Saturday 23 September 2017

Ireland top choice for fintech companies seeking to expand

A survey by Munich-based consulting giant Roland Berger has revealed a desire among traditional banks and innovative fintech firms to collaborate more. Photo: Getty Stock
A survey by Munich-based consulting giant Roland Berger has revealed a desire among traditional banks and innovative fintech firms to collaborate more. Photo: Getty Stock

Simon Rowe

A survey of fintech companies in mainland Europe has found that 50pc are eager to expand their geographic presence - and Ireland tops the poll as the most popular country targeted for expansion.

The survey by Munich-based consulting giant Roland Berger found that while only 15pc of fintech firms operate in more than a handful of countries today, 50pc plan to be operating in five or more countries in five years' time.

And the most popular countries targeted for expansion were Ireland and the UK in joint first place at 47pc, with France in second place at 45pc.

The survey also revealed a desire among traditional banks and innovative fintech firms to collaborate more. Nine out of 10 fintechs surveyed said they want to work with traditional financial institutions such as banks and insurers, seeing themselves as "innovators who want classic financial institutions not confusion".

The survey results chime with news this week that KBC Bank's Irish operation will be a frontrunner in the digital transformation of the Belgian banking group. The 248 firms surveyed in the report Fintechs in Europe - Challenger and Partner operate in 18 European countries across central, western and southern Europe.

When asked to identify key factors in determining the quality of a location, the "availability of know-how and talent" was the most important factors, as cited by 83pc of respondents. "Open-mindedness of regulatory authorities" came in second, cited by 72pc of respondents as important, while 68pc of respondents said that the "availability of strong networks" was key.

The majority of fintechs surveyed are active in the investments space, asset management, crowdfunding and payments, with over half pitching their products and services in the B2B landscape.

Meanwhile, turnover at Kerry-based fintech firm Monex Financial Services increased to €108m in 2016 from €99m the previous year. Gross profit jumped 19pc from €10,530,162 in 2015 to €12,567,096 last year.

The Killarney-headquartered data-processing business now handles €40bn-worth of credit card transactions - a 14pc growth on 2015.

Monex DCC offers travellers the choice of paying in their home currency when using their credit card in a foreign currency location.

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