GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Veenerick Vos van Liempt, Founder, CEO at ZeroTouch Order and Pay
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for contactless payment providers to enable safer payment processes across B2C and retail outlets, while new features are now built with the aim of protecting user health while enabling seamless payments; the ongoing pandemic is slowly leading to a shift in trends in not only payment processes but also menu and order related transactions. Veenerick Vos van Liempt, Founder, CEO at ZeroTouch, a contactless payment provider shares his observations in this interview.
Can you tell us a little about yourself Veenerick? How did the idea of ZeroTouch come about and what are some of the innovations you are working on for the near-future?
While working in the entertainment industry, I have closed quite a few strategic partnership deals, including in the cashless payments category. When it was clear to me that COVID would have a long-term impact on our day-to-day lives, I felt the need to support the hospitality industry on the short term while also seeing an opportunity to create a meaningful business on the long term. COVID accelerated the adoption of contactless and mobile ordering platforms, and we believe it will be a lasting change in consumer payment behavior.
Tell us your thoughts on the demand and innovations in QR codes for payments?
It’s interesting to see how QR codes are experiencing a major comeback compared to how it promised to change our lives 15 years ago, around the time the iphone was born. It’s all about education and adoption. Especially since COVID, people learned and noticed their smartphone camera automatically recognizes QR codes, there is no need to download a specific QR code scanner.
Folks say NFC is the next step up. Two thoughts that I have on NFC:
1.) It’s not dependent on consumer education/adoption as much as it is dependent on the standardized integration into people’s devices. I think we’re nearly there in universal adoption.
2.) NFC is really helpful for certain use cases (near field communication), not all use cases. In our partnership with AYCE for example, we enable parents and sport fans alike who are watching a youth soccer game to order their concessions directly from their seat, and get a notification when their order is ready for pickup. We simply communicate this option on an A-frame, sandwich board or a yard sign incl. an oversized QR code, in front of the stands. And folks can scan the code from a considerable distance. NFC wouldn’t be as flexible to use.
In what ways is fintech as a segment going to evolve in the near-future according to you?
The cashless trend was already in progress for a while, just think about how you use your own wallet these days. COVID just supercharged new developments and overall adoption. There are two interesting developments to call out: peer-to-peer payments (e.g. Venmo) and loyalty platforms. The first is about tech enabling payments that surpass the outdated banking system, and I’d say Chase Bank is actually one of the few banks actually keeping up the pace pretty nicely.
The second is all about tech unlocking valuable consumer purchasing behavior from payments, meaningful examples are platforms like Rakuten and Drop.
There is a third interesting development where payment tech unlocks micro-retail environments: tech to help small business merchants go cashless and run their business better at the same time. In our example with AYCE, we apply cashless payments in such a way that we’re not just allowing concessionaires to accept card or e-payments instead of cash, we actually enable an intuitive small-business POS system on their smartphone at the same time. This makes their entire business so much easier.
While parents and sports fans can order directly from a mobile menu, think about the ability to send sales reports automatically to the treasurer of the club after each day, think about product count, and even the re-ordering of new hot dog buns when they’re about to run out. All of these functions were usually beholden to complicated POS systems and hardware. Small business is where the long tail is to be found in fintech growth, and we believe that tech that is built to scale on a self-serve basis will benefit from this major opportunity.
I believe there is an amazing opportunity for fintech companies to bundle our collective purchasing behavior to make a real change where change is needed. This generation has enough awareness and intent for consumers to do good, do better. How to convert that intent into actual change? For example, if consumers could install a fintech widget that would work the same as an ad-blocker would for ads but then to block any products linked to child labor, deforestation, excess plastic or packaging, etc. I believe there is a valuable business model there to offer meaningful alternatives instead.
Would you like to share specific finance management or business tips for Marketing and Sales or Finance teams struggling through this uncertain time due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
The rule book on best cases (if there ever was one) is definitively out the window. Accept a continuous cycle of improvement: launch, test, fail, pivot, and repeat. The key thing for us is to make and respect the proper business alliances. We are lucky to work with the American Youth Co-operative For Esports and with Harena Data. To facilitate their vision facilitated our vision and we are grateful
ZeroTouch Order and Pay is a contactless and mobile ordering solution for concessions, venues, and restaurants. Their self-serve platform is very easy and intuitive to use. ZeroTouch through its partnership with AYCE are doing everything in their power to normalize outdoor sporting events again, while making it safe and comfortable enough for attendees to want to be there.
Veenerick Vos van Liempt is the Founder and CEO of ZeroTouch