Four Irish banks have been developing a secret plan for a payments app to take on digital upstarts, including Revolut, that could threaten their future.
The venture brings together AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, and KBC Bank Ireland and was only revealed as the lenders sought approval from the watchdog, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
A spokesperson for the banking business group, Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, which represents the four lenders and others, said the four banks had set up a company called Synch Payments “to deliver a multi-banking payment app that will enable Irish users to send and make payments in real-time”.
It awaits the decision of the competition commission to the plan, the spokesperson said.
The competition watchdog said it was told by AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, and KBC of a plan to set up a new mobile payment system. It has started a so-called phase 1 study into the plan, the watchdog said.
Meanwhile, Revolut also revealed major plans for expansion by asking UK regulators for a full banking licence there.
For the EU, Revolut is regulated in Lithuania and provides payment services in Ireland and other European countries.