eCOMM Merchant Solutions Scoops The Irish Times Innovation Award for Instant Payments

Fintech's Solution Brings Much Needed Relief To Small Merchants

Published: 28/Jan/2021

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An innovation with the potential to change the lives of countless small merchants has just won the Irish Times Innovation Award for IT & Fintech. The announcement was made during an awards ceremony which was streamed live from Dublin.

The idea was the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Noel and Valerie Moran, who set up their fintech company eCOMM Merchant Solutions in 2014 and which operates out of offices in Ireland, the UK and Lithuania. Speaking about the inspiration behind the idea, Noel Moran commented, “As entrepreneurs ourselves, we were keenly aware of the delays faced by smaller businesses in getting access to the funds they receive via cashless payments – as much as 3 days for many. In a world that is becoming increasingly cashless, this can be a big source of stress - leaving some merchants without their working capital and so unable to trade.”

Irish Times Innovation Award 2020 for IT/Finance

With eCOMM's innovative 'Instant Payments' service, however, the situation is different. The merchant receives a card terminal, a business current account and a prepaid corporate Mastercard. When a cashless payment is made and approved, those funds are available to the merchant to spend, instantly, via his or her prepaid corporate Mastercard. According to Moran, this typically takes just a matter of seconds. The merchant even receives a rebate of real money for everything spent via their eCOMM card.

Valerie Moran gave a couple of practical examples of how this makes a difference: A taxi driver drops a fare off and receives payment, she then fills up the car with diesel, using the funds from the fare; a takeaway food business does its main trading on Saturdays and Sundays, but rather than having to pay for all that perishable stock with just Thursday’s takings, the merchant can go to the suppliers each day. She added, “This is very much in line with our ethos of combining the latest technology with financial services, to deliver a better way of doing things.”

The Instant Payments service from eCOMM Merchant Solutions is currently available in Ireland, the UK, Greece and Cyprus, and the Morans have plans in place to begin operations in Poland, Austria, Italy, Norway and beyond.