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Interviews

Interview with Daria Rippingale, BillPro, on merchant acquiring and onboarding

Thursday 15 March 2018 | 10:09 AM CET

BillPro won the MPE 2018 award for Best Onboarding Solution. Curious to know more, we sat down with CEO Daria Rippingale to discuss more about their onboarding platform. 

Can you briefly introduce BillPro to our readers? You seem to do acquiring, processing and payments - how do these mix together? What do you plan to focus on in 2018? 

BillPro is an international payments group with its own Payment Institution, acquiring licensing and backend processing switch.  BillPro is also a Swift and Clearing House member and can issue 32 currency IBANs to businesses and consumers around the world.

BillPro provides comprehensive payment services to retailers and payment partners, including Payment Facilitator and ISO agreements, referral partnerships and Agency Sub-Licensing.

BillPro’s transaction acquiring services include Visa, Mastercard, Amex, JCB, Carte Bancaire and Discover, in addition to bank transfers, Swift and SEPA payments and a range of popular alternative payment methods, including iDEAL, Bancontact, GiroPay and Sofort.

BillPro provides both its banking and payment services either directly to merchants or via resellers and we offer our banking frontend, payment gateway and “award winning” onboarding solution as a white label option. We also offer Payment Institution sub-licences as well as licencing and compliance outsourcing solutions.

The combination of our European licencing and diverse range of payment options for merchants, along with our extensive global connections, gives us an edge when it comes to payment partners, including PSP’s or Payment Facilitators, seeking to expand their footprint throughout Europe.

Last year, though our subsidiary Oonex, we successfully extended our payment Institution licence to include all countries in the European Union and the European Economic Area. This was the first phase of our European expansion and 2018 is set to be a significant year for us. We have some big announcements on the way!

Congratulations for winning the MPE Award for the Best Onboarding Solution! What makes your onboarding solution stand out from the crowd?

Thank you. We have worked incredibly hard to streamline onboarding and innovate a system that delivers on the merchant need for faster onboarding, while also ensuring we stay in line with constantly changing compliance requirements.

I believe that there are a number of features which make our platform stand out from the crowd. 

Firstly, it is a complete onboarding and compliance management system. Underwriting and KYC are entirely integrated, and all contracting is also built into the system. On this one platform, applications are managed though every stage of the onboarding process - from sales to live. It is common in the industry for onboarding to be managed via a series of emails and documents, stored in different locations, with no central platform. Our system manages communications and documentation for each application in one central place, that is easy to retrieve at any time.

Secondly, the system features pre-set and configurable approval stages along with task management. What this means is that we have determined what must occur for an application to proceed to the next phase of onboarding and this is set up within the system, streamlining the entire onboarding process. This results in fast onboarding as well as compliance that is reliable and efficient.  

Finally, it’s a collaborative system. The platform is open for PSP’s, PI’s, Acquirers, eWallets and card issuers, along with their agents, to onboard merchants co-operatively.

Concerning onboarding, have you looked at blockchain technology in this segment? Do you see any potential DLT applications for onboarding?

Yes, we have! Our innovation team have been specifically looking into how blockchain ledger technology can be applied to customer compliance and onboarding – as well as other underwriting aspects. We believe distributed ledger technology has the power to completely transform how KYC and AML screening is handled worldwide.

If onboarding was undertaken using DLT, it could allow for KYC to be done ‘officially’ only once per customer worldwide, with the information then stored against expiry data. That information could then be securely shared and accessed by financial institutions, lenders and acquirers worldwide, removing the need for customers to be compliance checked over and over by each new institution.

Blockchain could offer a fully integrated, centralised customer compliance system for all financial institutions, dramatically decreasing time to gather documentation and perform the appropriate checks. This would slash onboarding times for banks and acquirers internationally.

But more than saving time, such a system would improve the quality of the compliance checking due to the greater ease in sourcing available information, and also the quality and reliability of the information/documentation that could be collected.

This is something we are investigating for the future as we develop even more functionality into our integrated risk and onboarding system.

During MPE 2018, we heard a lot of talk about “opening up” and “partnering”. Do you welcome this mindset? What opportunities could an open payments ecosystem bring to acquirers, PSPs, banks and consumers?

We absolutely do and we have always had a partner-focused approach. Not only is it our business model to sell our offering largely though our network of partners and resellers, but much of the value that our business can offer is as a result of our large global network of payment and technology partners, including acquirers, banks, PSPs, ecommerce providers, payment methods and more. For us, much of our power comes through our networks. In fact, some of our competitors, are also our partners.

In this new payment ecosystem, I believe that players need to understand their strengths and what they can do inhouse, and be open to collaborating with partners for those opportunities that lie outside their expertise. If they can do this successfully, then I believe that the opportunities for innovation are limitless. The introduction of the PSD2 is forcing a shift towards this, giving more opportunity for fintechs and third parties by allowing them access to meaningful customer and financial data.

Although the industry will take time to catch up, the PSD2 allows for a whole new payment ecosystem to be developed – one which is specifically aimed at providing consumer centric services, rather than centralising these to banking institutions.  These changes, and the introduction of AIS (Account Information Services) and PIS (Payment Information Services) takes this one step further, opening a new and competitive alternative to credit card payments for both businesses and individuals throughout Europe.  

About Daria Rippingale

Daria has been CEO of BillPro since 2012 and has lead the company’s expansion over multiple continents, while attaining the regulatory status and licensing to become a direct acquirer and fully passported Payment Institution across Europe. Daria is a solution focused business leader who constantly challenges processes to drive innovation. She has developed and implemented a revolutionary onboarding platform which has transformed BillPro’s efficiency and has enabled the business to take risk management and onboarding to the next level. This system, which won the Award for Best Onboarding Solution at MPE 2018 in Berlin, has the potential to transform risk management throughout the entire payments industry. 

About BillPro

BillPro is a credit card acquirer and licensed European Payment Institution (offering secure payment solutions to businesses of all sizes globally).  BillPro offers Visa, MasterCard, Carte Bancaire, JCB and Amex acquiring, along with a number of alternative payment methods. BillPro is a Swift, SEPA and clearing house member and issues multi-currency IBANs and payment accounts to businesses and individuals worldwide.  

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