The technology sector has been a cornerstone of Irish industrial policy for well over forty years. Starting with hardware manufacture in the 1980’a this has now been overtaken by software development and services undertaken by the world’s leading technology companies. The fintech side of the technology sector is now recognised by policymakers as an increasingly important part of the overall sector mix. The Financial Institutions team has been working with leading fintech and payment firms since the introduction of the Payment Services and eMoney directives in 2009. An initial focus on acquiring and remittance services has, like the fintech industry itself, expanded into and array of services and service providers including those using emoney, marketplaces, wallet providers, prepaid cards, account and payment initiation service providers (AISP/PISP). Brexit has been a particular catalyst for growth in this sector as firms have sought to maintain their offerings in the EU/EEA ex the UK.
We have a very strong record of helping fintech and payment firms to obtain authorisation from the Central Bank of Ireland. The experience allows us to advise clients on the type of organisational structure and business models which will meet regulatory requirement and to bridge what we would call the “cultural gap” between what a fintech needs and expects and what a financial regulator needs and expects. We have for example, helped clients build customer on-boarding processes which are as frictionless as possible but which meet both legal requirements and regulatory expectations.
Some of our clients offer services related to crypto assets which (as least for the moment) are often not regulated.
Perhaps more mundane, but nevertheless very important services include, developing framework contracts, website content and user agreements for payment and emoney service, advising clients on the implementation of new regulatory requirements and guidance such as PSD2, outsourcing requirements, cybersecurity requirements and consumer protection rules.
- Advising a large social media platform on its authorisation as an emoney institution.
- Advising a large crypto exchange and wallet provider on acquiring an emoney authorisation for a group entity.
- Advising Ireland’s largest money remittance business on their regulated services.
- Advising Ireland’s largest acquiring business on an ongoing basis.
- Advising global online marketplaces on regulatory parameters applicable to their business and authorisation triggers .