Interview with Brian Coburn, CEO at E-Commerce Payment Platform BRIDGE

BRIDGE is a payments orchestration platform and service. It is designed to provide greater freedom, agility and control for businesses in their digital retailing channels.

The technology is a single integration into the existing payment system with no commercial or technical friction, and the result puts payment control into the hands of the merchant.

By creating connections between silos within the payment technology stack, BRIDGE introduces the freedom to add and remove services quickly, simply and cost effectively. It means merchants can easily route transactions through their preferred payment providers and decide how much of their payments volume is passed to each processor. BRIDGE also provides valuable data insight, and improves payment success by automatically detecting failed payments and retrying them through another provider without impact on customer experience.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

BRIDGE evolved out of my experience at the forefront of the digital transformation of a multi-national business as it moved from a predominantly ‘cash over the counter’ business to one that embraced e-commerce and the benefits of a closer relationship with its customers.

The challenges of keeping pace with a rapidly moving and changing payments sector, whilst managing the cost and risk of change, are universal for organisations and felt acutely even in the largest. BRIDGE is designed to remove those challenges.

I firmly believe that if businesses treat payments as a strategic asset, rather than tactically and siloed, they can open up vast new opportunities, differentiate from the competition, and concentrate on delivering the best service to customers throughout the whole of the transaction journey.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Start as soon as possible; time is, without doubt, the biggest challenge – it flies! Whenever a gap opens up in a market, you can be sure you’re not the only one to have spotted it. First mover advantage is important, so get out there and get going.

Do your homework; is what I have a solution to a problem that actually exists? Test your proposition with the prospective market and don’t be afraid to adjust as you learn from those discussions. There’s nothing worse than arriving to market with a solution to a problem no-one has.

Build a good team around you, regardless of how many people that might be. It’s tough to get a business off the ground and having great colleagues to share the vision and drive things forward is really essential.

Lastly, have fun! It’s a rollercoaster, but massively rewarding.

What can we hope to see from BRIDGE in the future?

We’re really on a mission to make a difference for digital retailers in 2021.

2020 has been a hugely challenging year for many and businesses have shown huge resilience in the face of unprecedented events. A lot of companies have seen greater pressure than ever on their online resources, which for many have become a primary route to market rather than a bolt-on function. It has exposed flaws and rigidity in the siloed payment structures that we can help businesses to address.

Furthermore, we see BRIDGE, our payments orchestration service, as a key enabler for businesses planning to explore opportunities in new markets or in embracing untapped advances in areas like Open Banking and Digital Identity. With payment orchestration on their side, and use of intelligent payment routing capabilities, businesses are equipped to simply plug different services into the payment journey, offering them at the right time, to the right customer.