Startup Check-In

Nanopay: Growth Means Building Beyond The Niche

There are three things on the mind of nanopay's CEO Laurence Cooke: Emerging markets, cross-border business-to-business (B2B) transactions, and capital markets and treasury. Cooke said that, as the startup grows, it’s time to transition from niche and isolated offerings to more sophisticated solutions that offer something for everyone, and any growing company must do the same.

In emerging markets, said Cooke, consider the pace and level of innovation. Banks in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa, India and Brazil are evolving much faster than their first-world counterparts. In these markets, where creative solutions are sorely needed, developers are innovating first and asking questions later which is the opposite of how developed nations approach innovation. Most of them focus on meeting regulations before rolling out new tech, while developing nations are wasting no time getting solutions into the hands of the average person.

When it comes to B2B and cross-border payments, Cooke said each is difficult on its own, but trying to do both at once adds even more complexity. For example, some jurisdictions have currency controls that require businesses to justify why they are sending a payment. Cooke said nanopay is now taking the strategy to the heart of its B2B mission, which is to put everything in the ISO 2022 format to facilitate end-to-end tracking, and applying it to cross-border scenarios. He said the platform provides a drop-down list of reasons that a payment might be sent, making it easy for businesses to send and receive funds in a compliant way. He added that this could encourage businesses to go global, or provide an entry point for existing global players to check out the startup’s platform.

Finally, in the realm of capital markets and treasury, Cooke said nanopay is focused on moving beyond cash settlements to enable more complex actions. Investment banks, he noted, can have hundreds of operations in many different countries and currencies. Funds are held in separate accounts, which can limit access to funds. Cooke said that by digitizing and centralizing the treasury function, investors can move money in real time between different subsidiaries of the firm, freeing up trapped capital. Stocks and bonds can move with their cash value as part of a single transaction, rather than as two separate ones as they do today.

As more capital markets become digitized, Cooke said there’s no reason assets and values couldn’t be moved between them equally fast with all industry players receiving their due payments as part of the main transaction instead of lenders, liquidity providers and custodians each getting paid separately. Cooke compared it to paying for dinner at a restaurant. Diners must pay the restaurant for the meal, the waitperson for their service and meal tax to the government, but these diverse transactions are rolled into a single bill. That, said Cooke, is the flow nanopay wants to bring to capital markets.



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