Neil Scoble, Yapital Financial AG: "Get rid of your wallet: Paying with your mobile anywhere and anytime"

Monday 24 March 2014 08:42 CET | Editor: Melisande Mual | Interview

Neil Scoble, Managing Director of Yapital Financial AG, the first pan-European cashless, cross-channel payment solution, sheds light on the dynamic mobile payment industry and tells us how Yapital is leading the way.

Yapital is the first European, cross-channel cashless payment solution operating across all channels: in-store, mobile, online and by invoice. Operation is easy, fast and secure: following online registration, the user can immediately make payments, send and receive money with Yapital, across all channels.

For business customers, Yapital is a guaranteed means of payment - this provides process security and reduces administrative costs. In addition, Yapital seamlessly covers all trade and service channels, thus enables marketing channels to be converted into sales channels. Business customers can therefore not only reduce costs with Yapital, but can also simultaneously open up new revenue potential.

Yapital was established in 2011 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Otto Group. Yapital Financial AG is licensed in Luxembourg as an Electronic Money Institution.

What are the key features of Yapital and how does it differentiate itself from the competition?

Neil Scoble: Yapital offers shoppers a unique way of paying for goods and services across any channel – in-store, mobile, online or by invoice. The key is the Yapital App on your smartphone which scans a QR code displayed on the retailer’s display at the POS, laptop screen, PC, tablet or printed invoice. After confirming the transaction, payment is immediate and secure.

The workflow stays the same across all channels whether paying, sending or receiving money. No need to do manual online banking or go to your bank branch – a simple scan and confirmation is all you need. And where a QR code scan is not yet possible, shoppers can use their Yapital Mastercard, enabling them to pay at more than 35 million acceptance points worldwide. That can be in a bar in Manhattan or on the beach in Thailand.

Business partners also benefit from Yapital because all transactions are guaranteed and transferred in real-time, which means Yapital take care of fraud and there are no chargebacks.

When it comes to the mobile channel, what opportunities and challenges do you think merchants will face in the future?

Neil Scoble: There’s definitely a merging between off-line and on-line worlds. People are able to compare products and prices with their smartphone directly in the shop. They want everything faster and easier than ever and they want to pay in just the same way – faster and easier. A merchant needs to face these challenges head on, offering a ‘multi-channel mix’ linking both worlds and giving each a unique purpose. Mobile commerce enables merchants to provide their shoppers with whatever they want, wherever they are.

With Yapital, it is also possible to open up new revenue potential as marketing channels can be easily converted into sales channels by printing a QR code on an advertisement poster, embedding it in a newsletter or online advert or by simply using it for window shopping. Business customers can then offer their shoppers the possibility to shop 24/7, no matter where they are.

Merchants are increasingly scrutinizing their profit margins and looking for valid routes to improving their bottom line.

How do you see consumers changing the way they shop over the next 5 years?

Neil Scoble: As more and more merchants recognize the opportunities of mobile commerce & start offering it to their consumers, mobile payments will become part of everyday life. Consumers will demand systems that allow them to micro-manage their daily expenditure. At the moment, I’d buy a cup of coffee with cash, pay for my groceries with a direct debit card and do my internet shopping with my credit card. At the end of the day I have no idea of how much I’ve spent. With the Yapital App I can track my expenditure in real-time and top up my balance directly with my smartphone. I think this is an important feature, something that adds value to the e-wallet. I can’t think of anything more convenient than this that puts the user in total control.

Consumers will also drive the demand for solutions that make their lives easier. Yapital has been designed to work with existing and embrace new technologies as they arrive such as BLE for allowing transactions where there is no mobile coverage.

What role do value-added services currently play within the m-commerce ecosystem?

Neil Scoble: Value added services for m-commerce are currently in their infancy. We see that there is consumer demand for the right products in these areas. By understanding the consumer desires we will be able to fit the right value added services. For Yapital that will be the development on Loyalty and Vouchering solutions that work without interfering with the purchasing process. Merchants also see the value and want to help improve footfall and conversion – areas that can be improved with value added services for the consumer.

In your opinion, what is the most exciting revenue growth opportunity for the digital (online and mobile) payments space worldwide at the moment?

Neil Scoble: Mobile commerce enables merchants to provide their customers with whatever they want wherever they are. So, if distribution channels are already connected, what happens with payment sources? As said, if commerce channels are linked but payment is not, I would not have any clue about how much I spent during the day. Therefore, it makes sense to use a payment method that is working across all channels.

But people won’t get rid of their wallets just because paying is easier. To convince customers, there is a need for offering added value services, such as P2P, loyalty and couponing or digital receipts – paying mobile should accomplish all relevant tasks linked to shopping. Beyond that, customers need to be able to pay mobile at a significant number of merchants – not only at some specific supermarkets, coffee shops or fashion stores. Mobile payment needs to become part of everyday life. This also means that it has to work across channels and across borders. We will see which payment solutions will be left at the end of the year.

You have recently teamed up with ReD to provide fraud protection services to your customers. What are the main challenges when it comes to payment security for retailers and customers today?

Neil Scoble: The core challenge in payment security is to verify and protect transactions in real-time. Therefore, we need a partner who works with a sophisticated technology detecting fraudulent activities instantly. ReD is one of the world’s leading providers in real-time security and fraud prevention and is specialized in exactly what Yapital needs: Overall real-time fraud prevention and transaction security for retailers all over Europe. Most of the fraud cases in retailing occur in the electronic e-commerce sector, which is an important industry for Yapital as we aim to be present in all relevant consumer branches. Thus, we need to provide an environment in which both business partners and consumers know that payments are secure.

What are your company’s top 3 development goals for the coming years?

Neil Scoble: As I’ve mentioned, one of our main goals is to establish Yapital as a payment method for every possible occasion in daily life. I want to see paying with Yapital possible everywhere – even when the shop is closed. I think that the possibility to use a QR code as an additional distribution channel is one of the most exciting revenue growth potentials. This goes together with our aim to cross channels and borders.

As e-wallets develop their value-added services, so the consumer adoption rate will increase. It is evident that Yapital will work on features which simplify the handling of money and make life more convenient for consumers and merchants. We are continuously working on developing the product and react to the feedback from the market. The best is yet to come.

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Keywords: Neil Scoble, Yapital Financial AG, Yapital, wallet, mobile wallet, cross-channel
Countries: World

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