Wednesday 22 November 2017

Lyon aims to outflank banks on account access rules

Colm Lyon is aiming for success with Pay By Fire
Colm Lyon is aiming for success with Pay By Fire
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Colm Lyon's payments business Pay with Fire will seek to outflank banks when new European rules (known as PSD2) on access to accounts come into effect.

Lyon, who sold Realex Payments for €115m last year, told the Sunday Independent that taking advantage of the new rules - which have been approved by the European Parliament and are due to be adopted by member states within two years - is the company's "big play".

"The rule change separates out the account that people have with a financial institution, from the access layer.

"Basically what it enables people to do is that I could write an app at that stage, and you could use Fire at that stage, to access not just your account with Fire, but you could also actually use the Fire app to access your account that you might have with Bank of Ireland or AIB, or with Natwest or RBS.

"That's where we're headed to... being a big channel and being a big player in that space from a European perspective is very attractive.

"Banks are going to have to do stuff as well in getting ready for PSD2 and then businesses will be embracing PSD2, and for us it's great to have this infrastructure because we'll be able to take part in this as well.

Lyon said Pay with Fire - currently in the Beta stage (where it is tested by people who would be typical users) would probably remain in Beta for another couple of months. The business provides an online payment account - to both personal and business customers - similar to a bank account. The accounts have BIC and IBAN numbers.

"We've roadmapped a whole series of releases over the next 12 to 18 months - so we've got a big roadmap.

"What we're doing at the moment is we are now linking the Pay with Fire app to the account that we have live at the moment, and this is going to allow businesses basically to send out payment requests using a multiplicity of different channels - you could send it out as a link in a text, you could send it out as a link in an email, you could send into a Whatsapp group.

"In the next release we're transforming the payment account into being a payment method as well... our ultimate ambition is to transform something that has traditionally been in banking. The bank account was there and you had payment instruments like a card and a cheque that were sitting on top of that.

"We're hoping to transform the account into being a payment method in itself."

Sunday Indo Business

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