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Question discussed now
CAURI CEO Nikolay Ionkin’s Interview to the community of supporters and volunteer experts under the joint crowdsourcing project with the Agency OmniGrade.

 

1. Question: You state that you may wish to focus on particular market sectors. To help in making such decisions, I feel it might be useful to take one step back and ask how can you compete against other established payment service providers?

What can you do better/faster/easier/more reliably/smarter/cheaper than other providers? Is there anything you can do that they simply cannot?

If we can establish on which dimensions the CAURI solution outshines the competition, then it may make the sector selection process simpler by identifying markets that are not currently being well served.

Answer: This is an important question, so I will try to answer it in as much detail as possible.

In itself, the electronic payment industry in which we operate now is very much unified. Any payment product must have a high degree of reliability and security and guarantee the timeliness of payments.

The opportunity for the emergence of competitive advantages is associated primarily with additional unique services. For CAURI, the main "winning" service now is cross-border transfers between the countries of the European Union and the CIS. And, in particular, this is the possibility of acquiring not only in euros, but also, for example, in rubles. Few people can do it now and, for sure, no one can do it cheaper. In the future, these may be cross-border payments with other regions of the world.

The second advantage that is worth mentioning is the ability to implement flexible solutions for payment operators (Technical Service Providers - TSP). This is an important part of our business today. Such operators implement their own technical solution, and we provide commercial and payment components, as well as compliance of settlement participants.

Although the question was about the present, I would like to say a few words about the plans for the near future. We see great prospects in the sectoral strategy, when we will find unique solutions adapted to the specifics of a particular industry. In particular, we see great prospects for working with companies from the gaming industry and are now looking for the most effective approach to them. We also hope that with the help of crowdsourcing we will find more and more new industries that we can effectively master.

I would also like to mention one more likely area of activity. It is connected with the technologies working on the blockchain and the plan of issuing stablecoins linked to the euro and some other currencies. The issuer of the stablecoins will be a partner of CAURI - a company registered in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Malta, with a weekly audit of compliance of the issue with assets by BDO (audit company number five in the world). This opens up opportunities to carry out various payment transactions in eurocoins and other stablecoins: acquiring, organization of payments (from payments of winnings to payments to outsourcers and freelancers), accepting stablecoins as payment in online stores, clearing between clients and payment systems. If everything works as we expect (according to the plan it will happen at the beginning of 2020), the implementation of the project will lead to a significant reduction in transaction costs for participants in the settlements of all these types.   CAURI in this case will be one of the infrastructure participants of the project.

 

2. Question: CAURI has UK authorisation and is currently looking at European markets; what are your contingency plans for the potential outcomes of the Brexit negotiations?

Answer: In case of the worst scenario, CAURI will be able to carry out its payment business through partners. In addition, CAURI plans to obtain a license in Lithuania, which will allow to continue to operate in the EU countries even under the most negative scenario associated with Brexit.  

 

3. Question: What expectations does CAURI have for crowdsourcing?

Answer: We need crowdsourcing to ensure a non-standard view from the outside (that is, out of the box) on the formation of an effective CAURI development program, as well as to form an expanded international team that will make the implementation of our plan successful.  

 

4. Question: When is the company going to become global from European? Is there an understanding of which regions of the world can be prioritized?

Answer: I'll start with the second question. There is a clear understanding that the next priority region of the world for development is Asia. But over time, CAURI intends to become truly global. There is no detailed roadmap for the globalization of CAURI business yet, and perhaps crowdsourcing will help in its compilation.

 

5. Question: What financial and non-financial company do you consider to be an example for yourself and why?

Answer: In the financial world, Wirecard is an impressive example for us. (https://www.wirecard.com/). In fact, it is a group of companies, which includes the bank specializing in the payment industry. They were able to achieve impressive results in a fairly short time.

And if you take a non-financial company, I would call Southwest Airlines (https://www.southwest.com/). I think that this example should be commented. It seems that we have very different industries. But in fact, both in the payment business and in the air transport business, it is very important to make a universal product with a high level of quality. And a high level of security. Southwest Airlines looks attractive due to its course for sustainable development, which implies no stops in improving the business (but also the absence of unjustified and ill-considered jerks). I am impressed by the fact that Southwest Airlines seeks not to compete directly with other players, but to look for new niches in the market. Another important point is a very high degree of involvement of Southwest Airlines employees in the company's business, their careful selection and development of their entrepreneurial thinking. And last but not least is a reasonable approach to costs, which implies both the absence of unjustified costs and "saving for the sake of saving."

And another company that I really like is VALVE (https://www.valvesoftware.com/). We have a lot in common: IT-sphere and teal approach to business (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teal_organisation). We see a very big perspective in it.

 

6. Question: Is the centuries-old history of cowry seashells reflected only in the name of CAURI or does it somehow influence the style of business? If so, how?

Answer: When thinking about shells images of the sea, sunny weather, lightness arise. I would like the style of business to resemble these images.

 

7. Question: Now many banks provide Internet acquiring services on their own. Why would a potential client prefer acquiring from CAURI to acquiring from the bank servicing him?

Answer: For banks, Internet acquiring is almost always a secondary business. This is not surprising, because for a large universal bank, income from Internet acquiring is at best a fraction of a percent of the total income flow. As a result, this business is not in the focus of management attention, no one count on it seriously. As a result of this state of affairs, the decisions of banks are very simple, in a sense, primitive and narrow in terms of a set of services and techniques of execution. For small clients, this may be normal, but medium-sized clients want greater flexibility and higher quality which can only be provided by companies that seriously focus on the payment business.   

 

8. Question: Is there a technical possibility to implement Internet acquiring without involving technical specialists on the client side? For example, can it be enough to place on the site a very specific link that would lead to the form of payment on CAURI website, if we are talking about a website, say, selling tickets for the event (one type of product, one price)?

Answer: The service for the "one product - one price" situation was brought to the market by other players, but it did not get much demand.

However, you are asking the question in the right direction. There are two options of payment services-light for clients:

1) the payment widget - and this feature is implemented in CAURI. It is used by many clients, for example, Elama (https://elama.global/)

2) standard modules for CMS clients. Its implementation in the CAURI has not yet been completed, but such a solution will appear.

 

9. Question: Are you working on the implementation of opportunities for the rapid integration of payments through CAURI with popular website creation systems, such as WIX, WordPress, Tilda and others?

Answer: Yes, such work is planned and, most likely, the decision will be ready in 2020.  

 

10. Question: Which museums of the world are the most interesting from the point of view of the founders of CAURI?

Answer: Two museums are my absolute favorites. If we talk about art, it is Musée d'Orsay (https://www.musee-orsay.fr/).

And in terms of technical museums Technik Museum Speyer (https://speyer.technik-museum.de/) is out of competition for me.

 

11. Question: What song CAURI founders and managers associate with the business?   

Answer: I would call the song "the Way Home" performed by the Belarusian guitarist Didyulya (you can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/38SojIdVeLQ)

It is light, bright, positive. And it's truly international, as it is a beautiful melody without words.

 

12. Question: Do you think that CAURI is already a truly innovative fintech company? If so, why?

Answer: No, not yet. CAURI was created from scratch, and the first task was to create a company that meets the most modern standards of quality of service, and in our opinion, we succeeded in it. But there have been no real innovations and breakthroughs so far. But we know for sure that they will be.

 

13. Question: What countries of the world do you prefer for personal holidays? What other places on the planet are you going to visit?

Answer: I have been to different parts of the world, but I have a special emotional connection primarily with European countries and Russia (especially with the Caucasus). I plan to visit Latin America more often, and also Japan.  

 

14. Question: Members of the CAURI team - what are they? What qualities must a person have in order to become a part of the CAURI team?

Answer: I will mention four qualities that we definitely want to see in every member of our team:

- high ability to self-organization;

- responsibility;

- learnability;

- the desire for his own development and genuine interest in what a person does.

 

15. Question: How does CAURI assess the risk of strengthening the regulatory functions of Central Banks and its possible impact on its development?  

Answer: the risk certainly exists and comes not only from Central Banks, but also from other regulatory bodies. From our point of view, the best way to manage it is country diversification. It will protect against irrelevant actions of regulators in a particular country.



The interview is based on the questions posed by experts John Brehcist, Tatiana Peresypkina, Alexei Barkov, Alexey Filin, Ralf Bauer. We express our gratitude to all of them.

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