Simplifying global payments: Insights from Optty

Monday 22 April 2024 09:37 CET | Editor: Bethiah Negussie | Interview

After meeting the Optty team, we sat down with Natasha Zurnamer, CEO/Founder of Optty, to learn more about the company's approach to global payments, commitment to sustainability, and its future trajectory. 


Could you share with us what inspired you to establish Optty?

Optty was founded to help merchants integrate new payment methods with a single connection. The inspiration came from recognising the challenges and limitations merchants face with payment innovation.

As someone with extensive experience as a retail strategist for over two decades, I witnessed first-hand the impact of emerging payment methods on my global network. While there was a strong desire to engage, the abundance of choice, high integration costs, and associated risks created hesitation and amnesia. It became clear there was a need for an efficient solution to streamline the integration process.

I knew there had to be a better way when I learned that 70% of signed contracts for new payment integrations never went live. What intrigued me was that the traditional PSPs were limiting the offering to merchants, as it took years to integrate just one APM/BNPL into their gateways. The disconnect between offering new payment brands and traditional processing and wallets created misalignment, and the incompatibility of traditional gateway rails with new payment types added complexity.

Optty has bridged this gap with a single API solution. Today, Optty provides access to nine payment architectures, simplifying global payments in 140 countries.


What challenges and needs does Optty aim to solve for its users, and how does the company differentiate itself through its offerings?

Optty is dedicated to empowering merchants and helping them thrive profitably in the competitive payment landscape by prioritising simplicity, direct connections, personalised customer experiences, and cost efficiency.

Merchants prioritise high sales conversion and selling products at profitable margins. These goals can only be achieved if merchants provide personalised experiences to their customers and instil trust in their decision to engage.  Therefore, paying is a crucial driver in this process. APMs and BNPLs offer affordability and choice for customers beyond traditional ways to pay, enabling customers to make purchases easily.

A standout feature of Optty is its simplified integration process. With one “integration” connection, merchants can access over 750 APIs, all of which are switched on in less than a minute. This streamlined integration eliminates the need for multiple integrations with various payment providers.

Furthermore, Optty enables merchants to establish direct commercial agreements with each payment provider, allowing access to the best terms and marketing incentives to maintain their margin control.

From any Optty instance, merchants enjoy the convenience of exploring and applying to their preferred payment provider, saving time. Optty ensures that settlement is direct from the customer to the merchant’s designated account, eliminating intermediaries. 

Optty is not an aggregator; we are an integration solution that offers merchants a comprehensive business user interface to orchestrate their payments from a user-friendly dashboard. 

We also white-label Optty across schemes, banks, PSPs, gateways, and orchestrators globally, with the aim of advancing payment inclusivity. This gives way for banks to become modern fintechs and gateways to supercharge their payment relevance without the complexity of integrating payment methods that don’t align with their legacy technology.


Reflecting on your experience as a merchant, where emphasis on effective product and customer experience is crucial for driving growth, how did you stay focused on your goals amidst the ever-evolving landscape of constant innovation and new technologies? Additionally, what questions should merchants probe before they embark on modernisation initiatives?

As a merchant, I was always looking for solutions to create loyal customers. One of my first industry gurus would always say it is about the “power of one”. Getting a customer to interact with you more than once is critical to driving growth. A myriad of ways (outside of just straight marketing) can help you achieve this goal. With an abundance of “promises from solution providers,'' it is incredibly distracting and difficult to make a decision on what to do. So, most do nothing!

The probing questions should be: Does this technology support my business, create loyalty, and help me to sell more products at the highest margin? If this first box is ticked at the beginning of the product and the upward rise of the life cycle, then the next priority is to ensure the technology is easy to implement, scalable, reliable, and matches business growth. A performance model commercial construct is equally critical to align the cost of the technology with effectiveness and impact on business, providing peace of mind. Be wary of anything with a large capital outlay on the “promise” of the technology is a right fit; instead, prioritise solutions that demonstrate tangible results.


How does Optty manage compliance for its extensive range of supported payment types across 140 countries?

Optty has a comprehensive approach to managing compliance for its extensive range of supported payment types across 140 countries.

A structured process ensures every integrated provider meets our due diligence requirements. This ongoing process includes constantly monitoring sanctions, change of ownership, and lending propensity to ensure our merchants work with reliable and ethical providers. 

Each merchant of record signs terms directly with Optty’s partner providers, ensuring direct settlement, streamlining transactions, and building trust between merchants and providers.

Our internal due diligence is robust, and each payment method is assessed to meet our internal requirements, including compliance measures such as payment card industry standards. Optty also closely monitors local rules and regulations and ensures merchants are aware of and operate responsibly.

Our technology team regularly reviews and tests infrastructure, code, environment, and overall security to enable compliance and maintain optimal performance. 

We provide our partners with a comprehensive dashboard, allowing them to monitor payment availability. Additionally, merchants can deactivate or react to a payment method in under 10 seconds to mitigate the risk of any issues and enable quick adjustments to their payment offerings.

Overlaying all these controls, Optty conducts AML checks to verify each payment provider and a live process monitors sanctions, governance, and regulatory changes to keep merchants up to date.


How do you foresee the future of Optty, and what is the overarching vision and roadmap of the company given evolving industry trends and customer needs?

Optty envisions a future where it continues to deliver on its core promise of “endless ways to pay in a true single API”. Expanding the range of payment verticals to accommodate the ever-evolving market and introducing new payment methods remains integral to this commitment.

We are seeing the emergence of issuer bank lending instalments, increasingly account-to-account transfers, and active fraud combating fraud with various fraud providers.

In addition to its range of payment options, Optty offers features that enhance the checkout experience for global retailers. Its embedded technology enables retailers to add adjacent features, including marketing, orchestration, tokenisation, fraud protection, reconciliation and reporting within minutes.

Oppty’s commitment to sustainability is evidenced by our B-Corp certification. We are a partner of Mastercard’s Priceless Planet Coalition, and in 2024, our platform will integrate Donate, Round-up, and Carbon Offset providers, enabling merchants to accept donations in their checkouts for local and global causes.

About Natasha Zurnamer

With over two decades of experience in global commerce and technology enablement, Natasha Zurnamer has focused on growing Gross Monetary Value (GMV) through technology solutions. Recognising the opportunity presented by new payment methods and retail globalisation, she has developed simplified payment integrations. Under her leadership, Optty has cultivated a team culture where people and purpose are central, with the aim of making Optty a key partner for global giants.


About Optty

Founded in 2020 by Natasha Zurnamer, Optty offers a fully customisable, single API solution, simplifying global payments for partners and merchants in 140 countries. As a B-Corp and part of the Mastercard Priceless Planet Coalition, Optty provides merchants with scalable solutions across nine payment architectures, enabling activation of any payment method or complimentary service in minutes. 

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Keywords: Global Payments, payment methods, payments , merchants, API, sustainability , banks, PSP, online payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Optty
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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