Vibrant was founded in 2020 to give the smallest of businesses an easier way to accept contactless payments. It has created an app that allows merchants to receive a payment directly to their mobile device. There’s no need for a clunky contactless reader and the fees are low and transparent at 1.39 per cent for all card transactions.
What’s more, there’s no binding period and payments appear instantly. There are no monthly expenses for customers either. The company is based in Aarhus and holds a partnership with Visa.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Making and receiving a contactless payment should be simple. Yet it isn’t – especially for microbusinesses. It has often meant expensive ongoing fees, slow settlements, lots of admin and called for an up-front investment in cumbersome and basic technology. Alternatively, small businesses could send customers to the nearest ATM, never to be seen again.
Vibrant wanted to change that, creating a world where payments are a piece of cake. It’s perfect for market stalls, car washes, hairdressers – any small business that wants the benefit of contactless payments but not the hassle.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
The pandemic changed everything. It forced merchants to reassess their reticence to take card payments. Two reasons are behind this. Firstly, there has been an explosion in people shopping where they live. When lockdowns swept across Europe, it became hard to get to larger retailers. Local merchants of all sorts became a lifeline.
This led to the second factor, contactless payments were considered safer than handling cards or cash. The overall impact of more shoppers and the threat of infection led to a boom in contactless payments. In fact, the number of purchases made in May 2021 via contactless technology doubled compared with the same month a year earlier.
This led to higher demand for simple contactless payment solutions than ever before. Nearly everyone has a smartphone, and Vibrant’s developed a way for payments to be received directly onto the handset. It’s beautifully simple.
What can we hope to see from Vibrant in the future?
At present, the technology is available to businesses in Cyprus, Denmark, Greece and Spain. Vibrant plans to expand throughout Europe and is seeing huge growth in uptake among merchants. It’s the future of contactless payment.
There are also plans to expand beyond payments. The business will develop a way for merchants to have access to their whole business through their phone. Vibrant will also support strong bonds between merchants and shoppers by creating a consumer app with loyalty programs and rewards.