Bitesize Business: Android Pay, consumer spending and entrepreneur support

Employment, Finance, Technology | Wed 7 Dec | Author – Business & Finance
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Business & Finance brings you the day’s Irish business news in brief.

Central Bank encourages consumers to consider health insurance options


The Central Bank today reminded consumers who are due to renew their health insurance cover over the coming months to be aware of the ‘auto-renewal’ process and also encouraged consumers to make contact with their insurance providers to ensure that they are being offered the most suitable cover available to meet their individual needs and circumstances.

The results of a themed inspection on health insurance renewals carried out by the Central Bank earlier this year found that renewal notices issued by health insurance providers were not highlighting important information for consumers, and that providers should be doing more to ensure that they are providing the most suitable health insurance policy, particularly when consumers are purchasing cover online.

Android Pay available to Irish Visa cardholders


Visa has announced that Visa debit and personal credit cardholders from AIB now have access to the newly launched Android Pay service giving users a secure and private way to pay through their devices.

Android Pay can be used with any of the contactless point-of-sale terminals which are already used by Visa cardholders thousands of times every day throughout Ireland.

Philip Konopik, country manager, Ireland, Visa, commented: “Consumer demand for mobile contactless payments combined with the fact that an overwhelming percentage of people in Ireland own a smartphone means that the pieces of the puzzle are coming together for a seismic shift from plastic to digital.”

Black Friday sales put a dent in the reduction in Irish consumer spending


The rate of growth in consumer spending in Ireland slowed for the second month running in November, according to the latest data from Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index.

Expenditure across all payment types (cash, cheques and electronic payments) increased +3.9% year-on-year, the weakest expansion for a year-and-a-half, slower than the +4.4% rise seen in October this year.

The overall increase in expenditure was driven by ecommerce, where spending was up a record +21.6% year-on-year. This surpassed the previous joint-highs from April and May this year. With sterling considerably weaker against the euro, compared to a year ago, and the growing popularity of Black Friday, demand by Irish consumers spiked.

Acacia announces plans to hire 30 new employees


Acacia Communications, a provider of high-speed coherent optical interconnect products, today announced that it has established headquarters in Limerick, Ireland, for its Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific operations.

The company anticipates that the new headquarters will create 30 new jobs in Limerick.

Acacia’s corporate headquarters are located in Maynard, Massachusetts, and its workforce is predominantly located in the US. The Limerick facility will offer geographic diversity making it easier for Acacia to interact with its customers and suppliers in the EMEA-APAC regions. As such, the Limerick facility will primarily support functions such as sales, supply chain, and finance.

Irish teenage inventors and entrepreneurs get new support


The Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen visited the school of an award-winning teenage entrepreneur today to launch new teacher resources that will support over 20,000 secondary school students taking part in the Student Enterprise Programme.

Organised and run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, the Student Enterprise Programme is the biggest enterprise education initiative of its kind in Ireland with students from 620 schools taking part.

Ikea Ireland announces sales of €152.5m for financial year


Ikea Ireland today announced sales of €152.5m for the financial year ending August 31st 2016. The strong performance contributed to growth in market share.

Commenting on the results, IKEA Ireland market manager Marsha Smith said: “We’re very proud to be no. 1 in Ireland for market share. This demonstrates the success of our values-driven business and our commitment to our people, the planet and our customers.”

IKEA employed 110 new co-workers during the year taking the total number of staff to 663.