When you think about startups and founders, you think about raising capital, press releases, hype, swag: you name it. Your brand name is plastered wherever possible.
But is this the right approach?
While branding, company image, and so on are very important…There’s something that VCs have started focusing on nowaways, profitability — not just growth.
When cash was cheap and startups were raising capital like money was falling from the sky, a small company called Berkeley Payments was forging strategic partnerships and figuring out how to run a profitable business in a very crowded space: the payments ecosystem.
When people think about payments, they often think about companies such as Stripe, Square and Klarna, that ride trends like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), mobile wallets and crypto (and sometimes associate payments with fraud and money laundering).
While younger generations have transitioned easily to digital currency exchange, some are still intimated by the digital finance world. Their fears are largely focused on payment security, an issue Berkeley Payments solves by providing a secure payment platform that is highly regulated and PCI compliant.
So how did Berkeley Payments get to where they are today?
Berkeley Payment Solutions was founded in 2005 by Jonathon Hamburg on Berkeley Street in Toronto, Canada.
Hamburg originally founded the company as a prepaid loyalty, promotions and incentives firm but quickly earned the trust of four of the top five banks in Canada.
Berkeley Payments was able to provide the banks with a full Business Process Outsourced (BPO) prepaid card solution for their in-house rewards programs and Corporate clients. Hamburg established his company as a stable, steady, and trusted organization. He soon managed hundreds of corporate, NGO and government programs and billions of dollars in Canada.
In 2018, Hamburg brought on a new CEO, Lawrence Tepperman, transforming the business from a BPO prepaid provider to a true Payments-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider.
Under Tepperman’s leadership, the company transformed and scaled into a new, single platform — fully PCI compliant. The system was integrated seamlessly across the U.S. and Canada, providing a full suite of Banking-as-a-Service capabilities. The platform allows enterprise clients to easily create any payment programs they want for their customers, fully branded as their own.
So maybe branding and plastering your name everywhere is the right approach?
Well, if you are LG, Coca Cola or Mercedes, it definitely is.
That’s the power of a white-label solution like the one that Berkeley Payments provides. When you make a payment through a brand that you trust, you feel confident that you will be making a secure transaction through that brand. That’s why white-label solutions exist. Berkeley Payments is providing the technology, platform, service and support to make this all possible.
They work with some of the most well-known brands in the world including Hyundai, LG, Coca-Cola, Mercedes, Kelloggs, Kraft, L’oreal, Abbott, JG Wentworth, the Red Cross, and more than 2,000 others.
Berkeley Payments has successfully driven growth and maintained a solid profit margin by keeping their growth curve substantially steeper than their cost curve, which they keep as flat as possible through extensive automation. They haven’t had to raise any capital so far and have shown 30% YoY growth and profits.
They achieve this by focusing on core value drivers such as providing top-notch service to their enterprise clients, keeping software at the core of their business, maintaining a low client concentration – their top 10 clients make up less than 40% of revenue – focusing on recurring revenue, two-thirds of which is recurring, and opening more than 1.5 million accounts in 2022.
Berkeley Payments’ success is also due, in part, to its focus on its global workforce. Since Covid, they transitioned from their large Toronto office to become fully remote and now can hire talent from across the globe. They hired an Employee Engagement Manager to drive positive culture and employee engagement, focusing on keeping employees motivated to do their best work and to be part of something bigger than themselves. This drives their productivity.
Berkeley Payments’ platform is agnostic. Since it’s integrated with numerous banks, switching between providers is seamless. Its robust, secure platform supports hundreds of different use cases. Berkeley Payments is PCI compliant and is trusted by some of the largest banks in North America.
They work with the best companies in the world, providing top-notch technology and service to meet the needs of these corporations. These enterprises know they can trust Berkeley Payments’ legacy, platform and service, completely.
Their proven platform has a track record of providing Tier 1 payment solutions to some of the most trusted names in business, government and public-sector agencies. They pride themselves on providing unparalleled service and support to them through a single platform.
As an established company with a strong track record of protecting their customers and shareholders, they have positioned themselves as a brand new technology provider of world-class payment solutions.
Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. This article is based on the writer's independent research.
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