Payments orchestration: what’s next? Interview with Kristian Gjerding

Payments are like an opera, they need a conductor otherwise it is a lot of noise and not at all a symphony. Why? Because similarly, it would be as if all the musicians play at the same time without coordination. Just a lot of noise and hard to follow what is really going on. What happened over the last few years in payments orchestration and what is coming next? Fintech Review asked a few questions to Kristian Gjerding, CEO of CellPoint Digital.

Tell us more about CellPoint Digital. What is your elevator pitch?

CellPoint Digital is leading the way in Payment Orchestration globally and transforming the payments industry with its cutting-edge platform; Velocity.

Our mission is to make payments a strategic advantage for our clients. Velocity delivers immediate benefits by increasing sales through great payment conversions. In turn, this is driving down the cost of payments and increasing transparency into payment effectiveness.

Crucially, it saves time by simplifying the complexities of legacy technology and integrations and delivers a fast and seamless payment experience for consumers.

There are no complicated integration or changes to existing provider contracts, so our clients can easily maximize multiple payment providers, acquirers and PSPs to create an ecosystem that works for them.

What is your background and what is the story behind the company?

I’ve been described as a serial entrepreneur. I describe myself as a business strategist. I held leadership positions at Network Appliance and Sun Microsystems before co-founding CellPoint Digital in 2007.

At that time, travel companies were constrained by their legacy core systems. We wanted to break travel merchants free from these systems and help them seize the opportunities offered by digital commerce.

We started by creating a unique omni-channel digital platform for Danish Rail, integrating advanced payment capability. It was quickly taken up by airlines and other travel businesses.

Today we are pioneers in the development of Payment Orchestration platforms. Our vision has evolved, but our core tenets are the same: we enable our clients to make payments work for them across all their channels and markets.

The business is built on our unique ability to solve the complex payment challenges facing global airlines. Now we’re using that knowledge and technology to help merchants in other verticals achieve the same success.

What are the main trends in payments orchestration?

We’re seeing more verticals embracing Payment Orchestration in the same way airlines have. We now have clients in the wider travel and hospitality industry, e-commerce and gaming.

We’re also still seeing continued growth in cross-border transactions. More than a quarter of eCommerce in Europe is cross-border, and globally, the B2B market spent $34 billion in 2021. That’s millions of payment transactions crossing borders every day.

But the cost of cross-border transactions adds up, with losses coming from unfavourable foreign exchange rates and delays in receiving the payment. A global payables platform can save time, money, and effort on cross-border transactions.

Consumer adoption of alternative payment methods (APMs) is also growing exponentially, in particular Buy Now Pay Later. This payment method proved a big hit worldwide during the pandemic, and as the cost-of-living crisis bites, is likely to become even more popular. Integrating a wider range of APMs will continues to trend in the world of Payment Orchestration.

CellPoint Digital will continue to lead the way by staying a step ahead of these trends, always giving our clients a competitive edge.

How is CellPoint Digital responding to these trends?

As the pioneers of Payment Orchestration, we are enabling merchants in a range of verticals to succeed in a mobile-first world. 

Beyond optimizing the payment experience, our innovative solutions give businesses insight into their payment ecosystem. It allows them to maximize approvals, lower costs and take control of payments. In a nutshell, we’re turning payments from a cost to a profit booster.

We partner closely with our clients to ensure that the development, implementation and optimization of their payment orchestration platform meets their needs. Our focus is on quickly delivering a payment solution, while protecting revenues, reducing costs, and optimizing payment workflows with no disruption to the all-important customer experience.

We can manage the entire project from design to implementation; helping in-house development teams integrate our solutions into their payment workflows. The goal is to create custom payment orchestration solutions that meet the unique needs of businesses and customers.

Any innovation in fintech more broadly that you are really excited about?

Like many working in payments, I’m really excited to see how blockchain is transforming everything from transactions to how money is raised in the private market. 

It’s already disrupted every major industry and we can’t underestimate how important it will be to include digital currencies in wider payment strategies. 

The world of decentralised finance is complex and ever-changing – that makes it exciting but also daunting. A key consideration for merchants in the coming years will be how they quickly and seamlessly integrate cryptocurrencies into their payment systems.

Payment Orchestration is designed to offer merchants a single integration into the payments infrastructure they might need over time. It’s a no-fuss, no-muss way to add functionality like accepting cryptocurrencies. Essentially, it puts all the connectivity tools directly into the merchants’ hands.

We’re already seeing just how important blockchain is in the gaming industry. Crypto games are proving effective in earning digital currencies while they play. As more gamers accept crypto, gaming companies have a vast market opportunity to reach crypto gamers worldwide.

My advice to merchants across all verticals is: think blockchain, think payment orchestration, think CellPoint Digital.