Israeli innovation has played a huge part in the development of the global fintech ecosystem, helping the country build a reputation as a successful start-up hub. The FinTech Times sits down with Eyal Moldovan, GM at global digital payments platform Payoneer, who offers his insight.
Eyal is the General Manager of the SMB solution at Payoneer, a leading global payments platform with over 1,500 employees in 14 countries. Eyal is responsible for a portfolio of 4 million small businesses and annual payment volume of over $25 billion. With a rich background in online advertising and an entrepreneurial spirit, Eyal has a track record of building and managing new products. As Director of Search at Ybrant Digital (YBRA:BSE India), Eyal established the Ybrant Pay Per Click global product, managing its international growth across three continents. He first joined Payoneer in 2012 as VP of Business Development where he oversaw the company’s Commercial Account and helped turn it into the fastest growing segment at Payoneer. Eyal holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Industrial Engineering from Tel Aviv University and an MBA from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.
For our global audience, can you explain what the digital and fintech landscape across the globe currently looks like?
We are currently seeing a growing number of partnerships and closer collaboration between fintechs and banks. Just a few years ago, as fintech was emerging, the nature of the relationship was very different.
Fintechs had to convince and sometimes even beg banks to use their infrastructure, so they could build their offerings for end customers. It wasn’t an easy process for either side, but as fintech started to mature and win market share, banks began to understand that they needed to adapt and partner with fintechs who could offer superior technology.
Today, we see a multitude of new models emerging to facilitate closer collaboration. These include investments, co-marketing, white-labeling, fintech branded embedded solutions and more.
In addition, the regulation of open banking in Europe through PDS2 and the standardisation and adoption of APIs has empowered banks and fintechs to build and connect like never before. Customers are benefiting from unprecedented competition and cooperation whereas in the past, innovation at a bank would only benefit their customers.
How does this alter in Israel
Israel is trailing behind the rest of the world as there isn’t a local regulatory framework to allow fintechs to work in all areas of the economy.
Without regulators ensuring a level playing field for fintechs, we’re unlikely to see much innovation or competition in the payments/banking space in Israel.
How have you developed your subject matter expertise and helped to share it across Israel? And beyond?
Payoneer’s platform streamlines global commerce for millions of small businesses, e-marketplaces, and enterprises from 200 countries.
In the last 15 years, we have built unique assets around technology, compliance, operations, risk and banking infrastructure to enable a pioneering cross-border payments experience. The world’s leading digital brands, including Airbnb, Google, Upwork and Fiverr, have adopted our platform for their cross-border payments.
What are future trends and predictions you see happening in the region?
We live in extraordinary times where technology is transforming commerce both at a global and local level. Increasing access to smart phones and the internet across the globe is facilitating rapid change.
This change is democratizing opportunities for entrepreneurs in emerging markets on an unprecedented scale, which is incredibly exciting! There are now hundreds of millions of talented freelancers and small businesses who can compete on global markets like never before.
Any advice or recommendations you would give to other future fintech companies and entrepreneurs based in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region?
Continue to focus on ecommerce as coronavirus is rapidly accelerating the digitalisation of commerce. Partnerships will be key to success; entrepreneurs today live in a world where they don’t need to invent or develop their own technologies.
Focus on barriers to market entry and make use of partnerships and the white labeling of existing fintech/banking services to get to market quicker.