STOCKHOLM Oct 18 Sweden's Trustly, which helps
customers make instant online payments direct from their bank
accounts and is challenging banks and credit card firms in
Europe, says it has an annualised run-rate of over 3.5 billion
euros in processed transactions.
* Trustly handled 2.75 billion euros of transactions in the
year ending September, up 130 percent from 1.2 billion in the
same period the previous year. It has processed a total of 5.6
billion euros in transactions since its inception in 2008.
* Juniper Research has predicted that global annual digital
transaction values will reach $3.6 trillion this year, up 20
percent from the previous year.
* Trustly is one of the few tech start-ups to offer
pan-European, cross-border coverage for payments and makes money
by taking a cut of each transaction from 700 merchants ranging
from e-commerce players to betting firms and travel agents.
* "We think we are going to keep on growing for many years
to come," newly appointed CEO Oscar Berglund told Reuters.
"Firstly, it's organic growth in our existing merchant base. The
second is the international expansion. Thirdly, it's the new
merchants that we sign up."
* He sees revenues growing more than 50 percent this year
from 187.4 million crowns ($22 million) in 2015.
* Trustly's service cuts out intermediaries like credit card
firms and invoicing companies, giving customers an option to
make direct payments from their bank accounts instead of waiting
for a bill.
* Trustly has spent the past year expanding its reach to
include all of Europe and expects higher costs as it recruits
staff to support growth.
* It currently has a staff of 130 and ads out for 30 jobs.
It expects to grow its London office to about 20 from six in the
coming year to address an active e-commerce sector.
* Analysts say Trustly's main advantage was its early move
into online payments but say new EU banking regulations that
will force banks to open access to third parties by 2018 will
create a flood of competition in the coming years.
* "There is no reason why they can't stay a dominant player
in some payments markets, but everyone else is going to be
trying to get a place on the checkout screen," said Tristan
Hugo-Webb, a consultant at CAPCO. "They will be competing for
space with Visa, Mastercard, PayPal."
* Trustly's competitors also include Germany's Sofort, which
was acquired by Swedish payments firm Klarna in 2013, and iDEAL
in the Netherlands.
* Asked if the company had any plans to expand beyond
Europe, Berglund said: "As of now we are completely focused on
Europe, but who knows in the future."
($1 = 8.6231 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Mia Shanley)