Although Adyen, a payments company based in Amsterdam, has operated in the U.S. for two years (in Marlboro, Mass.), it is only formally launching its North American business today. The company, which has signed Fifth Third to be its first U.S. bank partner (but it's open to more U.S. bank relationships), hosts a payment gateway for online merchants that appears to be the merchant's own shopping cart page, but takes care of PCI compliance and international payments and provides analytics that offer insight into consumer shopping habits.
A consumer shopping on the internet in the U.S. typically is offered four ways to pay for goods, three of them (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) credit card methods that are costly to merchant and consumer (the fourth being PayPal). But other regions of the world are more debit-centric and for a consumer trying to buy something in Europe, South America, and Asia there are dozens of localized debit-style payment systems available. "If you're a U.S. based merchant, you're going to default to the highest rate," notes Peter Caparso, president North America, who spoke to Bank Systems & Technology in an interview Thursday. Adyen has relationships with 46 local systems and makes them available through its hosted payments platform. It also tells merchants the exact interchange fees they are paying, providing a much-desired transparency that is usually lacking, Caparso says.
The payment gateway also provides PCI-level security and customization, relieving the merchant of the burden of ongoing development of security mechanisms and allowing the merchant to make his payment page visually match the rest of his website.
Caparso says Adyen's development team, which includes two grad students from the Delft University of Technology (the MIT of Holland, according to Caparso) who won an analytics program design content, has created analytics software for the payment information that includes real-time views into e-commerce traffic, so merchants can watch purchase activity on their website graphically hour by hour. The analytics can help them understand where people are clicking through and where they're dropping off, so that merchants can make appropriate changes to their website, products or services.
What does the future hold for the world of payments? "I see the convergence of mobile payments, casual gaming, social media and portable media devices such as the iPad and cell phones," Caparso says.