On May 10th and 11th, the ICT Spring 2016 experts will once again address the hot topic of FinTech, which raised more than 19 billion dollars in 2015. Jonathan Prince, Co-founder & Partner, Digicash Payments, will act as master of ceremony during the different FinTech conferences. In less than a month before ICT Spring, he shares some insights on the challenges of creating a FinTech company and on mobile payments.
What were the biggest challenges that you faced in the creation of your Digicash strategy?
As we are in the field of payments and regulated sector, we had to apply for a payment institution License. The first hurdle was surely to obtain this License to become bank grade and gain trust from the banks we were willing to partner with. Obviously for a start-up it is also a matter of funding. In this respect, we were very lucky to get some support from the Luxembourg government and its body Luxinnovation.
How high is the customer demand for mobile payments services?
We were very impressed: a bit more than the equivalent of 16% of the entire population of Luxembourg downloaded the app. This is quite high compared to usual penetration rate of new payment solutions distribution and in a short period of time. In think that the willingness of consumers to use their smartphone for payments is there, but surely, if you want to develop the usage, you have to make sure that they can use it in their daily life, and also that they see the clear advantage and benefits of using their mobile phone to manage their payments.
What, in your opinion, are the advantages and disadvantages of a mobile payment service?
As a new player in the field of payment, you have to create the trust link with the end users, to make sure they adopt the solution and use it without restriction. This is the main reason why we also wanted to partner with banks as they already have this trust link. The huge advantage of mobile phones, and especially smartphones, is that it is a computer you have permanently with you. You can go far beyond mobile payment. You can add different services: it opens the way to a huge potential for innovation, adding value to the payments. I think it is truly the start of a new revolution.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to create his own company?
First of all, it is very important to make sure you cover the full range of expertise you need to run a company. As we are talking about FinTech, the IT part is key. Marketing and communication are also important. Moreover, as the sector is highly regulated, you have to make sure you cover this aspect as well. Entrepreneurs should try to find the right balance between the expertise within the company but also need to be ready to take risks. Finally, everybody has to support you in this venture, especially since you take risks not alone, but with your partners, your family, etc.
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