Yuval Ziv, Managing Director Digital Payments at Nuvei, on why merchants should embrace the endless opportunities of modern online payment
Nuvei (TSX: NVEI and NVEI.U) is the global payment technology partner of thriving brands and wants to turn our world into a local marketplace. The company provides the intelligence and technology businesses need to succeed locally and globally, through one integration – propelling them further and faster. Uniting payment technology and consulting, Nuvei helps businesses remove payment barriers, optimize operating costs and increase acceptance rates. Its proprietary platform offers direct connections to all major payment card schemes in over 200 markets worldwide, supports 455 local and alternative payment methods, nearly 150 currencies and 40 cryptocurrencies.
Based in Sofia, Yuval Ziv, Managing Director of Digital Payments at Nuvei, is responsible for identifying, establishing and maintaining Nuvei's strategic alliances to facilitate the company's global growth strategy in digital payments, with additional focus on leading the global commercial teams.
He is the former Managing Director of SafeCharge International Group Limited, where he also held a seat on the board of directors. His diverse background and holistic approach to strategy was instrumental for SafeCharge’s successful IPO in 2014 and subsequent acquisition by Nuvei in 2019.
A high-tech industry veteran and sought after public speaker, Yuval Ziv's achievements in international online payments span over 17 years of financial and IT industry experience. With vast knowledge of global payments, processing technologies, industry regulations, and payment culture, he continues to harness success in the international online payments industry.
At the end of 2020, Nuvei reported impressive financial results. How did the company achieve them?
Our performance is driven by our focus on high growth verticals. We have a differentiated business model and consider ourselves a true technology partner to our merchant customers.
Several differentiating factors were instrumental for our success in 2020.
Our single integrated platform solution, connected to acquirers and payment methods worldwide, provides our merchants with everything they need in every geography to accelerate their growth and provide high approval rates. We dedicate and invest continued innovation in our product. Our outstanding products and solutions suite, which are offered in whole or as modules, have depth and flexibility that give the merchant both control and choice, and can be tailored to their unique, individual requirements.
Our focus on complex high growth verticals with high entry barriers and unique tactical requirements necessitate very specific expertise and know-how. They effectively create deep moats around our business, and make it difficult for new entrants.
We are also well-diversified. None of our focus verticals accounts for more than 20% of our gross profit US dollars and there is no merchant concentration. Our largest merchant is responsible for a single digit percentage of our gross profit.
How did the Covid-19 pandemic change e-commerce and payment? What are the hottest trends in the FinTech industry?
Our principal clients are e-commerce merchants and businesses that do not require human-to-human contact. Therefore, they are ideally placed to adapt to the changes brought on by the pandemic.
New customer expectations and behaviors catalyzed development. Consumers are eager to try new payment methods, but they clearly favor methods with the strongest protection against fraud. Consequently, they want from the merchant methods that they know and trust. With more people shopping online, newcomers to this way of purchasing goods and services are joining in. However, they are weary and suspicious, and worry about security. The merchants should consider this when choosing what payment methods to offer.
The pandemic also accelerated digital real-time payment adoption with methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Zelle. Another trends like Buy Now Pay Later and QR code payments are, too, becoming a norm. Shoppers want convenience, and easy frictionless payment journeys.
Businesses for their part are looking for ways to simplify their payment stack. Simplification is a payment trend that is growing rapidly. Here payment orchestration comes into play.
While people embraced social distancing to slow the spread of the virus, there was a natural drop-off in brick-and-mortar shopping. As a result, many brick and mortar companies shift to online sales.
We at Nuvei are seeing strength across virtually all of our core high-growth verticals which include regulated online gaming, social games, online retail, marketplaces, digital goods, financial services and travel.
All of these trends make us sure that cross-border e-commerce will continue to grow.
What are the latest and most interesting solutions that Nuvei offers to its clients to meet the challenges of the changed environment?
We offer over 450 payment methods in about 150 currencies and 40 cryptocurrencies. This enables our merchants to meet the growing demands of their customers across the world.
Our multi-acquiring solution ensures our merchants high approval rates. We have designed our Checkout page with the customer in mind to provide a frictionless payment experience that includes decline recovery features, securing that every transaction has the best possible chance of approval.
As a part of Nuvei's omnichannel suite, Soft POS allows merchants to provide customers with all our payment options whether they shop in-store, online or via mobile.
We constantly keep in touch with our merchants to understand their needs and are proactive in developing the solutions that they need to grow and succeed.
As online purchases reach an all time high, we have developed an infrastructure that can handle huge volume spikes. We have 99.999% uptime and zero downtime for maintenance, and our systems are monitored round the clock.
Companies of what size and type of operation can benefit from Nuvei solutions?
Nuvei can benefit all online merchants. To name just a few: marketplaces and e-commerce stores, social games and digital goods, financial services and regulated online gaming travel. And more.
What should a client know and consider when choosing an integration payment solution?
The world of payments is evolving rapidly to meet growing demand. To grow globally and eliminate payment barriers merchants need more than just technology. They need a true and trusted partner with experience, technology and connections across the globe. This partner should be able to provide a modular technology tailored for them. A partner who is connected to a global network of acquirers and payment methods. Who can provide merchants with both choice and control and with the integrations options that fit their needs, like a hosted payment page, Web SDK or REST API.
Merchants need a company that is not only innovative but also flexible, that ensures high acceptance rates and lowers their operating costs in local and global markets. Their payments partner should understand the consumers needs, and should provide technology and expertise for frictionless checkout experience.
The good provider of integration payment solutions should implement smart transaction routing to increase authorization rates and minimize fees. Payouts should be as smooth and fast as pay-ins, especially in important verticals like travel or regulated iGaming.
The partner should have advanced solutions to introduce the vendors to the new open banking revolution, and should provide a suite of transaction optimization tools to improve merchants' bottom line and customer experience.
We see that subscription and rebilling are growing. Merchants working on this model need a partner who can provide automated recurring billing services, improve their customers' experience and maximize their revenue streams.
The proper payment partner must also understand the complex regulations across different territories and provide solutions that comply. A good example is our solution for PSD2, which enjoys immense success.
The partner should also provide unified reporting across all their channels and ability to take large volumes of complex data and turn it into clear actionable insights. Providing deep-dive analytics, including traffic optimization, leading to higher approval rates and revenues, is a must.
Last but not least, the provider should offer reliability and security, with high uptime, built-in compliance and fraud prevention solutions. Their platform should deliver maximum uptime, high-speed processing, and should be able to handle large transaction volumes while ensuring utmost security in an ever-changing ecosystem.
Why did Nuvei expand its portfolio of cryptocurrencies?
Crypto is a fascinating topic and often makes the headlines in the news. Mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies has steadily increased and the current estimated global market capitalization has reached approximately $1.6 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
This is why cryptocurrency is a growing part of Nuvei's financial services. Just last month we announced that Nuvei added pay-in and payout support for nearly 40 leading cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, NEO, Ripple and more. We are excited to provide yet another pioneering solution that empowers our clients, both large and small, with frictionless payment experiences and a greater opportunity to partake in a global marketplace.
With consumer shopping habits becoming increasingly globalized supporting cryptocurrencies represents a sizable market opportunity for merchants to attract more buyers worldwide.
As a company that is active in over 200 global markets, Nuvei enables access to the most popular cryptocurrencies. Merchants can now further conduct business across borders and beyond the bounds of the fiat ecosystem. This provides Nuvei merchants with greater reach to consumers worldwide and the agility to meet demand for additional payment preferences. They also benefit from enhanced security, privacy and integrity of transactions inherent with cryptocurrencies.
Another element when considering crypto is how do we help merchants with settlement with crypto. They may operate all around the world but some countries have certain restrictions to pulling money in or out. And then, there is the matter of the stability on actual currencies.
Why merchants should not underestimate alternative payment methods?
Actually, they are no longer alternatives. Every merchant must provide their customers with the payment method they know and trust. Before 2019, PayPal was probably the first real "alternative payment" option. Nowadays it is unusual for the customers of any vertical not to have the convenience of choice when making a purchase. We see now digital wallets, bank transfers, mobile payments, direct debits and also cryptocurrencies.
Merchants should remember that different countries and territories have greatly differing payment preferences. In the UK, for example, Visa or Mastercard is the top choice, in the Netherlands most online payments are by IDEAL while in China Alipay is the most popular payment method. It is critical to know and keep up with these differences and provide the preferred method to each market.
Customers want security and convenience when purchasing from an unfamiliar website. They will feel reassured when they see familiar payment pages pop up, and will feel comfortable to spend their money.
Moreover, it is much more convenient to enter an email address and password than go rummaging through your wallet or purse to find the right card details to enter in order to make a purchase. Many APMs now offer a one click checkout process, so payments can take mere seconds.
In short, if merchants want to maximize opportunities for growth, they must embrace these payment methods.
What is the role of Nuvei's Bulgarian branch in the company?
Bulgaria is the perfect fit for us, a location that has a unique talent pool with prospective employees capable of excelling after receiving a bespoke training and education program. When we opened the office, we were one of the first international FinTech companies in Bulgaria; we had to find talent receptive to this burgeoning industry.
Our Bulgarian branch is our development hub, with talented technology experts developing the solutions that will help our clients succeed. Our office is also home to our international expert fraud and risk team, and customer experience professionals.
What are your goals as a manager of Nuvei’s Bulgaria branch?
To support the strategy and vision of Nuvei as reinforced through all of our global offices.
How do you feel as a professional in Bulgaria? What do you like about the country and working here?
I love Bulgaria and love living in Sofia. I am originally from Israel and have been living here with my family for nearly two decades. Working in Bulgaria, I have the privilege of meeting brilliant people in the technology sector and witnessing the rapid growth of the tech sector. It is the most promising prospect for start-ups, tech and innovation investment. Personally, I enjoy living here, the people, and the history. Every winter I go skiing on the amazing mountains just outside the city. Sofia is an eclectic mix of history, contemporary and charm.
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