book payments as well as track payments online. TransferMate helps in automating payee notification, verifying bank account details, etc.
  • TransferMate won the "International Payment Supplier" award in 2017.
  • Payments services in the global financial industry have undeniably increased within the past twelve years up to 2018. Revenue from payments grew by 11% and reached $1.9 trillion in 2017. Ireland is one of the countries that experienced high payment revenue growth as well as rapid electronic transaction growth between 2016 and 2017.
  • Trends driving the growth of the payments and remittance sector include increasing incidence of electronic transaction, growth in digital commerce, and growing activities occurring across borders.

ASSET MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

  • Some of the most prevalent services being offered in the financial services sector to businesses in Ireland are asset management solutions. Several Fintech startups around the globe are using B2B platforms to change the way financial institutions engage their investment clients with advisory services.
  • As of 2018, about 7.9% of Fintechs operating in Ireland focused on the provision of "asset management solutions" and services.
  • B2C digital services being offered in the financial services sector to businesses in Ireland include online "investment advice and investment management," online stockbroking, top-up savings or investments, etc.
  • Founded since September 2012 by a former Morgan Stanley investment staff and banker (Emmett Kilduff), Eagle Alpha is a Fintech that provides of a full-service solution enabling asset "managers to obtain alpha" using alternative data. 
  • Eagle Alpha’s tools and data are utilized by some world’s top investment managers as well as investment banks. Clients of Eagle Alpha corporates, online brokers, as well as central banks.
  • According to PwC Ireland, an increase in the size of investable assets from $64 trillion to $102 trillion will occur between 2017 and 2020, at a CAGR of 6%. More assets would be sold pan-regionally across Europe.

FINANCIAL SOFTWARE SERVICES

  • Financial software solutions are among the top services being offered in the financial services sector to businesses in Ireland.
  • In 2018, about 7.9% of Fintechs operating in Ireland focused on the provision of "financial software solutions" and services.
  • Financial software services are offered by Fintechs to B2C business organizations in Ireland for "budgeting and financial planning," expenses analysis, etc.
  • The FIntch Corlytics was founded in 2013. It has raised about $15.9 million in funding. Corlytics is a SaaS-based (software-based) service provider that offers compliance risk analysis services to financial institutions. Corlytics enables organizations to minimize regulatory breaches through the use of predictive risk analytics.
  • The global market for accounting software was $11,071.6 million as of 2018 and is projected to be valued at $20.408 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of about 8.02%. Factors driving this trend include rising demand for computerized accounting services, and the need to automate processes relating to account payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and trial balance, etc. Increasing demand for "cloud-based accounting software" will be a key factor driving this trend.

LENDING SERVICES (SME AND CORPORATE)

  • Lending services (SME and corporate) are among the top services being offered in the financial services sector to businesses in Ireland.
  • As of 2018, about 6.3% of Fintechs operating in Ireland focused on the provision of "lending solutions" and services.
  • Services that facilitate "borrowing using online short-term" loan providers are grouped under B2C service propositions in Ireland, according to Ernst & Young.
  • The Irish Fintech Linked Finance was founded in 2011. It has raised about $6.3 million in funding. Linked Finance provides a P2P lending platform for small businesses to obtain loans ranging from €5,000 to €50,000.
  • The peer to peer (P2P) lending market is estimated to surge at a CAGR of 51.5% between 2016 and 2022, due to new/emerging markets, increasing knowledge of the lending marketplace, higher investment transparency, as well as "lower interest rates" accrued to consumers.

ONLINE INVESTMENT SERVICES

  • Fintechs across Ireland, also known as online "digital-only banks," operate without branches and offer several services including online investments services.
  • According to Ernst & Young, about 6.3% of Fintechs operating in Ireland focused on the provision of "online investment solutions" and services.
  • Online foreign exchange, online investment advice, online stockbroking, and "online spreadbetting," etc., are B2C service propositions in Ireland, according to Ernst & Young.
  • The Fintech Rubicoin was founded in 2014. It has raised about $8.5 million in funding. Rubicoin provides an investment app which allows investors to purchase stocks and gives instructions on share purchase as well as clearing choices regarding "what shares to buy throughout the investing life."
  • The investment funds industry of Ireland contributes about €837 million yearly as direct taxes, and about 16,000 people are directly employed in the funds' sector across Ireland.
  • The investment funds industry will continue to thrive because Ireland is a choice location for the "domiciling and servicing of investment funds."
  • International investment managers continue to be attracted to Ireland because it is open, transparent, and a regulated investment environment which places "strong emphasis on investor protection."

RESEARCH STRATEGY

The research included publications of Financial agencies such as Ernst & Young publications, publications of digital agencies such as Plug And Play Techcenter, etc. We researched trends in terms of digital services being offered to businesses in Ireland. Ernst & Young revealed that Fintechs are offering online "digital-only" banking services without branches to B2C organizations. For each trend, we have included a description of what it is, why it is trending, and an example of a company at the forefront.
Part
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Part
07

FinTech Companies: Ireland

Fin-tech companies in Ireland that received series A to D funding in 2018 or 2019 include Coryltics, Flender, Eagle Alpha, Fenergo, MyWallSt, TransferMate, Assure Hedge, Gecko Governance, Big Red Cloud, and Supply Finance.

CORYLTICS

FLENDER

EAGLE ALPHA

FENERGO

MYWALLST

TRANSFERMATE

ASSURE HEDGE

GECKO GOVERNANCE

BIG RED CLOUD

SUPPLY FINANCE

RESEARCH STRATEGY

In order to identify fin-tech companies in Ireland that received series A to D funding in 2018 or 2019, we engaged in extensive research across industry databases and news sources such as Crunch base and the Silicon Republic. First, we identified startup companies whose headquarters are in Ireland. Secondly, we selected fin-tech companies from startups identified based on their operations in the fields of finance and technology. From the identified companies, your research team selected ten companies based on their raising of series A to D funding in 2018 or 2019. Importantly, we identified the funding round as Series A, B, C or D based on the stated funding round within the source or previous funding round data. Additionally, your research team also provided lead investor in the funding round where information was available.
Part
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Part
08

FinTech Climate: Ireland

Fintech businesses in Ireland are experiencing growth and have one of the highest adoption rates worldwide. The industry is predicted to see more growth in the coming years. Support from the government plus a bunch of willing current and future funding partners are some factors driving the fintech industry in Ireland.

OVERVIEW OF FINTECH INDUSTRY IN IRELAND

  • The fintech industry in Ireland is experiencing growth, and all stakeholders expect it to continue into 2025, and are acting accordingly.
  • Out of 13 Irish fintech startups, nine of them were started between 2011 and 2017, and have either hired more staff or consolidated by way of an acquisition or a merger. All 13 companies have also managed to raise more funding for their growth.
  • 43% of the fintech companies in Ireland have received 500,000 euro or more in investment, and 13% have received 5,000,000 euro or more.
  • The fintech industry in Ireland also benefits from not yet having any categories of business prohibited or controlled by the government. Also, the corporate tax rate in Ireland is low in comparison with other countries.

GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT AND SUPPORT OF FINTECH INDUSTRY IN IRELAND

  • The Irish government have made a point to improve various sectors of the country, and have highlighted the fintech industry as one of such. The Irish Central Bank recently launched its "Innovation Hub" which will allow fintechs to engage with them outside of existing formal regulations/firm engagement processes.
  • The Department of Finance in Ireland designed and delivered a symposium in the 3rd quarter of 2018 to keep IFS professionals upskilled and abreast of legal and regulatory developments in the fintech industry.
  • The Government of Ireland have also developed a campaign to further promote Irish fintech service suppliers with the launch of the "Irish Advantage Campaign", which will be a coordinated media and social media promotion effort.
  • The government has also committed to supporting Irish fintech companies' push to expand in well-defined markets around the world such as the Americas, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Asia Pacific.
  • The Irish government also launched a 750,000 euro Competitive Start Fund for fintech companies whose immediate remit is to expand globally.

ADOPTION OF FINTECH IN IRELAND

  • The ease of access to and use of fintech services has helped boost its adoption rate in Ireland. Revolut, one of the more prominent fintech companies available in Europe, has a sizable presence in Ireland. Almost 10% of their entire European consumer base is Irish.
  • As of 2017, people in Ireland were making over three million fintech-related contactless payments per week.
  • N26, another fintech company in Ireland, claimed to be gaining 1,000 customers a day as of 2017.
  • As a result of the variety of services offered by fintech companies such as contactless payments, cryptocurrency storage, and quick and seamless banking on a sleek and easy to use interface, and many bricks and mortar establishments are losing customers and have to scramble to provide a few of the services the fintechs already provide.
  • The Irish government has also prioritized research, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the IFS industry, the R&D will focus on financial technology governance, risk, compliance, and development.

Future Outlook for Fintech in Ireland

  • In April 2019, Paschal Donohoe, Minister of Finance revealed a multi-point plan to increase the number of people working directly for Irish fintech firms internationally by 2025.
  • Due to Brexit, as many as 100 financial firms have applied to set up or expand operations in Ireland.
  • Many fintech companies have made great strides in developing their unique sales propositions. Prepaid Financial Services (PFS), an Irish-based Fintech, has been granted an eMoney license by the Central Bank of Ireland to operate across the European Economic Area.
  • Fintech companies in Ireland are securing interest from foreign investors and incubators, as a startup incubator based in the United States, EvoNexus has provided a potential funding opportunity for emerging tech companies in Ireland into its new fintech incubator.
Part
09
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Part
09

Registering a New Company: Ireland

According to the TMF Group and the World Bank Group, Ireland is a good place to start a business and one of the easiest places to do business. It is easy to register a company in Ireland as the bureaucracy there is minimal. Below is an overview of the findings.

STARTING A NEW BUSINESS IN IRELAND

Ireland As a Destination for Starting a New Business

  • According to a TMF Group report, Ireland is becoming a chosen business destination to establish or expand businesses and reach the European market which consists of 500 million consumers. Its global complexity report states the country appears as "one of the easiest places to do business in terms of compliance".
  • This has been corroborated by the World Bank Group which published a report on the viability of starting a business in Ireland. Based on its Ease of Doing Business Score, Ireland ranked #23 among other countries, with a score of 78.91 out of 100.
  • Compared to other regions, New Zealand and Canada outranked Ireland. However, countries such as Germany and France were placed below Ireland.
  • Based on Doing Business (DB) 2019 Starting a Business Score, Ireland ranked #10 with a score of 95.91 out of 100. Again, Ireland was outranked by New Zealand, but it outranked Germany and France.
  • The criteria for ranking DB 2019 Starting a Business Score include the process to legally start and formally operate a company, the time it takes to complete each procedure, the cost of completing all procedures, and the amount of required paid-in minimum capital of a new company.

Setting Up a New Business and Its Challenges

  • According to Investopedia, a limited company structure is a business structure form that is used in countries such as Ireland, the U.K., and Canada. Private limited companies are "the most popular structure for small business".
  • A company must be registered at the Companies Registration Office. It generally takes two weeks for an LLC to be incorporated.
  • To set up an online business, "no additional regulatory steps" are needed and no legal permission or registration is needed for a website.
  • However, if a business wanted to use a "Country Code TLD (top-level domain)", one must apply to "IEDR.ie which is the Irish IE domain name registry".
  • Setting up a business in Ireland is pretty straightforward with "a minimal number of bureaucratic hoops through which to jump".
  • However, despite the ease of setting up a business, there are also a few challenges in registering a new company:
    • An LLC requires an appointed director and secretary who must be residents of Ireland or residents of one of the EEA countries. Or a business must "deposit a bond of €25,000 with the Irish Business Registrar".
    • A company must register with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners for various taxes such as VAT, corporate tax, employer taxes, among others. An LLC is subject to 25% in corporation tax.
    • The country's employee-employer is complicated by PRSI contribution, employee union, among others.
    • Cross-border business transactions take up a lot of business time due to paperwork. It takes 7 days to export and 12 days to import.

Setting Up a Business Bank Account and Its Challenges

  • Opening a business bank account in Ireland is done after the company has been incorporated already. Once a business has been registered, one can apply for a business bank account.
  • A business needs to present an original certificate of incorporation, the company constitution, and a copy of the A1 form.
  • For an LLC, it generally takes four weeks to complete the process and get bank approval.
  • However, there is also a challenge to apply for a business bank account. While it is easy for sole traders to open an account "without stepping foot in a branch", for limited companies "at least one meeting face-to-face" is needed to open a business account.
  • Only the Bank of Ireland offers "a process specifically for foreign business owners where they generally require only one in-person visit".
Part
10
of twelve
Part
10

Co-Working Space: Ireland

There are five major co-working space providers operating in Ireland. They are New Work Junction, WeWork, Iconic Offices, Glandore, and Regus. Regus is the largest provider with 14 locations in Ireland.

CO-WORKING SPACE PROVIDERS IN IRELAND

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To identify the number of major co-working space providers in Ireland, we first examined the locations listed on co-working databases such as Coworker, CoworkBooking (Dublin and other cities), and Coworking.Coffee. As these databases include thousands of co-working spaces across hundreds of countries, it is assumed that they would provide a comprehensive list of active locations/providers in Ireland. The website of every provider listed on these databases was examined to identify the number of co-working spaces that they operate. Among the 30+ providers examined, only New Work Junction, WeWork, Iconic Offices, and Glandore operate co-working spaces in three or more locations in Ireland.
To ensure that every popular co-working space provider in Ireland have been examined, we next conducted a press search for articles that talked about co-working in Ireland. The articles published by EU Startups, Travelmag, and Irish Tatler talked about the best co-working spaces in Dublin, Ireland. It is assumed that they focused on Dublin as the city is known for being one of the co-working hotspots in Europe. The majority of the providers considered the “best” were already listed in the databases mentioned above. None of the additional providers examined operate co-working spaces in three or more locations. Operators such as CoCreate and Cluster operate only one location in Ireland.
Lastly, we examined some of the largest co-working companies in the world or Europe that were not listed in the databases and articles mentioned above. We have assumed that global players similar to WeWork may also operate in Ireland. Among the additional global operators examined, only Regus operate co-working spaces in three or more locations. Spaces operates one location only. Other global players such as Servcorp and Impact Hub and Europe-based co-working space providers such as UMA Workspace and Silver Square do not operate any location in Ireland.
Part
11
of twelve
Part
11

Business Statistics: Ireland

There are 248,842 businesses in Ireland, of which 16.52% represent sole traders, 92.2% have less than 10 employees, and 99.8% have less than 250 employees and less than EUR 50 million in annual turnover. In 2018, 22,493 new businesses were launched.

Business Statistics: Ireland

  • Ireland conducts a national census every five years. The last population census in the country was undertaken in 2016, while the business census conducted in late 2015 and early 2016. The next census is scheduled to be conducted in 2020 or 2021.
  • The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is the organization in charge of collecting data and analyzing it to create and share the statistics of the country with the world.
  • According to the CSO, the total number of businesses in Ireland is 248,842. Distributed as follows:
  • Industry — 17,176
  • Construction — 50,546
  • Distribution — 46,626
  • Services — 127,485
  • Financial & Insurance — 7,009
  • Total: 248,842
  • According to statistics from the World Bank, in 2017 there proportion of all sole trade businesses in Ireland was 16.52%. The proportion of all businesses that have less than 10 employees in Ireland based in the last official census (2015) was 92.2%.
  • Additionally, the proportion of all businesses that have less than 250 employees in Ireland based in the last official census (2015) was 99.8%.

Businesses with less than EUR 50 Million in Annual Turnover

  • The term SME (Small Medium and Enterprises) comprise:
  • Micro enterprises: with less than 10 employees and no more than EUR 2 million in annual turnover.
  • Small enterprise: with less than 10 employees and no more than EUR 10 million in annual turnover.
  • Medium Enterprise: with less than 250 employees and no more than EUR 50 million in turnover.
  • Therefore, an enterprise with less than 250 employees that not exceeds EUR 50 million in annual turnover is considered a medium enterprise. The statistics say the proportion of all businesses that have less than 250 employees in Ireland based in the last official census (2015) was 99.8%. In other words, the proportion of businesses that have less than EUR 50 million in annual turnover in Ireland is the same of businesses that have less than 250 employees, that is 99.8%.
  • 22,493 new businesses were started in Ireland in 2018, meaning that almost 62 new businesses were started daily.

ADDITIONAL FINDINGS

  • In 2018, the total number of employees in the construction sector was 144,000.
  • The figure is expected to increase even more because it is estimated that this year (2019) the construction market will increase by 20%.
  • There are 2,281,300 people employed in Ireland.
  • The proportion of part-time employed is 20%.
  • There are 128,800 who are people unemployed, representing a 5.4% of the entire total population.

Research Strategy:

Ireland as a country that is part of the European Union publishes its statistics every year. However, at the beginning of the investigation, we found that the last published statistic, which dates from 2018, was made in 2015. Because of this, we began to investigate and discovered that Ireland conducts its censuses every 5 years, and the last time, it was done in late 2015 and early 2016. We then understood that the last official Irish census was taken in 2015.

All the information investigated was taken from official Irish sources. Apart from that, it is necessary to emphasize that the World Bank develops indicators that are evaluated by experts and then converted into statistics. Thanks to the statistics developed by the World Bank, we were able to determine the number of sole traders in Ireland.

In order to determine the proportion of businesses with less than EUR 50M in turnover, we had to investigate the name of the companies with less than 250 employees and annual earnings of no more than EUR 50M, i.e. SMEs. Based on that, we compared the percentage of companies with these characteristics (less than 250 employees and no more than EUR 50M in annual turnover), and we found that the proportion is 99.8%.

There are two reasons why we took the census data as the main source of information. First, all the articles on the web are based on the official statistics of Ireland, which are the ones we have cited here. We also came across an original statistics that wasn't citing the official one but it was made in 2006, and we did not work with out-of-date information. Second, with the Irish government being the highest authority, the statistics published by them apart from being official are reliable.
In our effort to find more sources that matched the statistics but were not the same, we found some recent surveys made by local organizations. We detailed the findings as additional findings because they are not official, and there are surveys for specific business categories but not for all of them. This situation is completely understandable because most of the organizations create these surveys for specific business categories. For example, the Irish organization of the unemployed, their survey focus only in the unemployed sector but not in all.
Part
12
of twelve
Part
12

Challenger Digital Banks: Ireland

Revolut, N26, Holvi, and Monzo are the top challenger digital banks in Ireland. It is of note that Starling Bank of the UK will be expanding to Ireland.

HOLVI

  • Holvi was founded in 2011 as a private company, and launched in Germany in 2016. They operate in Germany, Finland, and Austria. From 2017 to 2018 they saw year-on-year growth of 60 %.
  • Holvi has raised 4.3 million Euros over six funding rounds. Their last round was in 2015.
  • The majority, 85%, of their customers are freelancers.
  • Holvi has over 150,000 micro businesses across Europe as customers.
  • They describe themselves as "a simple one-stop-shop for small businesses to collect income, manage expense and get an understandable real-time view of their company finances. New Holvi accounts can be opened in minutes online and Holvi customers don’t need a separate bank account."
  • Holvi was voted the "Hottest Startup in Helsinki".
  •  E-Residents may business bank with Holvi.
  • Their website may be viewed here.

REVOLUT

  • Revolut was founded in 2015 and is based in London. In 2017, they reported $15.67 million in revenue, and $17.31 in 2018. From 2016-2017, their revenue growth was 443%. They offer personal and business products. Revolut launched in Germany in 2017.
  • Their market valuation is currently $1.7 billion, with $336.5 million in total funding over 12 rounds, with the last being March 27, 2019. They are a private company and considered a tech unicorn.
  • Revolut has completed a total of 350 million transactions at a total value of $48.9 billion.
  • Revolut states they have 7,000 new accounts opened daily.
  • They have nearly 20,000 businesses as customers, along with 4.5 million customers total. In the UK, they have 1.6 million customers.
  • Businesses may hold, receive, and exchange 29 currencies without charge.
  • Revolut claims they are ten times cheaper than a bank.
  • They have had significant reported losses.
  • Their business customers have an Open API to integrate their Revolut account into their current workflow and stack.
  • Revolut operates in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
  • Their website may be viewed here.

N26

  • N26 is a Berlin bank that operates in 20 countries in Europe. They have 2.5 million customers worldwide and were founded in 2013. They are a Late Stage Venture and have raised $682.2 million in funding over seven rounds. Their latest round was July 2019.
  • N26 has a current market valuation of $3.5 billion.
  • In 2017, they generated revenue of 11.24 million Euros which was a 2000% increase over 2016.
  • In late 2018 they had two million customers. They currently have over 3.5 million. Their monthly transaction volume exceeds 1.5 billion Euros.
  • N26 offers banking for freelancers and the self-employed.
  • They operate in Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
  • N26 is planning to expand to the US in 2019.
  • Their website may be viewed here.

MONZO

  • Monzo is a London based digital bank that was founded in 2015, by Gary Dolman, Jason Bates, Jonas Huckestein, Paul Rippon, and Tom Blomfield. They are a private company with a Late Stage Venture funding status. They offer personal and business products.
  • The current market valuation is $2.45 billion.
  • Monzo has raised $397.56 million in funding over 14 rounds. Their latest funding round was on June 25, 2019.
  • They currently have 2,797,950 customers total.
  • Monzo launched business accounts for 100 sole traders this year. Currently there is a wait list with over 15,000 businesses.
  • They are adding help with taxes, international payments, payroll multiple payments, and payments by a link for business customers.
  • Their website may be viewed here.

STARLING BANK

  • Starling Bank plans to open a subsidiary in Ireland later this year with a staff of 10-30 people. They have submitted their application to the Central Bank of Ireland.

MARKET INFORMATION

  • At the end of 2017, there were 58 banks in Ireland.
  • Contactless accounts for over 28% of the volume.
  • New lending to SMEs rose by 10% during 2017-2018.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To locate the top challenger digital banks, we first located industry articles that stated who the best digital challenger banks were. To be included in the next stage of our research, a bank had to be mentioned multiple times. Once we had our list, we then researched each bank separately to obtain an across the board metric. This proved difficult, as some banks did not list their annual revenue. We believe this happened because some banks are operating at a loss due to how new they are. Our next approach was to order them by their customer numbers. This again proved difficult, as the biggest bank we researched did not separate their customer base, and some banks only do business banking. Active users and monthly transactions also ran into the same issues. To combat this problem, we holistically looked at all the metrics we obtained to get our top listings.
To assess the market penetration, we began by locating industry reports and market studies. This did not give us enough information to triangulate a market share, as most of the information was global. Consulting business press releases from Globe Newswire, PR Newswire and from each business’ website gave us the bulk of our information. To finish our research, we researched available banking information from the government. Again, this gave us a few facts. Ultimately, we were able to put together a snapshot of the market, but not exact figures.
SOURCES
Sources
Sources

From Part 07
From Part 08
Quotes
  • "Support will be provided to companies to promote and ensure market diversity with priority given to FinTech & Payments in well-defined markets. "
Quotes
  • "According to Visa’s 2017 annual report, people in Ireland are now making 3 million contactless payments a week. With that being said, Bank of Ireland is still to set a date for when it will support contactless Apple and Android payments."
  • "The bricks and mortar banks are currently scrambling to start offering features that these fintech companies have already rolled out as they are features people want"
Quotes
  • "While revenue has steadily grown both in Ireland and the rest of the world, 17% of FinTechs anticipate global revenue growth to increase by greater than 500% in 2018."
Quotes
  • "The government said that, in the wake of Brexit, roughly 100 financial firms have applied to set up shop or expand operations in Ireland."
Quotes
  • " The year 2018 was a good year for FinTech startups in Ireland. The market witnessed increased optimism in the form of increased hiring by FinTech players and plans to raise more funds."
Quotes
  • " Among developed countries, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland lead in adoption, reflecting in part the development of open banking in Europe."
Quotes
  • "Ireland continues to build on its long-established record in the financial services and technology sectors. 49% of fintechs surveyed in late 2018 are expecting revenue growth of 100% or greater, with 32% of those anticipating global revenue growth of between 100–500%. "
From Part 09
Quotes
  • "Ltd. is a standard abbreviation for "limited," a form of corporate structure available in countries including the U.K., Ireland, and Canada. The term appears as a suffix that follows the company name, indicating that it is a private limited company."
  • "Private limited companies are not permitted to offer shares to the public. They are, however, the most popular structures for a small business. "
Quotes
  • "This topic measures the number of procedures, time, cost and paid-in minimum capital requirement for a small- to medium-sized limited liability company to start up and formally operate in each economy’s largest business city."
Quotes
  • "If you are simply setting up an online business there is no additional regulatory steps you need to take; obviously, you will need a website but you do not need any legal permission or registration for this."
  • "However, if you want to get an Country Code TLD (top level domain) name you will need to apply to IEDR.ie which is the Irish IE domain name registry. This body helps to protect your domain name and provides a process by which domain name disputes can be resolved."
Quotes
  • "If you’re a sole trader, then you can apply for and set up your business account online without stepping foot in a branch."
  • "For all other business types, including limited companies, they must meet with a Bank of Ireland business advisor in a branch to begin the application process."
  • "Bank of Ireland is the only bank offering a process specifically for foreign business owners where they generally require only one in-person visit."
Quotes
  • "Next step is to open a corporate bank account in Ireland. To open a bank account in Ireland you usually need to have at least one meeting face-to-face. You will also need company documents – including the original certificate of incorporation, your company constitution and a copy of the A1 form"
From Part 10
From Part 12