Hassan Issa, COO of Limonetik – a Thunes Company, spoke with Julia Callejo (Consultant, London). In the interview, Hassan outlines key aspects of Limonetik’s value proposition and its shared vision with Thunes and how he expects the digital payments landscape to evolve in the medium term.
1. How does Limonetik – a Thunes Company - differentiate itself from its main competitors in the payment facilitator market space?
Limonetik - a Thunes Company - is one of the major actors that can enhance a global full-service payment solution adapted to the market reality and customer needs. Our position means that we are complementary to other PSPs; so, our difference is that we allow our customers to keep their long-term business relationship with their partners and stakeholders, or to evolve their existing solution. The interest for our clients is to benefit from our expertise on all the activities of financial complexity management; from Pay-In to Pay-Out including our Marketplaces solutions. Our strength is to continuously build an agnostic network of hundreds of payment gateways, acquirers and front-end solutions. In addition, we process 285 payment methods in 70 countries within 100 currencies through multiple channels: online, mobile or in-store. We support all businesses that face the challenges of internationalization and wish to benefit from the attractiveness of new payment methods to develop or enter into digitization. On a daily basis, we support many multichannel retailers, marketplaces, gig and shared economy platforms as well as business to business platforms, acquirers and payment services providers.
2. Limonetik has been recently acquired by Thunes, what are the key synergies that resulted from the combination of the two companies’ solutions?
One of the key reasons for Limonetik to join Thunes is the vision to make payments easy, simple and accessible for everyone. Limonetik shares the same mission: to deliver a world-class payments service that truly fits our customers’ needs. An example of this shared vision that Limonetik has focused on is tackling complex processes by integrating with online retailers to create seamless payment solutions for their users. The collection process requires expert knowledge and lots of experience to be solved effectively. Thunes stands out as a leader in real-time cross-border payments and comes with a good understanding of what the market needs for this particular service. By joining forces, we obtain more than just economies of scale or knowledge sharing: while our solutions have been designed to work equally well for payers and payees, we believe that by pooling our resources together, it will become easier for our customers to do both payments and collections. With this expansion, all customers will have access to our end-to-end solution for cross-border B2C and B2B payments. We feel that this integration is something that no other player offers in the emerging markets: a truly global reach with local expertise.
3. How do you see the digital payments landscape evolving over the next 5 years?
There is no doubt that digital payments will become the standard of tomorrow, as they are already becoming more popular in many countries due to their convenience. Many services won't last because not everyone wants or needs them; however, most people will likely use some form of digital payment instead of cash within five years. Like banks, FinTechs also have a key role to play. Experts say banks have had a large market share in retail banking transactions, but this is not necessarily the case everywhere. Because of client’s disenchantment, traditional banks are struggling to make their digital services more attractive and meet consumers' needs. This means that we attend to an increase in partnerships between major groups and FinTechs who bring innovation into payments and customer life cycle. No doubt, we will see a proliferation of payment options as new types and subtypes evolve. For example, urban versus rural users may have different needs; consumers compared to enterprises or even large organizations could require more suitable solutions; all leading to diverse demands in the payments space that can only be met by offering many alternatives for each use case. The consequences of Covid-19 in the world of payments have raised questions about innovations, for instance, fingerprint and biometrics. Today we can no longer touch the equipment, and we must wear masks when paying at a store due to the pandemic. Thus, fingerprint payments become too complex under such conditions and the issues faced by using biometric systems that require our face uncovered. The Covid-19 highlighted the limits of certain innovations and showcased others that are accessible such as Amazon contactless payment. There is, therefore, a good chance this innovative system can be democratized, contrary to other touch-sensitive methods. We should see new technology and new ways for consumers to buy products within five years and review our purchasing journey. Moreover, as technology advances, we will see a strengthening of the legislation around personal data security. Payment players may have to integrate full bundles into their offer for customers. Today, with growing environmental and individual rights awareness, we can be sure that payment players will also have to rethink their solutions in a more eco-responsible framework. This CSR approach makes it possible to think up an eco-design solution by reflecting on the ecological consequences of its product.
4. What are your hobbies? How do you spend your spare time?
I am passionate about the world of payments and my work. This passion continues to inspire my team and me today as we strive for continuous improvement in our work. In the past years, this drive led us all to run marathons together. My family has made me who I am today, and they are constantly cheering me on. They play a huge role in my balance and I can't imagine not spending time with them. Furthermore, life would be nothing without friends to laugh with or parties full of adventure. As for relationships? They're the main source behind everything that makes human happiness. I also love to travel, but my heart swings between Lebanon, my country of origin, and France. Both of these countries will have you mesmerized by all of their beautiful landscapes, culture, and food, and they have a strong human relations value that is appreciated by locals and tourists who visit them.
The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of Edgar, Dunn & Company. The information and views expressed in this publication belong solely to the author(s).