In what is its third Irish acquisition in under three years, Australian payments giant EML has acquired Irish open banking platform Sentential for €110m.

Australian payments giant EML has acquired Irish tech company Sentential, whose platform is used by more than 1,750 banks across Europe.

It is understood the deal includes an upfront payment of €70m with a follow-on component of up to €40m.

“Sentenial is a European business today, and we will be working to extend its platform to our other regions in the coming 12-to-18 months”

This is the third acquisition within three years by EML which includes the purchase of PerfectCard in 2018 followed by Prepaid Financial Services in 2019.

Scale to go global

Maynooth-based Sentential’s Nuapay platform is an open banking platform that uses APIs (application programming interfaces) that allow banks to enable account to account (A2A) services including direct debits, open banking, credit transfers, virtual account products, international bank account numbers (IBANs), Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), faster payments service and instant payments.

EML intends to expand Sentential’s platform into the North American and Australian markets and become one of the biggest players in fintech, open banking and prepaid card services globally.

“Sentenial is a European business today, and we will be working to extend its platform to our other regions in the coming 12-to-18 months,” said EML group CEO Tom Cregan.

“Sean and the team have attracted an extraordinary calibre of international clients who trust its innovative products range, and the entire EML family looks forward to welcoming the Sentenial team, which is currently comprised of 60 full-time employees. Geographically, with its principal office in Ireland and offices located in London, Paris, Brussels and Krakow, Sentenial fits well with EML,” said Cregan.

Sentenial’s platform processes €45bn per annum and is dually regulated in the UK and France.

“Nuapay’s mission is to be the best way to pay and get paid,” said Sean Fitzgerald, founder and CEO of Sentenial.

“We are proud to have developed a market-leading Account-to-Account and Open Banking payments platform over nearly two decades in business. The revolution in payments caused by Open Banking and Real-Time Payments is rapidly building momentum globally, and we are hugely excited by this opportunity to move to a global scale as part of EML. From the moment EML approached us, we’ve been impressed by their vision, ambition and growing ecosystem.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 7 April 2021

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