Category Archives: News

Opportunities in the UAE for fintech.

The first few weeks here in Istanbul have been an absolute pleasure. Working closely with new colleagues at the office and getting operations up and running has gone really well so far. And I look forward to the future business opportunities to come soon.

Since I arrived here in December I have met great people both on a personal and business level, and I have to say you can definitely feel the appetite to grow internationally in the Fintech industry here. The industry seems to be ready for the next step, and we are here to help these companies on all levels needed.

Besides getting settled in and meeting new people all over town, the first two weeks were also a chance for me and the Fintechamps Istanbul office to deep dive into an opportunity we had identified a couple of months ago during multiple introductory meetings with Fintechs all over the world. This question was how the Financial Free zones in the UAE can service and offer Fintechs new opportunities.

Looking into this it became apparent that these zones offer multiple benefits for FinTechs, both in Dubai as well as Abu Dhabi. These opportunities include strong governmental initiatives, as the UAE aims to transform the country into a hub for FinTechs. This support shows in the legislation and taxation benefits and the ease of setting up shop offered in these zones.

Besides these more obvious benefits, the past few weeks Candaş, Çağla and myself dove into some more direct questions/benefits such as; what are the requirements for FinTechs, which markets you can service, the (financial) activities allowed through these zones and the support offered in these Financial Free Zones. The Sandbox initiative offered by the UAE in both the Dubai international Financial Centre (DIFC) as well as the Abu Dhabi global Market (ADGM), we believe to be especially interesting for FinTechs. Here, they aim to support innovation in the financial services and market through offering Innovation Test Licenses (ITL) which enables holders of these licenses to test new and innovative financial products, services and business models.

In the sandbox stage, Fintechs can expect to receive support on;

  • Creating new policy regimes and adapting existing frameworks to accommodate new or evolving business models and their risks;

  • Proactively engaging with the market and relevant participants, stakeholders and the broader community;

  • Engaging with innovative start-ups in the DIFC Hive programmes; and:

  • Working with international organizations, particularly through the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), of which the regulatory body in the DIFC, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), is a founding member.

So, how does a company become eligible for such an ITL? Well, here are just some of the requirements for such a license. 

  • The company must involve innovation, by offering a new type of product or service or applying innovative technology to an existing product or service;
  • The applicant must be ready to start live-testing of its business with customers; and
  • The applicant must intend to roll-out its business on a broader scale in or from the DIFC once it has successfully completed testing;
  • The applicant must ensure that they have knowledge and understanding of the relevant DFSA and DIFC rules and regulations

So, we believe that these financial free zones can offer great opportunities to the right companies and if applied correctly, the Sand-box initiatives represent the bright future for fintechs in the UAE. and the possibility of it becoming an established FinTech hub. Would you like to know more about the application process and the opportunities for your company in said zones?

For more in-depth information about our expansion and services feel free to reach out!

Today, we are very excited to announce that we are officially opening our first international office in Istanbul, expanding our services to MEA and Asia.

This expansion represents a major milestone for the Fintechamps team. In fact, it was only three years ago that Mark van der Sluis, Bob Voermans, and Freek Dix founded Fintechamps.

“Our services are in high demand in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. By opening an office closer to these regions we can ensure the quality established previously in Amsterdam, as we will have better access and communication with clients located there.”
Mark van der Sluis (co-founder) 

Candaş Üçer will lead the new office in Istanbul and steps up as a Director for MEA and Asia. He is an all-around fintech expert with specialized knowledge in regulation & compliance and cyber/IT governance. In the past, Candaş has worked closely with the Fintechamps licensing team on several projects. After working for 15 years for Deloitte, he founded his own successful consulting firm specializing in IT governance.

“It is exciting to be a part of the international expansion of the Fintechamps brand. Fintechamps is now stronger with our advisory services in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.”
Candaş Üçer (Director for MEA and Asia)

Candaş will be joined by our own Oliver Bews to accelerate growth. Oliver has been with Fintechamps for the past two years in the Amsterdam office working closely with the business development team and multiple fintechs on various projects.

“This is a very exciting step for Fintechamps. It will allow us to easily and quickly shift between regions, opening new opportunities, and allowing us to achieve new service levels”.
Oliver Bews (Global expansion manager)

This new step will let us support merchants and fintechs in entering new markets and in achieving their goals. With our international experience and expertise, we can help companies move into MEA & Asia and the other way around, towards Europe.

Candaş will help us expand our service offering to new levels not only by bringing his expertise, but also an established network.

For more in-depth information about our expansion and services feel free to reach out!

As a merchant, a high conversion rate is desirable. But what happens when a customer cannot find their preferred payment method in checkout? What if there’s no payment options applicable to them? Abandoned baskets. 

In the current state of e-commerce, more and more merchants are operating on a global scale. Why wouldn’t they? Reaching out internationally means more customers, a wider audience and ultimately, higher revenue. There’s just one thing that merchants need to take into consideration when expanding to new territories: local payment methods. Payment systems and the checkout experience needs to run as smoothly as possible, seamlessly where possible, to ensure that customers don’t bail on their carts. The tough part lies with the merchant. What do you do if your payment provider does not have the preferred payment method you are looking for?

In this post we will highlight what merchants should look for when expanding.

How do I add more alternative payment methods?

Ask your current provider what they are offering. Make sure that you utilize the account management team to find the right APM’s. This is essential to ensure conversion can increase as much as possible. Sometimes conversion can be improved by simply adding a couple of additional APM’s. Another important aspect to take into consideration is that if you receive traffic from certain regions, you need to be able to offer the local payment method. This will definitely boost conversion.

How do I get the right pricing?

Make sure you consider a couple of important factors. Examine the payment provider you have currently and ask if they are an acquirer themselves. If they are, this means that they can re-sell iDeal for instance.

What am I doing with my risk settings?

Take a good look at your authorization rates. If there is a significant difference in your authorization rates, it could mean that your risk settings are too strict. Due to declines, you as a merchant need to pay a lot of avoidable extra transaction fees. For instance, every decline costs you €7 cents per transaction and every and every declined credit card authorization costs you €3 cents. It bears repeating: these are avoidable costs.

For instance, consider using a local acquirer for foreign countries so that the acceptance rate becomes a lot higher. When a payment is done from another region that is not covered by the current acquirer it can lead to a transaction block.

Am I compliant? What to do with my KYC material?

Consider using a third party for your KYC material. This way you could send over your own KYC material to your new PSP or Alternative Payment Method. By doing this you avoid being locked at a PSP and don’t have a lot of unnecessary additional costs should they need to perform the KYC for you again.

How can I easily add more payment providers in one dashboard?

You can start by looking at Payment Orchestration platforms. A payment Orchestration Platform is a single technical gateway that you can place in front of your existing platform that is integrated with your provider. An Orchestration Platform helps merchants optimize their payment flow at the lowest cost. These platforms include smart/ dynamic routing to route transactions to the best performing provider. Ultimately this will lead to increased conversion, redundancy, A/B testing, flexibility, scalability and save costs.

Next Steps

If you’re considering global expansion with new APM’s, are in the process of contracting another PSP or considering a POP, please contact us if you need any help. Our experienced Fintechamps team can help you make the right decision and support you in the selection process.

Many merchants rely on one provider for their online payment methods in their web shop check-out. This gives them the benefit of trying to select the best fitted provider, having one integration and having payment flows for reconciliation purposes through one single provider. This option is fine for merchants who offer products or services in one or a couple of countries but, when merchants grow in volume and start offering services in multiple countries they find that things become a bit more complicated…

The first thing merchants are faced with is the fact that there is no “holy grail” of providers. They will realize their current provider probably doesn’t cover everything they need regarding coverage or performance. They will feel “locked in” with their one provider where they have very little bargaining power in negotiations.

If one provider is not enough, what do you do? 

For starters you can consider routing your traffic static or dynamic through different Payment Service Providers, card acquirers and/or Alternative Payment Method Providers.

But what is payment routing? 

Routing is the nervous system of the payments ecosystem, sending transactions to acquirers and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) for processing and approval so that payments can be completed.

What is static routing?

Static routing is a type of routing that sends transaction data to payment providers for processing along a fixed path. These routes are manually configured and managed and cannot be changed. The rigid nature of static routing means that if a primary route is unavailable, no secondary path can be utilized resulting in an inability to process the payment.

As online payments are getting more complex and global, payment volumes are increasing. Static routing is becoming incapable of dealing with these new realities.

What is dynamic/smart routing? 

Dynamic/ smart routing gives you the ability to intelligently route payments real-time according to changing circumstances rather than being limited to one path. Rules can be set to achieve specific business needs and include routing by card issuing country, vendor, product, currency, acquirer fees, and more. If there’s an inability to process transactions at the time of payment, dynamic routing can help avoid frustrating customers by setting alternative routes to another provider to ensure payments continue to be processed. That means exposure to costly acquirer failures can be reduced, and business can continue as usual.

What is a Payment Orchestration Platform (POP)

A Payment Orchestration Platform is a single technical gateway that you can place in front of your existing platform that is integrated with your provider. An orchestration platform helps merchants to optimize their payment flow at the lowest cost. These platforms include smart/dynamic routing to route transactions to the best performing provider. Ultimately leading to increased conversion, redundancy, A/B testing, flexibility, scalability and cost savings.

Next steps 

If you’re considering routing, are in the process of contracting another PSP or considering a POP, please contact us if you need any help. Our experienced Fintechamps team can help you make the right decision and support you in the selection process.