The fintech sector in Northern Ireland has been experiencing high growth potential. A report published by FintechNI in September 2021 estimated the sector to be worth £392 million to Northern Ireland’s economy.
Since the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic placed significant reliance on fintech, the Northern Ireland sector has proven its capability to provide advanced resources.
Many companies have been increasing their outreach to gain more clients, establishing beneficial connections and partnerships for advancement opportunities, and placing greater investment into training courses for developing industry-related talent.
With companies continuing to build their components, outreach and innovation, Northern Ireland is well on its way to establishing itself as a reputable fintech hub.
Based on eWeek UK’s analysis, here are seven fintech firms to watch in the region. Apart from Payescape they are all based in Belfast.
AirPOS is a retail software company founded in 2009 that offers electronic point of sale solutions to businesses. The cloud-based software platform helps retailers and vendors with financial and business operations like inventory tracking, payment processes and record-keeping.
In the spring of this year, it hosted free online webinars for retailers who have yet to embrace online retail. In September, it offered a COVID-19 Digital Selling Capability Grant to help Northern Ireland retail and wholesale businesses to grow their businesses online. As a result, the company’s recent promotion of online retail management and e-commerce operations to businesses may help them advertise their services and attract more clients.
FinTrU is a regtech company with a love for capital letters. It was founded in 2013 and has made a name for itself as a company focused on using technology to assist those in the financial services (FS) sector with regulatory obligations. In September of this year, it announced that it would be opening an office in Dublin to expand its clientele outreach to those in the Irish banking market and grow the company further.
It also launched its FinTrU North West Assured Skills Academy, offering training to participants and the opportunity to interview for their FinTrU’s NW Centre of Excellence. This month FinTrU launched a benefit scheme for its employees.
As the name suggests, fscom specialises in the FS sector. It offers regulatory compliance, financial crime and cybersecurity services.
Founded in 2011, the company is made up of ex-regulators, ex-bankers and other compliance experts. This month, Fscom’s director Alison Donnelly won the Industry Contributor of the year Award from the Emerging Payments Association.
fscom is continuing to gain recognition and was recently listed as one of the top companies in the A2Z Market Research report on “Global High-speed Interconnects Market Report 2021 – Future Opportunities, Latest Trends, In-depth Analysis, and Forecast To 2028.”
Lightyear is a Software as a Service company founded in 2017. The company creates fintech software that assists with and saves time on finance-related tasks. Its products use artificial intelligence and are marketed towards businesses, bookkeepers and accountants.
The company has won several awards within the past couple of years, including the Gartner FrontRunners and GetApp and Software Advice Category Leaders.
Last year, Lightyear said it was investing over £1 million in its business and doubling its Belfast workforce, adding 12 new jobs as it aims to grow in global export markets.
The firm plans growth in the international and UK markets and by constantly upskilling its technical workforce.
loyalBe is a fintech start-up that works with bank-linking technology to help businesses encourage customer loyalty through a bank card payment rewards system.
Since the company’s founding in 2018, it has made impressive strides in the FS sector. Last year it made a deal with Visa for using open banking protocols for its loyalty program app; and in spring of this year, it raised €850,000 (£721,000) from Techstart Ventures, Co-Fund NI and angel investors. The funds were raised to help loyalBe break into the Irish market with its loyalty app, and in September 2021, the app officially launched in Lisburn.
With the company launching business operations in Dublin last month and the ongoing support for its software app, things are looking good for loyalBe in terms of business growth.
MiFinity is a payments provider that was established in 2002. The firm offers solutions to the global online payment market through its technology platform.
It has launched a money remittance feature within the last year, allowing clients to send money to over 50 countries worldwide, and announced partnerships with other service providers. For example, its collaboration with CashtoCode allowed customers to make global cash deposits, and the partnership with Gigaday Solutions helped expand its platform in the North American market.
In addition to increasing its customer outreach globally, MiFinity has been hiring new staff members to grow the company.
Payescape is an online payroll provider set up in 2005. It’s the only one on the list not in Belfast as the firm is based in Ballymoney in County Antrim.
The company provides a cloud-based platform for companies to manage payroll, HR administration, and employee data with integrated HR and time management tools.
In May 2020 the firm added PayRun.op to its business. This is an API open payroll engine to increase efficiency and productivity in its services.
This September, Payescape announced an integration partnership with Hibob HR to provide more flexibility to clients and strengthen their integration portfolio.
Along with moving forward through business software and partnerships, the company has been increasing its size by advertising open positions for new staff members.
This is the third in a series on tech companies in the region.
Check out ‘Seven Cybersecurity Companies in Northern Ireland to Watch’ here.
Check out ‘Five Data Companies in Northern Ireland to Watch’ here.