Irish consumers using fintech increased threefold since 2017
Research shows 71% of Irish adults using fintech services compared with 64% globally
Among the reasons driving consumers to fintech services are better rates and fees, which 37 per cent of people cited as the reason for adopting the services. Photograph: Getty Images
The number of Irish consumers adopting fintech has increased almost threefold since 2017, a new report has claimed, putting Ireland ahead of the global curve.
The EY Global Fintech Adoption Index looks at the fintech industry and demand for the services. According to the research, 71 per cent of Irish adults are using some form of fintech service, compared with 64 per cent globally.
The latest figures show a significant increase from the 26 per cent recorded two years ago, which was 7 per cent below the global average.
Among the reasons driving consumers to fintech services are better rates and fees, which 37 per cent of people cited as the reason for adopting the services, the ease of setting up an account, which was the driver for 22 per cent, and more innovative products and services (18 per cent).
In Ireland, adoption was being driven by money transfer and payments at 85 per cent, insurance at 63 per cent, peer-to-peer payment and non-bank money transfers at 76 per cent and insurance comparison sites at 61 per cent.
“What was once considered as complex and challenging, fintech has seen a remarkable increase in growth in Ireland over the past few years, partly due to the rise of mobile-first platforms, but also driven by Irish Government initiatives to encourage fintech innovation,” said Niall Corrigan, head of digital & CX, EY Financial Services. “Fintechs are continuing to gain traction in the Irish market, blurring the scope and lines between traditional financial products and needs-based or lifestyle propositions.”
Adoption was similar across gender lines, with 72 per cent male, and 70 per cent female.
However, fintech use peaks in the 25-34 age groups at 80 per cent across the categories, excluding insurance and financial planning. Of those who have yet to adopt fintech, the reports showed a lack of understanding of the services was responsible for 39 per cent, and trust was a factor for 29 per cent. Eight per cent said they were wary of digital processes and channels.
“Looking ahead, we see an increasingly ecosystem-driven approach towards managing consumer financial service,” said Mr Corrigan. “Demand for fintech services are growing and the opportunity for innovative Irish fintechs at home and abroad is strong and although some challenges have yet to be overcome, it seems that growth in the fintech space will continue to reach new heights.”
The report showed Irish consumers are becoming more comfortable sharing data with traditional financial services, fintechs and non-financial services companies, although concerns about data privacy remain.