Agitate launches open-banking, cardless payment solution
The London-based fintech Agitate, which specialises in payment solutions and identity software, has revealed it’s latest solution that looks set to end card fraud.
BOPP, th e new system, simplifies digital payments, uses Open Banking to facilitate immediate account to account payments, removes the need for cards and lowers transaction costs.
According to reports, Agitate says a payment request can be sent through messaging platforms including SMS, WhatsApp, QR code or via email. The customer can then access the secure BOPP platform which is connected to the seller’s online banking app. This provides all the transaction and payee information so that the payment can be authorised in real time and cards are not needed at all.
According to Agitate, a payment request can be sent in the form of a payment link via SMS, WhatsApp, email or QR code. The payment request link takes the user to the secure BOPP site, connects to the recipient’s online banking app and provides all the payee and transaction details – the payer only needs to authorise and confirm the payment with their bank. The money is transferred securely in real-time, without the need for credit or debit cards.
Speaking about the launch of BOPP, Ian Gass, CEO of Agitate explained, “We all know that paying with cash is becoming a thing of the past, and with the amazing progress in the world of payments, businesses have an opportunity to rethink how they get paid.”
He continued, “Every time a merchant uses BOPP, they save money, reduce fraud, and get cash in the bank immediately.”
Gass pointed out that BOPP streamlines the payments process because customers can pay businesses directly via bank-to-bank transactions. This removes a third, middle-man process. The service is also free for personal use while businesses are charged just £10 per month for all their transactions.
He said, “In 2019, £829 billion was spent using debit and credit cards in the UK alone from 22 billion transactions. If you take an average card processors fees of 1.5%, this means UK businesses spent over £11bn in fees.”
He added, “If BOPP was used, the fees would save over £9bn a year. UK businesses work hard to get customers and make money, but every time someone pays using a card, they pay ridiculously high fees. It’s important to us to support UK businesses by enabling them to make more from each sale, have a stable cashflow, and have the tools they need to bounce back and ultimately thrive in these difficult times.”
Meanwhile, Justine Davy, Head of Fundraising for NHS Charities Together; the national charity raising funds to support NHS staff, patients and volunteers commented, saying, “We are excited to work with the team at BOPP to showcase the ease of donations using QR codes but also the wider use of BOPP as a donation method. Providing a new and easy way to donate securely and safely without the need for donors to enter card details, is something we are keen to offer.”
Payment startup Mollie raises US$800m at a $6.5bn valuation
Mollie, one of the fastest-growing payment processors within Europe, today announced it has raised US$800m in a Series C funding round, now valuing the company at $6.5bn. The valuation, based on Dealroom data, makes Mollie the third most valuable privately-held European fintech behind Klarna and Checkout.com.
Blackstone Growth (BXG), Blackstone’s growth equity investing business, led the investment and included participation from EQT Growth, General Atlantic, HMI Capital and Alkeon Capital. TCV who led the Series B investment in September 2020 also participated in the funding round.
According to the company, the funding will fuel Mollie’s international expansion, team scaling, and continued investment in product and engineering.
“There’s something very special about Mollie. In the three months since I joined the team we’ve achieved so much: making preparations for a full launch in the UK, driving 600% growth in Germany and hiring an impressive set of team members and executives,” said Shane Happach, CEO, Mollie. “Over the past months, Mollie has been receiving a remarkable amount of interest from some of the world’s foremost fintech investors. In bringing on BXG, we believe we have an investor who can help Mollie in our next phase of growth. The involvement of our new group of investors demonstrates confidence in Mollie’s growth, strategy and product set.”
The Amsterdam-based business was launched in 2004, and is one of the largest PSPs in Europe. Today, it serves more than 120,000 monthly active merchants of all sizes across the continent. During 2020, Mollie processed more than 10 billion Euros in transactions and is on track to handle more than 20 billion Euros during 2021.
“Mollie is one of Europe’s most exciting high-growth businesses and is at the forefront of enabling next-generation payments for online SMEs across Europe. We are excited to partner with Mollie’s fantastic team and look forward to leveraging Blackstone’s capital, expertise and global network to unlock the company’s next phase of growth,” said Paul Morrissey, who leads European investing for Blackstone Growth. “This investment underlines Blackstone’s confidence in Europe as a place for high-growth companies to thrive.”
In Europe, FinTech app usage grew by 72% directly after the pandemic outbreak, while the top seven digital banks in the US grew their cumulative user base by 39% throughout the year. Competition in payments has grown over the past few years with fintech players like Stripe, Square and Netherlands-based Adyen all competing for a bigger share of the market.
Unlike its American rivals, Mollie says it mainly focuses on transactions with small businesses in Europe. Shane Happach, CEO of Mollie said: “A lot of the bigger players in online payments come out of the US, like PayPal,”. Adding that even Visa and Mastercard are US companies.
“A lot of investors don’t have a bet on Europe,” Happach said. “Mollie’s one of those unique assets that offers exposure.