[FH]: How has the PSD2 directive changed your position in the market?
[DL]: It has provided a common set of rules for all of us involved in banking aggregation and payment services in Europe. This has been very positive because it has accelerated our growth in other European countries. It has also positioned Europe as a reference for other countries, such as Mexico and Colombia, which are considering “fintech laws” inspired by PSD2.
In our case, the experience we have gained from working to obtain the licences in Spain and the UK gives us an advantage when offering our products adapted to the Latam market.
[FH]: How can open banking impact non-financial industries?
[DL]: Any economic sector is related to the financial sector in the way that they use a bank, they do their accounting, they finance their business… In essence, any sector is already benefiting from process improvements when managing their cash flow, borrowing money or charging a customer with new payment methods, such as the instant bank-to-bank cardless payment links offered by Arcopay.
[FH]: With the emergence of so many companies in this area, how does your product stand out?
[DL]: The product is becoming less and less of a deciding factor for a customer to choose you, because regulatory APIs have made all products look very similar. In our case, we differentiate from our competitors in what surrounds the product: the assistance in the integration process, the reputation earned over ten years and the profitable business model, which is sustained by its sales and this gives customers peace of mind that the company is not going to disappear when investors get tired of investing without making a profit.
[FH]: How has being in Fintech House and hubs in general affected your success?
[DL]: We see Fintech House as our gateway to Portugal. The actions we have done with you have had the expected impact and have added to our objectives. The hubs in which we participate in different countries give us first-hand knowledge in a very personalized way that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
[FH]: What is one tip you would give to someone who is trying to join the ArcoPay team?
[DL]: If you are a person who really enjoys your work, Arcopay is a good company to develop your career.
[FH]: What advice would you give to someone who is entering the fintech market now, with their startup?
[DL]: In this market there is a lot to do, but success is only reserved for those who work passionately. In this decade I have met many startups that offered very similar things and the ones that have been the best maintained or have ended up succeeding have not been the best funded, nor the ones that seemed to have an advantage because they had achieved an important milestone first, but the ones that had a founder who was totally committed to the project. Hard work, perseverance and long-term thinking has its reward.