Will 2021 Redefine the Payments Space?

xpate's CEO Mike Shafro takes a deep dive into the sector and forecasts the company's business prospects.

The past year has seen a dramatic change to the payments space, with venues globally looking to recalibrate their operations. For its part, xpate has seen a strong performance in its business and growth despite being a recent entrant to the field.

Finance Magnates spoke with Mike Shafro, CEO of xpate for his perspective on the payments field and the company as it looks to position itself for H2 2021.

In a very short amount of time xpate has already seen its client base and business grow globally. What do you attribute to this expansion?

You’re right, 2020 was a year of significant growth for xpate. In fact, we took our employee headcount from 15 to 90 – a massive six-fold increase in the space of year.

Among these were some senior hires, including Viktorija Raizina as Head of Card Operations, and Anna Zotova as Chief Risk Officer. We’re particularly proud to have such a diverse team, with 60% of xpate’s employees being female. 

Further to this, we have expanded our Visa and Mastercard offering into new regions, including Canada and India. We’ve opened new offices in two thriving fintech hubs, London, and Singapore, so we can continue to offer our clients and customers the global experience they require. 

And significantly, xpate was approved for Mastercard Principal Membership. This means we are now working directly with Mastercard to enhance the xpate Stacks platform, offer innovative solutions to new clients, bolster our merchant acquiring portfolio, and take advantage of an extended range of products and services to strengthen xpate’s offering in the market.

Ultimately, xpate has entered the payments industry at a unique point in history when cash is on its way out and alternative forms of payments are increasing exponentially.

This is exactly the kind of payments revolution xpate is designed for and that’s why we’ve seen such significant growth in such a short space of time. 

With a growing staff and offices, does xpate see this trend continuing in 2021 and beyond?

Absolutely! After such a strong initial two years in business, we are incredibly ambitious for the future and have plenty more in store for our customers to be announced throughout 2021. In fact, we are on the cusp of launching two new products. 

With the launch of these exciting new products on the horizon, we have much to look forward to. But our plans don’t stop there. Keep an eye out for more announcements coming soon…

What are the biggest challenges that payment processors face, especially newer entrants to the market?

Now that cash is no longer king, payment processing is becoming an increasingly crowded market. Ultimately, the greatest challenge, especially for newer entrants, is to stand out and be unique. 

That’s one reason why being approved for Mastercard Principal Membership was such a pivotal moment for xpate. There is no bigger name in the fintech space than Mastercard and so to be a part of its principality programme so early in our journey is testament to the hard work and talent of our unstoppable team.

Furthermore, it has provided unparalleled awareness of our offering in the payments world.

It’s also why we’re so incredibly proud to have had such significant growth in such a short period of time, especially during such a turbulent year as 2020. 

Cross-border payments are a huge area of emphasis for companies. How does xpate’s solutions suite address this critical need?

The consumer appetite for cross-border ecommerce is undeniable, creating opportunities for merchants to reach new markets and customers that are simply too good to miss.

However, customers now demand the same level of speed, convenience and value from any retailer, regardless of where they are.

So, it’s crucial that cross-border merchants looking to enter new markets, regions and territories analyse payment data to optimise conversions and ensure the entire customer experience is as seamless and easy as possible.

But it can be hard to know where to start, especially if you don’t have the benefit of expertise to understand the metrics. xpate helps businesses find success and growth in whichever new market they go into by providing a seamless cross-border payment experience

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