Irish FinTech start-up Swoop lands in Canada ahead of open banking framework


An Irish fintech company is confident enough in Canada’s commitment to move forward with open banking that it has decided to open an office in Toronto. Swoop Funding joins the group of Canadian startups working for public banking as it launches its Canadian office.

Swoop’s algorithm analyzes the capital opportunities available to businesses through loans, equity and grants, and matches them with relevant financing solutions, simplifying and accelerating access to finance for a business.

“What’s really attractive about Canada is that open banking is lagging a bit behind here, but there is a clear commitment to move towards a regulatory framework in the next two to three years,” BetaKit told BetaKit. Daire Burke, Director of Swoop for Canada.

“We look forward to an open banking environment in Canada, but in the meantime we have plenty of opportunities to serve businesses,” said Burke.

Both Liberals and Conservatives pledged to introduce open banking during the election campaign. The Liberal Party has said it will implement the recommendations released ahead of the elections by the Open Banking Advisory Committee by 2023.

In contrast, open banking started in Ireland in 2019, allowing consumers to share their account information and make payments directly using third-party providers. These include banks, online retailers and FinTech companies

Burke noted that even in the absence of open banking regulation in Canada, there are still 1.1 to 1.2 million SMEs that he described as underserved and underfunded. “We look forward to an open banking environment in Canada, but in the meantime we have plenty of opportunities to serve businesses,” said Burke.

Burke called open banking a trip. Swoop has open integrations, APIs, with the UK’s nine largest banks controlling 90% of the market. Even then, said Burke, “These APIs don’t work perfectly every time, even though the law requires them to open up, so what we’re seeing in the UK, Ireland and Australia is the start of a trip.”

He also noted that a key trend is that banking is not the only industry that will be subject to an open regulatory framework. Australia has already established a roadmap towards opening up utilities, telecommunications operators and broadband businesses.

“These are all services where individuals and businesses see their data siled and protected by businesses, and even if it is their data, they should have the right to move it around and use it to access other things. new products, they always have a hard time doing it. “said Burke.

The Swoop platform works with more than 1,000 finance providers from traditional banks, alternative lenders, venture capital funds, angel investors and grantmakers to save business owners time in the process. search for funding opportunities. Instead, they are given a personalized list of finance providers to choose from.

Swoop also helps businesses seek savings opportunities through its open banking technology, which allows businesses to see potential savings and change their spending on banking, currency exchange, utilities and insurance. Advice is provided on, among other things, business current accounts, international payments, energy, bad debt protection and collection, and insurance.

The company says it has partnered with the providers of more than 1,000 debt, equity, grants and savings products, and has helped SMEs secure more than C $ 100 million in financing.

The FinTech startup was launched in the UK and Ireland in 2018 and operates in Australia, with engineering teams in Brazil and South Africa.

Andrea Reynolds is the CEO and Founder, while Ciaran Burke is the COO and Co-Founder. Both previously worked at KPMG.

Currently, the Canadian team consists of Burke and one other position, but he said Swoop is actively recruiting to strengthen their sales and marketing teams. Before landing in Canada, Burke worked as the CFO of Swoop.

RELATED: With New Platform Update, Flinks Says Open Banking is Already in Canada

The launch of Swoop in Canada coincided with a visit by the Irish Minister of Trade Promotion and the opening of Enterprise Ireland’s second Canadian office in Montreal. The trade and innovation agency already operates out of an office in Toronto.

Irish companies are investing more and more in the Canadian market, according to Enterprise Ireland. More than 500 agency clients of the agency have done business in Canada in recent years, employing more than 6,000 people in Canada.

Business doesn’t turn out one way either. According to the Irish Industrial Development Agency (IDA), more than 50 Canadian companies with international operations in Ireland employ approximately 7,000 people. Over the past three years, there has been a 45 percent increase in the number of Canadian businesses in Ireland and a 70 percent increase in the number of employees at those businesses, according to IDA.

Notable Canadian companies, including Clio and Trulioo, have set up shop, expanded their workforce or announced expansions in Ireland.

Back in Toronto, Swoop may be waiting a while before Canada launches an open banking regulatory system. Currently, the federal government is still looking for someone to guide the open banking process, which is not expected to start for two years at the earliest.

When released in August, the Open Banking Advisory Committee report said the government should move quickly to establish a hybrid and Canadian system of open banking. They are asking that it be introduced in stages. The first phase would include the design and implementation of the “initial low risk opening banking system”. The second phase would involve the evolution and continued administration of this system.

The committee called on the government to appoint an open banking official who would be responsible for bringing industry, government and consumers together to design the foundation for an open banking system. The design would be completed within nine months of the manager’s appointment, and after a period of testing and subsequent accreditation, the system is expected to be up and running within 18 months, the report recommended.


Michael J. Birnbaum

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