Dublin-based financial services company Realex has taken it upon itself to address some of the fundamental problems that the payments industry faces – hoping to transform the way people and business pay and get paid.
Regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, Realex has taken its Realex Fire personal account out of beta. This new style of bank account enables users to withdraw funds, create a circle of people to pay, send and receive payments, operate multiple accounts and even get notifications from Facebook.
Of course, we're not here to talk about bank accounts as such, but why the payment features of the Realex Fire seems interesting, and that's because it features some rather interesting digital components that the future of banking may well make more use of.
Not only is the opening of an account completed online, but you can invite payees into your â€˜circle' with just a phone number or email address – somewhat like PayPal.
A mobile app – which will be available shortly – also gives users full access to their account and features, and by linking to Facebook, users can receive private notifications when they get paid or receive a payment request. This practically does away with the need for paper bills or numerous emails.
"It's time for change, real change, in the way people and businesses pay and are paid," said Realex Fire founder and CEO Colm Lyon." We want to fundamentally transform the payments landscape and make payments safer, more accessible, social and less expensive to process.
"That is our mission. This is a significant milestone for us and marks a fundamental change in the payments landscape; as a regulated entity we have joined the banking networks so we can create the most complete and compelling payments products.
"We are delighted to have reached this milestone and phenomenally excited about our future plans. In many ways, what we see today is the base upon which we will build the payment applications of the future."
It'll be interesting to see if the Realex does well with a younger demographic too as it reduces the hassle and boundaries of standard bank accounts that perturb younger customers. The draw is that it's social, safe and accessible while providing something less expensive and almost fully mobile.
Do you see much of a future around the model that the Realex Fire is championing?Willy Volk - Flickr]