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Interviews

Wolf Kring, Alternative Payments: "International payments reach beyond credit cards"

Monday 25 January 2016 | 12:00 PM CET

We focus on providing credit card alternative payment methods that foster global ecommerce sales

Could you briefly describe Alternative Payments’ (AP) mission and business strategy?

Our mission is to provide a frictionless international ecommerce solution for merchants. The merchants are unable to embrace the global marketplace with traditional credit card only payment offerings. Alternative Payments remains the only provider focused entirely on increasing merchant’s reach by offering only the regional payment methods. Credit cards are a must. However, in a global playing field they leave too many potential sales on the table.

Our strategy for the past 15 years has remained the same. We were the first payment company to specialise exclusively on alternative payments. We have translated our expertise into a global processing solution. We strive to educate merchants as well as making it easy to navigate international marketplace by removing language and currency barriers.

Can you provide a top three solution types that your customers are interested in and why?

We have built our solution to unburden the merchants from having to attempt to decide which options they need. Our system detects where their consumer is coming from and provides the best possible combination of payment types displaying consumers’ language and currency. This would for instance include EuroDebit which serves any EU bank account holder, as well as regionally preferred options such as iDeal or Giropay.

Our team are happy to advise clients should they have countries or regions in particular they need to address and, pretty often, a client will contact us as they are planning a marketing push into a new marketplace such as Brazil or perhaps in Asia. We are able to educate them on the payment types, how the transaction flow works, and any consumer behaviors they should be aware of.

In line with the previous question, what other payment methods and/or solutions do you offer for your customers and what makes them stand apart?

I think the clearest example of this is illustrated best by understanding the regions or countries that we give merchants access to. Brazil and Columbia in South America, as well as places like Poland, are completely unavailable to web shops who offer only credit cards or PayPal. While a merchant may be unaware of the ecommerce growth in these places, they can be in a position to take advantage of it by utilising a worldview solution like Alternative Payments.

AP has just released a new version of its payments system AlternativePayments.com with a series of enhancements over the preceding version. Could you elaborate on the key features implemented and their benefits?

Our team began this project under the mandate of making the merchants experience frictionless. A new merchant will go from hitting AlternativePayments.com to running test transactions in minutes. The merchant's developing team can deep dive into our restful API docs to integrate a custom solution or, via a line of code added to their website, to run with our payment widget which automatically geo-targets their consumers to provide the correct payment products. We also rebuilt our merchant admin to provide the user complete control over the transaction lifecycle.

AP claims that 59% of online shoppers will soon use non-card payment options. Do you plan, against this backdrop, to gradually leave card payments out of the equation?

We have specialised in providing only international payment solutions for the past 15 years. Cards have never been a part of our equation. We feel that we can best serve our merchants needs by remaining the service that brings them sales they would have missed out on by relying on only credit cards. Additionally, by not competing in the credit card processing arena we been able to become a white label provider of alternatives for a number of credit card gateways.

Given that ecommerce has dramatically changed the way businesses sell products and services, what would you recommend, for example, as a primary agenda for merchants expanding cross-border in terms of payment offering?

Our goal, at the end of the day, is to ensure that our merchants realise every possible opportunity to make the sale. The primary agenda we hope to instill in our merchants is to treat the cross-border consumer as a new opportunity and not as an afterthought. Via our tools, we provide geo-targeting, translations and we place the payment options at the center. We put the consumer at ease in the buying process by making it obvious that they are welcome and that their preferred options are available. Something this simple can have an immediate impact on web sales and can help merchants stride ahead of their competitors.

About Wolf Kring

Wolf Kring is the CEO and founder of global payment processor Alternative Payments. With nearly two decades in payment processing and FinTech, Wolf remains committed to building payment products that eliminate borders and currency concerns for ecommerce merchants.

About Alternative Payments

Alternative Payments provides a global payment infrastructure to ensure ecommerce merchants can convert international web traffic into approved transactions. The core gateway handles cross-border payments by streamlining a portfolio of global payments solutions into a single checkout flow. Alternative Payments is the exclusive provider of the direct debit solution EuroDebit, reaching over 500 million EU consumers. Merchants experience frictionless onboarding and quick access to the global online marketplace.

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