Augustin Dobre is the CEO of Capital Financial Services. The company that operates under the Twispay brand is the first e-money institution recognized by the Romanian National Bank in 2013. Augustin Dobre has over 15 years of experience in the financial and tech industries, being one of the active professionals in the local and regional markets. On February 9, 2023, Augustin Dobre will be a speaker in the first panel of the re:FOCUS on eCommerce, Retail & Logistics conference and to preview the occasion he sat down with Business Review for an exclusive interview.
How do you see the evolution of the e-commerce payments sector both in 2023 and in the medium and long term?
The local e-commerce payments market is maturing, and we can tell that from how payments are perceived. If, up until now, e-commerce operators saw payments as just another tool they needed to use when configuring their online stores, we are starting to observe a shift. More and more professionals treat payment processing as an integral part of the user journey and a crucial element in conversion generation. This is why they focus more on choosing solid payment gateways that enable hyper customization, offer analytics, and help them deal with unfulfilled orders.
I would say that payments in 2023 and beyond should be collaborative, diverse, and secure. The best payment providers will work with e-commerce players to understand their business models and develop and implement solutions that are intuitive, fast, and that are part of a more holistic approach to e-commerce.
What are the main trends and challenges in your sector?
If we look at the context, we could say that the bar is constantly getting higher in terms of data protection and security and that the needs of e-commerce players are getting more specific. This is what many traditional payment service providers find challenging. Still, fintechs like Twispay know how to juggle these main aspects and offer the highest level of financial security, ensuring merchants’ funds are protected while also developing targeted, customized solutions. As a financial institution regulated by the Romanian National Bank, Capital Financial Services, the company that owns the Twispay brand, deploys strict processes and procedures that protect merchants from fraud. At the same time, it is in our DNA to innovate and disrupt the existing ecosystem, so we keep on enhancing our solutions to increase stakeholders’ benefits and their understanding of the final consumer.
When discussing e-commerce payment trends, we look at embedded solutions that make payments a natural extension of the user experience. To increase their sales, e-commerce players want their customers to benefit from a seamless, frictionless checkout experience that feels safe and smooth. We help them do that by providing hyper customization and offering one-click payments.
Another trend that is worth discussing is BNPL. This isn’t new for payment processors, but it gained more usage in the past years in e-commerce. Given the economic slowdown happening, I expect more and more players to leverage buy-now-pay-later to navigate the coming months of financial instability, keeping their revenues within certain parameters. At Twispay, we are also working on offering this feature to online sellers and will release it in the coming months.
How has the behaviour of shoppers changed online?
Consumers are making more of their acquisitions online, while the average order value is constantly decreasing. From our research, it is somewhere around Euro 50. This means that e-commerce is an integral part of our daily lives and that more and more users appreciate the convenience of e-commerce and choose to dedicate their time to other activities.
Moreover, shoppers pay more attention to the checkout and payment process, as they use their cards with responsibility. In fact, I would say that, for a small but relevant percentage of the population, the fear of using online payment methods has been replaced with a sense of responsibility that makes users inspect the links and windows in which they insert their financial details before doing so. This makes it difficult for some merchants to implement embedded finance features. If the e-commerce player doesn’t benefit from a high trust capital, a hyper-customized checkout panel might generate unfinished payments. This is because many shoppers are skeptical about sharing their card details with companies they don’t know very well.
How can payment service providers help e-commerce players in the sales process?
Payment service providers play an important part in sales. A good, reliable payment gateway will make shoppers comfortable with buying from a certain website and help marketers understand their audiences better.
A gateway like Twispay comes with a solid analytics module that helps brands access shopper statistics such as where they are located, what kinds of cards they use, how often they buy etc. This enables them to generate targeted campaigns.
Moreover, Twispay can also help e-commerce players deal with failed transactions, enabling them to complete a sale. Those who operate e-shops know that failed transactions are the industry’s given. They usually happen because users insert the wrong card details or CVC number or have insufficient funds. Our software identifies the reason, communicates it to the store operator, and may even automatize emails, inviting customers to retry the payment.