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Payment service providers as beneficiaries of the crisis
Klarna and Mollie through financing rounds valued in billions
OTTO founds company for payments, while eBay outsourced division
Payment service providers are essential trading participants in the age of cashless payments. In addition to paying with credit and giro cards in retail, consumers come into contact with providers, especially when shopping online – mostly without customers noticing. Most payment service providers take on payment tasks for sellers and offer various payment options, but remain hidden from the buyer. Payment processors have been on the advance not only since numerous retailers have been increasingly asking their customers not to use cash to pay in the wake of the corona pandemic in order to minimize the risk of infection. The industry has some players who can shine with reviews worth billions.
Klarna wants to increase market value with a new financing round
Following its final round of financing in August 2019, the Swedish payment service provider Klarna was valued at $ 5.5 billion. At this point in time, the company, which was founded in 2005, was already leading the list of so-called fintech unicorns in Europe, according to Handelsblatt – together with Checkout.com and Revolut. This refers to startups that have been valued by their investors with at least one billion US dollars. Now there was another round of financing, in the course of which the service provider received a valuation of 10 billion US dollars. Klarna wants to expand its US business with the financial injection of more than 500 million US dollars, which should come from both old and new investors, as the news agency Reuters previously reported. Nevertheless, the company, which can count 85 million customers and 235,000 trading partners, is still well below the Australian competitor AfterPay, whose market capitalization is around 15 billion US dollars, with its increased market value.
Mollie makes it onto the list of unicorns
Klarna’s Dutch competitor Mollie also recently announced that it had closed a financing round that raised the company € 90 million. Mollie has received a total of 115 million euros from investors so far. With the new funds, the fintech group, founded in 2004, also achieved a market value of more than one billion euros and thus also placed itself on the list of unicorns. According to the press release, the main investor in the round was the US company TCV, which is said to have invested in technology stocks such as Airnbnb, Netflix, Facebook and Spotify. Mollie wants to use the fresh capital to develop new products and expand internationally. “This financing is a great support for our goal: With our technology and our customer orientation, we want to offer payment solutions that offer real added value and help dealers generate sustainable growth,” Mollie founder Adriaan Mol is quoted as saying. Katharina Mera, Mollie’s Vice President in the DACH region, believes the German market is particularly important. The company’s transaction volume in Germany increased by almost 1,000 percent in 2019. “This growth was mainly driven by the differentiated approach to online payments,” said Meran.
Adyen on the road to success after eBay partnership
The payment services specialist Adyen, founded in 2006, has long been considered a competitor to the now insolvent provider Wirecard, who was involved in a balance sheet scandal. The Dutch company made a name for itself when the online auction house eBay announced in 2018 that it would end its partnership with the payment processor PayPal, which was acquired in 2002, and instead would work with Adyen. With a market capitalization of more than 40 billion US dollars, the group now counts among its partners alongside eBay, Uber, Spotify, Foodora and MANGO. It was only in June that Adyen announced that it would be expanding its services in Germany to include Amazon Pay with immediate effect. With the cooperation, the customer data already stored in the Amazon account can be used during the payment process, and integration via Alexa, the voice control of the US group, is also possible, as Adyen announced in a press release. “Our goal is to provide as many Amazon customers as possible with a safe and smooth shopping experience, and our collaboration with Adyen supports this goal perfectly,” said Amazon Pay Vice President Patrick Gauthier.
OTTO takes the payment business into its own hands
While eBay is leaving PayPal, a winner of the Corona crisis, which can show high growth potential, and is relying on an external payment service provider, the mail order company OTTO is planning to found a subsidiary by autumn this year to handle the company’s payment processing . The subsidiary is expected to employ up to 150 people, and 40 positions are currently being advertised, according to the Hamburg group in an official statement. At the beginning of 2021, the company will then apply to the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority for a license that will allow it to process payments. Then the employees should gradually take over the payment transactions in the parent company. According to board member Marc Opelt, founding your own payment service company is a logical step towards establishing your own platform. “This gives us the opportunity to control all payment transactions from a single source in the future,” he added.
Payment processors as beneficiaries of the corona crisis
In general, payment service providers are considered the winners of the corona pandemic. The growth spurt in the industry follows an increased volume of online payments or paying with cards and smartphones. According to Reuters, companies that offer their customers so-called “buy now, pay later” models have particularly benefited from the crisis. Buyers receive their purchased items promptly, but they are only paid for on an agreed payment date. “Throughout Europe, COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated the transition to online trading and, of course, the need for online payment solutions,” said Mollie founder Adriaan Mol. It would therefore have to be possible to carry out digital payment options in a simple and uncomplicated manner in order to be adapted by the masses.
Finanzen.net editorial team
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Image sources: Klarna Bank AB, Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock.com