Exclusive Interview With Scott Fitzgerald, SVP, Head of Marketing at BlueSnap

1. How do you plan to stand out in a crowded payment gateway space? What according to you is BlueSnap's differentiating factor?

BlueSnap is the only payments provider that truly focuses on the core issue of helping a merchant to convert more shoppers to buyers. Through our Powered Buy Platform, we’re able to focus on reducing checkout friction and abandonment to increase conversions. Furthermore, where some companies offer the best fraud protection, or failover capabilities, or robust subscription billing options, we’re able to offer all three and more. BlueSnap supports merchants through all steps of the process; from setting up the checkout page, to routing bank transactions and providing streamlined reconciliation reporting. This extensive range of capabilities enables BlueSnap to empower its merchants to decrease conversion issues and increase sales.

2. How do you handle cross-currency/cross-country payments? How does your fee vary for FX markets? Also, how do you ensure transparency in the process?

One of the key capabilities of the Powered Buy Platform is its ability to give merchants access to acquirers all around the world through a single integration with our platform. BlueSnap can pay out to merchant accounts in 14 currencies like-for-like and transactions in these 14 currencies will never charge conversion or FX fees to the merchant or the shopper. BlueSnap offers intelligent payment routing, enabling merchants to process payments locally with PAYFAC. Our pricing is spelled out clearly in the initial onboarding process, and we have a clear transaction price with preset FX charges where appropriate. Additionally, BlueSnap has a full team of support agents to triage all support questions, and a separate team of account managers to ensure that all merchants are educated about our payment gateway and have a clear understanding of our offerings. For a full list of the currencies we offer, check out this list.

3. What would be the driving factors for higher adoption of your gateway? (Could be mobile payments, NFC, e-commerce transactions)

Checkout abandonment is a major issue impacting e-commerce merchants, and this is the primary problem that BlueSnap is able to solve. Our platform helps merchants create a frictionless checkout through either the integration of an API or by leveraging our hosted checkout pages which dynamically localizes the experience in 29 languages and 100 currencies. The Powered Buy Platform also provides a robust localized experience enabling failover and retries through its connection to multiple acquirers. BlueSnap also has a strategic set of partners to offer additional capabilities such as advanced fraud protection (leveraging Kount) and a robust subscription management solution as well as a range of e-commerce features (think coupons) to further drive conversions.

4. How does BlueSnap plan to take advantage of the growing mobile payments market? Do you believe the launch of multiple wallets (Apple, Google) changes the dynamics of the market?

BlueSnap is aggressively investing in mobile to ensure that our merchants are in a position to accept mobile wallets as a new form of payment. We believe that mobile wallets will continue to grow in popularity and eventually account for a larger share of the e-commerce market particularly as they are enabled not just for in-app purchases, but for e-commerce checkout (as PayPal has long been). Another key distinguisher is the difference between mobile and mobile-optimized. Many people think simply optimizing a website from desktop to mobile is enough to improve the user experience and increase conversions. Mobile optimization is great when it comes to responsive website and email design, but for the payments space, mobile poses a much greater opportunity. The invention of wallets explores the need for a mobile-specific streamlined e-commerce experience, one BlueSnap has been adamant about adopting evidences by our work with Visa Checkout, MasterPass, Alipay and PayPal.

5. BlueSnap has a presence across the continents and in 180+ countries. Among these, which are the major geographies it plans to penetrate? Where do they see maximum demand from?

BlueSnap has customers in every corner of the globe. Our largest markets continue to be in the EU and US. The customers we engage in the US and EU are the most aggressive in trying to sell globally. Because of the robustness of the Powered Buy Platform, the more complex a merchant’s global footprint is, the more value BlueSnap is able to provide.

6. What do you think are the challenges that the industry currently faces? And also how specific are they to BlueSnap?

This biggest issue the industry faces is checkout abandonment. Working with industry leader, we created the Checkout Conversion Index to detail the abandonment issues impacting merchants. Other issues include diversification of payment types, a move towards a subscription economy, and fraud. The emergence of e-wallets is a game changer for e-commerce. In fact, according to WorldPay, in the next four years, alternative payments methods will account for over 50% of all e-commerce sales, making it nearly impossible for merchants to serve their customers with just credit cards. The migration towards a subscription economy requires robust tools to appropriately vault payment tokens and ensure that accounts are kept updated and subscriptions are not lost due to payment failures. Finally, e-commerce merchants must ensure that they are providing a secure platform for users to protect against fraud. To this end, BlueSnap works with partners to provide fraud free services.

7. What is your product strategy currently and how do you plan to expand considering the demand drivers?

The Powered Buy Platform was built with global shoppers and flexibility in mind. The product continues to receive significant investments to enable the acceptance of new and diverse payment types and further optimization for mobile. The platform has extensive reporting capabilities to ensure merchants gain insight not only into sales numbers but overall checkout and payment conversions. We also continue to invest in value-added services that many merchants rely on such as fraud protection, e-commerce tools (coupons) and subscription management. Finally, we have aggressive plans to continue to expand the number of processors that the platform supports, thereby giving merchants more ways to ensure transactions go through to improve checkout conversion rates.