Interview: Ricard Forn, Marketpay CEO

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Interesting interview with Ricard Forn, CEO of Marketpay in Ecommerce-News magazine by Pedro Pablo Merino

Marketpay is an open platform that allows to customize and adapt the flow of payments to the business model that companies want to develop. This startup has managed, in only 2 and a half years, to make a niche in the fintech market by filling the gap left by traditional banking due to its lack of flexibility and slow innovation.

Today, Marketpay has more than 50 national and international clients of very diverse types, ranging from marketplaces or crowdfunding platforms to other fintech or neo-banks or large companies such as telcos or energy companies. We spoke exclusively with Ricard Forn, Marketpay’s CEO, to find out more about them and their next targets.

Ecommerce News (EcN): The world of digital payments is in full growth, with a wide variety of players. What is the differentiation of Marketpay?

Ricard Forn (RF): Marketpay is an open platform that allows you to customise and adapt the payment flow to the business model you want to develop. In this sense, we are a layer above the means and solutions of payment that are on the market, incorporating new concepts and even connecting with other innovative solutions.

EcN: What are the keys and sales that your customers can benefit from?

RF: Marketpay captures payments, regardless of the payment method used, and enables four main features: Digital Wallets, Escrow Payments, Split payments and Pay-by-link.

Combining these products, together with the regulatory coverage necessary for the management and custody of payments, can solve the needs of a wide variety of new digital models: from marketplaces to crowdfunding companies or business models for the Internet of Things.

We allow our clients to develop innovative solutions with a lot of flexibility.

EcN: What is your business model?

RF: We market the platform as software through a license, and we also develop closed products for specific industries that incorporate all the necessary payment flow and business rules. For example, we have a complete solution for P2P payments called thelemonapp, or a platform for escrow and pay by link payments, called, aimed at businesses that want to quickly launch a payment guarantee model with simple integration.

EcN: We know you work and have the blockchain in mind, why have you decided to go for this technology?

RF: When we started the company, we realized that the smart-contracts that are developed in blockchain are a reflection of the Marketpay platform, so it made perfect sense to target both FIAT currencies and the crypto world.

Our approach is engineering, we develop parts and knowledge with which we can help our clients, we are interested in being experts in our niche. We are interested in seeing the impact of blockchain on business models and the payment industry, so we choose the projects we get into very well.

For example, we have developed the digital identity on the blockchain, which is used for applications such as certification of the academic curriculum, or a mining network with cyber-euros, which would be a first step in the disintermediation of traditional payment gateways.

We are at the beginning of the cyber economy, which could mean a revolution as big as the Internet was in its day, and as a startup in the Fintech sector, we are in a privileged position to participate in this revolution.

EcN: What do customers want when it comes to payment today, and how can we help them?

RF: Customers are looking for positive experiences in their interactions with their target companies, and this includes payment methods and processes. We need to find ways to make their experience better, more intuitive, efficient and above all integrated with the purchase flow.

EcN: And what needs can shops have in terms of their needs?

RF: Our clients are companies that have understood the importance of using payments as a strategic element. Traditionally, merchants, and companies in general, have only seen payment methods as a cost, and have sought solutions that allow them to reduce that cost to a minimum. However, with the growth of the digital economy, the role of payment methods has grown and has become one of the most important factors for the success of companies.

Ultimately, digital businesses need to improve conversion, develop new products and offerings, and enhance their customers’ experience so that they will buy and return again. Marketpay allows facing these challenges with flexible and adaptable solutions, oriented to achieve these objectives.

EcN: What are the sectors you work with the most?

RF: We work with all sectors where innovation in digital business models is taking place. If I had to characterize the sectors of greatest demand, they would be:

  • eCommerce, through the growth of marketplaces
  • Peer to peer and collaborative economics
  • Fintech and Insurtech, ranging from crowdfunding companies to neo-banks or new models of financial product distribution
  • Internet of things, where we find that Face-to-machine and Machine-to-machine payments require innovative solutions

EcN: How many customers do you already have?

RF: We have more than 100 companies connected to the platform with the different solutions and business models that we develop.

EcN: What are your main markets and do you have expansion plans?

RF: Our main market is Europe, we operate in all countries in the SEPA area, with very few regulatory barriers. In 2018 we have started operations in Brazil and Chile, and we plan to land in the US during 2019.

EcN: How many rounds of financing have you had so far and do you plan more?

RF: After raising capital from Business Angels to start up the company, we subsequently closed a larger round, which Comercia Global Payments (a joint venture between CaixaBank and Global Payments) has entered as an industrial partner, as well as the venture capital firm Inveready and IESE’s Finaves fund.

We plan to make another round during 2019 to finance growth and international expansion.

EcN: What are your next goals?

RF: We have made a breakthrough in the digital payments space, one of the most competitive there is, and now the challenge is to grow while maintaining the spirit of innovation and disruption that has allowed us to get this far.

After a successful launch in Europe, in 2019 we are going to develop commercial channels in new regions and accelerate market exposure, but the most important thing is that we have many plans for technology, new functionalities, and, above all, new models of use and integration that expand our customer base and the business models we can respond to.

Industrial Engineer and MBA from IESE Business School, he has developed his career in business and technology consulting in various sectors for over 20 years, becoming a partner of the multinational consulting firm everis. He has participated in the founding of several startups in the marketplace and collaborative economy sector and is currently the CEO of SocialPay.

Ricard Forn, CEO of Marketpay

Industrial Engineer and MBA from IESE Business School, he has developed his career in business and technology consulting in various sectors for over 20 years, becoming a partner of the multinational consulting firm everis. He has participated in the founding of several startups in the marketplace and collaborative economy sector and is currently the CEO of SocialPay.

Marketpay, born in Barcelona in 2016, is a fintech company of smart payments solutions for digital businesses. It specializes in the management of complex payment flows that traditional banking cannot solve, allowing it to go beyond traditional payment gateways and implementing innovative omnibus solutions such as e-wallets, split payments, escrow payments, prepaid accounts or pay by link. Thus, Marketpay builds intelligent payment solutions for new digital business models, from marketplaces to other fintech or neobanks, passing through payment gateways or crowdfunding.

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