Tech & Tonic: Fintech, freelancers and Facebook


Why is Ireland a breeding ground for fintech talent? And why have freelancers just received a much-needed boost? Catch up on the latest fintech news here. Have a gin and tonic first though, obviously.


ShieldPay partners Vocalink to provide new deposit option

Payment services provider ShieldPay has partnered Vocalink so it can offer customers the market-leading Pay by Bank app as a new deposit method. Tom Clementson, Director of Consumer & SMB at ShieldPay, commented: "Fast, reliable and secure marketplace payments are why platforms choose the Shieldpay API. I'm delighted to welcome Pay by Bank app as a new funding method, for consumers and businesses it means they can make frictionless payments instantly and even more securely".

Coconut launches service for freelancers

Coconut (@getcoconut) has launched a service specifically for freelancers, consultants and the self-employed to help them manage cashflow and taxes. Speaking to Lynsey Barber at City A.M., co-founder and chief executive Sam O'Conner said: "The growth of self-employment in the UK is one of the biggest structural changes in our workforce of our time, but self-employed people are still one of the most underserved groups of businesses when it comes to banking products and services that meet their specific needs."

Calling out for fintech

The UK government has called on fintech firms planning to expand to the US to join a trade mission to New York Fintech Week in April. The Department for International Trade (DIT) said it is an opportunity for UK-based fintechs to showcase their businesses to the US market, engage with regulators and gain insight into overcoming barriers to doing business overseas. Fintechs who are successful in their applications will have free access to events during the week, including the opportunity to pitch. They will be responsible for their own airfare and accommodation. 

Google and Facebook drive fintech recruitment

Fintech talent is booming in Ireland, thanks to the presence of Facebook and Google, which have set up offices in the country in recent years. Former employees of the tech titans are using their talent for their own ventures, FT journalist Martin Arnold said. One example is Plynk, a payment and messaging app for young folk, set up by Charles Dowd and Clive Foley, after Dowd left Facebook. 

Opinion: Chomping at the bot

Foco co-founder Michael Taggart wrote for Gorkana this week about his night of fun with a gaggle of chatbots. Read his sideways glance at artificial intelligence in PR here.

Did we miss anything?