Engineering Blog

FinTech Belfast

Like a lot of good ideas, it all started with a chance conversation in the office over a coffee. We were discussing how odd it was that given how many local companies work on some aspect of financial technology, Belfast is weirdly underrepresented in that arena on the local meetup scene.

Aside from a cryptocurrency specific meetup, we really struggled to think of one that wasn't focused on a particular technology or niche segment of the market. So, we decided to launch our own, as you do on a Tuesday morning.

And just like that we brought FinTech Belfast into existence. With a snazzy logo, some swag, and an abundance of pizza and drinks available, we packed almost fifty people into the Cayan conference room for the evening.

FinTech Belfast

Our very gracious speakers were Orla Smyth, proprietor of local coffee chain Kaffe-O who discussed the challenges and rewards of ditching cash and accepting only digital payments in their recently launched coffee kiosk in Belfast's Donegall Square North.

Next up, Cayan's own SET Architect & Digital DNA's Developer of the Year, Mark O'Neill discussed how we have recently extended the same DevOps principles we use on our payment gateway to our Genius customer engagement devices.

Unlike a webservice or portal provisioned into a cloud-like environment, distributed, secure devices present a number of unique hurdles that needed to be overcome, via a blend of existing tooling, for example, Jenkins for CI or the Robot test framework, to custom built utilities that complete the platform specific installation steps we neededto let us ship the highest quality Genius product releases. This is of great importance to our customers, as highlighted by Orla in her previous talk. On the occasions that her own payment-facilitator's hardware has failed, she was left with no alternative but to close the kiosk and lose trade!

Finally, the evening ended with David Thompson, Senior Manager for Open Banking at Danske Bank UK, who introduced the audience to the concept of Open Banking. We learned about some of the core objectives of the Open Banking initiative and how the organization are having to change their historical operating methods in order to be nimbler. This was shown in the success where Danske Bank were one of a only a handful of 'big banks' to meet the CMA's January 13th deadline with five other banks having to seek extensions.

We're looking forward to hosting the next meetup on the 9th May. This time we'll be covering Cryptocurrencies, Splunk! and seeing as its May, GDPR! Interested? You can RSVP here. You can also reach out to us on twitter via @cayan_fintech.