Why we’re excited about our new European HQ

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Nicki Cho, Head of Content
26 Aug 2021
EU flag next to an icon of an office building

This week we announced that TrueLayer has been authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) as a Payments Institution, and we’ve established our new European headquarters in Dublin, to support our rapidly growing client base across Europe.

Our open banking platform now covers more than 90% of all major European markets, and accounts for more than half of all open banking traffic in the UK, Ireland and Spain.

We spoke to Joe Morley, Vice President and General Manager for Europe, and Leigh-Anne Cotter, Chief Operating Officer for Europe, about what this new HQ means for TrueLayer and our customers.

Why have we chosen Ireland as our European HQ?

Joe: Ireland has a reputation as a leading global tech hub, so it was the natural choice for us. It’s already home to 20 of the world’s top 25 financial services businesses — and the likes of Coinbase, Stripe and Remitly. A number of our global clients are also based here, including Paysafe and Payoneer.

Leigh-Anne: From a regulatory point of view, the CBI has a strong track record as a regulator that is committed to delivering quality financial authorisation and supervision.

We’re only the second firm to be authorised by CBI this year and we’re excited to be partnering with them to drive forward our open banking services in Europe.

What does our European HQ mean for TrueLayer?

Joe: We’re incredibly proud to make our European HQ a reality. It’s a significant milestone in our mission to open up finance across Europe.

We’ve seen the incredible adoption of open banking and open banking payments in the UK and we expect to see this pattern replicated in Europe in the months and even years to come.

We’ll soon see open banking payments replacing cards in online checkouts for businesses of every shape and size.

What brought you to TrueLayer?

Joe: I joined to help build out TrueLayer’s business in Europe. My background is helping tech companies build international teams from scratch.

I was previously at WhatsApp and Facebook, where I launched and managed the business APIs for monetising both platforms in EMEA. While there, I got to know open banking and knew that the opportunity was huge.

Leigh-Anne: At Realex payments, I helped to scale our business in different markets, and then at Facebook, I led operations for payments and commerce in WhatsApp.

Like Joe, I realised that globally, open banking was a huge opportunity with enormous potential to disrupt and add value to consumers and businesses, particularly in areas like payments.

There are so many inefficiencies with the way payments work today. TrueLayer can drive real change for businesses and consumers — making payments more cost effective and creating the best possible user experience.

Joining TrueLayer also gives me the opportunity to work closer to home, impact the European and Irish markets, and spend more time with my young children.

What are you most excited about?

Leigh-Anne: The aim of Open Banking and PSD2 regulation is to make consumers’ lives better. That’s a fantastic starting place. At TrueLayer, we’re working within that framework to make something great for businesses too.

In particular, I’m excited about scaling our operations across Europe in a way that helps our customers and people paying online.

Joe: The entire global payments industry is working off a creaky old infrastructure. Card schemes are tremendously inefficient, with middlemen everywhere. There are nice shiny layers that people have built on top of them, but there is only so long that you can go on patching up a broken system.

Thanks to open banking, we now have direct access to bank accounts. The power lies with the consumer. They own their financial data and can ask banks to share it with businesses who can provide valuable services to them.

It really is all to play for. It won’t be easy, because there is a lot of inertia and resistance from old financial services players.

But TrueLayer’s experience in the UK has shown that change can happen. We can get strong product-market fit, and merchants and consumers will adopt this new way to bank and pay.

Tell us more. What signs of traction are you seeing?

Joe: The story of Revolut in Ireland is a fascinating example of the opportunity we see.

In the Irish domestic market, Revolut has rapidly established an impressive and extensive user base, supporting consumers and businesses with open banking-based services that improve their everyday lives. They’ve achieved this quickly and without much marketing spend.

That’s what happens when you have a slow-moving market with a small number of big bank incumbents who aren’t innovating. Revolut arrived with an open banking experience and people loved it. It spread quickly through the young population, and then to their families and so on.

It really is a great example of what can happen when there’s a great product that is solving a fundamental problem.

What’s next for TrueLayer in Europe?

Leigh-Anne: We’re continuing to extend our coverage of European banks, and our platform now connects to more than 90% of banks in major European markets.

We’re also very excited to be launching a new payments solution for our European customers in Q4, so watch out for more news on that.

Joe: We’ve learned a huge amount in the last six years about how to build high-performing open banking user journeys.

We’re keen to work with banking partners across Europe to help them improve their digital experiences, so that more people use — and keep using — digital financial services. If you’re interested in talking to us about this, please do get in touch.

We’re hiring! Want to join our growing European team? Check out our open roles

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