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Irish banks’ payments app Synch hits regulatory road bump

The recent announcement from a group of Irish banks to set up an instant money-transfer app called Synch, has hit a regulatory block, as the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) pushed back their application to set up a joint venture because they did not provide enough information.

payments app Synch

Irish banks’ payments app Synch hits regulatory road bump

An application on the planned venture, called Synch Payments, was filed with the CCPC earlier this month by AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and KBC Bank Ireland.

The project is being co-ordinated by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and Italian FinTech SIA has been lined up to provide the technology.

“Following a preliminary review of the notification, the CCPC has formed the view that the notifying parties have not provided full details of the proposed transaction as required,” the CCPC said in a statement.

The CCPC said it was unable to determine whether the planned transaction was a merger or acquisition within the meaning of Irish competition laws. “As a result, the CCPC has also been unable to determine whether the proposed transaction should have been notified to the CCPC on a mandatory basis,” it said, adding that it has rejected the notification as invalid.

“The CCPC has written to the notifying parties informing them of its decision and expressed its willingness to further engage,” it said.

A spokesperson for BPFI said: “We see this as a return of the application form. We welcome the CCPC’s statement of their willingness to engage with the parties involved in relation to the issues which they have raised and we look forward to engaging with them on all of the detail.”

The fear among mainstream banks is that as so-called neobanks continue to build up market share in payments, they will ultimately have a ready customer base for future lending and other financial products.

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