In fintech, innovation often emerges from the most unexpected places. Such is the story of Flatpay, a disruptor in the POS payments scene in Denmark, and its partnership with Finaro, a global cross-border payment provider and fully licensed bank.
The story of their collaboration demonstrates how a startup with minimal fintech experience can succeed by pairing with the right payments partner to bring a brilliantly simple POS solution to the market.
Flatpay and Finaro: Payments Made Simple
Flatpay is the brainchild of four digital entrepreneurs and payment solution experts who were also ex-colleagues—Sander Janca-Jensen, Peter Lüth, Rasmus Busk, and Rasmus Hellmund Carlsen. Together, they sought to disrupt the market with a simple, transparent, and affordable payment solution for small and medium-sized merchants, thereby challenging the status quo.
After studying various industries, Flatpay recognized that there was an opportunity around payments for brick-and-mortar stores, says Rasmus Hellmund Carlsen, CMO of Flatpay. “We did some mystery shopping and then investigated deeper for a few months, and discovered that merchants were experiencing a high level of payment complexity, coupled with obscure pricing.”
“We recognized the potential for Flatpay to become a market challenger, and we gave the green light to move forward”Ruben Nielsen, Finaro’s VP of Sales and Business Development for the Nordics
Finaro, with a proven track record of supporting payments, is a global cross-border provider that facilitates international commerce through easy-to-implement payment solutions. “Finaro’s mission is to simplify complexity in payments,” says Ruben Nielsen, Finaro’s VP of Sales and Business Development for the Nordics. “We do that by creating multidimensional payment solutions that generate growth and enable peace of mind for merchants.”
Flatpay wanted to make payments easier, it was a natural synergy with Finaro’s core purpose. “Finaro has invested immense resources into simplifying payments,” says Nielsen, “and we do it exceptionally well. We saw that Flatpay’s innovative approach, coupled with Finaro’s payments solutions, would enable us to create an immensely straightforward payment process where everyone wins.”
Before Finaro, merchants had to navigate a confusing maze of working with several providers, for what the Flatpay team felt should be an integrated POS solution. The existing setup was expensive and inefficient, and pricing was obscure. Merchants had to pay different fees depending on the card their customers used for payments.
“When you’re a startup made up of team members who’ve all quit their jobs, speed is crucial. Finaro understood us and took us seriously from the beginning.”Rasmus Hellmund Carlsen, CMO of Flatpay
“The idea around Flatpay was to create a super simple, all-in-one package solution,” says Carlsen. “The name Flatpay was inspired by the fact that merchants would pay one fee regardless of the card their customers used.”
The problem was that although the founders had payments and entrepreneurial expertise, they still lacked greater financial technology experience. After making countless calls to understand the market, the team discovered Finaro.
Finaro offered a white-labeled, one-stop payments and acquiring solution. And Finaro also firmly believed in the Flatpay team and their concept.
A Mutually Beneficial Partnership
The Flatpay team was impressed by Finaro’s speed and responsiveness. “When you’re a startup made up of team members who’ve all quit their jobs, speed is crucial,” Carlsen says. “Finaro understood us and took us seriously from the beginning.”
There were two reasons why Finaro took the team seriously, Nielsen tells NFM: (1) Finaro grants all serious requests the attention they deserve. (2) The Flatpay team had a solid concept backed by market research.
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“Their concept was unique,” Nielsen tells NFM. “They wanted to go to the market with free terminals, which we hadn’t seen in most of Europe. Starting in POS instead of eCommerce was also untraditional, as the POS market is complex and not 100% digital. That excited us because it meant more potential opportunities for challenging the market.”
Finaro checked the team’s background and discovered that each founder had an excellent track record and business reputation. “We recognized the potential for Flatpay to become a market challenger, and we gave the green light to move forward,” says Nielsen. “We also saw the partnership as a potential for us to learn. We had dealt with large players in the Nordics before but never a startup, so the relationship was clearly mutually beneficial from the start.”
The Journey to Becoming a Challenger
After a few months, the Flatpay team, with the help of Finaro, had an MVP. Finaro helped the team debug minor issues as they arose, but initial live-testing made it abundantly clear that the product and pricing had an excellent market fit. The team was motivated to push ahead. “Finaro had to adapt based on market insights obtained from hands-on cases while working with Flatpay, and that helped us better recognize what’s needed to disrupt the Nordic and European payment landscape.”
In summer of 2022, Flatpay went to market, during which they fine-tuned the customer experience, and then they started focusing on scaling in late 2022. Since then, they’ve onboarded over 2,500 customers and are steadily gaining market share in Denmark. Additionally, they’re now active in Finland and Germany, with plans to grow even further abroad thanks to Finaro’s global presence. Furthermore, they’ve now started working with Finaro’s Account Management Team, who continue working closely with them to support their business’s needs.
France Blanchard, SVP Account Management has noted: “Flatpay and Finaro’s end goals were one and the same—transparency and simplifying payments —so we are able to learn from each other and build something together that works for all parties and enables us to thrive and grow.”
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There is no doubt that in the current landscape, the Nordic and European markets are ripe for consolidation in the payment sector. The two regions only have a few specialized POS players, and Finaro considers its partnership with Flatpay a strong strategic move to expand in these markets.
Together, we believe the Nordics and Europe will eagerly adopt transparent solutions in the payments sector, ultimately freeing themselves from the constraints of outdated legacy systems. And when that happens, we’ll be ready.