Specific Solutions for Specific Problems

Identifying the competitive edge in payments technology

Interview with Jane Loginova, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Radar Payments*

Financial IT: Please tell us about BPC Banking Technologies. What does the company do? What is your geographic footprint?

Jane Loginova (JL): BPC is a payments company. We have been in existence for over 25 years, and have a dominant position in a number of regions globally, including South East Europe, South East Asia, Middle East/ Africa, and Latin America. We supply end-to-end retail payment functionalities to established financial institutions such as central banks, retail banks, ambitious FinTechs and Payments Services Providers (PSPs). We also work with micro-finance organisations and government bodies.

Our clients include HSBC, BNP Paribas, Tonik, TymeBank, Yandex and SingTel among many others.

Our role involves building national and instant payments systems from the ground up. For instance, we work alongside retail banks on their digital transformation programs. We get neo-banks and FinTechs to market. We also help them to develop specific value propositions through smart technology and services.

BPC’s aims to provide our clients with all the banking and payments services that they need to grow, and to help their own end customers. Ours is a true win-win approach.

Financial IT: what recent developments would you highlight?

JL: We have launched a number of initiatives, focused on payments, which address the needs of different industry verticals.

For example, Radar Payments is a BPC-backed initiative which I founded early 2020. We respond to the need of FinTechs and banks for smart processors that can provide all banking and payment functions as a service: what they want is to deliver innovative services to their own end customers in a short period of time.

We have designed an offering that blends 25 years of experience gained  by BPC with the agile and lean – and cloud-based -  processes of  a new generation PayTech. We operate BPC’s own technology, SmartVista, which is in use in over 100 countries. Our global footprint means that we have access to the best ideas from around the world. Payments tend to be handled differently in, say, South East Asia relative to Europe – and that is a source of opportunity for us.

Another FinTech we recently launched is O-CITY. We apply our SaaS experience using open-loop technology: in doing so, we  remove the need for paper based tickets and queues, and  promote a green and efficient city experience. We work alongside ministries of transport, municipalities, private transport operators and banks: what they have in common is that they see the opportunities from applying technology to numerous but small-value payments.

And last but not least, we have taken our vision for building payments for the economy by developing marketplace infrastructure for supply chains or particular sectors such as agriculture. In India, for example, the marketplace that we developed for farmers – who can buy and sell goods and services through it – enrolled over 380,000 members in the first year alone.

Financial IT: Looking back over the last two years, what have been the key drivers of your growth?

JL: First of all, I’d stress that we have been operating in a growing market. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend towards digital payments which had already been well established. 

This, in turn, has meant that a lot of organisations - and not just banks and payments services providers (PSPs) have had to give a lot of thought as to providing their own customers with the best possible experience in relation to digital payments.

A wide variety of challenger banks, FinTechs and start-ups are taking advantage of Open Banking to compete (and sometimes to collaborate) with established financial institutions. Each of these organisations need cutting edge technology - and we are very well placed to provide it to them. Often our SaaS offering represents very good value to these new enterprises.

Financial IT: Can you please give us some specific examples of how your solutions have really had a positive impact for your clients?

JL: As you know, the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a boom in delivery of meals to homes - either by delivery services or by people working directly for restaurants - here in the UK. This produced a problem for the customers: how could they make payment at their front doors and make a tip to the delivery person, while knowing that the tip would actually go to that person?

We worked with a financial institution to develop a QR code-based solution that would enable the customers to pay the tip using their cards, and in the knowledge that the delivery person would benefit.

We also collaborated with TymeBank - an all-digital retail bank in South Africa. They wanted to grow their business using kiosks that were placed in supermarkets and other locations. The kiosks are unusual in that they enable a new customer of TymeBank to sign up and get a debit card on the spot. The technology that makes the kiosks work is based on BPC’s SmartVista platform. 

With these new kiosks, TymeBank was able to onboard about 3.5 million clients in less than two years.

Financial IT: What are the main trends that will determine how your company develops over the coming two years or so?

Digital payments are widely accepted. What, I think, will happen in the next two years or so is that digital payments will become much more embedded in people’s everyday lives. Digital payments will become even more important in shopping - whether online or through traditional premises. They will become even more important in public transportation systems - trains, buses and so on. We are living in a world where non-financial organisations will increasingly want to offer payments solutions (and possibly other financial products) at the point of sale to their customers.

That is why we have developed a broad range of APIs that will enable our clients - whoever they may be - to serve their customers more effectively.

Financial IT: What does the competitive landscape look like from your point of view?

JL: For many industries, it is possible to identify an approximate - but fairly steady -  number of players, and to explain how some are gaining market share at the expense of others. 

Here in the global payments industry, the number of players - offering solutions of some kind - has grown rapidly. However, the playing field - the size of the market by virtually any measure - has expanded enormously.

That said, some of the largest and best known companies are long-established businesses with advantages including scale and access to capital. However, some have been pre-occupied with major merger and acquisition (M&A) deals. Some are, to a certain extent, constrained in what they can do by virtue of the fact that they are listed companies.

At the other extreme, there are a lot of new and nimble companies that have one or two brand new products and who really understand what their clients want.

BPC Banking Technologies is in the middle. We are well established, yet entrepreneurial and  “young at heart”. We combine the strengths of both of these groups of competitors.

Finally, I’d emphasise that the other players on the field - the componies that are offering payments-related solutions - are not necessarily competitors. Often, there are significant opportunities to collaborate. Success can often be achieved faster through partnering with the right company.

Financial IT: How would you summarise all this in one or two sentences?

JL: The examples that I have given you highlight what is a key part of our competitive edge. We are able to provide specific solutions for specific problems - and to do so for a very broad range of clients in the global payments industry.

*Radar Payments is a payments technology company launched by BPC  Banking Technologies (BPC).  BPC is the architect and developer of the market-leading SmartVista platform, which handles all aspects of ATM management, billing, mobile and contactless payments, settlement, point of sale, card issuing and acquiring, microfinance and electronic payments processing.



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