Dutch digital bank bunq enters the Irish market today with a banking service that uses Irish international bank account numbers.

It is the first so-called neobank to offer accounts with Irish IBAN, which means customers will be able to set up direct debits, and make and receive payments including monthly salaries - services not available to Irish customers without an Irish IBAN.

While bunq is already available to people in Ireland through its Dutch IBAN, it is launching an Irish IBAN 'to tailor a bank experience to local needs'.

It received authorisation from the Central Bank last month.

The fintech enters the Irish banking market as pillar banks Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland prepare to exit, leaving a million customers looking to open new current accounts elsewhere.

Bunq is banking on some of those customers choosing its offering.

It says the Amsterdam-based company was founded to challenge what banking is and what it can do. It says bunq is an easier and a far more sustainable way of banking.

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It is the only self-funded challenger bank that has branched into 30 European markets without venture capital funding.

COO of bunq, Gerald Gruber, said, "By offering an extensive range of financial products and services, Irish people can now finally experience the true value of fintech as an alternative to traditional banking. I'm very excited to see bunq spearheading this development."

It follows its recent acquisition of Capitalflow, a specialist business lender that employs over 75 people.

In addition to the current accounts offered by bunq, to customers looking to switch, Capitalflow offers equipment and vehicle financing, and commercial property loans, along with cashflow facilities like Invoice Discounting to Irish businesses.

CEO of Capitalflow, Ronan Horgan, said he is delighted to see bunq strengthen its position in the Irish market.

"This deal has enabled us to offer more competitive funding to Irish SME's and to continue to grow our workforce. With its 'customer first' ethos, this launch is excellent news for Irish consumers, offering greater choice for day-to-day banking"

Irish consumers interested in signing up for a bunq account should download the bunq app today from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Bunq has a banking licence from the Dutch Central Bank.