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.
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Robinhood faces $35mn fine from New York DFS
The company’s crypto division was issued with a wrist slap in 2020, following the red flagging of several “matters requiring attention”. Robinhood revealed it had reached a settlement with the New York State Department of Financial Services regarding the issues, which related to “alleged violations” of cybersecurity and anti-money laundering rules.
The news follows on from the announcement earlier this week that the trading platform favoured by armchair investors, which almost broke Wall Street earlier this year, has an expected valuation of $35bn following its IPO.
Critics of the platform say Robinhood encourages “risky behaviour” among inexperienced (armchair) investors. The app has also been criticised for not informing customers that much of its profits are generated by routing their trades to Wall Street firms taking the other side, or so-called "payment for order flow."
Robinhood said last month they expected the DFS fine to be at the $15mn mark, adding it would be “the bottom of the range for our probable loss in this matter”. The $35mn penalty is on top of the record $70mn Robinhood incurred from US financial regulator FINRA in June, for “lax vetting and outages.”
However, the settlement indicates the company’s IPO will go ahead as planned, despite initial concerns the investigation could see the float delayed until later this year.
Robinhood floats imminent
Despite the regulatory hiccups, Robinhood priced its IPO between US$38-US$42 per share, giving the platform the US$35bn valuation and analysts predict the firm’s debut on the Nasdaq could occur as early as next week.
Robinhood democratising investment
Launched in 2013 by Tenev and Bhatt, who were Stanford University roommates, Robinhood’s founders will retain most of the voting rights after the IPO. Bhatt reportedly holds 39% of the voting power of outstanding stock, while Tenev holds 26.2%.
The online brokerage, which came under fire for its handling of the GameStop trading debacle, which saw the platform limit stocks to investors, states its mission is to “democratise” investing and is one of the most highly anticipated IPOs of the year.
Robinhood was valued at $11.7bn in autumn 2020 following a private equity funding drive. The new valuation will mean represent a three-fold increase in the company’s market value in less than 12 months.