A person holding a credit card facing an online marketplace, symbolizing online payment and the payment gateways in charge of the transfer

How to Build a Payment Gateway – Definitions and Central Questions

Digital platforms are the go-to spots for e-commerce – and terminals for countless payment transactions. Online marketplaces like Amazon or Alibaba present themselves as the popular top dogs in this area. But they only compose a fraction of the platform economy. 

Today’s online marketplace platforms offer goods, services, jobs, and business partners. And then, we’ve said nothing about comparison portals like Check24. They browse external platforms to find the best offers, acting as “meta marketplaces” of a kind. 

But whatever platform you use: The point will come when you will have to pay for what you have obtained. At this point, Payment Service Providers and Payment Gateways make their appearance. It’s their job to detect fraud and validate the purchasing agreement. And ultimately, to debit your account and move your money – in the virtual as well as the physical sphere.  

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A car's dashboard, with the number 2019 stuck to it, symbolizing the automotive market of the year 2019 in this review article.

2019: The Year in Automotive

Photo of Thijs Reus, co-founder of trimplement
Thijs Reus looks back on the automotive developments of 2019

Sometimes, things take longer than expected. 

In my 2018 review, I have hinted at how PSD2 and GDPR would ring in a new, more dynamic era of fintech, filled with opportunities. And then again it didn’t. The PSD2 deadline has been expanded, as banks and other financial companies have kicked the adaption of their systems and services down the road, so to say.

In the meantime, BigTech companies like Google, Alibaba or Apple cement their market position with their own smart payment solutions.

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A picture of a waiting area at the FinTech Connect 2019 conference in London

FinTech Connect 2019 – Our Experiences

When you are browsing the net for a list of attractive fintech and banking locations around the globe, you will surely find London at the top end. It’s not only where Big Ben shakes its clapper but also where Big Tech and Big Finance shake hands. 

A few weeks ago, we set out to the capital of the UK to do very much the same, to network with the European fintech scene and present our software products and services. The occasion: The FinTech Connect 2019 conference.

To state it right away: The connection buildup proceeded well, but not without a few issues. Time to give FinTech Connect 2019 a run-down. 

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Portrait of Andrei Martchouk, interview partner of the first finquiry episode, talking about blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Finquiry #1: Andrei Martchouk on Blockchain

The financial industry of today and tomorrow branches out in many directions. As providers of software foundations for ewallets, payment processing systems and crypto exchange, we plant the roots on which your trailblazing financial products can stand firmly. Yet, with catchwords like  “PSD2”, “fintech”, “blockchain”,” neobanking” and “robo-advisory” entering the scene every day, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees.

To keep oneself up-to-date on the newest industry developments, what better way than to ask the experts. In our new blog series “Finquiry”, we interview professionals about the today and the tomorrow of the financial industry. 

Our Guest: Blockchain expert Andrei Martchouk

Our interview partner Andrei Martchouk is Managing Director and Co-Founder of KI decentralized GmbH. We have asked him about blockchain and the cryptocurrency sphere. 

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A gravestone, showing a list of numbers resembling an iTAN list, standing as a symbol for the demise of the iTAN procedures due to the PSD2 Open Banking regulations

iTAN – An Obituary

Here lies iTAN. 

On September 14th 2019, after a lingering and worsening case of backwardness, it passed away. It joined the likes of videotex and MeChip in the peaceful hereafter of online banking.

Alas, poor iTAN, we knew you. 

In your brief existence of only 14 years, you have put your mark on the whole banking industry. And on myriads of printed lists. Precious times we have spent on your behalf, poring over papers, grubbing for that one golden number to end our insecurity – and get those funds transferred from our budget account to our savings account. 

You, iTAN, have managed to rise above its forebears, ending the whateverism of the old TAN dynasty. And yet, you had trouble keeping a stiff upper lip in the face of all those hyperactive neo banking millenials. You passed with dignity.

Farewell, iTAN. We will miss you.

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Two computers placed opposite of each other, symbolizing the advantages of third party software over in-house development

Why Third-Party Solutions Bring First-Rate Results

Do it yourselfit’s an overrated mantra. 

At first, those three letters promise empowerment. You have full control over what you do and which way you want it to be done. Take fice, third-party software, we are on it ourselves. 

But then you stumble over the prerequisites. You have to know how to do it all in the first place. And that you have the right tools for the task. But that should be doable, too. I have a screwdriver lying around somewhere? And there must be a YouTube tutorial for this, right? 

Well, when it comes to the complex field of software development, the truth is a little more complicated. 

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The start-up stage at Money20/20 Europe

Our Experiences at Money20/20 Europe 2019

You have a block of lead. You want a block of gold. How to get from one to the other has bothered the alchemists of old. We learned that such effort is pointless. We know more dependable ways to distill money. The formulas have changed: They are written in code and algorithms rather than ink. They manifest inside banking apps, online marketplaces or blockchains rather than flasks in a candlelit laboratory. And they drive thousands of people from all over the world to gather at the Money20/20 conference in Amsterdam just to show, discuss and innovate them.

Our co-founders Natallia Martchouk and Matthias Gall were among those modern “alchemists of finance”. From June 3rd to 5th 2019, they had traveled to Amsterdam. The mission: Meeting with other movers and shakers of the fintech, payment and banking industry.

Our co-founder Matthias Gall, walking the turquoise road of Money 20/20 Europe.
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A world map with a paper ship, symbolizing the world of payment.

Payment Around the World – Part 3

Asia, India, the Middle East

Payment around the world – where were we? In the previous articles of this series, we devoted ourselves to different payment landscapes of the globe. And with the trends and challenges, we found there.

But no matter which region we looked at: All of them stood on the verge of digital transformation or have crossed that line. China and the USA press ahead in terms of payment innovation, as we have seen in our second article. In other countries, digital payments are still in the process of taking hold in the populace. The changes they bring have already become apparent. Digital payment services play the role of an equalizer, especially for the unbanked people. Developments in Africa‘s and Latin America’s payment landscape, as detailed in the first article of this series, stand as an example for this.

We will see if those tendencies manifest in the last waypoints of our journey, too. So, let’s move on, shall we?  

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