Colm Lyon is a member of the International Advisory Board of Innovation Academy UCD.
“Having had first-hand experience of the work of the Innovation Academy, I was delighted and honoured to join the International Advisory Board. The team at the Innovation Academy are at the forefront of innovation and via their thought changing processes and programmes, the Innovation Academy helps people and organisations change for the better. These outcomes are real and the impact of the work is always tangible. The diverse nature of the team and the participants who benefit from its work, make the Academy a real asset to UCD.”
Colm Lyon is the founder and CEO of Fire Financial Services Limited and also founder and former CEO of Realex Payments. Colm started Realex Payments in in 2000 and led the business to a leading position as a one of Europe’s largest and most successful online payments businesses, processing in excess of €28 Billion per annum for 12,500 online retailers. In March 2015 Realex Payments was acquired by Global Payments in a deal valued at €115m. The transaction is viewed as a great success for the shareholders, customers, staff and for Ireland itself. It demonstrated how a non-venture backed business could scale internationally and generate significant strategic value. Realex Payments, as part of the Global Payments organisation continues to expand and grow.
In 2009, Colm founded Fire Financial Services Limited – regulated as a European Payments Institution – with a mission to transform banking services by launching a new payment account. Fire provides business and personal customers with accounts that are easy and quick to open. It supports credit transfers in/out in euro and sterling. Business customers and partners have access to an API to provide a deeply integrated experience. Fire is regarded as highly innovative and one of the new generation fintech providers. To date the business has launched a mobile payments service, called Pay with Fire and a Fire Account for businesses (beta). Colm is the CEO of Fire Financial Services.
Colm has worked in financial services related businesses for thirty years, starting with fourteen years in the banking sector. He is a regular speaker at payments and internet industry events across Europe and frequently commentates for press as a payments expert and visionary about the future of money. He is passionate about “changing payments for the better”. He has participated in and established several business associations. Most notably Colm was chairman of the Irish Internet Association for several years, founder of the Internet Growth Alliance, which led to the creation of the highly acclaimed Internet Growth Acceleration Programme (iGAP) and he also founded the Payments Ireland networking group in 2014. He has served as a member of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Council in 2014. In June 2015 Colm was appointed to the International Financial Services Industry Advisory Group as part of the Irish Government’s IFS 2020 Strategy, where he contributes to the action plan to create an additional 10,000 jobs. In September 2015, he was a founding director and appointed chairman for the Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland, a new organisation that aims to support and market Ireland as a global leader in Fintech and Payments.
Colm is a graduate of University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Management Science Degree. Over the past few years he has spent further time in Harvard and Stanford Business School with the Leadership 4 Growth programme. Throughout his career Colm has won numerous industry accolades including;
• November 2015 – Outstanding Achievement Award from Dublin Docklands Business Forum
• October 2015 – IIA – Net Visionary Of the Year Award
• October 2015 – Tatler Men of the Year – Entrepreneur Award
• June 2015 – Voted the 5th most Powerful Person in Payments
• December 2014 – Winner Ulster Bank Business Achievers International Award
• November 2014 – Winner Dublin Docklands Exporter of the Year
• November 2014 – Irish Software Association – winner of Talent Development Award
• November 2013 – Dublin Docklands Innovation Award for Realex Fire.
• April 2012 – Colm was awarded ‘Outstanding UCD Smurfit School Alumnus of the Year’ 2012
• December 2011 – awarded the Software Industry Person of the Year award at a gala ceremony and dinner, hosted by the Irish Software Association;
• In November 2011 – awarded the ‘Business Person of the month’ accolade from Business & Finance Magazine for his work with Realex Payments and a recent announcement to create an additional 50 jobs;
• In September 2011 – received the prestigious Ruban d’Honneur in the European Business Awards which promote excellence, best practice and innovation in the European community. Represented Ireland at the finals in Barcelona.
• In 2009 – acclaimed as the “Internet Hero” at the Eircom Golden Spiders Awards for his contribution to the Irish Internet Industry.
• In 2007 – Colm was awarded lifetime membership to the Irish Internet Association in recognition of his contribution as Chairman of the association for four years;
• In 2005 – Colm was acclaimed and awarded for his leadership and entrepreneurial spirit when he was finalist of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Award.