Behind the Idea Europe

Behind the Idea: Mollie

Mollie is one of the largest and fastest-growing payments processors in Europe, serving over 100,000 merchants, processing well over 10 billion Euros this year and having recently achieved unicorn status. In the last year in Germany alone, processing volumes grew by 1,000%. This growth has been driven by Mollie’s differentiated approach to online payments for its customers.

The Mollie team consists of over 300 people and is HQ’d in Amsterdam, with offices in five other locations across Europe. Ken Serdons joined Mollie in September 2019 as Chief Commercial Officer where he is responsible for leading Mollie’s international expansion.

Ken Serdons is the CCO of Mollie

After six years of leading commercial operations in the fintech industry, the world of payments holds very few secrets for Ken. Between 2013 and 2018, he rose through the ranks in the UK team at Worldpay and worked closely with the PE owners to create a commercial strategy that saw the company’s revenues and EBITDA soar to double digits.

What has been Mollie’s response to financial technology innovations? 

Our vision is to become the most loved Payment Service Provider in Europe. Our customers are at the heart of our business and we are constantly improving and striving to be the best at what we do – that means being at the forefront of financial technology innovation making online payments effortless for everyone.

Other PSPs are typically focused on price and volume. But medium-sized merchants are finding they need their relationship with their PSP to be more than transactional. They need a partner to help them grow, to help them continually optimise their business.

This approach is instilled in our company DNA and in the innovations we continue to build and refine for our customers. Mollie’s products are best-in-class with superior design and easy integration. There are no lock-in contracts and no complex or opaque pricing models. In the turbulent times we’re in at the moment, that is very attractive to merchants.

How have things changed over the past few years?

Since it was founded in 2004, Mollie has seen steady growth as the eCommerce sector has boomed worldwide. Giants like Amazon, ASOS, Mr Porter, Boohoo and smaller retailers have reaped the rewards of online retail and advancing eCommerce technology.

Yet 2020 has been the most extraordinary year for e-commerce. In a few months, the market for online retail has grown beyond analyst expectations. The recent shift from offline to online as a result of lockdown measures would previously have taken years to materialise.

This is reflected in Mollie’s growth, which has accelerated to over 100% YoY and it is clear that the increased popularity of eCommerce is expected to continue.

Not only are consumers shopping now more than ever online, but they also want payment methods that they can trust. As a result, merchants must work with payment providers that can help them to localise payments and offer customers a way to pay that gives them the financial security– such as being able to ‘buy now’ and  ‘pay later’ – they are after in this  ‘new normal’.

Is there anything that has created a culture of change inside the company?

We’re a company of engineers, constantly tinkering with our product set and the way we work to ensure we’re providing a truly differentiated proposition – and one that our customers love!

This hasn’t changed but our recent series B funding has allowed us to help our merchant customers grow with a new intensity. We will accelerate our international expansion and increase our investments in product and engineering. We’re on the brink of our next phase of growth and that’s incredibly exciting!

What fintech ideas have been implemented?

Mollie focuses a lot of its efforts within Europe, and this is how we differ to other international PSPs, which are often very US concentrated. We believe we create impact with Europe’s easiest payments.

Mollie’s platform collaborates and works together with many different e-commerce platforms to make it easier for our customers to set-up and run their online businesses efficiently and seamlessly.

One of the most successful collaborations is our partnership with Magento, a leading eCommerce technology company. Using the Magento Commerce plug-in has significantly contributed to Mollie’s success.  It is the jewel in our crown of our partner integrations and it offers a one size fits all solution for a wide range of customers, facilitating effortless and seamless payments for everyone.

What benefits have these brought? 

The plug-in boosts sales by storing customer payment details for making payments even easier for returning shoppers and automating reminders of abandoned shopping carts to encourage purchases.

The checkout experience is also seamless as it accepts all major localised payment methods and allow shoppers to complete their purchase on your webshop, without a redirect (on avg. +7% CRO).

On top of this, there is an added speed to market as webshops can go live in less than 15 minutes. And for the more technically advanced webshops, our Magento Commerce plug-in is fully PWA-ready also enabling merchants to build the best mobile-first shopping experience.

Do you see any other industry challenges on the horizon?

We’re fast approaching the busiest trading period of retail with Black Friday, Christmas and Boxing Day sales on the horizon. At the same time, we’re well into the second wave of Covid. Uncertainty is high for merchants, but one thing remains clear: this golden period of sales features critical peaks that, if capitalised on, could represent vital growth and recovery after a difficult year.

Can these challenges be aided by fintech?

Absolutely. Payments is emerging as a key strategic pillar in any merchants’ plans for recovery and growth. New consumer groups have moved their shopping habits to the online world for the first time, and with a fluctuating economy, there is an increasing demand for flexible payments, supported by the likes of payment methods like Klarna. Supporting merchants right now is vital and PSPs play a critical role in helping retailers get the next few months ‘right’, through technology and the creation of a seamless customer experience.

Final thoughts

There’s no doubt that this year has been a challenging one but it’s also a year that holds incredible opportunity for merchants that have harnessed the potential of digital and reimagined their businesses online. Many of our customers have reported record-breaking numbers as demand has risen during an unprecedented year.

It’s been an important year for us too. Our recent funding has unlocked our next phase of growth, allowing us to accelerate international expansion, capture growth in existing and new markets and expand our ability to deliver new financial service products for merchants across Europe. We are determined to support our customers, simplify the complexity that has long characterized financial services and, ultimately, help them grow.


  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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