David Desharnais, CMO & SVP Product Management of Traxpay
David Desharnais, CMO & SVP Product Management of Traxpay

What is Traxpay’s mission statement?

Traxpay’s mission is to transform the way that companies pay and get paid, and to supercharge supply chains via faster, smarter, more transparent financial transactions on a global basis. Traditional (or static) B2B payment providers operate in a single dimension by moving funds from point A to point B, slowly, and at significant cost. Given the dynamic, complex, rules-based, and ever-changing nature of business, these static payment solutions are unable to handle the requirements of modern B2B trade. Traxpay is a B2B Dynamic Payments company built from the ground up uniquely to address the complexity of B2B financial transactions across the supply chain. For a B2B payments solution to work in a dynamic fashion, it MUST integrate with existing corporate workflows, software, and processes and enable buyers and suppliers to collaborate for better mutual business outcomes. This means the B2B payments solution must be cloud-based, and provide flexible and powerful APIs that enable direct integration into existing flows both inside and outside of the company. It means that the solution must be “smart” and have a real-time view and repository of all data and terms surrounding the transaction.  And it also means that the payment itself must be adaptable in real-time, and in response to changing business conditions between buyer and supplier, while keeping all systems synchronized. In short, B2B dynamic payments are faster, safer, and smarter than traditional static payments, and offer a more progressive and innovative business model that makes them compelling for B2B commerce. This is what Traxpay is all about.

Where are you headquartered?

For the European markets, Traxpay is headquartered in Frankfurt Germany – ground zero for finance in continental Europe, and the best of German engineering. For the US, Traxpay operates out of San Francisco, California – a location synonymous with start-ups and innovation, as well as a leading hub for global finance. With 80% or more of all global financial transactions handled in either US dollars or Euros, having a dual location provides us access to the technology, talent, and reach needed to best serve our customers and scale our business globally.

Who do you think will be the most influential figures (or companies) in Fintech, in 2015?

Historically, banks have been the dominant actors and trusted custodians of financial transactions for the B2B market segment. However, in the wake of the 2008 and ongoing financial crisis, hardly a day goes by without some kind of shocking headline news about a bank going bankrupt or its leadership being sued, or about the downward spiral of traditional banking overall. As a result, businesses have begun seeking alternatives to traditional banking providers to service their businesses, and this has created tremendous opportunities for companies like Traxpay. Influential figures in Fintech in 2015 will include new digital banks that are coming online, and non-bank providers of B2B payments, and value-added services such as supply chain financing, factoring, and related liquidity providers.  Of course, as ApplePay continues its frontal assault on the world of contactless payments for retail, it puts the entire old-guard financial supply chain on notice that there are no sacred cows, and the market can shift suddenly.  B2B follows B2C, so this is a wake-up call that traditional B2B providers must keep pace or risk disintermediation as well.  We definitely expect exciting year ahead for Traxpay.

What kind of year do you foresee for your company, and the industry as a whole?

Three market forces that we follow very carefully have created a sense of urgency for disruption in the B2B payments segment, and formed an important market window that Traxpay and other dynamic payment providers can step through. The contributing forces are:

Social factors:  Companies are tired of being at the mercy of their banks, and corporate treasurers and their departments are under increasing pressure to play a much bigger strategic role with those in the financial supply chain to drive more profitable growth.  Doing this requires a much deeper level of connection and collaboration between B2B buyers and suppliers in order to optimize cash flow and liquidity to drive mutually beneficial business outcomes. We see a strong movement towards what is becoming B4B (business-for-business) rather than B2B.

Economic factors: The direct and indirect costs and losses due to expensive, slow, and non-transparent B2B transactions are costing corporates nearly $1 trillion annually. Traditional static payment providers have been slow to innovate and have fallen short.  The consequences to business are substantial, and corporates are demanding change.

economic-factors-fintech

Technology factors:  Internet, cloud, mobile, and related technologies have enabled real-time interactions, instant access to data, and 24/7/365 operability for the “Internet of Things”. Massive economies of scale and efficiencies have been enabled as a result, and B2B is ripe to gain the same advantages.

If service providers fight against – or worse – ignore these forces, the B2B market segment will continue to struggle.  In 2015 we all need to question how things have always been done, because, the “usual” static way of dealing with B2B financial transactions is far off the mark and wrong.  B2B companies are crying out for change.

What are your key targets for 2015?

In late 2014, some of the biggest global players in Fintech, big data, and banking joined forces with Traxpay to accelerate our mission of transforming the way that businesses pay and get paid with our B2B Dynamic Payments platform, and all that we offer. Equipped with fresh capital and visionary partners, our 2015 plans include accelerating our development roadmap and expanding globally to address the cross-border transactions needs of the largest trade corridors in the world through global B2B networks and supply chains.

What will be the most important opportunities for FinTech in 2015?

The marriage of transaction banking, big data, and B2B trade is a categorical imperative to the success of modern B2B commerce. Sadly these three pillars operate separately today, and each is optimized in a silo. The opportunity is to connect these three areas together and with full transparency across all domains in a way that is not much different from what Uber has done to fuel its success in the consumer market. Uber established a transaction platform – a place for buyers and suppliers to connect – and added all the contextual data to support the transaction in a simple to use fashion. The also completed the hat trick by tying payments directly into the end-to-end transaction. Replicating this in B2B is the opportunity, and dynamic payment is the path forward.

What are the key hurdles for growing your business this year?

Global transactions require comprehending regional regulatory requirements. As these are constantly shifting, adapting to these changes keeps us fully engaged. This continues to be an area that we are always watching closely.

What are your thoughts on the current state of Fintech?

While contactless, NFC, mobile, and consumer P2P payments tend to grab the headlines, the B2B transactions market is nearly 10X in size, and ripe for disruption – truly a Blue Ocean opportunity. It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm and financial support pouring out of the VC community for Fintech, and it is a testament that the market is readily embracing new solutions, while traditional players are struggling to keep pace. We are thrilled about the response we are getting from our customers for B2B dynamic payments, and looking forward to another strong year of growth ahead.

(image credit: Traxpay)

 

Previous post

Data vs. Style- When Data's Not the Only Thing That Matters

Next post

PayPal Announces Acquisition of Payments Startup Paydiant