First, an introduction of your company?

PayinTech provides the entertainment and tourism industries with a closed-loop payment software based on wearables and IoT. PayinTech integrates its payment solutions on every kind of RFID device: cards, bracelets, watches, key rings, etc. PayinTech enables professionals to perform a sale in 0.5 second and to considerably increase their ROI.

It’s a private system that could be compared to a private monetary system or a private central bank for a leisure park for instance.

The company has equipped more than 100 operators, present in 10 countries or so, within the tourism and entertainment industries such as stadiums, resorts, hotels, concert venues, theme parks, cruise operators etc… which represent around 3.2m end users.

PayinTech was founded in 2010 and was then the very first operator to provide cashless RFID solutions for events in Europe.

As the theme is around disruption, what have you disrupted ? and why ? what added-value ? why now ?

We are not fond of this word : disruption. We would rather mention differentiation or value proposition.

We evolve within the leisure and tourism market industries. This market was rattled by 3 major online corporations: Booking.com, AirBnB and TripAdvisor. All of our clients then expressed the significant need to develop their on-site revenues. However, the multiple constraints of these industries (no internet network, no security for cash management, multi-currency management, seasonal businesses, immersive experience for consumers, etc…) forced them to implement new means of payment designed and adjusted to their specific needs for the purpose of increasing their on-site revenues.

PayinTech is the unique payment system designed for these needs, with state-of-the-art patented technologies. That’s how PayinTech takes the lead the drastic change in the means of payment for these specific industries.

What key pain points have you addressed?

Most of our targeted clients, the professionals within the leisure and tourism industries, have three main constraints which are resolved with PayinTech’s solutions:

  • A business constraint: as already mentioned above, the three major online corporations that hit the entertainment and tourism industries, forced our clients to develop other revenue lines, particularly the on-site revenues. Our solutions, specifically designed for this need, enable on-site revenues to grow by a minimum of 15%. It also enables our client to better manage the different costs: all of the transactions and other data are gathered in his interface which he can access any time : cash flows, accounting, inventory, etc… Higher revenues and lower costs equals a better margin.
  • A technical constraint: all of our clients, have the same problem. In leisure sites, the internet network is never stable, which is a real drawback for credit card or mobile payments. Same with the electric network. PayinTech works without any stable internet or electrical network. It is a very resilient system in such situations. There is also the issue of multi-currency management which is very expensive.
  • A marketing constraint: the new trends of tourism consumption require a very high effort on the customer experience. As we say, « tourism is half dream, half reality ». If our clients have turned into new e-CRM and e-loyalty, they really need those tools for the on-site experience and today, there is no relevant tool to collect client data on-site. Moreover, competition between operators has skyrocketed since the beginning of the century, and the need of differentiation is today a key point. A private monetary system, specifically designed for each leisure site has a real impact on the identification of the customer and his loyalty towards the operator.

A good customer in tourism is someone who spends more than expected, who is happy to do so, and who wants to do it again the next time. PayinTech addresses these 3 points to enhance its clients’ business.

What difficulties/constraints have you encountered at the beginning ?
The difficulty is to explain to people who do not know our specific market, how we are complementary to the existing model and, how our hub is the missing link to address the specific requirements of our kind of clients. Our role is to educate.

How do you see usual players/incumbents react against the arrival of new entrants ?

For us that is not a problem, we work with everybody (banks, terminal suppliers, PSPs) but more generally, I guess the industrial incumbents fear new entrants, since their management adopt non-innovative and defensive positions.

This positions of fear explains the overvaluation of many Fintech startups in Europe. If you look at some transactions in the sector, you are happy for the entrepreneurs and investors who exit, but in fact there is clearly a value destruction for the industry. And some startups who do not accept to be bought out by industrials are in a war with them.

I really think it is a problem of people’s mindset, who hold high positions in these incumbent companies, and not a structural problem of the market. For incumbents, Fintech startups are an opportunity to change their model and do better business. But if they consider Fintech startups as a threat, I think they will focus on a fight which is not theirs and then forget to focus on their own strategy and business change.

What are your competitive advantages and how do you maintain them ?

We are 100% API and 100% modular. We integrate all existing payment schemes. We are completely universal and technology-open but only positioned on specific clients.

We follow an American Express strategy rather than a Visa one: our goal is not to equip all users and all merchants in the world, but to equip only relevant users and merchants in order to generate high value for them only.

To what extent is the current environment a strong facilitator (e.g. regulations, millennials, mobile) ? What is the most important?

I don’t know if the current environment is a facilitator or not. I just think a good entrepreneur has to adapt to its environment. That’s all.

How do you cooperate with established companies?

We have a unique position to address specific needs. That’s why we consider that we need to integrate to all established companies. Payment companies and banks but also IS ones, such as ERPs, CRMs, etc…

PayinTech has more than 150 APIs in order to connect to external systems, partnership with Fortune 500 corporations and wants to make its solutions interoperable with all kind of chip-standards, payment terminals and e-wallets providers.

How do you keep your « disruptive » mindset?

We need to keep focused on the customer use and the value we bring to the user. We have two main priorities on the sectors we address or those we will address :

  • Enable 100% of the selected users to be always able to spend their money.
  • Enable selected merchants to cash-in a sale in 0,5 second, without any technological requirement (network, electricity), any commission and any PIN code.

Thus, we will never launch a PayinTech EMV credit card for instance.

Conditions for surviving and not being in your turn disrupted?
Pragmatism.

Your view in the future: acceleration, consolidation, co-opetition, commoditization… banks’ market share: how much will they lose? Other factors that could arise tomorrow.

I think we have to stay cautious and not spend our time saying that Fintechs will kill banks next year, or that we will all pay our bread with mobile money in 2017. Since I entered this marvellous market in 2010, there are more commentators than doers.

I think business pragmatism is the good vision we have to have. Payments have never been a winner-takes-all market and there will always be multiple means of payment coexisting. Credit cards and chips were invented in France. And just keep in mind that the preferred means of payment of the French is cash.