Cointelegraph talks to Martin Schrimpff, Co-founder and Head of Global Sales of PayU. He is a big believer that Bitcoin can be a way to invest money. As currencies are changing dramatically around the world, it is a nice decentralized currency, completely out of any government control.
Martin Schrimpff has founded 6 Tech companies with skills in the area of Business Development and strategic partnerships and experience in setting up operations in various latin American Countries like Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Chile.
What is PayU?
PayU is a leading online payment service provider present in 16 high growth markets in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. It offers 250+ payment methods and more than 1,400 payment specialists, and at the moment they have 100,000+ merchants’ and millions of buyers.
PayU see their strength in their local approach (valuing local language and culture). 90% of their revenues come from local transactions.
Martin Schrimpff explains to Cointelegraph:
“We are specialising on the emerging markets, and we focus on those emerging markets. They are very exciting markets for us, and necessarily easy markets. We have gone to the local markets, we have 104 000 employees, out of which only 20 sit in our headquarters in Amsterdam, the rest is spread around the world. I'm Colombian, our CEO is French. Our company is really international.”
What they do is they provide services locally - credit cards and cash payments, ecommerce merchants. Recently, in last year and a half they have such rave payments and hot markets which are hard to get into. They service global merchants like Google, AirBnB, Booking.com, Sky, Facebook.
Serving these global merchants, PayU are enabling cross border payments. They are enabling merchants selling their products or services without necessarily having a legal entity in the local markets to penetrate these markets.
Schirmpff says that people don't know much about PayU but as a global brand they are slowly getting to be known now.
Our biggest competitor is cash
PayU started as a company back in 2000-2001. And there has always been competition locally. However, their biggest competitor is cash.
Martic Schrimpff says to Cointelegraph:
“Our biggest competitor is cash as a payment method. There are competitors locally, however there's no bigger player focusing on the market where we are focused. In that sense we are pretty unique. We partner with a lot of companies, so we don't even see them as our direct competitors.”
Understanding local markets is the key
PayU is “multi-local” and has people on the ground that tend to understand local markets. According to Schrimpff, if you have 250 payment options, they have connected to all of those payment options directly.
“When I see other players that claim that they have 300 payment options, I get a little skeptical, because they don't have those direct relationship like we do, cause we've gone local, it has taken us 14 years and we really have something that other players just don't have in that sense. That gives us better pool rates, full control of the tools that we are able to use. We are in a better position to service all those global merchants.”
The future of B2B payment market
Co-founder of PayU thinks that B2B payment market has been advancing quite a lot, and the future looks more and more bright for seamless payments. In his view, Uber was the first one to show how seamless payments can happen through the fact that you can just get out of the car without having to take out your wallet.
“I am a big believer in that. There is now Apple Pay, Samsung Pay - there is a lot evolving around seamless payments. As a B2B player we are continuously making sure that we are maximizing approval rates and payments for our B2B businesses.”
The big change that PayU is making, apart from concentrating more and more on merchant markets, is getting more into other FinTech spaces like credit, consumer credit, SMB credit. As Schrimpff mentioned before, their biggest challenge is cash.
Schrimpff says to Cointelegraph:
“For example, if we take Latin America, 50% of all payments are cash. We have got to alter the structure we have and give better payment solutions in those markets, that will take the whole structure to a new digital space of payments, and facilitate merchants to have more seamless transactions".
At the moment 50% of these people buy something online, get out of the house, go and take cash, come back, and they are willing to do that. If PayU gives them the right solutions, like one-click buy, it will make things easier.
Blockchain is an option but not the first thing to integrate
PayU are currently investing in a few companies that are doing blockchain. They don’t want to be close-minded about it but they’d rather want to see what is going to happen.
Schrimpff explains their position about blockchain:
“I think it is still early days and it is too unclear. As I said before, at least on the Bitcoin side I am a big believer in it as a currency store value, comparing to gold. I still don't know if as a payment method it makes sense 100% or not. We have Bitcoin, BitPay now, and they come to us and they want to integrate into our platform, but no merchants are asking for this.”
However, the players that have integrated it are seeing very little traction. So, Schrimpff suggests that it should not be one of PayU’s first moves to actually integrate it as a payment method into their system. They will start using it only if the merchants or the consumers ask for it.
“If we see that happens, we will do it. Otherwise, it would seem like pushing something people are not really into. When merchants or consumers ask for this, is when they want to hide their identity. That is unfortunately why Bitcoin has been used for gambling purposes. We don't deal in gambling, we don't deal in a high-risk merchant markets, and we are not really being asked.”
Co-founder of PayU says that he is a big believer that Bitcoin can be a way to invest money. As currencies are changing dramatically around the world, it is a nice decentralized currency, completely free of any government control, and he believes in that.