Irish banks have abandoned plans to launch a mobile payments app in the face of regulatory holdups and a rapidly changing payments landscape.
Synch was tasked with building a money-transfer app, called Yippay, on behalf of AIB, Bank of Ireland, and Permanent TSB to help the banks take on the likes of Revolut.
In a statement released to local press, a Synch spokesperson says: “Synch Payments DAC, the Irish instant mobile account to account payments service, today announced that following a careful and considered review of its business plan it has reached the difficult decision that it is no longer feasible to launch its payments app, Yippay, into the Irish market and Synch will cease operations.
“A combination of factors has contributed to an elongated time frame to launch which makes the original Synch proposition no longer viable.”
The aim of the project was to offer banks and authorised financial institutions a service that lets merchants receive account-to-account payments for POS and e-commerce transactions, with an effective 'mobile-only user-experience for shoppers.
The banks committed €5 million to the joint venture and called in Italy's Nexi as its technology partner.
However the project has benn beset by a series of delays and changing market dynamics. In July it was told by Ireland's central bank that it needs “regulatory approval pursuant to the European Union Payments Services Regulation 2018” before it can launch, a process that would take a year to clear.
EU authorities have also pushed through proposals that will have a game-chaging impact on the affordability and avalability of cross-border instant payments across the bloc. At the same time, a commercial space is emerging via the Sepa Payment Account Access scheme, which will bring open banking-based A2A payments to European ecommerce, rasing questions about the competitive viability of Synch.