Interview for PaymentEye with Raymundo Leefmans, the CEO of Dimebox.
What was the gap in the market that you spotted prior to launching Dimebox?
Dimebox came into existence as an organic idea generated by the coming together of a number of people with expertise in the fintech industry. As we grew together the idea evolved naturally, to the point where we thought: “Why don’t we apply our skills and knowledge to build a technology platform that other financial service providers can leverage?” The thought was that by bringing in a white-label attitude to the financial services industry, the traditional acquirers would have the possibility to step out of the commodity corner.
Dimebox was launched in 2014. How has the company developed in three years?
It was organic growth as we were self-funded by myself and my business partner at the beginning. From mid-2014 we started developing and coding the platforms, which we were able to effectively launch with our first customer in April 2015.
We had a very specific goal in mind; we wanted to provide a full stack for acquiring service providers. In order to do that we had to start at the front-end. This involved going to the card schemes and asking them to allow us access to their systems. When we started at the front-end we always had the goal in mind to build the acquiring processing. We built a really impressive gateway in 2015 with capabilities that could be leveraged for a variety of partners. As there was a new breed of payment service providers out there who wanted to embark on this journey but didn’t necessarily want to build the technology themselves, it was this enabler that we had built that allowed us to get some traction with customers. Then shortly after we organically scaled up at a pace that was fitting the resources available at the time.
You had a Series A funding round with BillPro. How do you foresee the relationship working together in practice?
When we started talking about potential co-operation opportunities, we got in contact with BillPro and we immediately clicked. I’ve not met another company who sits so much on the compliance and regulatory aspects and understands it down to a tee, both operationally and process wise. They’re not only pushing their own brand in the market, but they’re also helping other parties. That created an immediate synergy of companies that led to the conclusion of the investment. It’s truly a match, offering services that co-operate.
Do you think the synergy with BillPro will be a core focus for Dimebox, or are there other business ventures in the pipeline?
This is truly a great match of goals that are fully aligned, but there are a couple more business priorities in the pipeline.
It is also an investment that enable us to help us achieve our goals, i.e. the building of an acquiring process platform, which is part of the agreement. However, we are also independent to work on and achieve our own goals to sell the services to our customer base and our potential client base. Even though it’s a true match of the two companies, we also have our independent parallel goals which are not competing in anyway.
As a company in the fintech sector, does PSD2 affect your business?
Yes. The way it affects us is that it’s an opportunity for a technology player such as Dimebox to play a significant role in the opening up of access to accounts, and to be a player interfacing between the banks and other payment institutions providing payment services. We’re well positioned not just for what PSD2 enables, but more so from a technology point of view to rapidly anticipate future developments in this space.
Is PSD2 central to the priorities of the business and your business strategy?
Not central, but it is definitely a goal for Dimebox to participate and play a key role with financial services affected by PSD2 in the post-PSD2 world.
What other major factors or influences are going to have the biggest effects on the payments industry in the next 12 months?
What we see happening is a lot of big players and traditional acquirers struggling to get out of the commodity corner to the point of providing agile services that allow them to be omni-channel and data-centric. That is what we provide, an opportunity to fulfill those goals. Our platform is very well suited and tailored to the big players who are looking to achieve that.
We’re seeing a lot of consolidation happening in the market, such as big acquirers acquiring PSPs and purchasing volume, and that is still going to happen for at least the first half of the year. From then on it’s consolidation, and the big financial institutions are now starting to appreciate something we’ve been saying for years; that the true value of the payments chain lies in the ability of the core card processing capabilities. Bringing value to merchants is more important than processing transactions from A to B. It’s about bringing real value to your partners and how you go about achieving that. A lot of the big financial services companies are struggling to work out how to get there.