The idea behind the Electronic Payments Association is that international payment systems evolved at a slower pace than the of users’ chances to buy and sell around the world. Anyone can make very good business on the world wide web, but when the time comes to retrieve the earnings or make payments, things are not that easy. It seems that Epayments.com came up with the solution.
Before Epayments.com, international payments faced two problems. The first of them was the complicated process which one of the parties had to go through to get the money. It required creating a bank account, sometimes in unregulated offshore banks, or having your bank manage received payments from unknown sources. All this made it a really slow and unreliable process which involved too much paperwork one way or another.
The second problem is how expensive it was. It’s no news that any institution which stands in between business transactions will charge high fees for its service.
Mike Rymanov, who’s the President of the Electronic Payments Association, told Killerstartups.com his impression on this issue:
“There’s been an opinion in the affiliate marketing industry for some time that something needed to be done about the delays and high costs of international money transfers. Affiliate networks and publishers share the same problem. I realised that if we worked together we could address this problem and that’s why I created the Association”.
Mike is British and leaves in London. He’s a Graduate from Hult International Business School with Bachelor of International Business Administration. Previously, he worked at Mergemarket as business development director. With this background we could hope that he would know about creating a new business and have it running after some time.
“Association” is maybe the word that defines Mike’s idea more accurately, because Epayments is owned by its members. No shareholders will keep a percentage of the earnings. All revenues are used to invest in improvements for the organization.
How does it work
So we know about the idea, but how does the Electronic Payments Association actually work? First of all you must know that you can become a member whether you need to make payments or receive them. I quote from their website:
The Electronic Payments Association (EPA) was set up for internet professionals who were tired of slow, expensive and unreliable access to their affiliate commissions.
So now we provide a cost-effective, fast and secure way for companies and individuals to make and receive payments across international borders.
Once you become a member, you will have your account on a safe and reputable UK bank. You won’t need to have a bank account in your country to use the service. Epayments.com will send you a pre-paid debit card issued by Mastercard, which you can use at any ATM to retrieve funds. You must make sure that the ATM you choose displays the Mastercard, Maestro or Cirrus logos.
“In a lot of places in the world it is not straightforward getting your money from an online account and into your pocket. We are actually putting money onto the payment card in people’s hands […] Our members can send and receive commissions, cheaply and instantaneously, in most parts of the world.”, Mike told us.
The card is sent to you by Royal mail with tracking information so that you know when to expect it. Just by paying a low annual fee you’ll use this practical system that will free you of the usual head aches when you had to arrange international payments.
Your account allows multiple payments processing too, and the card may be used at any place where they accept Mastercard, whether they are online retailers or anywhere you may need it.
A bit of history
The process to launch the site took over a year, according to Mike:
“We’ve been working on our payments service for about a year. During that time we’ve been working with Electronic Money Institutes, payment processors and card manufacturers in the UK to prepare for launch. It’s a highly regulated industry, so it takes considerable time and effort to get to this stage”.
The guys at Epayments.com had some experience in the business, so they took special care in finding the best options for users, with no risks. They know that users would want to keep their information safe and private. Following this track, the Association is under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Concerning this, Mike Rymanov said what follows:
“For our payments system we have partnered with an electronic money institute and processor with a global reach, based and regulated in the UK. We were extremely keen to work under the UK’s banking and data regulations as our members needed the most robust and trustworthy service possible.” ?
As it appears right now, a lot of people will start using the service and become part of the Association. It seems that the eleven people who form the team at Epayments.com (if we don’t include the staff of The Electronic Money Institute) will have some hard work ahead. So guys, be prepared. We are coming!