Making Online Payments EasierBOCCONI ALUMNUS REMO GIOVANNI ABBONDANDOLO AND CHECKOUT.COM HANDLE EVERYTHING FROM CREDIT CARDS TO DIGITAL WALLETS, AND WANT TO ENTER CASHBASED MARKETS
“There is a lot of talk about cryptocurrencies and blockchain, but cash is still the main payment solution in many developing countries”. The alumnus Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo is Vice President of Business Development for the Middle East and North Africa at Checkout.com, a global online payment solutions provider. Checkout.com is a fintech company with a 50% growth rate per year, the kind of place whose meeting rooms have no chairs, so everyone has to stand and be attentive, yet Abbondandolo does not indulge in techno-optimism.
“Our mission is to make life easier for e-commerce merchants by giving them the ability to accept any payment type, from credit and debit cards to digital wallets. We process 180 currencies”. Checkout.com was launched in 2012. It currently covers North America, Europe, Middle East and AsiaPacific. Samsung, Virgin, and Deliveroo are among its customers. The company makes all the collected data available to its customers so that they can optimize payment processes and find out transaction losses.
“To optimize 1% or 2% of millions of transactions means to boost your earnings by hundreds of thousands of dollars each week. We also offer key customers our own analysis and recommendations. We work on fraud prevention. We think it is our responsibility to educate the market and therefore we work together with regulators and provide them aggregated macro data”. Guillaume Pousaz, CEO and founder of the company, said that Checkout plans to become the bank of the future. “There will be more and more Checkouts in the world”, Abbondandolo says. “In our business, tech companies are replacing banks. The latter have a traditional approach to business, they do not have the technological expertise to meet the needs of online merchants, they do not respond quickly enough to the changes in the market”.
So, what is the future of payments? “We face the challenge to make people understand the value of what we do in Countries where cash is still king. I believe that mobile payments will continue to grow. You do not even need a digital wallet or a smartphone to operate. In Kenya, for instance, SMS payments are very popular. Digital wallets will be disruptive in countries where plastic money is not widespread. People will bypass plastic and use digital. This is the same process that led people in those countries to buy tablets and smartphones without ever laying their hands on a personal computer”.
Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo was born in 1986 in Avellino, a city located in the Campania region a one hour drive from Naples. He completed both the Bachelor and Master of Science (in Economics and Management of Innovation and Technology) degrees at Bocconi. He recalls with pleasure the international experiences he had throughout his university studies: an exchange program in the US, a Campus Abroad in China, an internship in India, the double degree with the Copenhagen Business School. Abbondandolo lives in Dubai and collaborates with the Arabian Peninsula chapter of the Bocconi Alumni Association. “Those years spent at Bocconi played a crucial role in developing the mindset that has helped me to tackle problems by experimenting, innovating and developing dynamic skills”. There is another reason why Bocconi is important to him: “I met my wife there”.
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by Claudio Todesco