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. 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. 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. A key component of the expansion plans for the company is the launch and rollout of its subsidiary company, Carapay in 2011. Carapay is a new payment instrument and was the first new company to be awarded a license under the Payment Service Directive (PSD).
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. In 2009, he was named Internet Hero at the Eircom Golden Spiders awards for his work in setting up Realex Payments. In 2010, Colm was involved in initiating iGap hosted by Enterprise Ireland.