Interview with Kosta Du, CEO and Co-Founder at Soft POS Payment Platform: Paymob

On the surface, Paymob may look like a payment gateway, but dig a little deeper and it’s clear what we have built is a far cry from the traditional payment framework and mPOS terminals we’ve all come accustomed to over the past year. Enter SoftPOS, the next-gen of payment acceptance. SoftPOS allows businesses to accept contactless (and soon pin-on-glass) payments on any NFC-enabled device, without the need for dongles, plugins or excess hardware – just an app.

Today we partner with companies looking to elevate their own financial offering for their micro-business and large enterprise customers. We help merchants to accept frontline payments without the behind-the-scenes difficulties of continual development, maintenance and rigorous certification processes. We take care of the end-to-end pay-tech infrastructure behind the face of our partners own unique brand identity.
 
 

 

How did you come up with the idea for Paymob?

 
We had been operating in the payment acceptance market for three years, consistently maintaining a keen eye on consumer behaviour. By 2018, as technology in this space progressed, it became clear that there was a fundamental disconnect in the payment equation. This disconnect was the ability for businesses to accept payments with the same seamless nature at which their customers were making them.

That’s when we began to ask, what comes next? Surely there’s something more convenient than the external mPOS device? We knew NFC technology had been used to make payments for years, which prompted us to look further into its capabilities, and that was our lightbulb moment. Utilising NFC supported technology to transform a smartphone into a direct card reader, cutting out the external middleman.
 

 

What have you learnt from being part of the Techstars Hub71 Accelerator program?

 
Having been accepted as one of ten startups out of hundreds of applications to the program was truly humbling. It was the external validation that our very fringe idea had true potential. The program was rigorous and exceeded expectations – working with Vijay, the Managing Director of the programme and the incredible mentors taught us several valuable lessons.

Firstly, to become hyper-focused on one product, market and customer. We quickly realised for early growth, sacrificing other potential business leads was important. It allowed us to free up time and headspace to fine-tune and tailor this one product for our one specific audience.

Secondly, start small. As a start-up, it’s easy to become caught up in the bigger picture, reminding ourselves that while we’ve been in the payment space for a while, this is an entirely new innovation.

Finally, cut out the data noise and focus on one metric. This is the only metric that matters. For us, this was a number of end-users who reached out via Paymob’s channel and strategic partners.
 

What can we hope to see from Paymob?

 
By the end of 2022, we aim to service 10,000 to 20,000 merchant businesses across the EU, Scandinavia, Asia, Middle East, and North Africa through our strategic partners. We are helping to enable microbusinesses to accept additional payment methods, widely benefiting developing economies. Long term, we have our eyes set on a much larger prize, to position Paymob as a real ‘unicorn’ company in the payments space, serving other financial institutions, banking enterprises and fintechs alike.