Rapyd adds card acquiring in Europe as COVID boosts e-commerce

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London-based Rapyd has added Mastercard and Visa acceptance to its European payments platform to help merchants take advantage of retail’s shift to online.

The service brings two new payment brands to Rapyd’s portfolio of alternative payment methods. Rapyd’s acquiring business is benefitting from the current shift to e-commerce, serving both physical store retailers needing to add an online sales channel as well as serving omni-channel merchants wanting to minimize cart abandonment through a wider payment type acceptance offering.

“The business challenge for merchants is how to improve their conversion rates when it comes to selling online,” said Sarel Tal, the VP EMEA at Rapyd in an emailed statement. “The major parameters that affect the conversion rates are the support of locally available payment methods and reducing the friction. The operational challenge is how to achieve this without having to integrate with and manage multiple partners. Rapyd’s fintech-as a-service offering enables merchants to rapidly expand their online business with less friction for them and their customers, across both local and global markets.”

Rapyd noted that as a result of the COVID-19 crisis it recently expedited the release of its “Self Onboarding” solution. Rapyd’s European footprint includes more than 35 countries and enclaves ranging from Albania to Vatican City and includes the major economies of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia and the U.K.

A number of banks and merchant acquirers in Europe and across the globe are actively working to address the strong merchant demand to help facilitate the changes in consumer buying behaviors that are being influenced by COVID-19, such as increased demand for card acceptance, contactless capabilities and e-commerce support.

In May, NatWest announced that its U.K. small business merchant acquiring unit was experiencing a rapid increase in new account signups. NatWest also reported that 70% of all SMEs registering for its NatWest Tyl acquiring service were new to card payments.

According to a recent report from Rapyd, COVID-19 is having a major effect on consumers’ shopping habits, influencing many new first-time behaviors such as shopping for groceries online and using digital payment methods.

In addition to the new European card acceptance capability, Rapyd offers payments acceptance with 900 different providers which include bank transfers, global wallets such as Apple Pay, Alipay, WeChat Pay and local e-wallets. Rapyd sees that having such a large number of options available to its merchant clients helps them in maximizing their online shopping conversions, especially where card payments may not be a consumer’s first choice.

“In Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands specifically, we see that the local 'instant bank transfer' capabilities already account to more than 80% of the local online payments,” said Tal.

Rapyd has raised more than $170 million in four funding rounds according to Crunchbase, a website that tracks investments in private companies. Its investors include Stripe, General Catalyst, Tiger Global Management and Target Global. According to TechCrunch, Rapyd is valued at $1.2 billion, giving the fintech Unicorn status.

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Alternative acquirers Europe Online payments Coronavirus