Europe’s Answer to Square? entrepreneurcountry Speaks to SumUp
This month I spoke to Stefan Jeschonneck, Co-founder of SumUp. SumUp is a great example of Ecosystem Economics in action within the realm of financial services, offering a digital, disruptive solution to payments. SumUp empowers any business or sole trader to accept debit and credit card payments securely, using a smartphone and their portable card reader. With recent investment from American Express and daily deals company Groupon, I ask Stefan to share how his entrepreneurial journey began and to reveal his plans for the future.
What were you doing before founding SumUp?
Stefan: I completed my Masters in Business Administration at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Silicon Valley. Prior to Stanford, I worked in global strategy at PUMA sportswear and was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group.
Where was the idea/concept of SumUp created?
There are an estimated 1.5 million small businesses in the UK, many of which still aren’t able to accept debit and credit card payments because of the high monthly costs and complex paperwork associated with renting terminals from banks – this is where the idea for SumUp was born. We created SumUp to change this! Our mission is to make it possible for all merchants to take debit and credit card payments with their smartphones, in a fast and secure manner, no matter how big, small or mobile their business.
What have been your biggest challenges and successes with SumUp?
The biggest challenge for SumUp – and for the payments industry in general – is making sure that card payments acceptance really becomes accessible for businesses of all sizes. Our successes speak for themselves as we're already available in 11 countries after less than one year in the market.
What does the future hold for SumUp?
The future for SumUp is very exciting, so keep your eyes peeled! We have plans to develop our presence across the globe, radically simplifying the payments process and reinventing the point-of-sale experience for businesses and traders alike. We also want to work to improve the customer/merchant relationship, so this will be a big focus for us.
If you had to give one piece of advice to those who are thinking about creating a mobile app/starting their own business, what would it be?
Focus on a real problem. If you have identified a real problem, you can crate real value – even if your first shot at a solution doesn’t turn out to be the right one for now. If you keep focused on the problem, on honestly and self-critically listening to your users’ feedback and on iterating your solution until your users love your product, you have a great chance of success.