Nils Winkler, Chairman of the Board, Yapital: "From mobile to cross-channel payment"

Tuesday 28 January 2014 10:21 CET | Editor: Melisande Mual | Interview

2014 is going to see the breakthrough of mobile payment

What is your mission & vision and how do you aim to position yourself on the European mobile transaction services market?

Yapital is the first real cross-channel payment in Europe and as such, it is unique among all payment solutions on the market. We want to bring about the long-awaited breakthrough of mobile payment, and we aim to do this by providing much more than just another payment solution, be it mobile or otherwise.

At Yapital, we are convinced that people have a demand for mobile payment – in the form of a solution that makes life easier and paying more fun. Yapital meets these demands. No matter whether customers visit the store in person or shop online using their desktop computer, tablet or smartphone, whether they pay at the point of sale, online or via invoice: with Yapital, consumers are able to pay intuitively, comfortably and in real time, in each and every situation and across all channels – by simply scanning a QR code with the Yapital app on their smartphone. Online it is also possible to pay by entering the Yapital credentials during the checkout process.

The launch of your cashless cross-channel payment solution was in July 2013. Since then, what responses have you received from your customers?

The response of merchants and consumers is very satisfying. Important companies from several industries have already integrated Yapital into their payment methods: with REWE, we have one of the biggest players in German food retail on board. The broad range of other partners (like Görtz, SportScheck, Novum Group Hotels, European Games Group) shows Yapital’s ability to provide fast, easy and secure payment across all channels and to fulfill the payment needs of very different sectors. Further partners are currently preparing to integrate Yapital and the number of potential partners we are talking to is increasing steadily.

Moreover, we are proud to have more than a few thousand registered users –without any active marketing – and we are happy to report that a significant number of our customers have already used Yapital more than once. That shows that Yapital really is what it is meant to be: an everyday payment for every day life.

In your opinion, what is the current state of affairs in the global mobile commerce ecosystem? What unique opportunities for merchants and consumers are brought about by the advent of mobile devices?

In some countries, the market is a little more advanced than in others, but when we will be looking back at this era, we will see that it was just the beginning of mobile commerce all around the globe. Mobile commerce enables merchants to serve their costumers wherever they are, at every hour of the day, 365 days of the year. Furthermore, merchants are able to interact with every customer individually – with an unlimited number of people.

All this makes consumers want even more of the experience of having the world of goods and services at their fingertips, of being served nearly before they know their needs and whishes themselves. They want everything faster and easier than ever – and they want to pay in just the same way: fast and easy. Just as marketing and selling merge for merchants, for consumers the act of buying or booking and the act of paying merge into one. That is why marketing channels should be turned into sales channels as it is possible by using the QR code technology. I am thinking, for example, of marketing activities such as printing a QR code on an advertisement in a magazine or using it for window shopping.

When it comes to customer adoption, what are some of the main channels that you are using to raise awareness among consumers (end users) about the benefits of switching to Yapital as their main payment channel?

As said, we have not even started our marketing campaign so far. That will change in 2014. We are planning an integrated cross-channel campaign to raise awareness among consumers about the possibility to use their smartphones to pay in a fast, easy and secure way, with a method that works any and everywhere and is a lot more fun than the traditional payment methods. But it is too early to give away more details.

One could argue that mobile phones will soon take the place of wallets. What is your opinion on this?

That depends on how one defines “soon”. Surely, in 2014 many consumers are already going to feel that they could survive without their wallets – at least for a day. But on the other hand, it might take a few more years until there is absolutely no need for coins and cards anymore. Even Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The retail market is one of the most absorbing markets of innovative payment methods, with customers constantly demanding a better shopping and checkout experience. How is Yapital approaching this increasing demand and can you tell us more about your future developments?

A better shopping and checkout experience – that is exactly what Yapital is about. We are providing customers with an easier and faster way to pay, more intuitive and more fun than any payment solution before. Furthermore, Yapital is not designed for either online or offline retail but rather combines all channels – to offer one single solution for all possibilities. The future holds more exciting technologies and Yapital is set up flexibly enough to use them as soon as they are ready. We will use new possibilities that make paying even easier, even more comfortable. Using Yapital should include and accomplish all relevant tasks linked to shopping, like maintaining a personal budget, the digital receipt or window shopping. What could be more convenient than that?

In your view, which are the top 3 trends dominating the digital (online and mobile) payments space in 2014?

First of all, . At the end of the year, the era of mobile payment will still be at its beginning, but experts will no longer ask when it will finally start. Secondly, digital payment is going to become easier. The industry is going to realize that costumers do not accept an isolated solution, at least not on a profitable basis, and will react by killing some of their more complicated experiments. This also means that, thirdly, digital payment should offer more than just a solid foundation. That’s why additional features, like the digital receipt or the use of QR code to turn marketing into sales channels, are going to be of growing importance. And there are lots more ideas floating around in my head. The digital payment market won’t get boring – that’s for sure.

About Nils Winkle
Nils Winkler is Chairman of the board of Yapital. Previously, the renowned expert for developing new business segments and business models was CEO of Hi-media Deutschland AG. There, he was mainly responsible for the distribution of e-payment systems in German-speaking countries, primarily aimed at suppliers of digital goods. Prior to that, as Head of Sales and Chief Business Development Officer at ADTECH AG, he played a major role in the development and internationalization of the company’s ad serving business (e.g. in the US market).

About Yapital Financial AG
Yapital is the first European, cashless cross-channel payment solution across all channels: stationary, mobile and online as well as via invoice. It is simple, quick and secure to use: after online registration, the Yapital user can immediately make payments across all channels and also send and receive money.

Yapital is a guaranteed payment method - this provides its business customers with process security and reduces their administrative costs. In addition, Yapital seamlessly covers all trade and service channels, allowing marketing channels to be turned into sales channels. Business customers can therefore not only reduce their costs with Yapital, but can open up sales potential at the same time. Yapital was founded in 2011 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Otto-Group. Yapital Financial AG is licensed as an electronic money institution in Luxembourg.

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Keywords: Nils Winkler, Chairman of the Board, Yapital, mobile payment, REWE, QR code, checkout process, mobile commerce, cross-channel payment, digital payment, mobile transactions
Countries: World