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Setback for Irish banks’ move to set up a joint payment application against Revolut

DUBLIN: Setback for banks’ move to set up a joint payment application to replace the Revolut and N26 instant payment systems.

The CCPC rejected the Pegasus Project, a joint online venture jointly developed by AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and KBC Bank. Two weeks ago, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) applied for permission to develop an integrated payment service.

The Commission’s preliminary assessment report states that there is nothing in the application submitted under the Competition Act to confirm the merger or acquisition between the four banks. The CCPC said there was insufficient information and that the merger notification of this joint venture was invalid.

“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 under section 18(3) of the 2002 Act,” the CCPC said.

“As the notifying parties have failed to provide full details in the notification in relation to the nature of the proposed transaction, the CCPC has been unable to determine whether the proposed transaction is a “merger or acquisition” within the meaning of section 16 of the 2002 Act.”

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

A spokesman for the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, which is coordinating the scheme, said it was only seen as a return to the application form. The spokesperson explained that the Commission would clarify the issues raised and take necessary follow-up action in this regard.

The development is a setback for the Pegasus project, which the banks had hoped will start to roll out from the summer. All major banks are under great pressure from digital banks and financial services providers. This was followed by the introduction of the Pegasus. If this application becomes a reality, bank customers will be able to transfer funds to each other in the same way that users of fintech services like Revolt and N26.

This is the first time such a joint venture has been formed by a major bank operating here for more than 20 years. The officials had said that the new system would be open to all banks and financial institutions here, including An Post and credit unions. The Banking and Payments Federation Ireland has been operating in Pegasus for the past two years. The support of the Central Bank was also assured for this project.

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