Interview

Future developments of payment services: insights from an industry veteran

Tuesday 11 May 2021 08:07 CET | Editor: Anda Kania | Interview

We sat down with an industry veteran, Shane Happach, CEO of Mollie - he shared some key lessons learned, insights into the industry and future developments of payment service providers in the EU

Congratulations on your appointment as CEO of Mollie. You have worked in payments for over 15 years. What key lessons have you learned in that time? What does it take to scale a payment business?

I’ve learned so much in 15 years that it’s hard to share a concise list! Part of the appeal of the payments industry is that you are always learning. I would say the key for me is to acknowledge that the payments product is still difficult to consume and is becoming more and more intertwined with how companies’ operations are put together. Making the product simple and API driven has unlocked enormous value. I’ve also learned there’s huge value in relationships. Solving payments problems for businesses requires teams on both the merchant and provider side to work together and when there’s investment in personal connections and building trust, it works much better. It takes a lot to scale a payments business but it starts with technology. The tech has to be able to accommodate the whole customer journey without creating hiccups or band-aids. Given what I said about relationships, scale also requires a great team – across all areas of the company – and large enough to make sure you cover your customers’ needs extremely well.

With traditional banks often having strict requirements, such as a good credit score etcetera, many small businesses around the world rely on alternative financing companies for their capital. Non-bank lenders like PayPal aim to be the source of funding for these businesses, causing them to have less stringent requirements. Could this potentially be the new opportunity for European PSPs/Acquirers?

Definitely. Lending and working capital remain one of the most underserved areas of financial services. You can already see many examples where PSPs or acquirers have stepped into the space and there are already some success stories, albeit much more to do. At Mollie, we want to make sure we focus on the customer journey being seamless and the product feeling easy to use. Please watch this space for more from us in this area!

What is the impact of Brexit on payment companies in the UK and the EU servicing merchants across these two regions?

We are aware that many businesses have experienced adverse impacts due to Brexit. New rules have made the way EU companies do business with the UK and vice versa more difficult. Tariffs are making goods more expensive and the likes of delivery fees, shipping times and logistics are now altered. But ecommerce is an adaptive industry and people are innovating and changing to overcome the struggle. We expanded to the UK last February, to help merchants with Europe-wide growth post-Brexit. UK companies now expanding to the EU need to focus more than ever on making sure conversion stays high - by localising and choosing the right payment mix, while educating customers on all the new nuances.

The UK is a strong ecommerce market, so for what should EU businesses looking to enter this market consider with the new Brexit constraints?

Brexit has definitely made things more challenging. There are regulations merchants need to check to ensure compliance with them for selling in the UK – these regulations can be found on the government website. The UK is a very advanced ecommerce market and therefore the expectations of consumers are high. EU businesses should consider offering a personalised experience through the design, look and feel of their website. These are ways to stand out from competitors or merchants selling through online marketplaces. One thing we’ve seen is that the UK is seeing a big shift in Buy Now, Pay Later payment solutions, such as Klarna, so this is critical for merchants to offer on their UK website as well.

If you were an investor approaching the Paytech space, on what area would you focus your attention?

It’s exciting to see how many companies continue to enter the market to solve both new and existing challenges, but there’s still so much to do for all of us in this space. I’d look for a product that focuses on ease of use and also that seeks to make use of new technologies and development principles. I also look for something that purports to solve a known pain point and the pain points in payments are still consistent after many years – costs, approval rates, fraud, and customer experience or end customer acquisition. Lastly, I would focus on a great team. There are some outstanding people working in our industry and I have no doubt the industry will continue to evolve.

About Shane Happach  

Shane is the CEO of Mollie. Before Mollie, Happach spent more than ten years with Worldpay, first as Chief Commercial Officer of its eCommerce division and more recently as EVP and Head of Global eCommerce. He was a member of the executive team at Worldpay for its London IPO and its acquisition by both Vantiv and FIS. Before Worldpay, he worked with GlobalCollect – acquired by Ingenico in 2014 – in commercial leadership roles across the Americas and EMEA. 


About Mollie 

Mollie is a pioneer in the payment industry and one of the fastest-growing payment processors within Europe. Mollie facilitates companies of all sizes to scale and grow by using different payment methods. With the simple and clear payments-API, Mollie offers multiple payment methods in a uniform way. Mollie is there to simplify complex financial services. Mollie has over 110,000 customers in Europe and an international team of over 350 professionals.


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Keywords: Mollie, ecommerce, payment processing, Brexit, merchants
Categories: Payments & Commerce | Online Payments
Countries: United Kingdom
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce