As Fintech firms continue to make breakthroughs and disrupt banking and payments services around the world, I was curious to hear the first hand experience of a start-up at the forefront of innovation in Europe.
Cashcloud has received a number of awards for its innovative payments service, most recently winning the Fintech Innovation Awards 2015 held here in London. I was therefore delighted to interview the man who is behind much of the success, Olaf Taupitz, Managing
Director of Cashcloud SA.
More than just payments
Olaf shared with me how from the start they set out to do more than just payments. With a small yet international team they have launched mobile payments services that target the "digital natives" youth market in Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands.
They aimed to build an easy-to-use application that addresses a number of needs, in particular for their primary segment, the digital native youth market. People can transfer money easily between each other, make payments at POS through NFC stickers and
earn cash credits in return for buying specific goods, sharing information or inviting friends. Coupons and cash back activities have been launched in Germany and Spain.
Incentives, not charges
An important feature that helps adoption is that people can obtain offers and bonuses for using the service, through "Cash Credits" into their wallets. A unique Freemium/Premium pricing adopted readies for anticipated drops in transaction fees and interchange
fees across European markets.
Key Technology Choices
Two key technology choices they made, decisions they took back in 2012, have helped them launch within a year, but also form a solid foundation for future expansion. Firstly they decided the service must be mobile, and supported Android and iOS from the
start. Secondly, they focused on building a platform, with an online API that would help them integrate and be a part of other ecosystems and use cases.
Choice of the first four European markets, segments and services was dictated by the key characteristics of these markets. The Cashcloud experience is highly instructive for anyone interested in launching mobile payments services in Europe.
It is inspiring to see a team of 35 take on a challenge like this, in a space hotly contested by banks, mobile operators and the mighty online technology companies including Apple, Google, Facebook and many others.