Dutch digital bank bunq enters the Irish market today with a banking service using international bank account numbers from Ireland.
It is the first neobank to offer Irish IBAN accounts, meaning customers will be able to set up direct debits and make and receive payments, including monthly salaries, services that are not available to Irish customers without an Irish IBAN.
While bunq is already available to people in Ireland through their Dutch IBAN, it is launching an Irish IBAN “to tailor a banking experience to local needs.”
It received authorization from the Central Bank last month.
Fintech enters the Irish banking market as mainstay banks Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland prepare to exit, leaving a million customers looking to open new checking accounts elsewhere.
Bunq is confident that some of those customers will choose its offering.
He says the Amsterdam-based company was founded to challenge what banking is and what it can do. He says that bunq is an easier and much more sustainable form of banking.
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It is the only self-funded challenger bank to have branched out into 30 European markets without venture capital funding.
bunq COO Gerald Gruber said: “By offering a wide range of financial products and services, the Irish can now finally experience the true value of fintech as an alternative to traditional banking. I am very excited to see bunq spearheading this development.
It follows its recent acquisition of Capitalflow, a specialized commercial lender that employs more than 75 people.
In addition to the current accounts bunq offers, for clients looking to switch, Capitalflow offers financing for equipment and vehicles, and loans for commercial property, along with cash flow services such as invoice discounting for Irish businesses.
Capitalflow CEO Ronan Horgan said he is delighted to see bunq strengthen its position in the Irish market.
“This deal has enabled us to offer more competitive financing to Irish SMEs and to continue to grow our workforce. With its ‘customer first’ ethos, this launch is great news for Irish consumers as it offers more options for daily banking.
Irish consumers interested in signing up for a bunq account should download the bunq app today from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Bunq has a banking license from the Dutch Central Bank.