Tuesday 16 October 2018

Ireland can be fully cashless within the next 10 years - Fintech startup Revolut co-founder

Over 75,000 Irish customers are using Revolut Stock image
Over 75,000 Irish customers are using Revolut Stock image
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

The founder of a fintech startup has said that Ireland must adopt ideas from market leaders such as Sweden ideas if it wishes to become a cashless society.

Over 75,000 Irish customers are using the banking services and products of London-based industry disruptor Revolut.  

Pay-per-day geolocation travel insurance and disposable virtual cards are just two new offerings from the online bank this year.

Co-founder and CTO Vlad Yatsenko said that businesses and financial institutions (FIs) are obliged to adapt as the cashless society concept comes closer to reality.

"With the rise of contactless and mobile payments, I hope and believe that it will be possible for Ireland to be fully cashless within the next 10 years," he said.

"That is why Revolut are creating a number of features that to make it even easier for our customers to make secure, cashless payments."

According to the World Payments Report (WPR), non-cash transactions grew by 10.5pc last year, and accounted for more than 522.4 billion transactions worldwide.

Read more: The world of payments is changing and Ireland has the ability to lead the way - Visa Ireland chief Philip Konopik

Convenience and security have largely driven the rise in cashless payments thus far, but Sweden is by far leading the way in Europe.

Cash is now used in less than 20pc of transactions in Swedish stores, and the amount in circulation has dropped to its lowest since 1990.

"Unfortunately, Ireland's infrastructure lags behind countries like Sweden, and our relatively large population isn’t an ideal test-bed for cashless innovation," said Mr Yatsenko.

"We’ve still got a long way to go until lumbering traditional banks fully adopt cashless technology, and even then not all consumers tend to trust the big banks or institutions with their information or money."

Vlad Yatsenko maintains that if Ireland wishes to be a cashless leader "we need to continue to innovate and encourage the use of technologies that make contactless transactions easier".

"We still have a very strong emotional connection to cash, even if they aren’t using it as much, so it’s best to slowly make the transition into becoming a fully cashless society," he said.

"Many people, in particular the elderly, don’t have as much access to the digital society, so we need to educate people and make it as easy as possible to transition into a fully cashless age."

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