Lithuanian fintech startup kevin. allows merchants to process account-to-account (A2A) payments at checkout
Founded in 2018 and based in Vilnius, kevin. offers PSD2 technology that enables merchants to accept payments directly from bank accounts.
“We’re excited about kevin. because their API can do what others have only been able to mockup. kevin. is way ahead of everyone else — their system has real transactions, servicing and targeting real verticals and they have proven they can do it,” said Javier Perez, Managing Partner of Global PayTech Ventures and ex Mastercard President.
kevin.’s API is a PSD2 payment solution for both merchants and consumers. “In Europe, up to 80% of all online payments are made by debit card. And behind every debit card there’s an account, which means these payments could be made directly from (bank) accounts,” said Pavel Sokolovas, co-founder and COO of kevin.
PSD2 is the EU’s open banking regulation, designed to protect consumers when they pay online and promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments. PSD2 payments still require several authentication steps, so it works well for e-commerce, but hasn’t yet been efficient for services like parking, deliveries or transit, where consumers typically use a credit card. With kevin.’s technology, consumers can now make payments for these services in the same convenient way as cards.
How it works
Customers link their account to a service provider’s app once and afterwards there is no need for authentication for every transaction. kevin.’s API manages this process through its secure, licensed infrastructure, which operates in the background. The end user experience is similar to using a payment card.
Why it’s important
- Significant cost savings — Bank account payments are cheaper for merchants, and ultimately consumers.
- UX as efficient as credit cards — By removing the need for authentication with every transaction, the user experience is faster, smoother and more convenient.
“Requiring authentication every time a customer makes a €2 parking payment is not competitive, so service providers stick to cards, but there’s a downside. With a typical flat charge per payment of €0.10, plus an additional charge of around 1%, companies providing low-priced services like parking can end up paying up to 10% to card networks per payment,” said Tadas Tamošiūnas, co-founder and CEO at kevin.
“kevin. lets users and merchants treat bank accounts like cards. Our new solution enables seamless, instant transactions that don’t need to be authorised every time a service, like getting a ride on a ride-hailing app, is ordered.”
Who is using it
The biggest parking operator in the Baltics, Unipark, has been one of the first companies to integrate kevin. in its app. On average, Unipark pays 80% less for acquiring services per transaction than with a card network. After launch in December 2020, today 40% of Unipark customers decide to link bank account instead card linking.
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Who else has invested
kevin. has raised $10M in seed funding from a number of European investors including OTB Ventures, Speedinvest, Open Ocean and high net worth individuals including AmRest founder Henry McGovern. This funding will enable kevin. to bring its solution to new sectors and markets in Europe.
Where it’s offered
kevin.’s services are currently available in 15 European countries, including Sweden, Finland, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, Baltics and Portugal, where the company has a coverage of more than 85% of bank customers. The firm’s services will be available in 21 European Economic Area (EEA) countries by the end of 2021, and in 28 EEA countries by mid-2022.
The startup was named best fintech in the Baltics in the Mastercard Lighthouse programme.
kevin. has a team of more than 100 employees in seven countries and it plans to expand its workforce to beyond 350 employees in 2022.
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