Ire­land’s lat­est Sil­i­con Val­ley — Ne­nagh

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - Gavin Mclough­lin

“EVERYONE I talk to in the time I’ve been here, they’re an­noyed at Dublin.”

So says Dr Christopher Mas­caro, who is bring­ing 150 new jobs to Ne­nagh, Co Tip­per­ary.

Mas­caro is vice pres­i­dent, threat in­tel­li­gence and an­a­lyt­ics, at US pay­ments pro­ces­sor First Data, which is es­tab­lish­ing a new re­search and devel­op­ment cen­tre in the Tip­per­ary town.

Part of the rea­son it has opted for that lo­ca­tion is to give peo­ple an al­ter­na­tive to the in­fra­struc­ture-chal­lenged cap­i­tal city.

“A lot of it is just try­ing to har­ness the fact that peo­ple want to move and get away from Dublin. We’re also look­ing for a lit­tle bit of a dif­fer­ent skill set,” Mas­caro told the Sun­day In­de­pen­dent.

“The skill set we’re look­ing for may not be the ini­tial set that you have if you’re young, fresh, right out of col­lege. I think it’s go­ing to be peo­ple who may have fam­i­lies, who may want to go back home in some cases.

“I live on the east coast (of the US), and our prices are very ex­pen­sive for hous­ing. Look­ing at prices here, it’s amaz­ing how ex­pen­sive it is in Dublin.

“Choos­ing Ne­nagh gives peo­ple an­other op­tion — it def­i­nitely sets us apart from the Face­books, the Googles, the Ama­zons who are here.”

Mas­caro leads a team which analy­ses the com­pany’s data to stop fraud­u­lent trans­ac­tions.

The com­pany han­dles about 80bn trans­ac­tions a year around the world, which en­ables it to dis­cern cer­tain pat­terns of be­hav­iour that give rise to sus­pi­cion.

Mas­caro says hun­dreds of thou­sands of stolen cards are be­ing put up for sale by crim­i­nals every day on the dark web. He said: “A lot of crim­i­nals, they’ll get a card, and then they’ll test it to make sure it’s valid. We’re able to know what a test looks like.

“A test is usu­ally a fake mer­chant that’s set up to make sure it’s a real card. So know­ing what those are, we’re able to map out cards that are about to be used.

“Be­cause we see ev­ery­thing re­ally quickly, we’re able to proac­tively iden­tify breaches when the first sig­nals of fraud are oc­cur­ring — we’re able to do it within hours.”

The team in Ne­nagh will be help­ing Mas­caro and his team to de­velop new an­a­lyt­i­cal ap­proaches to help the com­pany’s anti-fraud mea­sures to be­come more ef­fi­cient.

“We’ve iden­ti­fied an av­enue of iden­ti­fy­ing breaches right away [but] there’s other prob­lems. How do we ap­ply that glob­ally to more data sets? What does it mean in the cases where there’s a coun­try that may not use pay­ments the same way we use them in Amer­ica or Europe?

“There’s a lot of lit­tle tweaks to th­ese things that need to be done. And I think a lot of the re­search that we’re go­ing to do in Ne­nagh is go­ing to be broad­en­ing th­ese ca­pa­bil­i­ties.”

The com­pany is tar­get­ing peo­ple who com­mute long dis­tances to Dublin, in­clud­ing in­ter­na­tional tal­ent and re­turn­ing em­i­grants look­ing for man­age­able over­heads, and peo­ple with fam­i­lies who want af­ford­able homes and schools with room for new pupils.

First Data al­ready has a sub­stan­tial pres­ence in Ire­land — with about 400 em­ployed in Dublin via its Om­ni­pay prod­uct.

This was an­other rea­son why lo­cat­ing the R&D cen­tre here made sense, ac­cord­ing to Mas­caro. Be­ing lo­cated near the Univer­sity of Lim­er­ick and Lim­er­ick In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy was an­other plus for the com­pany.

“There’s re­ally good tal­ent down there and I think we’re just go­ing to har­ness that,” he said. “We re­ally want to get the cul­ture right and build out what we’re do­ing. We don’t just want to hire good peo­ple — we want to hire the right peo­ple. And so by do­ing that, it’s go­ing to take some time.

“Ire­land is a small coun­try when it comes down to it, and I think hir­ing the right peo­ple here poses a set of chal­lenges, but there’s so much tal­ent that it’s go­ing to hope­fully make it eas­ier.”

The com­pany is look­ing to have the 150 roles filled by 2019.

‘Peo­ple want to move and get away from Dublin,’ says First Data’s Dr Christopher Mas­caro

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.