Describe the company – the elevator pitch …
We have developed the worlds first ‘International Cash Transaction Platform’ With our platform emigrants can pay international bills with cash – bills for family in their home country, from their host country – with cash in a collection agents (UK Post Office).
How are you different?
The problem that we noticed was that for migrants the cost of remitting funds home is substantial. In some cases, up to 10% of the value of the transaction. We are a Social Enterprise working for financial inclusion and to us this level of fees is essentially a tax on migrants. Migrants find it difficult to open bank accounts in their new country, so 15% of money remitted to developing nations in 2016 was cash. 30% of that money is used to pay bills. We thought, what about paying the bills directly?
We developed our ‘digital cash collection platform’ and integrated with a range of payment platforms active in Africa. We have now partnered with 10 platforms, the first went live in April this year and has to date processed £130,000 in bills. 3 more platforms are in Beta and the rest are integrating now.
It works as follows. A migrant living in the UK logs onto one of our partner platforms (relevant to the country they are from). Select a bill they want to pay for a family member in their home country e.g. rent, electricity, water, phone, car insurance etc.
They select PiP iT as their payment method, receive a bar code to their phone and can pay the bill in any UK Post Office. Once we receive notification the bill has been paid, we inform the partner and they update the specific account. Our fees are 1.5%.
This is a significant saving on the payment, but to put it into some context for a developing nation, one year’s health insurance in Ghana is $5 USD. Paying a single bill with Pip iT as opposed to remitting cash will pay for health insurance for a family member.
To date we have saved emigrants £11,000 in fees on paying their bills. The savings can be used by the emigrant to support their own lives or to pay more bills for family. The amount we are saving emigrants is one of the key metrics for our business.
Why will you do well?
We bring real value to our consumers. They make significant savings by paying a bill via PiP iT. It is also safer than sending cash as no one has to collect the money at the far end (security can be a significant problem near cash collection services in some areas), the payment goes directly to the biller.
A key element of our doing well is being a Social Enterprise. We are driven by our social mission and it has helped us connect with like minded businesses who want to offer real benefits to their customers.
Where are you based?
We are originally a Galway company and have our Irish offices in Galway Technology Centre. We also have UK offices in Sheffield, with associate offices in Vancouver and Accra (Ghana)
When was the company launched?
The company is just over 3 years old, but we went to market with transactions in April this year.
What have been your biggest wins to date?
Getting an agreement signed and our services integrated with the UK Post Office. We managed to get this done last year and being associated with them lent considerable credibility to us when pitching our services to payment companies. As a start up in a noisy world of FinTech and payments, it really helped us differentiate ourselves.
Getting our first round of funding in was also a big mile stone as was our first transaction.
We are working on a funding round now, that will be our next big win!
Who are you trying to attract to your product?
We are a B2B company and ‘cash loading’ is our market, so we are looking to attract payment platforms, eWallets (we can load cash to ewallets) and billers. We can also enable cash payments for ecommerce companies.
Our partner companies are the customer facing ones, so the consumer is their customer.
What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?
Even in the world of the Lean Start Up, persistence is key. Building/Testing/Iterating can be done quickly, but getting to market and actually building sales is still a long road. There is a adage that it will be twice as expensive and take twice as long as you expected, I’d say this is a minimum.
Tell us about your team?
Our founding team – Ollie Walsh and Julian Callaghan – have 20+ years experience in innovation, start ups and marketing/strategy, but we have an extensive advisory team that as well as providing mentoring/advice and introductions via their network, but again provided credibility, this time for investment.
What are your plans for the future?
Our growth strategy is around supporting emigrants around the world. we are looking at where emigrants are moving from and to. We can now pay bills in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria with more African nations coming soon, as are India and Philippines. The other end of our equation is collection agents. we are now live in UK, Canada and South Africa providing services to migrants in those countries to pay their bills at home.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
not too exotic, its my phone. I spend a lot of time on the move. The accessibility that offers me means I can stay on top of everything wherever I am.
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
I tend to take a lot of notes prefer to write them, as opposed to type. I have tried several devices with pen/stylus but have yet to find one that really works.
Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?
We are in a funding round right now, which closes first week in December. Anyone interested in participating, can get the details here
How do people get in touch with you?
On site at www.pipit.global, via [email protected] or @pipitpayments
— PiPiT Payments (@PiPiTPayments) May 31, 2017