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Banks come together to develop payment app to rival Revolut

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FOUR banks have come together to develop a new payment system that they hope will rival Revolut.

The move by AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and KBC Bank represents the first joint venture between the main banks here in more than 20 years.

The joint venture has had to be notified to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in case it infringes competition law.

They are coming together to build an an app-based instant payment system in a bid to stem the rapid loss of customers to digital disruptors such as Revolut and Apple Pay.

Revolut claims to have more than one million customers in this country, with most of them attracted to the money app by its ease of use.

The banks are developing the new system, which has been dubbed Project Pegasus, to allow customers to make and receive instant payments from customers of their own bank or any other bank in Ireland.

The new system will be open to all banks and financial institutions here, a source close to the project said. This would include An Post and the credit unions.

Work on Pegasus has been under way for the past two years and co-ordinated through the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), the industry trade body.

The scheme is understood to have the backing of the regulator, the Central Bank.

In the past, the Banking and Payments Federation said Pegasus was part of “ongoing collaborative work across the whole area of technology and digital developments to enhance the customer experience”.

Digital payment app Revolut and N26 have been signing up Irish people in the droves.

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Financial app Revolut claims it has more than 1.2 million customers in Ireland.

N26, which has a German banking licence, says it has 150,000 customers, and hopes to hit the 200,000 mark early this year.

The new apps are particularly attractive to younger people.

Lockdowns have pushed more and more people to do their banking online rather than use branches.

N26 will become the first bank in the Irish market to charge retail customers negative interest rates on deposits starting next month, the Irish Independent has learned.

Germany regulated online challenger bank N26 will charge the negative interest rate on new customers’ deposits in excess of €50,000 from November, a spokeswoman confirmed.

The interest will be charged on the balance above €50,000, not the full saving balance.

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