Christo Ge­orgiev on why myPOS is in Ca­nary Wharf

myPOS founder Christo Ge­orgiev talks go­ing cash­less, growth and why he’s bas­ing the busi­ness in Ca­nary Wharf

The Wharf - - Canary Wharf -

“I’m orig­i­nally from Bul­garia and my back­ground is in com­puter en­gi­neer­ing,” he said.

“From the very be­gin­ning I was a big fan of trans­ac­tion sys­tems try­ing to make them cheaper and re­duce costs here and there. I had been in the in­dus­try for about 18 years.

“When the mo­bile pay­ments emerged, it was about 2010, we thought it was a good op­por­tu­nity for us to de­velop some­thing for the un­der-served part of the mar­ket – SMEs.

“We just brought to­gether the ter­mi­nal, ac­count and the card. It looks very simple from the top but un­der­neath it’s a lot of work.

“We’re very happy that when we an­nounced the prod­uct in 2014 in Barcelona we made a pilot with a cou­ple of mer­chants it was ac­cepted like: ‘Wow, re­ally? Is it pos­si­ble?’.

“My favourite prod­uct is def­i­nitely the smart ter­mi­nal. This is a full fea­ture An­droid de­vice able to run dif­fer­ent ap­pli­ca­tions. If I’m a small mer­chant like a res­tau­rant or a cof­fee shop or hair­dresser I have here my ap­pli­ca­tions and I can do my busi­ness with them. I don’t need a sep­a­rate de­vice.

“One of the things that dis­tin­guishes us from the com­peti­tors is we’re not push­ing for the mer­chants to use our ap­pli­ca­tions for their busi­ness. There’s a pretty much un­lim­ited num­ber of fea­tures.

“We be­lieve soft­ware com­pa­nies can cre­ate so­lu­tions tar­get­ing spe­cific niches in the mar­ket so it’s bet­ter to work with them so we can give them the plat­form and the mer­chant can choose which ap­pli­ca­tion best suits his needs. That’s our phi­los­o­phy.

“I be­lieve this is go­ing to be the fu­ture of pay­ment de­vices be­cause, like a decade ago when we be­gan the tran­si­tion from the nor­mal dumb phones to smart­phones, it hap­pened al­most in­stantly.

“We’re on the verge and in 2019 it’s go­ing to start for sure. We have to equip all the SMEs with pay­ment de­vices. Then the cash will be dra­mat­i­cally re­duced. We’ll all carry our cards with us and that will be enough.”

Hav­ing tested the prod­uct in Italy be­fore rolling it out else­where in Europe, why base your head­quar­ters in the UK?

“We de­cided to come here and to work from Lon­don – it’s no se­cret fin­tech is pre­dom­i­nantly hap­pen­ing here, for to many rea­sons,” said Christo.

“The reg­u­la­tors are very ad­vanced. They un­der­stand com­pe­ti­tion is some­thing very good, it’s some­thing healthy and pro­mot­ing it is in the in­ter­ests of both con­sumers and busi­nesses.

“At the same time we have tal­ent here and It’s English speak­ing. So we got a li­cence here and set up the of­fice with half of our op­er­a­tions out-sourced to Bul­garia, which is pretty stan­dard.”

Cur­rently op­er­at­ing from Re­gus on the 33rd floor of 25 Canada Square, the firm is ea­ger to ce­ment its place in Ca­nary Wharf.

“Re­gus is a good scheme for start­ing up but we’re too big to be here now,” said Christo.

“We’re right now work­ing on a for­mat to move to One Canada Square. We like the area very much.

“First of all, we’re part­ners with the big banks. Com­pet­ing with them doesn’t mean we’re not work­ing with them. For ex­am­ple, the build­ing we’re in right now is owned by Citibank.

“The at­mos­phere in Ca­nary Wharf, with all the places to eat and to hang out af­ter work, is vi­brant.

“When I came here for the first time, I said: ‘Wow, if I can man­age to have an of­fice here one day it will be my dream come true’.

“Now here we are and we’re grow­ing. They were so kind to of­fer us this place in One Canada Square – the build­ing is re­fur­bished and they of­fer us a great op­por­tu­nity.

“The fa­cil­i­ties are amaz­ing, what else would be need as a com­pany? There’s no need to rec­om­mend it – we see they’re com­ing any­way.

“But, of course I would rec­om­mend it. We’ve been to other places in Lon­don. But many have the kind of en­vi­ron­ment where it’s high-tech and people share spa­ces.

“We’re a reg­u­lated en­tity in the fin­tech busi­ness. We can­not share out of­fices with an­other reg­u­lated en­tity.

“For fin­tech, if you touch base with the fi­nan­cial world, Ca­nary Wharf is ex­actly the place to be.

“Also, the fact there are high-rise build­ings means it’s ab­so­lutely per­fect to stay in Ca­nary Wharf be­cause ev­ery­where above the 10th floor, there’s so much sun­shine.”

On a fi­nal note and fit­ting, per­haps, for a com­pany that makes tac­tile de­vices is the rev­e­la­tion Christo is a firm be­liever in bricks and mor­tar.

Far from the in­tan­gi­ble world of may fin­tech firms, myPOS is in­vest­ing cash in a store.

“We just opened our shop on Knights­bridge where all out de­vices are on dis­play,” said Christo

“It’s kind of a brand­ing ex­er­cise. Cars pass­ing through that lo­ca­tion see it and also it cre­ates a lot of con­fi­dence.

“We’ve found from other lo­ca­tions in Am­s­ter­dam, Zurich and Barcelona, the mo­ment we have a phys­i­cal lo­ca­tion per­cep­tion changes com­pletely.

“People go on­line and say: ‘Wow, do you have any phys­i­cal pres­ence – an of­fice? We say we have shop and people say they will buy it.

“Just the fact we have a place where people can go and say they have is­sues or who just want to learn more – it com­pletely changes the at­ti­tude of the cus­tomers. We’re open­ing in January in Paris.”

For fin­tech, Ca­nary Wharf is ex­actly the place to be Christo Ge­orgiev, myPOS

Go to for more in­for­ma­tion

Christo’s prod­ucts are squarely aimed at giv­ing small busi­nesses and sole traders the abil­ity to take card pay­ments at point of sale as cheaply as pos­si­ble

Christo holds a myPOS Smart ter­mi­nal and a debit card, which to­gether with an ac­count from the firm makes up his prod­uct for small busi­nesses and solo mer­chants

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