PAYM8, a leading financial collection and payment firm, has appointed Alwyn Fourie as its first Chief Operating Officer (COO). Fourie will oversee the day-to-day operational and administrative functions of the business.
PAYM8 was launched in 2001 and has seen rapid growth in South Africa as well as in neighbouring Namibia and Botswana. The company offers solutions and processes to merchants in all these countries.
Fourie will work closely with PAYM8 CEO Andrew Springate to implement the company’s strategy. “We are glad to have Alwyn on board. We have seen significant growth recently and his technical, sales, marketing and business development expertise will help us to pursue further revenue growth in a highly competitive market,” he says.
Fourie was previously COO at Humble Software, a cloud-based point-of-sale company. His strong analytical, communication and leadership skills will stand the company in good stead, says Springate. “His experience in building business strategies is important for the future expansion of the company. His technical skills will assist PAYM8 to explore and implement emerging technologies,” adds Springate.
“It’s an exciting and transformational time for the fintech industry and PAYM8 is well positioned to tackle new opportunities within this space. I would like to see PAYM8 continue its trajectory as the catalyst of growth for African businesses,” says Fourie.
“PAYM8 is ideally positioned to grasp new opportunities within the fintech sector and especially the payments space. I want to be part of that journey,” says Fourie who describes himself as “results-orientated” and is widely recognised for taking on major initiatives and adapting to rapidly changing environments.
He considers cybersecurity risks as one of the biggest challenges facing the payments industry at the moment. “The alarming issue of security breaches and the associated risks to companies and their customers remains the top fintech challenge.” Fourie also views the compliance burden as a major challenge given the current regulatory environment still seems to favour traditional banks.
“The pace of technological advancement is incredibly fast, and governments sometimes do not understand emerging technology enough to regulate it effectively,” he adds.
This feeds into another challenge; consumer distrust. “This lack of trust in fintech is a major obstacle. We need to tackle it head-on,” says Fourie. He is also keeping a close eye on three important trends in the industry. The first is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). “I see a massive move towards AI and ML within the fintech industry, with banks and service providers looking to implement it in their business processes.”
Other important emerging trends are open banking and the Rapid Payment Program (RPP). Open banking is a system where banks open their application programming interfaces (APIs) for third parties to develop new apps and services. It is enjoying rapid growth. The aim of the RPP is to give South Africans the opportunity to make safe, reliable, and cheap transactions daily.
“PAYM8 has been delivering payment and collection solutions in South Africa for nearly two decades. I believe the company is well positioned to take advantage of these new trends.” He adds that the vision of developing a payment hub through PAYM8’s intelligent platform is almost a reality. “The platform will provide companies access to unlimited payment methods, all through a single API connection which they can easily offer to their customers.”