Banknotes from different nations, symbolizing local / alternative payment methods

Why Shooting For Alternative Payment Methods Is Half the Game

We don’t choose our favorite football club – it chooses us. The same is true for our preferred payment method. Worldwide, around 200 different payment methods exist, cautiously estimated. Every single one has its fans. And that’s not surprising: Our local payment culture influences which payment methods (or payment service providers) we prefer. Factors such as perceived payment trends, word-to-mouth, and genuine economic and regulatory conditions all shape our preference for one payment team or the other.

For every company aiming for a new market, it’s crucial to understand the local payment customs inside out. And that’s just the preliminary: Integrating local payment methods and providers can be complex and costly on the technical side. This article will help companies without a payment software background navigate the playing field. How to set up a custom payment system that simplifies payment method integration?

The article details: 

  • The benefits and challenges of local payment methods 
  • Why a custom payment system makes alternative payment method integration easier
  • How to set up a global payment system with CoreWallet, featuring an orchestration layer for local payment methods 

Let’s begin… 

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Fintech in the Time of Crisis

Tough Times for Fintech

Is fintech in crisis? trimplement co-founder Natallia Martchouk connects the dots.

After 2 years of Covid-19 pandemic, just when we thought that the hard times were nearly over, reality hit us in February 2022 with the war in the heart of Europe. We don’t yet know what the long-term consequences of the global economic situation will look like, but we already see the impact in different areas of our lives and businesses in the EU. Many countries take care of refugees from Ukraine, support the attacked country with weapons and ammunition, impose sanctions against the aggressor and bear the consequences of these sanctions suffering under the high dependency on Russian gas and oil. The population is struck with high inflation and rapidly increasing prices. Many small businesses struggle to keep their heads above water due to growing energy costs. Startups in different areas experience venture capital funding curbs and shrinking valuation. And fintech is affected by these negative developments, too. 

After the record year 2021, in 2022 the investments into fintech worldwide dropped from 226,5 billion USD to 107.8 billion USD. And it’s unlikely that the second half of the year will be as good as the first one. Most likely the deals that were closed in the first half of 2022 were negotiated at the end of 2021 / early beginning of 2022. That means, before the war in Europe and the recession started, under totally different circumstances.

A report by Andreessen Horowitz shows that fintech companies valuations have fallen from 25 times forward revenue in October 2021 to four times forward revenue in May 2022.

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A computer besides a wallet, symbolizing payment gateways, online payment and ewallets

E-Wallets or Payment Gateways – A Comparison

When we compare e-wallets or payment gateways to payment with card or cash, we often evaluate the former as more convenient. That might be a bit of an overstatement, really. Holding your credit card in front of a card reader does not exactly sound like much work, does it?

No, what really makes modern digital payment methods so powerful is their feature-richness and flexibility. For example, you can simply conduct cross-border payments or transfer tiny amounts of money with digital payment methods. And even if you are bound to our own four walls (for some reason), you can pay for goods and commodities with just a few clicks. 

But payment does not equal payment. Behind the scenes of your checkout page, in the technical profundities of the software, it makes a huge difference whether the payment happens via an e-wallet balance or a digital bank or credit card transfer, facilitated by a payment gateway. 

Payment Gateways vs. E-Wallets? Not Quite!

However, make no mistake and don’t take “Payment gateways or e-wallets” literally. The two are not exact opposites: You need PGs to process a transaction no matter what. The real question is: How exactly does using e-wallets vs. regular payment providers influence the payment process, especially regarding user experience? 

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A software developer working on coding a payment gateway

How to Develop a Payment Gateway – in 4 Stages

Online marketplaces are complex systems. This complexity is reflected in the Payment Gateway needed for such platforms.

As a marketplace owner, you always have the option to integrate payment systems, offered by external Payment Service Providers. Depending on your business strategy, that might suffice. But using an off-the-shelf PSP will also limit your opportunities. You can’t evolve your marketplace to your preferences if the PSP doesn’t move along with you:

  • You want to offer payment methods, according to customer demand? The PSP must support them.
  • You want to scale up your business and move to new markets? The PSP must be set up to handle higher transaction numbers and adapt quickly to local financial regulations.
  • You want to enable customers to pay via a prepaid e-money balance and securely store their payment instruments? The PSP must offer an electronic wallet.
  • And so on…

Thus, ambitious marketplace owners might decide to build a custom Payment Gateway and remain in control over payments. As the company behind CoreWallet, the flexible software foundation for payment and e-wallet applications, we are familiar with creating Payment Gateways. It’s important to approach the development process with a clear plan. To help you master the technical challenges, we have compiled the common stages of such a Payment Gateway project for you.

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A photo of Stephan Noller, CEO and co-founder of Ubirch, besides the interview topic of digital identity in fintech

finquiry #5: Stephan Noller on Digital Certification in IoT 

Over the course of the coming years, the web could permeate even more aspects of our lives than just computers and smartphones. The new smart devices are fridges and bicycles, forklifts and robotic vacuum cleaners, trucks and industrial machinery. In this internet-of-things, devices measure data points to adjust their workings and exchange data with users. 

But how do IoT devices record, store and transfer their data in a secure manner? And is decentralized technology the right approach technology for identification and certification in the internet-of-things? Internet Entrepreneur Stephan Noller has answers – and provides insights into the development of Europe’s first digital vaccination certificate.

Our Guest: Stephan Noller, CEO at UBIRCH

Psychologist, Internet expert, deep-tech serial entrepreneur. Cologne, Tel Aviv, Dubai. Stephan Noller has pursued software, blockchain and data-exchange projects with international appeal. He is the founder and CEO of UBIRCH GmbH, but he also co-founded a variety of other businesses, like Calliope gGmbH, which created an educational micro-computer for schools, or nugg.ad, the European market leader for targeting technology.

Together with a consortium of renowned companies, the Cologne-based company has developed and is operating the official infrastructure of the EU Digital COVID Certificate for Germany.

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A hand holding lollipos, which stand for loyalty programs

How You Build a Wallet-Based Loyalty Program And Profit 

One of the key drivers of growth and profitability is customer retention. You may be converting a nice piece of your traffic into sales. But you need a healthy customer retention rate, i.e. your ability to keep a paying customer over a period of time. Else, you will be spending more money over time on acquiring new customers.

The cost of acquiring a new customer is high. According to Harvard Business Review that cost can amount to 5 to 25 times more than it takes to retain a customer. That is why you will see a lot of businesses have implemented a loyalty program to entice people to return and increase retention.

But what would a higher retention rate mean for merchants? According to Bain & Company, a 5% increase in retention rates can raise profits by more than 25%. By having a loyalty program in place, you end up spending less while simultaneously increasing your profits by targeting your existing customers.

With this article, we want to help you build a thriving business as a merchant or marketplace platform owner by granting customers the incentive of loyalty points. We outline how you can integrate a loyalty program into a payment system built with CoreWallet. The article will answer the questions: 

  • What is a loyalty program?
  • What types of loyalty programs exist?
  • How to set up a point-based loyalty program for your business – on the technical side?
  • Why will you benefit from implementing your loyalty program with CoreWallet?   
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An empty roll of toilet paper representing entrepreneurship failures

Entrepreneurshit – 6 Common Failures of Entrepreneurs and Start-Up Companies

“Don’t fear failure, learn from it.” That’s what my coffee cup says. 

Matthias Gall, co-founder of trimplement
trimplement co-founder Matthias Gall is not shy to talk about entrepreneurial setbacks.

Easy for it to talk. 

Sure, entrepreneurial mistakes can teach us valuable lessons. But honestly: Some failures are nothing you can just brush off. For instance, when you have launched a company and it goes downhill. You will have invested capital and time, plus you have employees you may not want to lay off. In hindsight, it might make a good story for a F*** Up Night. But wouldn’t we prefer if it all had just worked out? A coffee cup does know nothing about the nuances of entrepreneurship. 

I can speak from experience. Over a decade ago, my two co-founders and I established our fintech software company trimplement as a German limited liability company. As matters stand now, it turned out pretty well for us. A lot could have gone wrong, though, and I want to help aspiring entrepreneurs avoid such mistakes. 

Here are some common failures newly minted company founders face – let me tell you, I know them from experience.  

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Two people with VR goggles, representing interactions with the metaverse and its payment systems

How FinTechs and BigTechs Bring Payment to the Metaverse

Photo of Natallia Martchouk, co-founder of trimplement
trimplement co-founder Natallia Martchouk takes us on a trip through the thrilling prospects of payments in the metaverse.

The Metaverse has been one of the hottest topics in business and tech in the last few months. Is this only a buzzword and a hype or does it have a real longer-term potential to become the “next big thing”? You can find supporters for both opinions. However, a lot of big consultancy companies believe that there is no way to fail for the Metaverse.

For example, according to CB Insights “the metaverse could represent a $1T market by the end of the decade”. Deloitte has published a white paper about the potential of the Metaverse and they believe in even higher numbers: “The metaverse may become a paradigm shift for consumer and enterprise behavior, analogous to the introduction of smartphones. It could create a potentially massive new market, with recent estimates of the commercial opportunity as high as $13 trillion and five billion regular users by 2030.” Accenture has launched the Accenture Metaverse Continuum business group to help their clients to understand and make use of the Metaverse opportunities. Its head Paul Daugherty stated that “The next generation of the internet is unfolding and will drive a new wave of digital transformation far greater than what we’ve seen to date, transforming the way we all live and work”.

I’m also rather on the optimistic side of supporters believing that Metaverse is not the hype but a next step in the technological, social and economical development of mankind. 

However, before we analyze the current development status and prospects of the Metaverse, paying special attention to the payment topics, let’s review what “Metaverse” actually means and how it is different from “Web 3.0”.

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A picture displaying a watch and coins, symbolizing buy now pay later payments

How to Build Your Own BNPL Solution

What’s a good way to yield top money on your e-commerce or service platform nowadays? It’s to have your customers not pay you immediately. Thus, Buy Now, Pay Later has become the fastest-growing segment in consumer finance. Shoppers want to have it. Merchants want them to have it. And BNPL providers like Klarna (B2C), Afterpay (B2C) or Biller (B2B) are eager to provide it. But what exactly makes Buy Now, Pay Later so popular? And should your business strive for its own BNPL solution?

In this article, we detail… 

  • What the core advantages of Buy Now, Pay Later are
  • What the 3 major challenges are, when you build your own Buy Now Pay Later solution
  • How to overcome those challenges with the CoreWallet framework 

Now, to question 1…

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Three board game pieces symbolizing German companies getting into fintech

5 German Companies Blossoming Into Fintech Players

We don’t only buy from them. We also pay with them. 

In contemporary e-commerce and digital service platforms, we observe a growing number of players who enter the realm of fintech. Those originally non-financial companies understand that offering embedded financial services has become a key success factor. And for some: A profitable side business (if they can sell their self-built payment or wallet systems to other companies).

Those companies realize their fintech ambitions in various forms: Some just rely on external partners and simply embed financial services, such as insurance or loans. Others have higher aspirations and aim at core payment processes. They want to run their own payment solutions. Perspectively, external enterprises or customers not associated with their primary business should use them, too.

If we had to guess: The former paragraphs had specific brands pop up before your mind’s eye. Apple, Amazon and Google. WeChat, perhaps. And of course, the term “Pay” attached to all of them. 

But besides the big names, non-financial companies from various industries have broken ground in fintech. 

And as we have a certain affinity to the German fintech scene, we want to take a look at 5 of new fintech players from Germany and where their ambitions lie. Here goes, from B to Z:

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