Olda Bajer, CEO of the MALL Group, was interviewed on-line by Jiří Rostecký from the Mladý podnikatel [Young Entrepreneur] server. Is Mall experiencing a crisis? How did it prepare for this situation? What is…
A new level of payment on (and off) the internet for everyone. This is the mission of MALL Pay financial technology from the MALL Group and ČSOB bank, which has been granted a payment services provider licence by the CNB for small-scale payment services. This allow it to launch an entirely new product involving premium accounts that will be tied to an independent MALL Pay payment card. The licensing process in itself was unique – there are very few cases of an application by fintech with such close ties to e-commerce.
Receiving a licence means a fundamental step forward for MALL Pay fintech. The entire payment ecosystem, whose most visible portion is currently deferred payment for e-shops and on line services, will expand significantly. MALL Pay is immediately commencing testing of premium accounts linked to their own payment card, which will be issued by ČSOB. It will offer customers these accounts with cards in time for the start of this year’s Christmas season.
These MALL Pay premium accounts with their own card will allow customers to fully enjoy the benefits of a service that is custom-tailored for regular shopping. They can offer a much longer deferred payment period and a higher purchasing limit; deferred payment will be possible everywhere, even in places where it has not yet been implemented – e-shops, on-line services, or off-line. At the same time a number of benefits will be available – for example free delivery, household services, or shopping rewards.
The fact that the applicant for the payment services provider licence is one so closely linked to e-commerce is something hitherto unique on even a global scale, much less on a market the size of the Czech Republic. Thanks to this, MALL Pay is becoming not only a domestic but also a global pioneer of the growing global trend of intermingling services for e-shops with the world of banking.
“The licensing process is very demanding. During licensing proceedings, the CNB performs a detailed analysis of the company’s risk management, its internal processes, its financial base, or for example the assumptions upon which the company has created its business plan. Every year these demands are more and more stringent, and one can see that the CNB takes a very responsible approach to granting licenses and does its due diligence before allowing someone to enter the domestic financial market. This is also one of the reasons why we at MALL Pay are glad to have passed this demanding test,” says Richard Kotrlík, CFO and CRO of MALL Pay.
According to Kotrlík, the fact that the entire process was completed successfully is proof that a partnership between a dynamic e-commerce player and a bank makes sense. In addition, establishing standards for cooperation between the fintech world and e-shops can move Czech internet business another major step forward and boost its ability to compete on a global level. This is because payment methods are one of the few segments in which Czech e-shops have long lagged behind the rest of the world, one of the reasons being the still-popular collect on delivery.
“BNPL (buy now, pay later) payment methods are among the fastest growing in the European region. At ČSOB we believe that adding benefits to the payment transaction as such is the direction in which both the on-line and off-line market will evolve. The MALL Pay card and its linked MALL Pay accounts offers terms customized for run-of-the-mill Czech customers to ensure convenience when making routine everyday purchases. Plus we will continue to improve their offering,” says Michaela Lhotková, ČSOB executive director for payment solutions and innovation.
“We are becoming one of the few e-commerce players operating with their own licence. We intend to use this and create a payment tool in our region that on the one hand will provide maximum convenience for customers and on the other hand will ensure maximum benefit for the participating e-shops and on-line services. The share of deferred payments in the Czech Republic has room for exponential growth, and the MALL Group wants to be one of the main drivers of this trend,” says Jakub Střeštík, CCO of the MALL Group.
MALL Pay is fintech in which the MALL Group and ČSOB bank own an equal share. Its mission is to create a comprehensive ecosystem of services related to internet payments. It is a leading provider of BNPL (buy now – pay later) services, which according to the Global Payment Report is the fastest growing payment method in the region. Currently, MALL Pay can be used to pay on almost one hundred Czech e-shops or on-line services, such as MALL.cz, Vivantis, CZC.cz, Bezrealitky.cz, LeoExpress.cz, or Patro.cz.