Startup spotlight: Paybase is democratising payments
2020 has alrea...
FinTech Magazine catches up with the CEO of Paybase, Anna Tsyupko, who tells us what differentiates the UK fintech from its competitors.
2020 has already kicked off to an exciting start in the European fintech industry, with N26’s exit from the UK market, Mastercard’s first European Cyber Resilience Centre and Curve’s expansion to the US. As a number of European fintechs move to consolidate their position in the continent, we catch up with Anna Tsyupko, CEO of the UK financial service Paybase, who details the company’s plans for 2020.
Hi Anna. Could you tell me a little bit about Paybase in your own words?
At Paybase, we have an ambitious mission. We want to empower businesses to design the economies of tomorrow by providing payments, compliance and risk management to those who need more than a simple one-to-one gateway and acquirer payments framework. As a licensed Electronic Money Institution (EMI), we work with businesses at any stage of development in the platform economy (e.g. online marketplaces, gig/sharing economy platforms), FinTech and blockchain spaces. We provide these businesses with critical out-of-the-box flexibility required to build their payments flows as well as funds custody and full regulatory cover.
Our solution enables our clients to focus on innovation, refining their product/market fit and standing out in the saturated platform, FinTech and blockchain markets. At Paybase, we’re democratising the payments industry, enabling businesses of any size to leverage payments to disrupt their industries.
What gives Paybase its competitive edge?
Traditional payments providers do not have the technological bandwidth to sufficiently serve modern business models - i.e. the platform economy, FinTech businesses and blockchain businesses - and modern providers who are able to route payments between multiple parties either offer a limited off-the-shelf solution or require costly custom development. For many businesses starting out, this is unfeasible for their budget.
But at Paybase, we have combined the best of both worlds. Our Rules Engine is designed with state-of-the-art technology and it is one of our flagship features. Using an if-this-then-that framework, our clients can access infinite customisable capabilities without the need for costly custom development. Reducing fees on a seller’s birthday, refer-a-friend rewards, loyalty programmes and percentage reductions are just a few examples. With this technology, we enable our clients to match their payments flow exactly with their product flow - and do so seamlessly.
What was your last major award?
In December 2019, the Paybase Risk Suite was awarded Outstanding New Product in the first-ever Tackling Economic Crime Awards (TECAs). The awards are designed to be both independent and inclusive, providing an opportunity for outstanding performers, whether buyers or suppliers, to be recognised and their success to be celebrated.
We were awarded for our Risk Suite, a sophisticated financial crime prevention framework and Customer Due Diligence Processor. The Risk Suite is comprised of three components - the Risk Engine, the Rules Engine and the Onboarding Engine. It enables our clients to collect and analyse any relevant information about their users, safeguarding them against the increasingly prevalent threat of financial crime in payments. Furthermore, our dynamic approach to Due Diligence is uniquely suited for customers either utilising a two-sided marketplace or those seeking a dynamic framework to cater to both commercial and retail users.
What can we expect from Paybase in 2020?
We’re excited to be raising our next funding round in the coming months. The investment will both fuel our continuing growth as more clients are integrated into our system and help to fund our future European expansion, which will bring us closer to achieving our mission of empowering businesses to design the economies of tomorrow.
About Anna Tsyupko
Anna Tsyupko is the CEO and co-founder of the B2B payments company, Paybase. Anna manages the overall direction and strategy at Paybase, working closely with clients and suppliers whilst overseeing all aspects of the business. Before founding Paybase she held positions in private equity, after receiving her BA from the University of Oxford and Masters from the University of Cambridge.
She has also recently been named one of the finalists for the Women in Payments Innovation Award.
For more information on all topics for FinTech, please take a look at the latest edition of FinTech magazine.
FIVE things fintechs must do to keep investors onboard
New investors flocked to the stock market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-eight percent of investors said they had never had a brokerage or similar account before opening one in 2020.
Low or no-fee trading options have helped accelerate the trend – nearly half of new investors said they accessed their account primarily through a mobile app. As FinTechs, how do we create the trust needed to keep new investors in the market and create a fruitful customer experience for them?
The financial industry does a disservice to individual investors if we merely offer tools that focus on making money quickly, an approach that usually backfires. Instead, the surge of interest presents an enormous opportunity for those who want to help more consumers use financial technology to educate them on responsible spending, saving, and investing in order to achieve financial wellness current fintech tools have welcomed individual investors in the door.
Now, it’s time to focus on education and improving their experience going forward. There are several ways those of us in fintech can step up to shape the future of retail investing so that it works better for everyone, starting with the following areas.
Equal access to financial wellness education
Financial health should be available to everyone — but today, not everyone has the educational resources to achieve it. One study shows that only 3.9% of students from low-income schools were required to take a personal finance class. What they aren’t learning in school or from family members, fintech companies can provide on their platforms.
The companies should move from solely offering financial services to a more responsible model of education, advice, and prescriptive choices to help consumers develop better habits and make wiser financial decisions. Not only can they empower consumers and bridge historical wealth divides, but they can also stimulate growth by opening up new consumer segments.
Just as we’ve come to expect that our fitness routines are tailored to our individual bodies, we’re also ready for finance tools that go beyond one-size-fits-all solutions. But only six percent of financial institutions say they’re using the kind of technology that allows them to deliver a deeply personalized experience. Fintech tools need to reflect that financial success looks different for each of us.
For one consumer, it may mean providing guidance on how to pay off student loans early; for another, it may mean prescriptive actions that enable them to stick to a budget for the first time; for a third, it could look like prioritizing environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments, so that her portfolio aligns with her political beliefs.
Now, we are seeing financial technology beginning to meet the demands of personalized finance in a substantial and meaningful way.
The rise of AI-Powered Advice
Big-picture advice and predictive guidance used to be a feature of high-end financial advisory firms — a perk only available to those who could afford it. But thanks to rapid advancements in data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), that kind of holistic advice is now more accessible than ever. AI-driven robo-advisors can parse many different streams of financial information, delivering customized answers to key questions: Is it time to buy a home, or is it smarter to keep renting? Can I afford to take out another student loan?
Intelligent connectivity powered by AI can anticipate consumers’ needs and next steps, making proactive suggestions that guide them along the path to financial wellbeing. Fintech companies can also help consumers identify when their financial picture becomes too complex for a robo-advisor, and help them find a human financial advisor to meet their needs.
Focus on financial mental health
New investors are quickly finding that the market can be overwhelming. That’s not surprising, financial anxiety is common and studies show that financial stress can have an impact on mental health for some.
It’s not enough for fintech companies to give retail investors access; they also must provide the guidance and support that help consumers manage their financial well-being. Educational tools can ensure that consumers are well informed about their options.
Predictive analytics can anticipate consumers’ questions, serving them key information and insights before they ask. Features that emphasize a comprehensive notion of financial well-being, rather than short-term wins and losses, can also help ensure that consumers are keeping their eyes on the bigger picture.
Gamification for good
The surge of gamification apps has done an impressive job making investing as engaging as playing a video game or joining a social media platform.
Much of the current use of gamification emphasizes short-term thinking, but there’s also an opportunity to help consumers think more broadly about their overall financial picture. One example is peer benchmarking, a feature that enables help consumers to see how their financial habits compare to those of friends and fellow consumers.
Gamification can also be used to incentivize making smaller, smarter choices — for example, rewarding saving over making an impulse buy.
The future of fintech is about more than just broadening access to the markets. It’s about making sure more individuals have access to the tools that can help improve their financial well-being—in the ways that suit their own circumstances and needs. The potential to act within their own set of individual priorities, with their long-term financial wellness in mind is much more empowering to a consumer than simply relying on short-term, high-risk investments.