Tell us about yourself
I am forty years old and my roots stem from law. I was in fact a solicitor before I was approached by a medium-sized PSP to do some legal work for them. There’s the old saying that commercial lawyers are frustrated business people! It wasn’t long before I made the switch into the payments space managing the business side of the PSP. After the company was sold in 2006 the one thing that stuck in my mind was how hard it was to work with the big old acquiring banks. The next thing I wanted to do was not need an acquirer anymore in order to conduct my business. So I said: why not become one?
How was Credorax found?
I and two other partners started the company in 2007 aiming to be a new breed of acquirer. One who’s hip and funky, with up-to-date systems and an understanding of ecommerce and mobile. It was the only opportunity for me to be cool according to my wife!
Could you give us a background on Credorax?
Today we are an acquiring bank licensed in all twenty-seven EU states. From a Visa and MasterCard point of view, we are a cross-border acquirer. But in addition to that we are also licensed to other jurisdictions. So from a legal infrastructure point of view, we are principal members of Visa and MasterCard.
From a technology perspective, our platform is proprietary and it’s new. As a result, it is by definition better. In the acquiring and processing world you have to make the distinction between physical point-of-sale and online ecommerce and mobile acquiring. Today more merchants are looking for this magical ‘omni-channel’ combining everything. A lot of the big banks try to process payments with systems that were installed before the internet even existed. We are able to react better to online and mobile transaction processing and acceptance. We are able to offer ‘omni-channel’ as a result.
By unifying various different platforms onto one, we make the process for merchants faster whilst maintaining security and compliance. For example we developed an on-boarding ERP system for merchants which is digital and mostly paperless. You can take a picture from your iPhone of your passport for identification which will then be automatically uploaded to our system. It’s easier and secure for merchants to open an account with us.
Who are your major competitors?
It’s the big acquirers. We are a very small organisation competing with the likes of Barclays and WorldPay. We are about 150 people today and have an advantage in the fact that acquiring is all we do as opposed to the bigger players who function in various fields. I’m very aware of us competing against the big banks, but I think in today’s world being an incumbent is not always an advantage. When Google went into the market of online search, it was completely dominated by giants like Yahoo and AOL, and still they did very well – if you bring a superior services – the market will respond.
You have had investment from Mobile Internet Capital , a Japanese VCIf you are focussed and find a specific segment within in the market with intent then people will recognise it. What’s unique about this investment is that we are actively working on obtaining an acquiring license in the Japanese market, which requires a strong partner. It’s not common for a Japanese investment entity to invest outside of Japan which is very flattering. We think they can help us a lot in becoming a Japanese acquirer and understanding the market. The strategic connection is more significant than the money.
What would you say are currently the hottest trends in payments?
I’m not very excited about NFC and don’t see the difference between swiping my card and tapping it. Mobile is the obvious one but more as an acceptance device than as a payments device. If you look in the US companies like Square are very popular, everywhere you take a taxi you pay and it’s magic. Companies like iZettle are an important part of the evolution of the mobile as an acceptance device.
There are differing views on whether this will be the year of the mobile wallet, what is yours?
I think there are too many of them and cannot really differentiate between them. I have been looking very carefully at V.me and don’t understand how it is different from any other wallet. There is still room for somebody to win this. It needs to be standardised as there are so many there is the risk of confusion ultimately leading to nothing.
Could you tell us about Credorax from a security and fraud prevention perspective?
We are fully compliant with Visa and MasterCard regulations as well as with the FIAU and Anti-money Laundering acquirers. We function in a smarter way taking advantage of technology whilst remaining secure.
What is Credorax strategic plan going forward?
We are working on two additional domestic licenses for the US and Japan. We hope to be able to offer domestic acquiring services across Europe, the US and Japan relatively soon. We hope to be active in Russia, China and Brazil as well.
In the future we will hopefully be able to offer a service to all size merchants that are operating online, for which geography is less of a constraint. We will be able to offer them merchant agreement, integration, one platform with currency of settlement and the jurisdiction of processing they want.
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