The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has decided to carry out further investigations into plans by four of the five main Irish retail banks to develop an app based payment system.

If it goes ahead, the system called Synch Payments would allow bank customers to transfer funds in much the same way as users of services like Revolut and N26 can.

The joint venture involves AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and KBC Bank Ireland initially, but it will be open to others involved in financial services here to join.

Following an extended preliminary investigation, the CCPC said a full Phase 2 investigation is needed in order to establish if the proposed transaction could lead to a "substantial lessening of competition" in the State.

The CCPC said it received a number of third-party submissions during the Phase 1 investigation, and invited any further submissions to be sent by 4.30pm on 5 January 2022.

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The plan for Synch Payments was dealt an early setback last January, after the competition regulator rejected its application for clearance due to insufficient information.

"Following a preliminary review of the notification, the CCPC has formed the view that the notifying parties have not provided full details of the proposed transaction as required under section 18(3) of the 2002 Act," the CCPC said at the time.

Irish banks are increasingly coming under competitive pressure from digital based services.

Revolut is used by more than a million Irish people and the move to a cashless economy driven by the Covid-19 pandemic has also increased the use of other contactless services like Apple and Google Pay.