Visiting Paris for France Digitale Day, Pieter Van der Does, CEO of the international multi-channel payment solution Adyen and ranked 12th most influential person on the Web by Wired UK, answers questions from the JDN.
JDN. Founded in 2006 in the Netherlands, Adyen allows merchants to accept payments anywhere in the world, regardless of the channel of sale (website, apps and outlets) and is also a payment buyer: the solution is connected directly to all major credit card systems in the world and claims independence from banks. Can you give us figures on your development?
Pieter Van der Does. We expect more than 300 million euros from turnover this year and 40 million euros in profits. We manage a transaction volume of 40 billion euros per year, according to the pace recorded at the end of March -from 25 billion dollars at the end of December 2014. We have companies like Facebook, Uber, AirFrance KLM, Groupon, Blablacar or Photobox among our customers.
What are your goals in terms of turnover for the coming years?
So far, we have doubled our results every year. We went from 70 million euros in turnover to 150 then 300 million. It's a pace that we can not always keep, of course … Our growth will slow down, but we innovate a lot in the omnichannel and it can boost our growth.
In terms of innovation, what are the sectors in which you invest and what are you working on?
We innovate on three main axes. First, the omnichannel. Traditionally, physical and online stores were distinct, but this is no longer the case. Traders now want to be able to mix their channels. Our platform works with the mobile, the Web and in the physical signs and totally links the different channels. This means that if someone is in the store, the merchant can refund the transaction directly to the credit card when a customer comes back, even if he bought the product online. And it is essential to avoid fraud: if you can recover cash in refund in store, it can allow to be reimbursed twice!
A second project is that of data: we want to help merchants detect fraud and avoid "false positives". We also want to give them specific information about what is happening, because you treat a customer who does not have enough money on his account and someone who tried to place 30 orders with credit cards very differently. stolen.
Finally, we allow merchants to glean information about their customers: if someone buys a lot online, you will not treat him the same way as someone who always goes in the physical sign. They can thus increase their conversion. For example, we have enabled Showroomprivé to increase its rate by 4%.
What are your biggest markets?
40% of transactions in the United States
The United States accounts for 40% of the transactions we manage, like Europe. The remaining 20% come from Asia and Latin America. But the percentages are a bit biased. For some very large companies, mainly American, we do a lot of work in Latin America but it is accounted for in the US revenues. Our Brazilian office is developing enormously.
In the United States, you are competing with big competitors, like Stripe or Braintree, who raised a lot of money. How do you stand out?
In the B2B market, quality is much more important than marketing. Raising a lot of money and spending it works well for Zalando, for example, because it gives the brand tremendous recognition and customers order more. In B2B, we rely on the recommendation of the customer and on the fact that prospects will say to themselves: "if it works for Facebook, for Netflix, for Spotify then it will work for me". It works extremely well. Moreover, we work with international companies but also with smaller ones who want the same platform quality. Adyen is built to be international and omni-channel, but many of our customers have only one channel and only operate nationally.
We recruited our first US customers two years ago and we also manage their domestic traffic. This was a very important moment, because we thought we could have them sign a contract to manage their payments internationally but we did not imagine that we would also have their US volume. Finally, many asked us to take care of the domestic market as well. Our US office is the largest, all of Adyen's business lines are represented.
How do you differ from your competitors?
Most companies simply build a layer above the existing banking system. This layer is very easily accessible so many avoid getting tired trying to do without banks. That's what I did in a previous company [Bibit, rebaptisée Worldpay depuis, ndlr]. But by launching Adyen, we wanted to replace the banks and we decided to work directly with the credit card systems like Visa and Mastercard. So you will never have the same quality of service with a company that has been content to keep the old banking system and work with it. With Adyen, marketers can access their customers, measure the consumer experience, realize the cost of saying no to someone to whom they should have said yes, observe the conversion …
You have recently opened offices in China and Australia. What is your development strategy in these countries?
In China, Adyen will not handle local transactions
The Shanghai office is intended to help Chinese traders to sell overseas and foreign traders to sell in China. We do not have the ambition to become a local player: their infrastructures are very developed and it would be very arrogant to think that they need us for that. In Australia, on the other hand, the objective is the same as in France: to help merchants sell in the country, abroad, and in physical outlets.
You raised $ 250 million in 2014. Where do you stand today? Do you expect to finalize a new round?
We do not need to raise more funds. We will save about 40 million euros in profits this year. The $ 250 million has been used for a variety of investments, but the bottom line has mostly been wrapped up for one reason: since we are replacing banks, we need a lot of financial stability to get the various approvals more easily. to our development. So even if the money stays in the bank, it allows us to invest in certain countries, like in Asia. Our profits can be spent, but the funds raised are there to bring confidence.
What is your biggest challenge currently?
There is a big difference between selling our solution to merchants who already have terminals in their stores, and getting them to abandon their current infrastructure to work with the Adyen terminals (we do not manufacture them ourselves, but they are built with our software). So we invest a lot in this subject. We are currently working with major fashion brands around the world. Strangely, contrary to what we had expected, most brands start by migrating to our solution in their physical stores (but we choose because we are multichannel) then the online traffic is installed next. They start with the most difficult: change equipment.
Pieter van der Does co-founded Adyen in 2006. Previously, he was a CCO in the Bibit payment service, acquired by Royal Bank of Scotland in 2004, and remained on the board until 2006.