“Businesses will need to embrace a ‘cards plus’ payments strategy that includes local and alternative payment methods.” – Arik Shtilman, CEO of Rapyd:
Arik Shtilman sat down with The Paypers to discuss the acceleration of ecommerce, the recent acquisition of Korta and Rapyd’s card acquiring capabilities in Europe.
With the COVID-19 pandemic greatly influencing the acceleration of ecommerce globally, what is the impact on the growth and usage of digital payments by both businesses and consumers?
Digital sales are no longer just about expansion or innovation, they are part of a business continuity plan. Even goods and services that were once the exclusive domain of brick and mortar, like health and fitness services, are going digital with online reservations and classes and digital payment systems. Since the pandemic started, record numbers of people have been engaging in digital commerce for the first time. According to recent Forrester data, in Italy, 14% of consumers have signed up for video streaming for the first time; in China, 24% tried ordering their groceries; in the US. 12% of consumers started taking online exercise classes for the first time. To stay competitive businesses will need to embrace a cards plus payments strategy that includes local and alternative payment methods.
Moreover, the payments industry had to adapt swiftly to the shifts towards online shopping. If we look at Europe, how well is the payment infrastructure equipped to support this move towards digital commerce?
Up until 2020, I would say customers are the market-makers and payments technology followed. In 2020, COVID-19 was the market-maker: shoppers who hadn’t adopted digital habits had no other choice, but to go digital. We think the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate digital payment strategies and plans for merchants and we are betting big on real payments transformation across Europe in the next 5 years.
Rapyd has recently acquired the payment card service provider Korta. Could you please elaborate on the strategy behind this acquisition, and the integration’s status?
The Korta acquisition helps us accelerate our expansion across Europe. Moreover, our clients were asking us to add card acceptance to our portfolio, so we realized that acquiring a payment card service provider would be a great opportunity to meet our customers’ demands. It also ties back to this unprecedented move towards digital payments – COVID-19 has accelerated this roadmap item for us. Also, companies that were already focused on global expansion and cross-border payments are trying to reduce the number of vendors they need to manage to simplify their payments stack. Rapyd provides a fully integrated “cards plus” payment stack that enables any payment method, in any market you want to work in, through a single vendor relationship. We have also learned that some businesses mistakenly think of offering APMs as an afterthought to their card acceptance strategy. This needs to change especially when looking at global expansion where an alternative payment method may be the primary way consumers pay in other markets.
Besides the new opportunities to innovate digital payments, fraud prevention remains a top challenge to address. How is Rapyd helping merchants with card acceptance risks such as online fraud, chargebacks, and compliance?
Transacting cross-border requires more due diligence. From the beginning, Rapyd built a compliance framework and identity service directly into our onboarding systems and platforms. And just recently, we significantly expanded our fraud protection capabilities with the addition of Rapyd Protect.
What’s next on Rapyd’s roadmap to enable omnichannel experiences?
With the acquisition of Korta came a significant amount of POS card-present transaction volume. Our European acquiring license allows us to acquire card-present transactions across Europe. Bringing our online business together with our card-present business for a truly all-in-one cross-border omnichannel experience will be a major initiative going into 2021.