Realex Payments is a European payment service provider, with offices in Dublin, London, Paris and The Netherlands. The company provides a broad range of payment services for over 10,000 clients including Virgin Atlantic Airways, Vodafone Ireland, the AA, AXA Insurance, Aer Lingus and Cryptologic. In 2011, Realex Payments processed more than €12 billion in transactions for clients across Europe.


Realex Payments was founded in 2000 by Colm Lyon. The company has grown rapidly since its inception, now employing over 75 staff[1]. In 2007, it expanded into the UK market, following a surge in business being transacted online. It also moved to a larger Dublin office the same year[2]. Despite the recession, it is pressing ahead with its expansion plans, and recently opened an office in Paris, the company is now focused on European expansion. It recently signed a deal with French bank BNP Paribas which will allow payments to be processed directly into accounts in France[3]. A key component of the expansion plans for the company is the launch and rollout of its subsidiary company, Carapay in 2011[4]. Carapay is a new payment instrument and was the first new company to be awarded a license under the Payment Service Directive (PSD)[5].

Lyon was Chairman of the Irish Internet Association from 2004 until December 2007. In 2005 he was a finalist of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award[6]. In 2009, he was named Internet Hero at the Eircom Golden Spiders awards for his work in setting up Realex Payments[7]. In 2010, Colm was involved in initiating iGap hosted by Enterprise Ireland.