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Ireland Boosts FinTech Development Efforts

Ireland’s finance minister wants to add thousands of jobs to its international financial services arena, in part, by a focus on FinTech development. Recent days have seen a raft of announcements tied to FinTech and FI collaboration in the sector. Elsewhere, a startup incubator takes shape in California.

Ireland has been ramping up to boost FinTech efforts — a trend that has spanned several countries globally. As reported this past week, per Yahoo Finance, Ireland wants to see as many as 50,000 people employed directly within the country’s international financial services sector, with a target date of 2025.

That goal has a roadmap in place through Minister of Finance Paschal Donohoe, who debuted a multi-point plan to increase the number from the 44,000 currently employed within the financial sector. Among those points lies a “whole of government strategy” that will see support across a variety of governmental departments.

The government said that, in the wake of Brexit, roughly 100 financial firms have applied to set up shop or expand operations in Ireland. The Times reported late last week that initiatives include a “FinTech foresight” group that will bring together various stakeholders across financial technology and multinational companies. The government said the group will be tasked with exploring, amid other possibilities, a “virtual digital bridge from the ‘Silicon Docks in Dublin to IFS companies in Dublin, and in other regions.’”

Separately, Ireland-based FinTech Prepaid Financial Services has been granted an eMoney license by the Central Bank of Ireland. Trade reports said the company will be able to operate “as usual” across the European Economic Area, even after Brexit takes shape and effect. The company focuses on mobile payments and wearables, and has operations that span 25 countries and nearly two dozen currencies.

Beyond that announcement, but also in Ireland, Permanent TSB has launched an API developer portal, which helps FinTech and other financial services firms integrate digital services with the bank, as reported in Silicon Republic. This means that these financial tech-driven upstarts will be able to serve the bank’s customers. The bank follows others, such as AIB, to offer a development portal.

In the U.S., EvoNexus, a startup incubator based in southern California, has debuted an application round focused on emerging technology companies in financial services for entry into its new FinTech incubator. The incubator counts more traditional financial services and investment firms among its backers, such as Franklin Templeton and Royal Bank of Canada. The focus is on admitting firms within artificial intelligence, machine learning, banking, wealth services, payments and blockchain. Other firms that operate within P2P lending and insurance technologies will be considered.

“FinTech is attracting investment from institutional investor funds, corporate venture funds and angel investors, and this year is promising to be one of the biggest years for the space,” said EvoNexus CEO and Co-founder Rory Moore in a statement detailing the launch. “EvoNexus’ position and timing is perfect for launching a FinTech incubator, taking advantage of a new wave of startups in the SoCal region and imbedded talent. Our long-standing partnership with Qualcomm puts us at ground zero with one of the most important companies enabling the next generation 5G network that will accelerate the ubiquitous delivery of these technologies and services.”

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