Simplifying and streamlining payment flow should be a top priority for every member of the payments chain in the industry. Easier said than done? Not this time! In this episode of Partners to Follow, please meet SEPAexpress, our whitelabel Direct Debit provider.

Straal: Can you tell us about your journey to create SEPAexpress?

Franz Guttenberger, Managing Director at SEPAexpress: Founded by Payment enthusiasts, SEPAexpress is a cloud based white label product to process Direct Debit transactions for online and offline commerce. The idea was to make Direct Debits in e-commerce easier and safer. To create Mandates, Prenotifications, Reconciliation etc. and thus find the way to create a product that is established and popular on the German market. With SEPAexpress the merchant has a simpler, safer, and more cost-effective Direct Debit and bank transfer solution for the entire SEPA area with more than 500,000,000 accounts ready for Direct Debit transactions in EUR and GBP.

S: What’s the company’s target market and the biggest challenges right now?

SEPAexpress: As a part of our name SEPAexpress includes: SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area). This is a payment integration initiative of the EU. Its aim is to make euro bank transfers and Direct Debits within Europe as easy as domestic payments. The Direct Debit has established itself on the German market and can position itself as a real alternative to credit cards in Europe. So of course, our target market is in the European region. We offer the option of handling EUR and GBP in 22 markets. We are based in the B2B area and merchant aggregators, PSPs and corporates. The current challenge for us is to keep track with the market needs.

With 84% of Europeans owning a bank account and processing a yearly total of more than 25 billion Direct Debit payments, SEPA Direct Debit has become one of the most valuable alternative payment methods for merchants operating in the complex and varied European market.


S: Could you describe your business model and explain why did you choose it?

We are a white labelled Direct Debit solution and push them as a true alternative for cards, with the aim to make Direct Debits safer in Europe. It is our aim to optimize the future of digital payment solutions. With the Direct Debits sub-area, we have specialized in a niche that has a proven foundation in the German market. We have innovatively expanded this solid base and the latest needs of the adapted market so that the SEPAexpress Direct Debits is a real, cheap, and secure alternative to credit cards. This allows us to move independently of the credit card market. A real „alternative” payment method. With the Direct Debits sub-area, we have specialized in an area that has proven itself on the German market, is reliable, innovative, and pioneering at the same time. The new EU directive on payment services (PSD II) gives external service providers access to account data and strengthens competition in payment transactions to make SEPA Direct Debits more secure. How couldn`t we use that?

S:What’s the plans for the future development of SEPAexpress (months, years)?

SEPAexpress: Dynamism, passion and vision form the basis of our sustainable and profit-oriented corporate development. The integration of SEPAexpress enables our customers to process Direct Debit transactions faster, more cost-effectively and with less risk as with all other Direct Debit options available. With this established basis, we are positioning and growing ourselves in Europe as a strong alternative to credit cards. This is how a product that has been established on the German market for many years is mapped and guided into the future. And we go one step further: Our goal is to become the number 1 alternative payment method in Europe! This vision is achieved through maximum quality requirements for all the solutions we develop.

We work with a wide variety of industries. Various corporations and big brands trust us in their international business. You rely on the innovative technologies and services of SEPAexpress. The markets in which we are represented are: Financial technologies, Retail trade, Digital commerce, Travel & Mobility, and Insurance services. We are also happy to be open to new markets if interested people come to us.

S:Given the unusual circumstances (COVID-19): how has the epidemic influenced your business? Any unusual steps to adjust to the ’new normal’?

SEPAexpress: Of course, the pandemic also had an impact on us. Like everywhere there have also been changes and a rethink has taken place. We reacted quickly, and our employees also did their best while working remotely.

S:Which industry trends are the most important/interesting in your opinion? 

SEPAexpress: Banking is the backbone of the global economy and FinTechs are the future of the banking industry. Fintech is a great industry trend that is super exciting and an important growing market. The idea of ​​positioning ourselves in Europe independently of the US payment market with credit cards, ApplePay & Co and building up our own field is very future oriented. And at the end beyond each card or ApplePay is at the end a bank-based payment method.  In the spirit of the European concept to strengthen the European unit. How could anyone not want to be a part of it?

S: Why do you like working with Straal? Tell us more about that partnership.

SEPAexpress: We use Straal as a licensor in the PIS area. We like Straals’ mission: to make online payments convenient, effective, secure and accessible for everyone, especially for small businesses that are looking for a way to accept online payments. Straal is technically stable and up to date. We appreciate that Straal has their KYC / Compliance under control. The partnership has now existed for almost 2 years, and we look forward to further good cooperation!

If you want to hear more about Direct Debit, feel free to reach out and click here!

About Straal

Straal – an international provider of payment, optimization and fraud prevention solutions for future-minded businesses, is working closely with SEPAexpress as a SEPA Direct Debit provider.
Straal offers a comprehensive suite of products that make accepting digital payments easier, as well as more effective and secure. Straal enables accepting one-off and recurring payments carried out by customers with credit and debit cards of all major organizations, initiating transactions via open banking APIs, ordering SEPA Direct Debit cycles and more. Thanks to Straal, customers can pay in currencies of their choice (over 150 options), using their preferred desktop and mobile platforms, while merchants can effectively maximise their transaction approval rate and mitigate risk.

About SEPAexpress

SEPAexpress is a white-label technical payment service provider which offers international customers a self-developed solution for fast, secure, and cheap mass processing of direct debits and payouts. For us, the central concern in everything we do is to shape the future of digital payment solutions. With the sub-area direct debits, we have specialized in a niche that wants to get out of the dusty corner leading into a bright future. The idea is that it can be easier for one-time payment solutions and recurring payments, if the customer fills out a debit authorization than worrying about their credit card details or transfers.Direct debit has prevailed on the German market and can position itself in Europe as an alternative to the credit card. This goal is achieved through maximum quality demands on all solutions developed by us. Dynamic, passion and vision power form the basis of our sustainable and profit-oriented corporate development.

Check previous interviews from Merchants to Follow series!

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Piesotto – Polish Pioneers of Pet Food Subscriptions

Cateringoo – A Simply Delicious Business Idea

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