Could you introduce us to Emergent Payments and the leadership that founded it?
Emergent Payments is in the business of delivering optimised payment solutions in high growth markets. We help our merchants and partners in regions like India, SE Asia, and Latin America, where there are large digital consumer bases but significant payment complexity. We are a technology-heavy business with deep merchant-side experience in international payments, which allows us to optimise performance in those markets for our customers.
The leadership team has a strong technology and payments DNA. Founded by Mitchell Davis, a serial tech entrepreneur, the core team includes Rossini Zumwalt, CPO former head of payments at Symantec; Abhishek Banerjee, CTO from Symantec and Western Union Digital; and Joe Podulka, CFO from EBAY/PayPal. We are also proud of the fact that the majority of our 32 engineers also have a merchant payments background. That ensures our platform is driven by the needs of large scale merchants, that methods are truly optimised, and we can deliver the service levels and attention that they need.
What motivated you to start Emergent Payments?
Globally, e-payments are approaching USD 3 trillion, but with growth slowing in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, there is a lot of attention on the high growth markets where merchants can grow their businesses. Those are complex payment markets in terms of method mix, regulations, tax, optimisation, and fraud/chargebacks. They are also underserved by the industry. So we saw an opportunity to deliver a comprehensive solution with a single technology platform that solved for those markets and made it easy for our merchant partners to build a strong revenue line there.
Because we have a merchant background and have operated in those high growth markets for years, we had a strong sense of what is needed in the solution to deliver optimal service and performance. I think it is important for our customers to get high level service and experienced strategic advice on how best to build their business in markets like India, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, et al.
For which type of merchants do the emergent markets provide the most opportunities?
Merchants generally start their payment expansion in North America and Europe. As merchants extend their product and service offerings to their customers beyond the major markets, Emergent Payments is well positioned to introduce solutions for markets that brings added growth to the merchants’ overall business. Especially digital merchants (security, healthcare, education, software, etc.) have tremendous opportunities in the emergent markets. We recommend payment methods that compliment merchants’ product and service and delivers best customer user experience.
What challenges do merchants face when expanding into emerging markets?
In emerging markets, it is critical to offer consumers local payment methods. Local payment methods are only available to companies domiciled in these markets. The merchant will require expertise to manage regulations, tax compliance, funds repatriation, and how to effectively operate the local payment methods.
How do you differentiate yourselves from the pack? What are you doing differently that makes you successful?
Emergent Payments approaches merchant interaction in an advisory and consultative manner. We like to think that we are part of the merchant’s extended payments team. We start by understanding the merchant’s problem, and then collaborate on options to consider. For example, for certain recurring transactions, we would not recommend payment methods such as cash or bank transfers.
Lastly, could you provide us with an example of your process of helping a merchant to become successful in an emerging market, like India or Latin America?
The process is different for each merchant. We arrive at the merchant’s office to discuss their use cases, their challenges and then offer up solutions. Many merchants already have done their own research in the market, such as India, and want to validate the challenges and the reality in setting up Emergent Payments India.
About Rossini Zumwalt
Ms. Zumwalt, Chief Payment Officer, Palo Alto, California, served as Senior Director of Worldwide e-Commerce Payment & Risk Strategy at Symantec Corporation. She set the strategy and direction for the global payment and risk teams to enable growth of the B2C, B2B and Enterprise commerce business units. She supported Norton's USD 2 billion online business through direct development of payment gateways, risk technology, compliance policy and fraud detection capabilities. She was formerly Head of Global Treasury responsible for Cashflow, Foreign Exchange, Investments and Risk Management.
Ms. Zumwalt served leadership roles for the Merchant Risk Council from 2010 to 2015 as Chairperson of the Global Board of Directors, Co-Chairperson of the European Advisory Board and MRC Treasurer. Ms. Zumwalt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (Finance) from San Jose State University and previously held a CTP designation.
About Emergent Payments
Emergent Payments provides a sophisticated, yet simple payments solution focused on capturing market share in high growth, complex emerging markets. Emergent Payments enables merchants to accept more than 200 local payment methods with one integration, making it accessible to an incredibly wide swath of the international payments market. Furthermore, the company provides the ability for merchants to manage all aspects of global payments processing including tax, fraud, settlement, and FX.
Headquartered in Palo Alto, Emergent Payments has offices in North Carolina, Bangalore, Luxembourg, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, São Paulo, and Lagos. With an engineering heavy workforce and local expertise, the company focuses on optimising the most effective payment methods by market. By managing local issues and solving the complex problems of doing business in emerging markets, Emergent Payments drives conversion and revenue growth for global merchants.
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