Tag Archive for: innovation

Episode 2 with Rob Lincolne & Naby Mariyam

Values, Vision and the Questions VC’s never ask (but should!) – Join Naby Mariyam and Rob discussing authenticity and a theory on what really matters when building long term success in fintech.

PayTalk with Paydock is our very own podcast where our founder and CEO Rob Lincolne dives deep with prominent figures and global leaders in the payments industry – bringing the latest insights and leadership to your doorstep.

In welcome news to medium and large merchants looking to compress compliance scope and yet provide leading IVR experiences to customers, Paydock can now be enjoyed as part of the Payshield offering, providing merchants with dynamic choice of over 30 processing partners within an orchestration environment while delivering seamless over-the-phone payment experiences. 

Payshield’s capability enables merchants to securely capture credit card data and process through any of their Paydock-connected payment gateways. By working with Paydock+Payshield, merchants are able to further their orchestration solution and benefit from a single source of transaction truth regardless of the acceptance point.

Rob Lincolne, founder and CEO of Paydock said: “Harmonising compliance, consumer experience and payment vendors hasn’t always been easy. As credit card security breaches become more prevalent, we are excited to be able to remove common pain points with the team at Payshield to deepen merchant security, improve brand experiences and work closely with their choice of processing partner.” 

Paydock’s technology is used by leading global merchants and platforms who benefit from a myriad of features such as dynamic vaulting and routing capabilities, sophisticated user management and vendor support.

Commenting on the collaboration, managing director of Payshield, Dmitri Muntean said “Integration with Paydock allows us to instantly enable over 30 payment providers for our customers, speeding up the deployment and adoption of our services that help merchants reduce their PCI-DSS exposure.”

 

To find out more about Paydock visit paydock.com

CONTACT:

For media enquiries related to Paydock, please contact:

MINERVA PR 

Malika Shermatova 

+44 (0)7979 852604 

[email protected] 

Paydock partners with Aplauz to enable in-store payments for digital merchants

Paydock, an enterprise-grade payments orchestration platform announces its most recent partnership with the introduction of Aplauz, a digital payment method that can be purchased in-store and used online, enabling online merchants to reach and capitalise on market opportunities within a yet untapped customer base.

By working seamlessly alongside other payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Afterpay currently supported by Paydock, merchants can by using Paydock and Aplauz extend their product strategy to include in-store payments made at convenience stores without increasing effort.

Paying for goods or services online using traditional payment methods such as credit cards is still inaccessible, inconvenient or untrusted for many customers, such as the generation Z, who would like to protect their privacy, are wary of online fraud and prefer not to share financial data online. Aplauz also promotes conscious spending by enabling customers to have better control of their online spending habits – whether they want to control impulse buying, have ghost subscription payments that are still active or overlooked charges made on a registered credit card. Aplauz puts consumers squarely in the driver’s seat.

Rob Lincolne, founder and CEO of Paydock said: “Aplauz offers a compelling proposition for consumers and merchants. We are extremely excited to collaborate with Aplauz on this project and play our role in closing the gap between offline and online transactions by offering a solution that truly adds value to digital merchants as part of their payments mix.”

 Paydock’s technology is used by leading global merchants and platforms who benefit from a myriad of features such as dynamic vaulting and routing capabilities, sophisticated user management and vendor support.

Commenting on the collaboration, CEO of Aplauz Goran Abramović said: “We are excited to collaborate with Paydock to make Aplauz easily available to merchants everywhere regardless of their payment vendor set-up. Beyond the convenience, Aplauz has been launched with a vision of empowering conscious spending by enabling consumers to better control their online spending. I strongly believe that Aplauz can be a great opportunity for online merchants to further increase their social responsibility contribution towards their customers and the industry in which they operate.”

Aplauz is currently available across over 2000 convenience stores in Switzerland and will be expanding across Europe during 2021.

NOTES TO EDITORS

To find out more about Paydock, please visit paydock.com

To find out more about Aplauz, please visit aplauz.com

About Paydock

Paydock (www.paydock.com) is an innovative enterprise-grade payments orchestration platform. Paydock assists merchants and payment service providers resolve systemic inefficiencies and risks associated with the industry’s growth, such as ever-increasing complexity, lost profit and material risk.

Clients include, major retailers, not-for-profits, global travel platforms, insurtech leaders and fast food chains.

Paydock’s ambition is to return billions in lost profit to its target markets while introducing best-in-class payments infrastructure to some of the most loved brands in the world.

 

About Aplauz

 Aplauz is prepaid digital credit that empowers people to make conscious spending. Aplauz credit vouchers can be bought at convenience stores and used to make online payments without any of the traditional online payment methods, and without having a bank account. It is ideal for those who don’t own a credit card or don’t want to disclose financial details, to securely buy online while staying in control of their spending.

CONTACT:

For media enquiries related to Paydock, please contact:

MINERVA PR

Malika Shermatova

+44 (0)7979 852604

[email protected]

For media enquiries related to Aplauz, please contact:

Delphine Bos

CMO Aplauz

[email protected]

Paydock, an enterprise-grade payments orchestration platform, is delighted to announce its strategic partnership with Australian fintech Azupay to support its New Payments Platform (NPP) powered payments infrastructure.

This groundbreaking partnership enables e-commerce vendors and merchants Australia-wide to rapidly deploy cutting-edge payments technology, maximise consumer choice and compress their internal transactional and operational costs. Combined with Paydock, Azupay will blend seamlessly alongside other critical payment methods such as credit card, Paypal and Afterpay, enabling merchants to add it to their ecosystem and benefit from this national payment infrastructure – all rapidly deployed through Paydock’s single platform.

Rob Lincolne, founder and CEO of Paydock said: “Accelerating payments innovation across Australia is in our DNA. We are, therefore, extremely excited to collaborate with the wonderful team at Azupay and the substantial benefit they offer every Australian business. We believe that the Azupay technology stands at the forefront of payment acceptance in Australia, capitalising on years of investment by major banks and supported by the Reserve Bank of Australia. This partnership is a watershed moment for Aussie merchants and will fundamentally change the way we think about payments acceptance in Australia.”

As the Australian fintech industry continues to expand, this partnership demonstrates the role Paydock plays in driving fintech innovation. Paydock’s technology is used by global merchants and B2B platforms who benefit from features such as a single API to process payments across vendors, vaulting and routing capabilities as well as  smart user and vendor support.

Commenting on the collaboration, CEO of Azupay, John Murphy said “We are delighted to be partnering with Paydock to bring Azupay’s unique, real-time payment offering to the Paydock platform. For the first time, Paydock merchants can receive their funds instantly instead of waiting days. In addition, Azupay reduces the likelihood of fraud and eliminates chargebacks, which is a real game changer for the Australian eCommerce market.”

Merchants seeking to find out more about the partnership should email [email protected] to find out about how to load Azupay into their Paydock environment.

To find out more about Paydock visiting paydock.com

 

CONTACT:

For media enquiries related to Paydock, please contact:

MINERVA PR

Malika Shermatova

+44 (0)7979 852604

[email protected]

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Paydock

Paydock (www.paydock.com) is an innovative enterprise-grade payments orchestration platform. Paydock assists merchants and payment service providers resolve systemic inefficiencies and risks associated with the industry’s growth, such as ever-increasing complexity, lost profit and material risk.

Clients include, major retailers, not-for-profits, global travel platforms, insurtech leaders and fast food chains.

Paydock’s ambition is to return billions in lost profit to its target markets while introducing best-in-class payments infrastructure to some of the most loved brands in the world.

 

About Azupay

Azupay is a Sydney-based fintech using innovative technology to make payments faster, safer and smarter. Azupay is the first consumer-to-business payments service to go live on the New Payments Platform, leveraging state-of-the-art real-time payment capabilities and QR (Quick Response) codes for payment initiation. Azupay allows instant ‘cash like’ account-to-account payments for consumers and businesses.

CONTACT:

For media enquiries related to Azupay, please contact:

CHRIS HAYLOCK

[email protected]
+61 (0) 405 155 009

Paydock, an enterprise-grade payments orchestration platform joins the ranks of strategic partners alongside leading industry players selected by Markaaz, the world’s first global operating system for small businesses.

Paydock is set to provide a unique payments orchestration backbone to Markaaz and its members. Paydock’s technology is used by leading global merchants and platforms who benefit from a myriad of features such as dynamic vaulting and routing capabilities, sophisticated user management and vendor support.

The partnership enables Markaaz to offer its SME base a wide range of both traditional and cutting edge payment capabilities, reduce compliance, technical and administrative costs and return lost time and money to ever more strained SME owners and operators.

Markaaz is an SME community where they can find all the resources and tools they need to succeed. For its partners, Markaaz is a network through which SME-friendly solutions can be offered and enhanced by Markaaz’s proprietary operating system underpinned by powerful AI.

Commenting on this partnership, founder and CEO of Markaaz, Hany Fam said: “We are pleased about the partnership with Paydock, as we are not only aligned in our values to bring down the cost of payments, but also we are on a shared mission to help SMEs succeed.”

Rob Lincolne, founder and CEO of Paydock said: “We are delighted to partner with Markaaz and be part of this purpose-driven business. Paydock has been built with enduring purpose of benefiting platforms such as Markaaz to simplify and streamline the way they engage and support payment service providers and associated vendors. Markaaz’s mission of reshaping the SME landscape is highly innovative and we look forward to working with them to transform the status-quo that exists in the payments environment.”

Businesses can find out more about Paydock by visiting paydock.com. To become a Markaaz community member and take advantage of some of the first FREE assessments including CRM / Network assessment, powered by Salesforce, or a Cyber Security Health assessment for your business visit markaaz.com.

 

CONTACT:

For media enquiries related to Paydock, please contact:

MINERVA PR

Malika Shermatova

+44 (0)7979 852604

[email protected]

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Paydock

Paydock (www.paydock.com) is an innovative enterprise-grade payments orchestration platform. Paydock assists merchants and payment service providers resolve systemic inefficiencies and risks associated with the industry’s growth, such as ever-increasing complexity, lost profit and material risk.

Clients include, major retailers, not-for-profits, global travel platforms, insurtech leaders and fast food chains.

Paydock’s ambition is to return billions in lost profit to its target markets while introducing best-in-class payments infrastructure to some of the most loved brands in the world.

 

About Markaaz

Markaaz is the world’s first global operating system for small businesses, supported by a pre-populated global directory of vetted businesses.

Markaaz is a community for small businesses, and a network for its partners. Markaaz develops and applies proprietary technology to support SMEs, including an AI and recommendations engine to create best-in-class SME-friendly tools, and using natural language conversations with SMEs it will develop and deliver custom tools in real-time for the specific needs of each SME. Founded by a team who has done this before, supported by a world class leadership and board, Markaaz has been internationally recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Global Innovator, and is driving digital adoption for SMEs globally.

 

CONTACT:

For media enquiries related to Markaaz, please contact:

Markaaz Marketing

[email protected]

Paydock contributes a chapter alongside IBM, Dell and CMS in a recently launched book “Growing with Blockchain”

London, UK: PayDock, a revolutionary payments orchestration platform, is delighted to have contributed a dedicated chapter focusing on blockchain and the changing face of payments, alongside other contributors such as IBM, Dell and CMS for a new book “Growing with Blockchain” published by Novaro Publishing.

Edited by Kevin R. Smith, the book draws on the knowledge and experience of 18 top-level blockchain performers who lay out their expert opinion on how to turn the disruptive potential of blockchain into operational reality. It has been described as a ‘must-have’ for anyone wanting to easily understand the varied practical and commercial applications of this revolutionary technology.

In his chapter, Rob Lincolne, the founder and CEO of PayDock expresses his thoughts on the subject and highlights some of the key areas such as: 

  • Lockdown triggered shifts in the payments industry increases relevance of blockchain.
  • Authentication and authorisation are different concepts, how blockchain helps resolve these transactional pillars.
  • A seismic shift toward political trust anchors has the opportunity to reshape commerce.

Commenting on his involvement, he said, “Even though blockchain is here to stay, its practical and accessible value can still at times be hard to grasp. It is my hope that in Growing with Blockchain, we have been able to make this revolution tangible, applicable and perhaps even exciting for corporations today.”

Other contributors include experts from IBM, Digital Catapult, CMS, Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Dell Technologies, Team Blockchain, Omnitude, DAG Global, Coller IP, Totalinfo, Kession, Blockchain Rookies, Robbie Moulding, Kate Baucherel, A Transparent Company, BEEN London and Boom & Partners.

 

Priya Guliani, Head of Operations, Government Blockchain Association, UK

‘Blockchain has surely touched, if not disrupted, every major industry and is even altering the norms of interaction between people and societies. As the expression goes, “power to the people”. The dust of being a buzzword has fallen off and Growing with Blockchain covers the foundational underpinnings, the industry paradigms, as well as the implications of blockchain, helping you pivot to the new sensibly. Read, reread, learn and apply.‘

An independent review by the Cointelegraph described their experience of engaging with the book

‘However, at this point, it seemed better to persevere straight onwards and am very glad I did. The later chapters flow so well from one topic to the next that I found myself thinking of ways to implement blockchain technology into my own (non-existent) business.’

PayDock is pleased to offer a 25% discount to its followers and friends via the Novaro Publishers’ website https://novaropublishing.com/growing-with-blockchain/.

The 25% off discount code is: 25off-blockchain

London, UK: Payments orchestration platform PayDock has announced a multi-year exclusive agreement with ECAL, a leading calendar communications platform to offer seamless calendar-driven payment solutions. Currently relied on by around 3m monthly active users, ECAL is a preferred pipeline for time-sensitive, actionable communications between brands and consumers. PayDock’s capabilities as a mature payments orchestration platform provide a strong foundation for ECAL’s payments roll-out.

Patrick Barrett Founder and CEO at ECAL:

 

Today, the calendar sits squarely at the forefront of the merchant-consumer relationship. Our success in driving consumer action and response from right-time communications will be elevated via seamless in-calendar payment capabilities. ECAL Pay powered by PayDock will offer consumers a simple, direct and timely way to pay bills, support charities or buy tickets to their favourite events instantly, and without leaving their preferred personal time-management platform. Merchants similarly benefit from improved cashflow, reduced costs and greater transparency within their customer relationships.

 

Rob Lincolne Founder and CEO at PayDock 

 

Our mission at PayDock has always been to equip businesses that stand at the forefront of consumer experiences. We are excited along with Pat and the team at ECAL to announce a new era in frictionless time-sensitive payment solutions for merchants, consumers and donors. PayDock’s seamless payments and event orchestration service combined with ECAL’s powerful in-calendar engagement capabilities results in a new era of secure, trusted payments in the world’s most reliable and immediate consumer facing tool. We’re excited to further our value to the payments and consumer community now with ECAL.

 

PayDock is a payments orchestration platform serving an international merchant base and over 30 payment service providers globally. PayDock makes it easy for businesses to rapidly harmonise and deploy payment ecosystems for increased value.

ECAL is a world-leading calendar communications and marketing platform, used by hundreds of major brands globally in sports, ticketing, media and now payments. ECAL’s ‘sync to calendar’ technology enables smart, dynamic, event-based communications straight to calendar, for better business outcomes.

The payments industry has arrived at a point where, for merchants defining payments strategy, it is difficult to justify a starting point other than orchestration. Payments orchestration, for those who are new is, the act of using a compliant, managed platform to simplify acceptance across a disparate and changing set of providers (while maintaining a strong link with the customer). Orchestration makes sure agility is kept high and risk and cost low. An, ‘AWS for payments’, orchestration takes the pain away and recognises key industry trends.

Over the last few years at PayDock, along with the broader payments industry, we have gathered sufficient data to confidently demonstrate that any choice – other than the choice to orchestrate – is approaching a ‘facts be damned’ decision to walk away from stability, strategy and profit and leave the door open for fast moving competitors.

But why is payments orchestration now the emergent ‘go-to’ for payments strategy?

Four main drivers

Over the past 4 years we have observed four drivers in the payments landscape, each one a lever, accelerating the other and combining to a perfect storm.

  1. The acceleration of commoditization (many vendors are now offering the same thing)
  2. The rise of B2C payment fintechs (buy-now-pay-later, alternative payment methods, and payment related loyalty schemes now have strong consumer adoption)
  3. The value in third party niche apps (fraud, identity, loyalty and authentication services have appeared with the promise of increasing acceptance and reducing risk – and merchants wish to capitalise)
  4. Changes in broader regulation and compliance regimes (merchants are finding it harder to keep track of regulations and so are looking to reduce costs while remain compliant and agile)

These four forces have tipped the market’s hand toward a single solution.

Why orchestration = the default

A recent article entitled Why Merchants Should Look For Payments Orchestration, observed that “…organizations that invest in the ability to have payments orchestration receive a huge return.” …and “If companies receive a one-sized-fits-all approach, they might not be able to stand out in the ways that they wish to do so in retail.”

Primer, a new entrant similarly observed that “it becomes increasingly complex for merchants to scale payments as they grapple with an ever growing number of ‘interdependent’ technical integrations across payments services.”

Similarly, our team here at PayDock has identified that when transitioning from legacy single-service approaches (or internally orchestrated solutions) to cloud-based orchestration our platform increases merchant profit by approximately 3-4% virtually overnight. And this is before any longer term strategic benefits are realised. A recent client’s business case identified an 850% ROI! To wave a wand and materially increase enterprise profit; this is the power of payments orchestration.

Payments orchestration is the equivalent of swapping a Lada for a Ferrari.

The burning question: “how to orchestrate?”

Build vs Buy

Merchants aware of the four main drivers (above) and transitioning to orchestration have to face the age old decision: whether to build or buy.

 

 

Our experience is that merchants tend to be somewhere on the “single-service (simple) → single-service (sophisticated) → orchestration” continuum. (We will explore this journey in a subsequent article). Often we see the middle phase skipped as a sensible transition from simple single-service to orchestration is executed.

It is our expectation that as with infrastructure decisions in general, the trend will accelerate toward orchestration-as-service.

Navigating fragmentation, commoditization and regulation introduces exponential cost and risk to any merchant. Bringing these challenges in-house is strategic suicide. We have recently spoken with merchants following a £2-3m+ investment (payments is harder than you think!) in an attempt to build orchestration only to realise that

  1. It’s not core business,
  2. The pace of the market is increasing (shock!) and;
  3. There are simpler, more agile ways to avoid the problem.

As a payments manager, ops manager, head of digital, etc. it is possible to make decisions for a simple processing solution (consider the first two phases of the payments maturity journey). It is however one thing to make decisions re single-services, but a completely different set of skills and experiences required to deploy an effective, secure and highly robust services solution into multiple markets, countries and services. Skills aside, it’s rarely the core business of the organisation.

 

Ops, digital and management roles do not typically possess sufficient operational domain knowledge to properly address the risks and opportunities – nor should they be required to.

 

It is naive to expect such roles to know everything about every market, i.e. preferred consumer payment methods consumers, the correct partners to work with, typical caveats not easily obvious, different pricing approaches, licensing and legal requirements, etc. Everyone understands the specialist role of a lawyer in law; why should the specialist role of a payments expert be any different? PayDock and other payment orchestration platforms provide the merchant the agility required to capitalise on acquired knowledge and limit downside should more information come to light or strategy change, as it invariably does.

 

Leveraging platforms with a specialist focus provides better value than building infrastructure from scratch.

 

Where payments orchestration is adopted, power shifts back to the critical finance and operations functions of the business (rather than the technical and development functions). This allows critical developer resources to be freed up to focus on core business activities.

Infrastructure-as-service is a well-accepted principle. 

We are comfortable to use AWS to provide hosting services rather than maintaining our own collection of servers in the basement. The rule of thumb is generally, “If it’s infrastructure, where can we capitalise?” rather than “If it’s infrastructure, let’s build from scratch!”

The latter appears foolish, yet is often surprisingly the attitude taken toward payments.

Another final factor which, while material, is difficult to represent in a spreadsheet is speed. In today’s markets speed translates to competitive advantage and lack of it translates to opportunity cost. When architecting orchestration from scratch it is unlikely that the solution, culture and resources available will be positioned to keep pace with dedicated fintech platforms focused on this single specialised service. When undertaking non core business projects, resources will inevitably be pulled in different directions, execution will be slow and cumbersome, and corporate knowledge will be scattered.

As aptly observed in a recent article, “If, say, large enterprises want to incorporate a new payment method, type, service provider or processor, that task can take millions of dollars and the better part of a year to accomplish.” – PYMNTS.com

An orchestration-as-service platform offers the merchant the best of both worlds: the speed of a fintech with the needs of a large brand, without the internal cost or disruption.

Any merchant relying on a from-scratch orchestration strategy will inevitably be outpaced by competitors who have chosen to capitalise on the head-start provided by as-service orchestration infrastructure providers.

Multiple Beneficiaries

Merchants are not the only beneficiaries. One infrequently discussed, yet essential benefit is the ‘enablement’ orchestration platforms offer the general industry including adjacent verticals. This represents a shift away from disruption and toward collaboration.

Large consumer brands (Amazon, Apple, Facebook) seek to disintermediate incumbents and alternative new service providers. These innovative brands sit alongside traditional providers and seek to leverage their consumer base to consume the payments layer as well. At any time they are poised to introduce irrelevance to high-street providers as they execute their payment strategies with strength and speed.

Legacy payments providers like acquirers and schemes may not be equipped and experienced at engaging and managing merchants directly – something they have not invested in for some time – yet are now seeing the need to rapidly forestall competitive disintermediation.

With orchestration partners, acquirers and schemes can have the ability to lift capabilities to the market surface and offer processing technologies that cannot be developed fast enough internally. Partnering with (and promoting) orchestration ensures that the core propositions of trust, stability and cost offered by legacy providers are visible and consumable by merchants.

 

Orchestration removes the chaos and noise of payment fragmentation allowing service providers to double down on what they’re good at: core business.

 

Orchestration benefits extend not only to established providers but also to any new kid on the block I once overheard the phrase, “There is only one PayPal.” Indeed. As consumer brands, alternative payment methods, buy-now-pay-later platforms latest-wallet-5000 jostle for mind-share, it is becoming increasingly apparent that only orchestration equips the merchant to dynamically engage new brands along with the value of long standing high-street brands.

Global merchants need to be light on their feet and embrace their local consumers and methods. In order to be increasingly global, merchants must look to become increasingly local. A payments orchestration platform fills the gap between old and new, global and local, consumer and merchant.

One Big Happy Family

Orchestration is to payments what oil is to an engine. It helps it all ‘just work’ (and the friction without causes a headache)! The payments world needs this now more than ever. It’s an incredible time of exciting progress. Let’s enable that progress and while we’re celebrating so many innovative new payment options in the market, not forget the merchant who has to ‘make it all work’ at the end of the day.

Remember iTunes? The outcries about the damage it would do to the music industry, the loss of the CD, the erosion of value etc. With the exception of cover-art, iTunes became an important lesson in consumption enablement. Make it easy for value to be consumed and it will be.

At PayDock we’ve noticed that if you make it easy for a merchant to capitalise on the value of a fintech or high-street processor, they will! Removing cost and risk and letting the business drive the solution (rather than the other way around) – we see our merchant customers increasing the payment methods they offer their consumers, increasing revenue, reducing costs and increasing consumption. The iTunes paradigm lives on.

Payments orchestration is the iTunes (or in today’s world, the Amazon), of the payments market. Make it seamless, remove the risk, and all parties thrive.

About PayDock

At PayDock we have been working in the orchestration space and solving merchant pain since 2015. We observed the early signs of a fragmenting market and were determined to assist as the problem grew worse. Today we offer full-service merchant orchestration capabilities as well as full white label orchestration stacks in partnership with large service providers and technology vendors.

Engineered for ‘five-9’s’ reliability PayDock has been a PCI-DSS Level 1 Service Provider for 5 years running and offers merchants a sophisticated orchestration engine that embraces payments, fraud, reporting, actionable data insights and downstream integration capabilities. We return material profit to our customers and readily produce business cases to demonstrate the immediate benefits across organisations of orchestration-as-service.

We encourage you to talk to us about your payments strategy to identify how for your business, orchestration lifts profits and brings the future closer, faster.

Welcome to the future of payments.

—–

Pre-Orchestration @ https://unsplash.com/photos/wP3pX6J39dE
Orchestration @ https://unsplash.com/photos/SPbcqTVoYqE

Interview with Andrew and Rob about payments, Fintechs in Australia and what disruption really is.

 

The interview was held in the Paydock Sydney offices on 26th September 2018 with Andrew Stein, Founder and CEO of Payreq, and Rob Lincolne, Founder and CEO of Paydock.

Those two experts went very deep into various topics around payments, tech and business.

  • What fascinates you about payments?
  • Can and should payments be easy?
  • What is Payreq?
  • Why does Payreq use Paydock?
  • Discussion about consent and identity in payments.
  • What’s your advice to Australian Fintech founders?
  • What payments editorials do you read?

Carmen: Rob and Andrew, you are both Australian based Fintech founders in payments and before we get into the depth of it, what is it that fascinates you about payments?

Andrew: As someone who runs businesses, getting paid is the critical part of any business. You do all the stuff and in the end, you need to be paid. I have encountered issues where people do not pay you. And not because they don’t want to pay you, but they just forget to pay you, or can’t remember to pay you.

You do all the stuff and in the end, you need to be paid.

After several years of evolution in financial services we still cannot seem to get an invoice to the right person and getting it paid on time. But whenever there’s gap between the request for payment and the actual due date it creates a big impact on cash flow. You start chasing and stressing. And the smaller your company is, the more important the cashflow. After all this development of technology and all the amazing things we’re doing in technology, we’re still sending out a piece of paper or an e-mail with an invoice and you wonder, “can’t we do better than that?”. I have personally been very, very interested in and aware of this problem.

Rob: I spent a lot of my career consulting for digital merchants, particularly those, who were seeking to take payments. We saw them drowning in costs and losing control of their customers while they tried to work with the different payment services that are available in the market. Then we saw an increase in the number of payment services that are available right through to WeChat, Alipay, PayPal, and of course Visa and Mastercard. What a lot of the merchants that we were consulting for at the time discovered, was that what was on the box was not the same as what was inside the box. There were hidden fees and different ways things were structured in any time merchants tried to move to a different provider. They would constantly encounter a new set of problems, they would lose customer data, they would have compliance overheads or exposure, they would have to rebuild recurring payment programs and all of that is very hard and very costly to manager.

They simply had no agility.

We saw the opportunity in providing a thin service that took all that pain away and enabling merchants to build recurring or one-off payments against any gateway of their choice, store and manage their customers credit cards in an independent vault, managed their PCI compliance without enormous cost, and be able to scale out without fearing a lock in around cost from different gateways. So from our point of view I think, re-empowering the merchant to better work with and manage their payment services without being trapped, was a big opportunity in the market. I think particularly as we look at where the market’s going. You know we have these things like mobile point of sale and secure PIN on glass and we’re going to see iPhone’s become acceptance devices and so on. Paydock is in a unique position to be able to introduce technology providers, who provide specific niche payments technology to merchants without forcing each one of those technologies to become a gateway in their own right. Or to have to go through lengthy integration processes with payment gateways and banks who have other prioritie.

Carmen: It’s great to hear about both your niche focus in the large world of payments. Do you think payments should and can be easy? 

Andrew: Everything can and should be easy, everything. Let me go back a little: There’s actually four transactions that occur of which “payment” is merely one of them. These four transactions are:

1. The intent to buy. That is the purchase order in a business sense or the verbal “Yes, I’d like to buy your goat”.
2. Then there’s the invoice: “Ok, here is my request for the payment.”
3. Then there is the actual payment.
4. And then there is the receipt. “Great, you have given me the money and here’s your receipt.”

And in there, there’s nuances of all that: There is partial payments, overpayments, disputed payments, all kinds of things, but it’s all around those four transactions – “payment” merely being one of those. When we talk about the ease of payments, it has to be in the context of all four, because payments in isolation can be easy. I mean let’s face it, from day one, handing over cash to someone was really, really easy. Pretty simple, so why has it gotten more complex? Firstly, often we are not face to face. Secondly, we don’t have cash, we have something else. I write a cheque or I pay by credit card. It used to easy, actually it was always very easy. I mean, bartering system: Hand over three chickens, done. Now I hand over cash. Now I hand over a cheque. Now I hand over credit card. And now it is getting more difficult because of the complexities of the technology and because we are not face to face anymore.

Everything can and should be easy, everything.

And I think some of it becomes easier if you look at the four transactions, which is something Payreq is looking at, which is the second one, “the invoicing part”. The payment now becomes a lot easier because you have an invoice and you can tie the two together nicely.

Rob: Great structure Andrew. Carmen, to your question if payments should and can be easy: Yes, it should be and no, it isn’t. If we look at Paydock based on Andrew’s structure, we are very much focused on the third transaction, where we saw a huge degree of complexity and that’s what really interests me about payments too. It is now very complex and my challenge is, how do we simplify it for the merchant?

Andrew, would you put reconciliation under the fourth step in your structure?

Andrew: Yes, each of those transactions have a link and therefore “invoice to payment” is a link. And the tighter you make that link, the more reconciliation comes out. And link between “payment to receipt” means “the receipt is because of the payment”. The payment is linked to the invoice. But then in the payment you both have a payer and a payee, so there’s reconciliation on both sides. You look at that pattern, there is senders and receivers and each of those have a different set of complexities and problems they are trying to resolve. But in the end you always try to tie it to one of those four transactions. So, the receipt is tied to a payment which is a reconciliation.

Carmen:  Andrew you shared a little bit already what Payreq does. For those who don’t know your business, can you give us your elevator pitch? 

Andrew:  Payreq is a company that brings products to market that help billers to get paid on time. And I guess conversely if that’s the word, helps payers pay on time. The first product we brought to market was a biller app, which helps billers send out digital invoices to their customer’s systems that the customers want to receive on. We call those systems “payer apps” which is something a customer receives a digital invoice on, they can receive it, they can view it and it helps them to pay it. And the biller app connects to those initially third party systems. For example BPAY View is a biller app embedded in your online bank. PayPal is a third party system that you can send or receive a request for payment on. If you’re a Chinese citizen you might use WeChat or Alipay and so you can receive a request for payment of an invoice on those two platforms. So those are third party payer apps. Our first product , the biller app, allows billers to send digital invoices to the customer’s preferred payer app.

Carmen: Which countries do you currently operate in Andrew?

Andrew: One is obviously Australia, you know building in your backyard, trying it out. Australia has a number of reasons why it is a really good place to do stuff. And we’re also in Canada, which we chose because we found some similar payer patterns there. They have something called epost in Canada and our first payer app we connected to was BPAY view here in Australia.

epost, run by Canada Post, had a similar pattern and similar set of problems as BPAY View had here, which effectively is a great payer app, but not many billers to connect to it.

By putting our biller app into Canada we opened up epost and made it much easier for the biller to offer epost as a delivery channel for invoices.

Carmen: Thanks Andrew. You are an existing Paydock customer. How do you use Paydock and why?

Andrew: Rob already touched on a few things that attracted us to Paydock in the first place. We have global aspirations for Payreq. It’s a global platform. Billers send invoices to the world and customers everywhere. The challenge we had, is each country has specialized payment gateways and services. Because of the single platform model we run, we didn’t want to have bespoke connections in Canada to Moneris for example and another one in the U.S.,  another one in Australia, another one in Sweden and so on. We don’t want to build all of these bespoke things and for us one of the features of Paydock is that we can connect to Paydock once and having configuration rules put in place. For example: “A customer has signed into the Canadian Payreq account, now we use the Canadian gateway of choice.” We can keep it in the country, keeping the foreign fees down for the poor payer, who may not know their pumping fees to a foreign gateway and all these sort of things.

It essentially allows us to have full flexibility with multiple gateways around the world. But we only had to integrate once. That was really what why we decide to integrate into Paydock versus into the default gateway.

And the second thing why we use Paydock is that when you have lower volumes some gateways are more efficient to use than other ones. So, if you go with a gateway that doesn’t have a monthly charge but only charges for transactions, then that’s more efficient at the beginning. However, you might want to switch to a gateway that offers a monthly charge and a much lower transaction fee once you feed through lots of transactions. So how do you do that? It’s very expensive and time consuming to do the work in-house, but with Paydock we can just switch it one day.

Paydock essentially allows us to have full flexibility with multiple gateways around the world. But we only had to integrate once.

The third reason is that the only way you can switch gateways like that very flippantly and without impacting the customer, is if the credit card is stored within some neutral third party like PayDock versus a gateway. Because one of the things a lot of people don’t realise is, when you go to a gateway and you save credit card details in the gateway, the gateways are the ones who are storing your credit card details. To then switch gateways, you potentially have a data hostage situation where the gateway says “Well you know, we have all your credit cards for your customers. Are you sure you want to switch?” And it may turn out very costly or really hard to move the customer’s credit card file to the new gateway. So worst case when switching gateways, is you make your customer re-enter all their credit card details, which is just a bad experience. A number of those features Rob touched on are attractive to us for different reasons.

Carmen: Thanks Andrew. Rob, I know that Andrew is a very generous customer when it comes to giving honest feedback. As founder and CEO of Paydock, how do you embrace that?

Rob: I want it. Actually, it’s one of my favourite things about Andrew (laughs). I hope that Andrew never stops picking up the phone to tell me, that this and that needs to change. a

Carmen: I know that there’s a topic you both like exploring in your own time but also together, which is “consent and identity in payments”. Could you tell me a little bit more about that? 

Andrew: Well, let’s look at a pay request: Obviously as a payer I consent to pay you, the payee, money. So there’s a consent there, that’s obvious. But then, when we look at direct debit, the payer gives the payee the consent to pull money from the payer. Now let’s say the payer wants to stop their gym membership. How do I stop that all of a sudden, how do I un-consent? It’s difficult. And then the identity-side is interesting. If I go back to sending a payment to someone, how do I know whom I’m really paying? In the worst case, the person on the street wearing a koala outfit says “Hi, I’m from World Wildlife Fund. Give me a hundred dollars in my bucket.” and I say “Sure, but who am I really paying?” I consent to give but who am I really paying? Identity of the payee is really tricky and there is all kinds of fraud out there. We read in the papers of people paying someone who they think they’re paying cash to. But in fact, they’re paying a fraudulent party. Identity is really important in payments.

We read in the papers of people paying someone who they think they’re paying cash to. But in fact, they’re paying a fraudulent party. Identity is really important in payments.

And part of the solution, if you look just at the payment, is kind of hard. But if you tie it to the four transactions then, when you receive an invoice from someone you merely say “Oh, I haven’t paid anything yet, but I can see who I received it from or if it is someone pretending to send me an invoice.” And this is where you start getting into these solutions, the complexity of technology. How do I know when someone sends me an invoice that it really is from Telstra? I received an email from Telstra, but I don’t know, it could be fraudulent or it could be real. They’re all over the place, these scams. They’re everywhere. We conclude e-mails are a really bad way to prove the identity of the sender. But in the digital world, where Payreq lives, it is the digital systems that are sending invoices instead of e-mails and there’s a much higher level of identity baked into these digital systems. So if you register with Telstra in BPAY View, there is actually a consent saying to Telstra “Please send me my future bills to this payer app called BPAY View where I live at Westpac.” Telstra sends me the bill and based on my consent I know that it is truly from Telstra. The BPAY View payer app world is run by the banks, so it has KYC AML all baked into it and that way I have consent and identity on both sides. Telstra knows it’s me, their customer who has consented, because of the nature I’m doing it through my bank. The identity consensus is really important for senders and receivers and all transactions, but certainly around payments and part of the solution is around the requests for payment.

Rob: Consent and identity? We have a saying at Paydock “We are agnostic as what constitutes in exchange for value”. So as long as the two parties agree on what is being exchanged and what the value is, it doesn’t matter if it is Dollars, Qantas points or some Bitcoin. So at this point where the two parties come to an agreement, then consent becomes very important about what is it you are agreeing to. And then verifying that these two parties are who they claim to be is also very important. Let’s look at it from a payments point, based on point three of Andrew’s transaction structure in the form of payments acceptance:

We have 3D Secure, we have got pin codes, we have face ID, there is just so many different mechanisms out there to try and establish identity. And the complexity comes with digital payments and the ability for fraud to creep in.

Because you can’t actually look the person in the face means that finding ways to verify identity is very important.

And to your point Andrew, where I trust the bank, then that’s my source of trust. The question is, where do I have my trust anchor. And are banks going to continue to be those trust anchors?

Andrew: Well, that was only one example of how it works in the BPAY view payer app. If you’re on WeChat or Alipay, then there’s a different trust anchor. In this case your social media is your footprint that proves who you are. So, it is just an example how one payer app solves it – and in this case you need to trust your bank which is higher than an email you receive. It’s just that every payer on a payer app or a billing app, has to identify. I guess our question around those apps is, what is their strength of identity, what’s the strength of consent?

Rob: You said something a while ago, about “de-identifying” yourself, what was that about Andrew?

Andrew: Oh yeah, it’s not about knowing who you are, but it is actually the opposite, where I don’t want to expose who I am.

Rob: What role does that have in payments? Do you have to know who somebody is?

Andrew:  In the world of Bitcoin for example, there is no identity. In the end this is a strength and why people are attracted to it, because there’s no identity. It’s just I received it anonymously. It’s interesting because on the one hand you go “Oh that’s really cool.” And let’s be honest, cash was the original “You have no identity.”- cash was the value transfer. I could leave an envelope with cash for you and you have no idea who I am.

Rob: It’s okay if you want to do that too by the way. (laughter)

Andrew: The interesting thing is, if there is no identity in payers and payees, on the one hand we think that would be cool, but on the other hand it would just lead to so much bad stuff. If you imagine every rule we have whether it’s AML, or you cannot donate x amounts of dollar to a political party and all this. If there was no identity, you couldn’t have any restrictions and people would just be sloshing stuff around and no one would know anything.

It would actually be financial anarchy if there was no identity everywhere.

Rob: But what if that identity was de-personalised and had the correct trust anchors, would that be sufficient? So, you would say “This party has the so-and-so verified tick, I know they’re safe, I don’t know who they are but I know their silhouette and it’s safe to pay.”

Andrew: But you’re really putting your trust in a third party here. So, the third parties know who the payee is. What I mean when I say “de-identify” is that I would as an individual, “de-identifying” all transactions but payments. For example, if I go and get a quote for a credit card or for a home loan, they don’t need to know anything about me, just some parameters, maybe my income. But they do not need to know who I am. But as soon as I do the payment or they lend me the money, you have to have identity. I’d say “de-identify” outside anything but payments.

Rob: I agree with you. And I’ve been turning this over in my brain: How is identity manifested? And where is the trust and what do I actually need to know to establish that trust and who from? But the other side of that is consent. For example, if you want to make a recurring payment on WeChat, you don’t have a system there, that automatically takes money month on month from you on a subscription, but you actually have to consent to that payment month on month. So, you’ll get a push notification that says “So and so requested a payment, are you still cool with that?” I see a lot of the industry going that way.

Andrew: That’s exactly what Payreq is about, you approve the request. So, if someone said they would like some money from you and you reply “yes” to this request. Now, you can make your life easier and set up an auto approval. But you, the payer sets that up. And you could cancel it any time. That’s your choice. The person on the other end doesn’t have to know whether you as a human being actually said “Yes, approve”, they just know you approved whether you set up an order rule to approve it or not. It’s your business. My flippant headline answer is, that we will stop paying each other, but that we will be replying to a repayment request. There’s no more payments on its own. You want to be paid? Send me a request and I’ll decide. And that gives me context, that gives me who the identity of the payee and I can consent. So even the guy in the Koala costume that comes up to you asking if you can donate $10 to WWF, I ask him to send me a request. This transaction now includes the consent to pay and the payer’s and the payee’s identity.

Rob: Do you think that still works when we have like 30 different request per month? I am thinking of all the platforms, like Netflix and Spotify, I am signed up to.

Andrew: One thing you need to separate, is the legal contract and the payment. Foxtel might want to lock me in for 12 months, which I legally agree to. But what they try to do is link it to the direct debit. Now, what I’m saying is that they are two different things. Legally, sure, I’ll take it up for 12 months but if I decide to stop paying them, well that’s a different thing. That’s a legal problem for Foxtel, not a payments problem. In the world of Foxtel the idea is that I legally agree to a 12 months subscription or as the world is moving to a “pay as you go model”.  Anyways, the idea is that Foxtel sends me a request every month and I’ll pay it. And to make my life easy I set up an auto pay rule – or maybe I won’t. But the thing that I can do, is that I can decide this month to pay off my credit card and next month pay off a different credit card. And then next month pay off whatever. So, it’s kind of separating the legal contract to take the service versus the payment per month versus the source of funds. It’s deconstructing those things as those have always been linked together.

What I mean when I say “de-identify” is that I would as an individual, “de-identifying” all transactions but payments.

Carmen: That was great guys, thank you. Let’s move on to my next question: What is your advice to other Fintech founders and leaders in Australia? 

Andrew: There’s two types of Fintechs out there: There is those that go into a space where they see money to be made, and certainly often around payments. And the second one is a Fintech, that goes into a space because it’s truly innovative. Let me give you examples: There are Fintech companies all over that will lend you money, for literally anything: Education, home loans, small invoices, you name it. All of these lending companies are after the interest in the transaction. And I’d say, they probably all be Billionaires in a few years time, but is that innovation? This is where I’m a bit snobbish because in my opinion that’s not innovation, that’s just doing the same thing we’ve always done, just adding that “tech veneer” over it. However, my tip to any Fintech founder: I think Australia’s a great place to try things because it’s a hard environment. I have been told numerous times that if you can succeed in Australia you can succeed in the world. It’s a hard place to grow up. At the same times it’s a small country, so you can get out there and meet people inside a bank easily. It’s not like in the US, trying to meet the CEO of the Bank of America, which is impossible. So there’s pros and cons to starting a Fintech in Australia, but if you can succeed here, I think can succeed anywhere with great.

Rob: I think there are Fintech founders, that see an existing model and try to iron out kinks and optimize and somebody else’s margin is their opportunity for businesses. But I don’t think that’s innovation. I think innovation in Australia, is a really tough gig. Because we are a country that loves the status quo and if you want to change the status quo or change the narrative, you either need to be very tenacious or very rich. Maybe both. So, my advice to those founders who want to try something new is manage your risk, be tenacious, don’t expect too much love from the market and stick to your customers. Understand the problem you’re seeking to solve for them. Make that as valuable as possible, so you’re delivering happy customer, you’re delivering value. And I think in order to nudge the status quo, take a lead from “Crossing the Chasm” (Book by Geoffrey Moore): If you are in the B2B world like Paydock, you need to deliver significant value to stay in the game. Otherwise the status quo will just carry on. But fortunately, because payments is such a complex world, there is value to be created because it’s highly complex and it’s hard for people to understand. And if you can turn something complex into something simple, understandable and approachable you’ll always find an audience.

I think innovation in Australia, is a really tough gig. Because we’re a country that loves the status quo.

Andrew: I agree Rob. Being a disrupter in Australia is really, really, really difficult because of the status quo and the culture here. Being an enabler is a much more interesting space, and I you can still enable and bring innovation.

Rob: I don’t even know if you can be a disrupter in Australia unless you have the network. And you can’t have a network unless you are enabling one way or another. If you come in and “disrupt everybody” then that’s probably the final nail in your coffin in the market  #laughter

Andrew: Yes, I don’t even know if you can create new stuff in payments, because we’ve been exchanging value for goods forever. You can certainly carve out big niches, but can you be truly disruptive? I mean, you look at Twitter and Facebook. They were not disrupting anything, they created a whole new category. We often talk about future jobs and things, and there will be jobs out there that we haven’t even thought about. They won’t be disrupting or taking anything, but they will be completely new, solving new problems that we never ever had before. So, I think disruptor implies that you have an existing place that you’re disrupting but outside of Fintech for so many places, there is whole new products and worlds being created.

Rob: Do you think though, now that they – Twitter and Facebook – have the network, they could actually disrupt? They could introduce the “Facebook Bank” and that would disrupt something. But at the beginning, when you create something new, you don’t really disrupt anything, right?

Andrew: Yes, that’s right. I could keep exploring this forever, but let’s move on.

Carmen: My last question for you guys: What is your go to source of truth when it comes to the latest and greatest payments news?

Andrew: There is a bunch of news feeds and things that I sample, but to be honest, there is just a lot out there and it is just a lot of noise. Things that are trumpeted as news, is actually just an iteration of something else. In the end you actually need to get on with what you do. I think with emerging technology companies, you have to be aware of what’s happening in the world, but you can’t stop it. And all you can do is, innovate, focus on your day to day stuff and what your key spaces are and keep getting feedback from your customers. I actually think that for a Fintech founder, payments news, may just be a distraction.

Rob: I think I agree with you. It is a distraction on one hand. On the other hand I do get some of my creative inspiration from seeing the way other people are trying to solve common problems. And the way people deal with identity and consent and recurring payments and payment times and customer experience and all that is very interesting to me. But of course, if I spend too long looking at it, it becomes a massive distraction. One thing that I’m looking out for, is seeing how other people try to solve the problem that Paydock is trying to solve. Having external points of reference to demonstrate that Paydock has competitors says this is a real issue and is an important part of a narrative.

“Never compare somebody else’s outside to your inside.”

I like www.pymnts.com and glance over that email in my Inbox each day. But back to Andrew’s point, we have customers to support and listen to. And you know I could spend all day just looking at what other people are doing and not actually building our own business. I remember this saying: “Never compare somebody else’s outside to your inside.” And as business owners it’s easy to look at all these shiny headlines of other Fintech’s and there’s all these things you want to do, but truth is stranger than a fiction for those who keep their heads down and just persevere.

Carmen: Thanks guys. Any last words of wisdom before we end here? 

Andrew: In the Jane Fonda movie “Logan’s run” everything just worked. There is this complex machinery, but it somehow just maintained itself and worked. And that’s where we’re moving to: You turn the light switch on and light comes on, you turn the tap on and you get fresh water. And in the world of Fintech and payments, there is so much complexity, but the idea is that we just make it work. So that people in the future don’t have to think about the process but it just works.

Carmen: What a great way to end. Thank you, Andrew and Rob for sharing your insights and experience. Good luck making this world of complexity easy and simple.

–> Want to know more about Payreq? Check them out here.
–> Want to know more about Paydock? Contact us here.