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Interviews

Paysera's vision: a world where electronic payments have no boundaries – interview with Kostas Noreika

Thursday 4 July 2019 | 08:52 AM CET

One of Paysera’s founders and main shareholders, Kostas Noreika, talks about the company’s journey so far and how it strives to innovate B2B electronic payments

Can you tell us more about Paysera and its origin story? How did it all start, what are the main products/services that Paysera offers and what problems does the company strive to solve?

Everything started in 2004, when, together with two other friends, we wanted to create something that would generate stable income for us on the internet. We started to create an ad portal, which was a completely new thing in the Lithuanian online world. Simultaneously, we offer business clients text messaging services. At that time, the ecommerce market was expanding, and the need for electronic payment solutions was growing. After a few years, in 2006, reacting to the demands of the clients, we created a payment system for accepting electronic payments. That was the start of Paysera services.

In 2011, Paysera was granted a payment institution license, and a year later, our team of approximately 30 people managed to acquire the first e-money license in Lithuania. Today, we are a group of companies employing more than 180 professionals.

We have nearly 400,000 clients, who in 2018 made 1.87 million transfers in 30 different currencies. The amount of all transfers exceeded EUR 3.9 billion, with an income of EUR 9.7 million. Currently, we have representatives in Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, and Poland. Next step for expansion abroad – Paysera Romania, Paysera Spain, and Kosovo.

Paysera offers a wide range of services, for both private and business clients: from free (IBAN) accounts and transfers to real-time currency exchange and unique payment solutions, such as payments at schools, SMS payments, QR code payments, transfers by phone number, and custom business solutions. Our unique event ticketing system - Paysera Tickets, was nominated as ‘The service of the year’ in Lithunania, 2017. In the Baltic States, Paysera is known as a leader in ecommerce and as a reliable and secure partner for executing and receiving online payments. The number of private clients is also growing because of our easy-to-use mobile application, unlimited free transfers in euro within the European Economic Area (EEA), and various other services.

The focus of our services was established based on the demands of our clients, so we deeply believe in and work to meet them. Our long-term vision is a world where electronic payments have no boundaries, are accessible to everyone, everywhere, and at any time. At the moment, we are looking to acquire a specialised banking license.

What is the company’s business model and what makes it unique and different from other companies operating electronic payments?

We have a unique method that no other fintech uses: we look for local partners – people who invest their own money in the development of Paysera in their country. We strongly believe that this way our partners will be 100% involved and will do everything for their business to also succeed. We share all our know-how, products, and service packages, as well as our full IT system and our specialists’ time for support. Practice shows that small fintechs usually specialise in a narrow sphere, so teaming up with a player that provides a full package of different services, like Paysera, could be an opportunity to get new clients – clients like to get everything from one source, and for small fintechs this could become a challenge. Our partners’ success in Bulgaria is the best proof that this model works. Paysera Bulgaria is working for more than 3 years now, and is still growing. As a result, the number of transfers grew 75%, since 2017 the company’s revenue registered a 111% growth, and won several awards: 1st place in category ‘Quality Service’ - Forbes Bulgaria awards 2018, 2nd place in category ‘Dynamic Development’ - Annual B2B awards 2018, 3rd place in category ‘Employer Branding Innovation’ - Employer Branding Awards 2018.

What are some current projects you are excited about and what new tech are you employing? How is technology complementing your product strategy?

In the last five years, we launched a mobile app with functions such as bill splitting, a savings account and a Paysera debit card. For business clients, we introduced a payment initiation service as a cheaper alternative payment method; our network of partners (banks and other financial institutions) was expanded so we can offer our clients faster transfers. Moreover, we were the first financial institution in Lithuania to connect to the SEPA INSTANT network, and Paysera is still one of the two to offer a full package of Instant payments options – our clients can execute and receive instant payments (other institutions are doing this with some exceptions). For private clients, all transfers in euro within the European Economic Area are unlimited and free.

Our expansion is also one of our strategic goals, so we are making big efforts with it – from dealing with potential partners to searching and participating in trade expos, conferences. A few new local partners are already on the way.

We are also looking to improve in all possible areas – from better design, to better UX, to entirely new products and services. Everyone can find our product roadmap on our public Trello board. As I mentioned before, we do everything to meet our clients’ needs, so our product roadmap is arranged by prioritising client requests. The board is not set in stone – it is a living organism which changes according to client needs.

This editorial was first published in the B2B Payments and Fintech Guide 2019 - Innovations in the Way Businesses Transact, which offers insightful editorials and use-case analyses on how to envision a proper regulatory and technological framework for safe and effective cross-border and instant B2B payments.

About Kostas Noreika

Kostas is a finance expert, with more than 20 years of business experience. He is one of the founders and a shareholder of the successful payment system, Paysera. Kostas is a true leader, interested in innovation and technology, always striving to improve and expand, both in his field, and beyond.

 

 

About Paysera

Paysera is the first fintech company in Lithuania, successfully operating for more than 15 years. Paysera offers a wide range of services for both private and business clients: from free (bank) account to real-time currency exchange and unique payment solutions. Currently the company is rapidly expanding, providing the services worldwide by adopting them to local markets through a network of partners.

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