LONDON — Swedish payment processing business Trustly is planning a big push into Britain in 2017, with its CEO saying it will be “an important market for us.”
The news comes as Trustly announced that it saw a huge jump in transaction volumes in 2016, hitting €3.2 billion (£2.7 billion). The blockbuster year almost doubled the total processed by the business since its founding in 2008, with a total of €6.5 billion (£5.5 billion) processed to date.
Trustly lets people pay for things online directly from their bank accounts, rather than doing so via a credit or debit card. A customer just clicks on the Trustly button, logs in, and can pay that way.
CEO Oscar Bergland told Business Insider that the strong growth in 2016 is down to expansion across Europe, advances in technology that make the service slicker to use, and growth among financial services customers, citing Swedish stock trading service Avanza.
Bergland said: “We did a big push at the end of 2015 because we said to ourselves, we want to be the European bank payment provider for merchants. E-commerce is becoming increasingly cross-border. If you’re online, you increasingly want to sell to not only your own market but also across Europe. If they integrate with us, they can get paid by consumers across all of Europe. No one else can do that.”
Trustly operates in 29 countries, handling payments from 190 banks. It’s currently processing €2.2 million (£1.8 million) worth of payments each month.
One notable market where Trustly doesn’t operate in yet is the UK, but Bergland said Britain is a big target for the company this year. Trustly is currently “soft launching,” with seven staff already on the ground, and it plans to expand its presence shortly.
Bergland said: “We think the UK is going to be an important market for us. It’s obviously Europe’s largest e-commerce market and it’s really a place for merchants that sell to consumers in other parts of Europe. Even though our payment method is relatively unknown in the UK, if you’re a merchant and you want to sell to consumers in continental Europe, then there’s a strong case to work with Trustly.”
Trustly is unfazed by Brexit.
Bergland says: “The UK today is a large market and will continue to be a large market. On the Brexit, the one way it may impact us is we have a Swedish licence today and on the back of that we passport it into the rest of Europe, including the UK. What could happen is sometime in the future we’ll have to get a local UK licence. But hopefully, if and when that happens, the regulatory regime will look quite similar because the legislation in place in the UK today is based on EU directives. Hopefully, it won’t be too much of a hassle.”
He added: “That’s several years away and in the meantime, we’re keen to do business in the UK. We’ll deal with the licence issue when we get there.”
Trustly, which employs 150 people globally, has raised close to €30 million (£25.7 million) since launch, most recently raising €23 million (£19.7 million) from the venture capital arm of European investment house Bridgepoint. Bergland says the company is profitable and not looking to raise any more money.
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