TechRound Interview with Brian Hanrahan, CCO at Sentenial

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Nuapay is recognised as a pioneer of open banking and the industry’s leading Account-2-Account payment solutions provider. Building upon the trust, scale and experience of its parent company Sentenial, we offer partners in the UK and around Europe a fully comprehensive, integrated payment solution that removes the inefficiencies of legacy payment methods like cards.

Our platform hosts a complete range of Account-to-Account (A2A) solutions joined up under one roof – open banking payments (PISP), SEPA & BACS direct debits, and outbound credit transfers. Spanning incoming and outgoing payments in the UK and Europe. Nuapay is one of the only PISPs with a fully inclusive payment solution which gives merchants with all features expected of a modern payment method, including instant refunds. This helps businesses save time, money and resources, and broaden their service offerings.

In the current climate, with COVID-19 leading to significant economic downturn, holdbacks from acquirers are becoming more prevalent. With Nuapay’s Account-2-Account payments, funds are delivered in real-time as no acquiring bank is required to facilitate payments. This means no more holdbacks, giving businesses in at-risk sectors the breathing room they need to survive in challenging economic conditions.

How did Nuapay come about?

Nuapay was created to revolutionise the payments landscape. Its parent company, Sentenial, is a technology start-up founded in Ireland during 2003 to modernise A2A payments technology for SMEs. When we then identified that banks were also struggling with the same basic need, we stepped up and expanded Sentenial Europe-wide to help some of the biggest payments players in Europe, including Barclays, Visa CyberSource, and Worldpay to name a few. Sentenial now processes over €40bn in transaction value annually.

When EU politicians decided to force more competition and innovation into the payments and banking markets (PSD2), we saw an opportunity to launch Nuapay. Nuapay became regulated as a Payment Institution and has pioneered the use of Open Banking payments, next-generation direct debits and real-time API-first business current accounts.

How does Nuapay help SMEs tackle the late payment crisis?

The Federation of Small Business estimates that late payments contribute to 50,000 insolvencies annually, costing the UK economy £2.5bn. The impact of this problem on SMEs (which make up 99% of the business population) is huge. Not only is the growth of existing businesses stunted, but tomorrow’s entrepreneurs could also be deterred from taking the steps needed to establish their own businesses. This is even more prevalent in the Covid-19 landscape.

To help combat this, Nuapay partners with payments providers to supply the open banking methods they require to serve SMEs facing this issue. For example, Nuapay has partnered with Gala Technology, a payment security solution specialist, to provide instant Open Banking payments to its partner network and direct merchants across multiple sectors including retail, hospitality, and financial services.

Nuapay’s FCA-regulated Open Banking payments service enables Gala Technology’s partners and merchants to accept payments or issue a “request to pay” in real-time via any sales channel, including telephone, webchat, SMS, and social media. It can do this without requesting sensitive card data, which ensures SCA compliance and eliminates fraudulent chargebacks. This is powered by Nuapay’s open banking hub and accessed by Gala Technology’s SOTpay ‘Pay by Link’ solution.

Businesses utilising this solution send their customers a link to initiate the payment, instead of sending a traditional invoice. The customer can agree to pay, click the link, and will be taken to a page with the business details and payment amount already filled out. In another click, the payment is authenticated by the customer with their bank, and then the funds are sent directly from the payer’s account to the business’ immediately.

The late payment crisis is a daily challenge for SMEs the world over, and it extends well beyond the payment process itself. As solution providers wake up to this and begin offering increased security, a smoother customer journey and ultimately faster payment methods, the pathway for SME payments will become less complex.

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

At Nuapay we believe that payments are currently going through a once in a generation transformation. Consumer expectations in terms of convenience, security and speed have increased massively in the mobile era. Equally, businesses are really questioning the inefficiencies embedded in the old way of doing things such as with payment cards. Nuapay is here to meet these needs by building slick products that take advantage of the inherent benefits of Account-to-Account payments. Ultimately we creating the best way to pay and get paid.

This article was originally published by TechRound

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