By @SimonCocking

Describe the company – the elevator pitch

PiP Payments @pippayments enables offline payments for online purchases

How are you different?

Existing alternative payments e.g. paypal, google wallet etc are generally linked to a bank account/credit or debit card. PiP isn’t. Once you click the ‘PiP Buy Now’ button on a site, a barcode is generated and sent to your phone. This can be scanned at a channel partner e.g. shop or post office and you simply pay over the counter.

So if you don’t have a bank account (like 20% of Irish households and 2 million UK adults) or if you have security/privacy concerns (13% of UK adults say they will never use their credit/debit card online) you can now use PiP.

There is no link to any bank account and we have none of your personal information, except your email address, so there is nothing that can be stolen from us and nothing we can sell!

A key element of what makes us different is the societal aspect of our service. The idea for PiP came from the desire to enfranchise those who couldn’t fully participate in the online world. The business grew up around that desire.

Why will the company / product do well?

In Ireland/UK the unbanked is a surprising large segment of society. They are disenfranchised by not being able to make savings via online shopping and often by not being able to participate in online society. PiP enables them to do this.

However, in Eastern Europe, Africa and parts of Asia, the unbanked make up the majority of the population. However, internet access is high and phones are ubiquitous.

In terms of security and privacy, we offer online shoppers complete security as there is no account sign up whatsoever. All we have is their email address (they don’t’ even have to give us their phone number, if they prefer they can print out their barcode). PiP only gets their order ID information from the website, so we don’t know what they have bought or where it is being delivered to.

Where are you based, how is the broadband?

We are originally a Galway company with office in the Galway Technology Centre. This month however, we opened our UK offices in Electric Works in Sheffield, so for the next few months will be spending a lot of time in UK. (Broadband is ok in both…)

What took you from Ireland to Sheffield?

We got offered a space on the Dot Forge Accelerator which is based in Sheffield. This was a huge opportunity for us as it is a funded program which matches the seed investment that we have in place. It very quickly became apparent to me that the contacts in FinTech that Dot Forge have are what PiP needs to rapidly scale.

When was the company launched?

We formed the company in late 2013 and spent all of the first year building and testing the system. We ‘went public’ with the business at The Web Summit last November. A combination of our existing contacts and the contacts we made at The Web Summit we have quickly built the network that we need for our system to go live in Ireland and UK. This is scheduled for mid-summer this year. Watch this space!

What have been your biggest wins to date?

I’d say getting Angel funding in, which was in December. Until then PiP was self-financed by the founders (there are four of us) which can be challenging. Having funding in place gives us the freedom to really focus on building the business

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

Broadly speaking our segments are based on Accessibility, Security and Privacy for online shopping. Initially in Ireland and UK.

Tell us about your team? 

We have a very experienced team.

Ollie Walsh CEO – 20 years in strategy for start- ups and SMEs who are operational internationally.

Julian Callaghan – Innovation Director 25 years’ experience in media and finance industry in Ireland and UK.

Brian McNally – CFO is a KPMG trained accountant with 20 years’ experience in securing funding for start-ups. Through his own consultancy he has secured €10m in funding for start-ups.

Our CTO has built the system from the ground up. He has 20 years’ experience in developing and deploying large development programs. He is currently full time as the head on online security for a major online brand, so can’t release his name at the moment! When he is full time, we’ll publish who he is!

What are you long term plans for your product / company?

We plan to grow PiP into a significant international FinTech business. Our online payments system is phase one of our product development plan and we currently have two more product releases planned via our barcode technology. We are targeting rapid international scaling and despite being pre-release here, we are in ongoing discussions with channel partners in mainland Europe, Africa and Asia.

We don’t just see ourselves as a tech company. We believe what we are offering has a societal value and this really drives our motivation.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

My HTC One.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

A ‘Transporter’ to travel via Galway and Sheffield offices would be really handy! Dublin to Manchester is only a 50 minute flight, but door-to-door Galway to Sheffield is 8 hours!


How can people contact you?

Best thing to do is to visit our website.  If people want to know more and keep up-to-date with our latest developments, they can link to our social media on facebook or twitter @pippayments.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Thursday edition of the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with me on [email protected]

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