SumUp has been on a mission to make face-to-face payments easier and cheaper. With an app on a smartphone or tablet that connects to a nimble card reader, small businesses can accept card payments anywhere. After merging with Payleven, SumUp has become a leading contender in the UK. We sat down with SumUp co-founder Marc-Alexander Christ in SumUp’s Berlin office.
Why should someone choose you as their provider over a traditional payment terminal company – apart from no fixed costs?
We make it really simple to get started. We do not require any complicated paperwork. The customer can sign up in a few minutes online and the card reader arrives next day in the mail.
Using us also means less hassle than a traditional company – not only during setup, but also during operations going forward.
Who is your typical customer?
We cater for small businesses. Some of them take only one or two card payments per day, sometimes every second day. It can be a plumber on home visits or a small coffee shop which used to be cash only.
“Customer service has been our focus since the beginning(…) At the same time, we want to eliminate the need to contact customer service as much as possible by making the product super easy to use and self-explanatory to set up.”
You’re one of the few mobile point of sale companies to have developed a card terminal in-house. Why not use a proven and tested third party device? Are you just more nerdy?
Maybe so. But there are huge benefits to developing the terminal and the app together. Our payment processing is more seamless. The app and the card reader simply connects better. Our device also looks much nicer. So we’ve ended up with a better product, but also one that has been cheaper than if we have had to buy one. Our customers benefit with a low upfront cost and competitive processing rates.
You’re a pretty lean organisation. Do you have enough capacity to offer attentive customer service?
Customer service has been our focus since the beginning. We offer local language support in all our markets. At the same time, we want to eliminate the need to contact customer service as much as possible by making the product super easy to use and self-explanatory to set up. We have a robust technical product and we have given merchants the tools they need to manage their account with us online.
The app-based payment space has been crowded. We’ve seen companies close up shop. Why should a potential customer trust you to be in business in three years?
We have a very solid investor base who believes in us and in the market. We are breaking even this year, meaning we have the money to strengthen our products and grow further without the need of external funding sources. Also keep in mind that we’re also a highly regulated entity. We’re authorised as a payment institution by the Financial Conduct Authority and certified for the highest security standards. We recently launched in the United States and this will certainly solidify our position as the global market leader in the mPOS space.