Prepaid Financial Services, an Ireland-based fintech, said it has obtained a license from the Central Bank of Ireland as a backstop against Brexit-related move by the U.K., as negotiations have plunged that country into political turmoil.
PFS, one of the largest issuers of payment cards in Ireland, had been regulated by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, but filed about 18 months ago with the Irish regulator in anticipation of a final Brexit decision.
“We had to find another world-class regulator,” Marie O’Riordan, a spokesperson for PFS, said in a telephone interview.
The company is one of the largest e-money issuers in Europe and currently handles transactions in 23 countries. O’Riordan said that PFS was among hundreds of fintechs operating in the U.K., but so far the Irish regulator has granted only about eight licenses. The company’s only other options would have been to apply in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania for licenses.
In March, PFS entered an agreement with Samsung to enable Samsung Pay on its branded cards. The agreement allows cardholders in the U.K. to use contactless Samsung Pay at contactless terminals where Mastercard is accepted.