Paylane has recently added Germany to the list of countries it works with. While it might seem like a no-news news for a company who offers online payments in other 50 countries already, paylane is not just about your standard online payment methods. In addition to offering debit and credit card payments, German retailers will also have the possibility of offering Sofortbanking payments – a particular payment method specific to the country.
It was this approach to payments that pushed us an organize a Q&A with paylane, to find out more about what they are about and what they are doing to provide a personalized payment experience in Europe.
First things first: when did paylane come about, why, and what to do you exactly?
PayLane was founded in 2005. On 26th January we’re going to celebrate our 8th birthday. It is a PSP company that focuses on helping web companies in business development. At the beginning we offered the most common online payments methods such us credit and debit cards, because we were cooperating with e-businesses working globally. Then we decided to extend our portfolio of local online payments methods to help them reach domestic markets. We prepared also e-commerce plugins for e-shop platforms (such as Magento, osCommerce, Zen Cart ect.) and a special solution for startups (http://startups.paylane.com/). What we try to do now is offer complete solution for online payments for any e-business. We try to advise our customers and tell them which business model could be the best in their situation, which payment options they should have.
What kinds of merchants do you work with, and where?
We cooperate with European companies that want to sell locally or go global. In online businesses geographical boundaries aren’t the limit any more. If your company is located in Berlin you can get clients from Hannover or from California. Our merchants have different type of business: from subscription model to classic online shop, from social media management tool to diet supplements.
Why did you decide to enter the German market now?
We are focusing now on diversifying our portfolio with domestic payments methods to enter local markets. PayLane already entered Ireland, Poland, now Germany. We’ve been cooperating with German partners such as Sofort Banking, giropay or German acquiring banks for some time now. We got to know this market and we can offer comprehensive online payments solutions for German companies, both for those that want to sell locally and for those that are thinking about going global.
In addition to debit/credit cards and wire transfers, PayLane also gives the possibility of offering geo-specific payment methods. Why did you take this decision? And how important do you think these payment methods still are?
We try to listen our merchants. Our common experience shows that when businesses go global the most important payment methods are cards, but if you want to explore local markets and get more clients there, you need to remember about local payment habits. Sometimes they are stronger than any global trends. For example, in Poland most of Internet users still choose online wire transfers, so we have implemented them. In Germany a lot of customers pay by Sofort banking or giropay, so we offer these payments methods too. At the end of the day, it’s customers’ needs that are the most important when you want to develop your business.
More generally, what do you think are the trends for online retail and payments in the next couple of years in Europe? Mobile? eWallets?
Definitely mobile. Mobile is a 2013 trend in general. We do more and more activities using tablets and smartphones. Online retail and payments fit into it. â˜º Technology is changing everyday I think, so who knows how we’re going to pay in a few years.