Fintech Valley is continuing its series on Fintech interviews and company profiles and is proud to present you herewith its fifth company. This time we move to Europe, in specific to Berlin, one of the European Fintech capitals. We would like to introduce you today “allpago”, a company that, according to their website: “offers the best conversion rates, a state-of-the art technology, and legal advice necessary for being successful in e-Commerce in Latin America.” More information at: www.allpago.com
FintechValley: Could you please give a short description and history about allpago for those companies and audiences that are not familiar with the company and the products?
allpago is a PSP for the Latin American region providing all relevant local payment methods and features through one single API and platform. We have been enabling Companies like Art.com, Getty Images, Intel Security McAfee , Symantec and Teamviewer to exponentially grow their volume and conversion rates in the region. allpago is also proud to give access to all customers in Latin America to such products.
FTV: What are the Unique Selling Points of allpago, what value do you bring to your target audience?
We believe we have changed the concept of what a payment provider should bring into the LATAM payment market by offering clients and partners a value proposition that considers all the challenges and specificities of the region, and more importantly complies with the regulations of each country we operate in. We are proud to say that allpago is always directly integrated into acquirers and does not work with third party processors, meaning our Merchants are able to closely monitor the payment processing.
Our aim is to provide an integrated, seamless and transparent payment experience in Latin America for customers, allowing our merchants to consequently maximize profits in the region. By providing our merchants with local payment methods and alternatives (e.g. Boleto Bancário, Oxxo, Baloto), we give them access to the unbanked proportion of the population who are able to buy goods and services of interest through the internet.
FTV: Where are the allpago Headquarters? Is there a special reason for settling the company here? Do you have regional offices in other countries?
Our Headquarters are located in Berlin – we say we are a German company with a Latin American heart. Berlin not only is the capital of Germany but also an amazing startup hub – it has become the epicentre for innovation and creativity in Europe, making it a vibrant city to operate in. We also have offices in São Paulo, Mexico City and Bogotá where we have local operation teams, facilitating local support to our merchants.
FTV: What has happened in the last years to the main Financial Corporations to finally adapt new technologies? Do you believe they are reacting quick enough?
Nowadays, innovation has taken the lead regarding financial businesses. There are developments happening on a daily basis in order to meet consumer needs or to facilitate the burdens that come with financial processes. As you have more and more small to medium size companies coming up with new technologies and customers switching to these models, financial corporations have had to adapt to these changes in order to maintain their competitiveness.
I think some of them are willing to embrace this era of change, but at the same time maintaining their standards and core visions. You also see them attending startups events and organising competitions aimed to foster creativity and new technologies.
FTV: In your option, how relevant are the following 5 factors in the success of a Fintech Company. Can you please grade them with a percentage of relevance. (20% for each one of them, for example, would grade all of them as equally important.) Please feel free to add an extra factor that you believe could be important:
Consumer adoption: 20%
FTV: Has it become easier for you to reach Finance corporations and make them hear what you have to say in terms of finance innovation?
Yes, we have been actively engaged in the market for more than five years and received several awards and recognitions such as “Top 10 Late Stage Startup” by Money20/20, “Top 3 Finalist for Emerging Technology” by the Merchant Risk Council and “Top 10 Innovation Award Finalist” by the Electronic Transactions Association. These have helped us to be recognised as the global PSP for Latin America, demonstrating Financial Corporations the impact we have in the region and the key role we represent as a partner in Latin America.
FTV: What is the most important market for allpago? What are the next plans?
For us in LATAM, Brazil is the most important market, same for the majority of clients wanting to access Latin America. So, by focusing all efforts and energies in understanding Brazil, the bigger and most complex market of the region, we built up a unique case study to be replicated into all the upcoming markets. Both Mexico and Colombia are also considered rising stars with their recent technological and economic developments; same for Argentina undergoing political changes making it a hot destination.
We thrive to capture the different dynamic and relevance of alternative payment methods in the region, so we always ensure we will launch each country with the right structure to service both customers and merchants.
FTV: In your point of view, when is regulation good for Fintech and when is it bad for Fintech? Is regulation helping or deterring financial innovation?
On one side, regulation can ensure security standards for companies and consumers, and it is also necessary, especially in regards to data privacy and security. The negative side is that it can hinder innovation as it can dramatically increase the costs of operating a business and it can prevent new business models to emerge.
Summarizing, regulation is good if enforced efficiently, i.e. that all players in the market are forced to be compliant – which is something we don’t see all the time. Also many customers demand it but some of them are not willing to pay for this additional security standards.
FTV: Which is the Fintech capital of the Latin America in your point of view? Why? Is there a recipe or formula for being a successful Fintech capital?
The most interesting factor of Latin America is its diversity, which makes it hard to elect “the” Fintech capital. Nonetheless, it seems like São Paulo is taking the lead in innovation. The city counts with one of the most advanced regulations, is located in one of the biggest markets with more funding and investments, and is an important Startup hub in the region. As an example, Nubank has been crucial in simplifying the access to credit cards, and Banco Original who is now about to disrupt the bank landscape in Brazil with its 100% digital bank solution.
In the Spanish speaking world we witness more and more accelerator programs for Fintech startups. The main difference from Brazil is that in Mexico, Colombia and Chile there is a big focus on lending capabilities as well.
So, one could argue in Brazil innovation is towards creating a more transparent and simplified bank system, while in the Spanish speaking countries the focus seems to be more on credit and lending access.
FTV: Thank you very much to allpago. Further information under: www.allpago.com .
If would like to see your company in FintechValley, get in touch with us, and describe the qualities and uniqueness of your Fintech project.