Time spent on defining a solution will pay off in the development phase!

How did a Finnish start-up and an established German merchant payments company go from meeting at a conference to creating an online invoicing product suitable for the German market? A successful partnership is often the result of a long journey. Some key learnings of this journey are that the time spent on defining a specific solution at the beginning will pay off in reducing the time spent on development.
  • August 25, 2020

At the MPE (Merchant Payment Ecosystem) conference in 2017, Enterpay’s founder and CEO Jarkko Anttiroiko gave a pitch – and immediately caught the attention of VR Payment.  Soon he was approached by VR Payment, who had been planning a similar system.

Why would a major payment provider express such interest towards online invoicing?

Short answer: because an invoice is a better solution for B2B payments than card payments. Card payments as such are easy but – to quote Anttiroiko – “what happens afterwards is painful”.

Secure B2B invoice payments – everybody wins

A slightly longer answer to the question above: an invoice is often the preferred method of payment for B2B customers since it already has all the information needed for the books. However, for merchants it is vital to get the payments as fast as possible without cutting corners in security. 

Eventually Enterpay and VR Payment created a system where the merchant will receive payments securely while the customers can pay with a regular open invoice. Everybody wins.

After some consideration, VR Payment decided that they wanted to develop their own VR branded product in cooperation with Enterpay – and so the shared journey went on.

Localization may provide challenges

The technical development process was rather straightforward since Enterpay already had a working product in Finland. 

When it was time to proceed from a prototype to a production-ready system, localizing the product became the focus point. This is the step that provided the biggest challenges.

The product had to be modified to comply with German rules and regulations on things such as information sources and identification – all vastly different from Finland.

It’s like cooking a gourmet soup – time-consuming but rewarding

Localizing a product is all about finding the right configuration for a specific market.

Or as Anttiroiko puts it: “When we enter a new market, we are trying to cook the same kind of fish soup, but the ingredients are totally different.”

Now the right mix of matching ingredients has been found and the launch is being prepared in Germany. 

All the time spent on carefully defining a specific solution at the beginning truly paid off in reducing the time spent on development, and thus speeding up the launch schedule. 

According to Anttiroiko, the work put into localization, adapting the service to a similar market, is a real possibility, be it in Germany or perhaps in Austria.

A chance encounter that led to great things

All of this began with a start-up pitch in Berlin three years ago.

Launching a product in a new market takes a lot of work, innovation, and attention to detail. In addition, one also needs to be in the right place at the right time with the right people.

Anttiroiko points out that the successful partnership between Enterpay and VR Payment is a real testimony to the power of events like MPE, where anything can happen. This project would not have happened had he not been at the MPE conference in 2017 giving the pitch heard by a VR Payment representative.

Listen and learn more about launching a payment innovation!

In the recently launched episode of the VOICE OF MPE Podcast, Anttiroiko discusses the partnership between Enterpay and VR Payment with Alan Moss, Head of Fintech & Payment at Bluespecs.

You can listen to the full VOICE OF MPE Podcast episode “#03 A Match Made in… Berlin – MPE SUCCESS STORIES” here https://open.spotify.com/episode/4jqLxsy3KnT6d9PbqNP04A. In just ten minutes you will learn a great deal about launching a payment innovation in a European market.