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Payment systems not keeping up with new generation of online start-ups

Thursday, 30 May 2013 | By Rose Powell

A new generation of entrepreneurs are seeking new online sales payment systems, the founder of an Australian start-up says, as Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev flagged that regulators may have to examine the move by tech giants into financial services.


“There isn’t enough attention being paid to the new generation of merchants,” Grant Bissett, founder of Pin Payments told StartupSmart.


“There is plenty of talk about different tools for consumers to buy with, such as mobile wallets and peer-to-peer options. I think these options are probably inevitable as technology continues to grow,” he says.


“But it completely ignores new types of merchants. They could be new business models or new geographies, like an Australian selling online to a customer in Hong Kong, those guys are underserved and overdue for some attention.”


Bissett says new sales systems and processing systems, known as application programming interfaces, or APIs, are needed.


Pin Payment is the first Australian all-in-one API for processing sales, including multiple foreign currency sales.


The system was designed specifically for start-ups and entrepreneurs by simplifying the multiple financial and user accounts required to sell online. It combines several functions including the payment gateway, fraud and cyber security systems, currency conversion and users don’t need a separate bank account for it.


“Our vendors don’t need a merchant account, which is a big deal for small and start-up businesses,” Bissett says.


“We wanted to create something that removed the need for multiple bank accounts and systems. Especially if you’re a start-up and need to sell in US dollars, you also need deep integration with your website backend, not heaps of accounts to manage.”


Four months into their public beta, and the team at Pin Payments is getting ready to launch commercially. Partnering with existing financial institutions was the main objective for the team.


“Betas are usually about breaking and fixing things. That wasn’t really the case for us. The purpose of our beta was to build confidence with the banks and optimise our processes,” Bissett says.


“One thing we learned in beta was about adjusting to the pace of the financial services industry. You can imagine how a tech start-up works compared to a large financial service.”


Through the beta, Pin Payment has successfully partnered with a range of large financial services.


“This has involved a couple of unique agreements. We have a first-of-its-kind in Australia payment service provider with a major bank for example,” says Bissett.


“Moving forward we’re looking to integrate with as many eCommerce products and packages that will make it easier for non-tech-skilled small business owners.”


As the internet connects entrepreneurs to more customers than ever before, Bissett is confident that the rapid evolution of payment options will be a boon for start-up operators.


“Current start-ups and small businesses are underserved with merchant services, especially those with international plans. That’s beginning to change.”