“Fintech has matured from being just a buzzword”: Interview with Matthias Setzer, Chief Commercial Officer at PayU

If you caught our Money 20/20 day one round-up, we mentioned that we sat down with PayU CCO Matthias Setzer at the event to discuss how cross border trade is a huge opportunity that more fintechs are focusing on than ever before.

Matthias Setzer is the CCO of PayU, a leading financial services provider in global growth markets. He has held senior roles at PayPal, where he has lead the business development teams and has a background in payments and e-commerce, mobile and retail.

Tell us about PayU and your experience at Money20/20.

We’re a leading payments provider in emerging markets and a leading fintech provider in those geographies as well. Money20/20 is a major industry conference for payments and fintech companies, and we love being here. PayU also has a great story to tell, as not everyone today knows what our infrastructure looks like and our presence in global growth markets.

The main topic we’re presenting at Money20/20 Europe is the announcement of the PayU Hub – it’s a wonderful and simple access layer to all our geographies and territories, with one single API to make it very easy for merchants, partners and developers.

We built the PayU hub in partnership with Zooz. It’s an extremely modern piece of infrastructure with a single API access. Cross-border trade is a huge opportunity. This year alone, there has been over $400bn in global transport of volume. The forecast for 2020 is close to a trillion dollars, ($983bn to be accurate!) It’s quite a significant number.

There are challenges around the logistics and customs, and as a financial services provider we should make it very easy on the payments side, so we figured we would give merchants a very simple, very scalable and very convenient access layer as a standard requirement. We also need to have the most modern security standards. You also need tokenisation, but not just tokenisation for cards or one provider but across providers and across infrastructures.

We’ll also offer advanced services to help a merchant of any industry or shape to do their cross-border business.

Is this part of an ongoing partnership with Zooz, or is it a new partnership?

We’ve had an ongoing partnership with Zooz, but this is a new partnership we formed for the PayU Hub that we announced back in March. This is the first product from the partnership and one that we’re really proud of.

Zooz is a superior technology provider and we have a lot of payment infrastructures in their markets, we have the licenses, we have the people and supplements, so we can combine all our sources and merchants the way they want.

Payment infrastructures are dealing with a multitude of challenges; they’re either too global, which means they have a limited scope of payments methods such as international cards, or they’re too local. It’s really about combining the best of both worlds.

We have an extremely diversified infrastructure. The payment methods in all of our markets include from bank payments to local wallets: We offer over 300 payment methods all on one simple access layer.

What are the main trends you’re seeing at Money20/20 Europe?

There’s a lot of interesting conversations happening at the event. I think fintech is being presented in a different flavour, it’s maturing to become the real fintech – it’s not just a shiny story anymore. Fintech is a generation of leading businesses emerging together that requires real partnerships and real businesses, real collaboration across industries.

I’m getting asked: “How do you really do fintech?” It’s no longer just a buzzword, it’s a real ecosystem with divisional business now.

There is also a lot more partnerships and collaborations happening. It’s tremendous to see, as last year there was a lot more competition between fintechs and businesses.

Why do you think we’re seeing an influx of partnerships? Why do fintechs need each other?

You can tackle it from several angles. Firstly, some of the classic fintech start-ups have built a brilliant piece of technology, usually with heavy VC capital funding, but what the fintech lacks is reach. Fintechs may need a company who can accelerate them on the consumer side, whether it’s merchants or end-consumers, and there’s acknowledgment of that. To get to the first couple of thousand consumers is one thing, but to get to a couple of million or even 100 million requires a very different approach.

The second reason fintechs need one another is the access to data: you may require specific partners to assist with data, and those partners may need support with their innovations. It’s two sides of the same coin.

The third element is regulatory. PSD2 is fast approaching and shaping up the banking industry. You could argue that we have similar developments in geographies such as Brazil, US, or India – while they’re not calling it the same thing, the trends are pretty much the same.  There is a broad regulatory trend to open the financial services infrastructures and re-combine them. Fintechs can’t do this all themselves- they need collaborations and partners.

I think it’s great especially in the interest of the consumer. Data is not owned by a single company, it’s owned by the consumer, and we should collaborate around that.

What can we expect to see from PayU this year?

We’re investing heavily in payments platforms and infrastructures, among other things around the PayU hub. We could argue this is the core of the business so we’re strengthening the core.

The second one is we’re advancing our place in the credit space. We invested in Kreditech who are here at Money 20/20 with us. we’ve also announced a partnership with Iwoca. Beyond that, we have long-term ideas around digital banking. Commercial applications of blockchain is a fantasy right now.  I think it will happen, but it’s still very early days.

We have the first very small footprints in blockchain technology, so let’s see what happens.

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