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, which was set up here over 10 years ago, already processes payments of over €20 billion a year for over 12,000 online retailers including Aer Lingus, Paddy Power, Vodafone and Virgin Atlantic.

It has a workforce of 160 people in offices in Dublin, London and Paris.

The company says its new product - Realex Fire - is a new style of bank 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.

Realex has joined the Irish and Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) clearing systems or banking networks, one of the first non-banks to join such networks. The company is regulated by the Central Bank.

The company's chief executive Colm Lyon said that it is time for real change in the way people and businesses pay and are paid.

''We want to fundamentally transform the payments landscape and make payments safer, more accessible, social and less expensive to process. In many ways, what we see today is the base upon which we will build the payment applications of the future,'' Mr Lyon said.