Probes, regulatory ‘surprise’ and board strife: How the banks’ Revolut competitor fell apart

The three pillar banks combined to take on their tech-savvy competitors but the project ultimately failed to come to fruition

The BPFI had previously received external legal advice to suggest that Synch would not need Central Bank authorisation

In the middle of 2023, a letter arrived at the offices of Synch Payments, causing a ripple of surprise at the nascent payments app bankrolled by Ireland’s pillar lenders.

In the letter from the Central Bank of Ireland, Synch – which was set up in 2020, and viewed as the banks’ response to Revolut – was told that it would need authorisation before being rolled out to the market.

The decision, which was disclosed publicly ...