By @SimonCocking We’re delighted to have AIB on board as our main sponsor for the Fintech 20 Ireland awards and event on October 26th. For more information about entering your company see here and to attend the event itself October 26th, at Moores Auditorium, UCD book tickets here. To find out more about what the AIB is doing to support innovation and enterprise we caught up with John O’Dwyer, their Head of Digital Investments and Innovation. If you would also like to be involved in the event as a sponsor or have your company considered for one of the awards drop us a line. 

Are you one of Ireland’s best Fintech companies? FinTech20 Ireland 2017 open for entries

What is your background briefly?

I am a computer science graduate followed by a career in professional services, corporate finance, and M&A. I moved into banking nearly five years ago to help lead AIB’s drive into emerging sectors. Recently I took on a new role as head of Digital Investments & Innovation at AIB.

Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?

Yes, it’s an excellent mix of finance and technology.  To make a difference in the digital and financial technology arena I have found it is very helpful to have a solid understanding of financial and capital markets as the two are becoming ever more intertwined.

1 min pitch for what you are working on now?

Our team is responsible for defining and delivering the banks digital products and payments function – that is advancing the suite of financial solutions available to our customers across all of our digital channels from mobile to online and across every product from payments, credit and cards.

For those unfamiliar with the work of AIB & Digital Investments and Innovation, what does that mean and what initiatives are you developing and supporting?

We are very proud of a number of initiatives over the recent past including our support for start-up initiatives such as PorterShed in Galway, Ludgate in Skibbereen and also the AIB Start-up Academy.

A little less known fact is our support for a wide number of VC and private equity funds in the Irish market which has supported dozens of well-known Irish entrepreneurs and business successes over the past few years. AIB has committed in excess of €130m to more than ten active funds since 2007 including Frontline Ventures, ACT Venture Capital, Atlantic Bridge and more.

We are seeing a lot of innovation in the Fintech sector, where does AIB sit in this ecosystem? How do you future proof your position in relation to new challengers?

AIB has the number one physical and digital distribution network in Ireland which encompasses our branch estate and our rapidly increasing digital estate.

We have over 1.2m active online customers, with mobile being our busiest channel. In fact, our mobile penetration is in the upper quartile globally and over 60% of all key products are now purchased on our online channels.  Our customers interact on mobile on average once per day and 77% of personal loans are now applied for via mobile or online.

In terms of banks in the Irish market, we have the leading mobile offering, with c. 680,000 daily interactions via this channel, with an additional c. 180,000 daily interactions on this channel when compared with December 2016.

We continue to innovate and add functionality in this space, based on customer feedback and technological advances in the wider market. AIB launched Android Pay in late 2016 and more recently, we were very pleased to launch Apple Pay to our customers.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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