In a recent post, I wrote about how traditional companies are being disrupted by more nimble competitors. Banking is one sector taking an interesting approach to this challenge.
Like their counterparts in other sectors (including telecoms, networking, media and life sciences), banks are turning to digital transformations to speed delivery and fend off competitive threats. Digital transformations are about DevOps adoption and infrastructure automation using public and private cloud.
Banks are also adopting two other winning strategies:
- Spinning up digitally-focused ‘start ups’ that are free from old processes, oppressive corporate culture and technical debt.
- Working closely with the industry’s new Fintech players.
Although not as high-profile as the UK, Netherlands, Germany and the Nordics as a place for Financial innovation, Ireland boasts a lot of Fintech clout.
“It makes sense that Ireland’s Fintech community would be diverse and successful”
Since the set up of the IFSC in Dublin’s docklands in 1987, the Irish government has supported the growth potential of the financial services sector. The sector is supported by a well-developed financial and communications infrastructure, a young, well-educated workforce, access to European markets and good transport links to the UK and the US. Coupled with the boom in Ireland’s tech scene as a whole, it makes sense that Ireland’s Fintech community would be diverse and successful.
Ireland’s Fintech Map
In spite of this, much of Ireland’s Fintech talent has gone under noticed.
“Get a handle on the ecosystem”
I discovered this when I established my own Fintech start-up and was trying to find local partners to connect with. I struggled to get a handle on the ecosystem and to identify the key players in each of the areas. So I started something called Ireland’s Fintech Map.
A labour of love (and sometimes just a labour!), the Irish Fintech Map provides a snapshot of this ever-changing, dynamic landscape.
Ireland’s Fintech Map has been gaining traction. Recent sightings have been in an Enterprise Ireland presentation to a group of Nordic Banks, in a meeting of the Business Ireland Kenya network and it has been spotted doing the rounds in Hong Kong. It has been shared countless times on LinkedIn and other social media. I also used it as part of a presentation of the Irish Fintech scene to a contingent from Skandiabanken who were eager to learn from these bright newcomers.
There are too many companies featured on the map to mention, but I would like to give a shout out to three:
CR2: A tech company whose solution stack enables banks to have onmi-channel relationships with their customers. CR2 and its BankWorld platform were recently recommended by analyst firm Ovum. And in November CR2 announced a deal with Jordanian Bank Al Etihad. Wishing every success to new CEO Fintan Byrne.
Rockall Technologies: Enabling banks to better control their banking book collateral, Rockall Technologies are ranked among the world’s top 100 risk technology companies. This is ‘one to watch’ as it is now steered by CEO Richard Bryce who has a great track record of driving company growth through innovation.
Eye candy for Fintech fans!
To keep Ireland’s Fintech Map project manageable, I have had to employ some fairly tight parameters and exclude the following:
- Companies founded outside of Ireland, even if they have an office in Ireland or the founders are born and raised in Ireland (sorry Stripe!)
- Companies that are “Coming Soon”, in “beta” – or are no longer operating.
- Companies that service several industries or sectors, even if Financial Services is part of their market.
- Companies that provide consulting, managed services or people-based solutions.
By Dave Anderson, Head of Consulting at Ammeon