Many consumers face complex problems when it comes to payments. And resultantly so, many FinTech start-ups are gaining popularity for their sheer simplicity in solving these complex issues with innovative products.
Led by CEO Ollie Walsh, PiPiT Global is a start-up tech firm in the FinTech/Payments space. PiPiT has launched a Digital Cash Collection platform for International Cash Transactions. This is the first platform of its kind in the world.
PiPiT was formed about six years ago, as a solution that addressed growing concerns about internet security, as well as risks commonly associated with using credit cards online.
The first module they built was an e-commerce module for online shopping. The customer selects(1) a product and (2) PiPiT as the payment option; they receive a barcode to their phone, and they then go into one of PiPiT’s partners and pay it. Then once the barcode has been scanned, they send a message to the website to say that the goods have been paid for.
One of the earliest challenges was convincing ecommerce merchants that their customers were interested in, and would use, a cash payment option at their online checkout. The team carried out extensive market research into ecommerce payment behaviour and trends to provide real independent data that a market existed for PiPiT’s technology. They also conducted customer research to identify the customer segments that were most likely to choose a cash payment option. In some cases, even with this hard evidence of the market potential, many merchants were reluctant to introduce anything extra to the online shopping process, given the Abandon Cart issues that impact their sales figures.
Related to that, investors commonly stated the belief that cash will soon be dead. Before they could sell them on PiPiT itself, they had to convince them that cash was in itself a viable payment method. Of course, this was down to the average investor not being a potential client for PiPiT so not immediately understanding the value proposition.
PiPiT now has offices in Galway, UK, Ghana, Mumbai, Vancouver and Lagos; however, in the early days as a B2B business, funding was a real challenge. Having secured €1.2m in funding from private investors, US Venture Fund called West Loop Ventures and Enterprise Ireland since then.
At PiPiT we are constantly looking at new markets and where people are moving from and to.
The Products and Services-
PiPiT Global is a Financial Inclusion company with a mission to help the unbanked / under banked to be able to fully participate in the Digital World, as well as to feel secure when making an online payment. They partner with payment platforms to provide their digital cash payment service, such as Cellulant in Kenya and Paykii in Mexico, and migrants from these and other countries can then pay their bills back home.
As well as international bill pay, PiPiT also offers PiPiTbanking – a cross border bank lodgement service – so many migrant workers have a bank account at home, but none where they currently live, with the help of PiPiT, they can lodge cash to that account through the local collection partner.
For example, PiPiT is currently working with Sterling Bank Nigeria to enable Nigerian diaspora lodge cash to their bank account at home. There is also an option to load cash to eWallets. Again, instead of sending cash home, migrants can load it to an eWallet and then pay bills online.
PiPiTPay-In-Person is their ecommerce module which allows consumers to pay for online orders with cash. This can be in-country for people with no access to a payment card or who have security concerns about online fraud, but also can be used for cross border purchases.
Currently, the team is working on other new use cases of the platform, soon to be launched and beneficial for many!
The PiPiT Social Mission-
PiPiT is a company with a mission – a social mission.
We are not here just for the benefit of our shareholders and stakeholders, but for society. We believe in this so strongly; we have written it into our Articles of Association.
As it stands, pretty much all the ways to make a payment online requires a bank account and/or credit/debit card. Not being able to do this due to access to payment facilities or not wanting to because of security or privacy fears excludes that person from fully participating in the online community, which is where much of today’s’ lives are lived.
Today businesses are pushing customers towards online by offering them reduced prices. It’s cheaper to do the grocery shopping, buy a train or bus ticket, buy clothes, etc. online than instore.
In the UK, the Financial Inclusion Commission ( 2019) found that the cost of being low income in the UK was £500 a year. This is the price of not being able to physically or virtually shop around. People can’t shop around or at all online if they can’t make the payment.
PiPiT is here to change that.
PiPiT is accessible to everyone. No account of any sort is required, not even a PiP IT account. We don’t have any of your personal details, so PiPiT is secure.
The PiPiT Global Family-
A factor that matters in the growth of the company is the client relationships. At PiPiT, the team believes in the quality of relationships with clients. Building relationships with people as individuals builds on the strength of the partnership of the companies. This is especially true with smaller businesses. Up until the lockdown/travel restrictions the team made as much effort as possible to travel and meet people in person; this showsthe dedication of the team to understand their customers’ needs and not to forget, real experiences, where the team can address the pain points and work on making it better!
As for the PiPiT team, there are six members on the team at the moment and most of them know each other quite a long time. For a Start Up team they are relatively ‘mature’ too, with all of them being north of 45.
Everyone being committed to the company Purpose has created a really strong culture which keeps the team functioning through the usual ups and downs of start up life.