NEW REALEX PRODUCT TO ALLOW MONEY TRANSFERS WITH NO TRANSACTION FEES - Payments processing company Realex is entering the personal banking space with a new payment account that allows users to transfer money in real time and with no transaction fees. Realex says its new product - Realex Fire - is a new style of account, which enables users to lodge and withdraw funds, create a circle of people to pay, send and receive payments, operate multiple accounts and get notifications on Facebook.
"It's like a bank account. It's a payment account. You can link to an existing bank account and transfer funds. You can create a circle of people to pay and make real time payments," Colm Lyon, the chief executive of Realex explains. Mr Lyon says the facility will be free for personal account users as they hope to generate revenue streams from off-spin commercial activities. "We've got 12,000 retailers for who we process €24 billion a year in payments. We hope to bring out a business accounts as our main revenue opportunity, but for personal users it will be free at this time."
The product also has a social networking aspect which will allow people to receive notifications about payments received or pending transactions. The real time payments capacity was facilitated by years of development. "We're regulated by the Central Bank. We built the real time infrastructure at the back end and we've joined the Irish clearing system and the pan-European clearing systems,'' Mr Lyon says. He says that direct debits and standing orders are not facilitated now, but it is hoped they will be in the future if the company's customers call for such a facility.
MORNING BRIEFS - France is officially out of recession after recording the strongest quarterly growth in two years. GDP came in at 0.5% in the April to June period largely due to a rebound in exports. Europe's biggest economy, Germany, grew by 0.7% in the same quarter due mainly to stronger domestic demand. Growth figures for the euro zone are due out later this morning and are expected to show a return to growth.
*** 120 defined benefit pension schemes in difficulty had still had not submitted funding proposals to the Pensions Board as of last Thursday. The figures were confirmed by the Board in correspondence with the Fianna Fáil Finance spokesman Michael McGrath. The deadline for the submission of the proposals was June 30, at which point over 200 schemes had not submitted their proposals. The trustees of DB schemes are required to submit proposals on how they will address the deficits. That may include increasing contributions, reducing benefits or simply closing schemes. Over 400 DB schemes have shut down since 2008.
*** The deal to merge US Airways and American Airlines - creating the world's largest airline - could be in trouble. It follows a surprise move by the US Justice Department which filed a competition lawsuit arguing that the transaction poses substantial harm to consumers. It means the airlines will have to offer more concessions, like giving up more slots at airports, or risk losing the deal. The move was unexpected as the merger had already been cleared by European regulators and the US department gave the go-ahead to the merger of United and Continental Airlines three years ago.
*** Apple shares gained 5% yesterday after investor Carl Icahn revealed on twitter that he had taken a ''large position'' in the company saying he believed it to be ''extremely undervalued''. He did not divulge how much he had bought but his move pushed the share price up to $490 last night. It is still a long way off the lofty heights of over $700 a share reached this time last year but he believes it can get back there if the company engages in more share buybacks.