Wednesday 17 July 2019

Fintech firm Strencom takes credit unions into the cloud

 

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Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Irish tech firm Strencom has signed €2m worth of deals with 140 credit unions across Ireland to provide increased connectivity and security for branches and their members.

The partnerships will see the Irish tech firm connect credit unions with their multiple branches and host financial data through its cloud hosting platform.

Strencom's platform, which is specifically designed for financial services, will provide the secure service to credit unions with assets in excess of €8bn.

The sensitive financial and personal data of members will be hosted in the company's Irish-based data centre, backed up by a secondary data centre here.

Large numbers of credit unions have merged in the last few years. The overall number is down to 264, from around 400 a few years.

These agreements are expected to support the increased M&A activity in the sector as Strencom's scalable solution can be adapted for multi-branch credit unions.

CEO Tim Murphy said that smaller credit unions often don’t have the resources to implement the necessary IT infrastructure, regulation and compliance requirements that are now part of Central Bank regulation.

"With recent regulation, credit unions are now like small banks and they need a system that is similar to what the pillar banks are getting: private secure connectivity linking all of the individual branches together," he told Independent.ie.

"Previously, the vast majority of credit unions had only one site and didn't require that connectivity, but with the recent M&A activity there are now multiple outlets under one branch, there needs to be a secure managed connectivity solution."

Strencom now provides services to credit union branches including Tipperary, Drogheda, Croí Laighean, Mullingar, Tower, Ballygall, Member First, First Choice, Thurles, Health Services Staffs and Mallow.

"We had been dealing with a number of credit unions a number of years who were very forward thinking and they basically pushed us for bespoke solutions for them," said Mr Murphy.

"Then when regulation came in, other credit unions were looking for a similar solution and we already had a ready made package that had been tried and tested."

Shortly before Christmas, Strencom announced the creation of an additional 20 jobs at its offices in Dublin and Cork as part of a €6m investment in the growth of the firm.

Mr Murphy said that the credit union deals reflects the organic growth of their two pronged strategy, the other approach being through acquisition.

"We're looking for new acquisitions that give us scale or new capability; we're expecting to make an announcement in this regard in the next few weeks. "

Strencom has said that it expects to acquire up to three companies within the next three years, and has plans to expand its enterprise customer numbers to over 300 by 2020.

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