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Cyprus’ FinTech Transformation: Inside the Payments Journey of Praxis Tech

praxis

From its humble beginnings in 2014 to processing almost $4.5 billion USD in approved transactions in 2023, Praxis Tech’s journey represents the best of Cyprus’ potential in the FinTech domain. Cyprus 4.0 engages with Co-Founder and Director, Amit Klatchko, to explore how Praxis Tech’s commitment to Limassol is shaping not just the company’s success but also contributing to the island’s emerging FinTech narrative

Praxis Tech is a payment technology company that allows online businesses to receive, send, and optimise their local and global transactions. In an exclusive sit down with Cyprus 4.0, its Co-Founder reveals how Limassol is increasingly becoming a regional FinTech hub. We ask questions on how Cyprus serves its business operational needs, what the pull factors are, and how FinTechs are contributing to the local economy by attracting both local and international talent, expanding demand for office spaces, and how using Cyprus as their hub supports them in growing their global operations.

First off, I suppose congratulations are in order? Praxis is projected to process a staggering $4.5 billion USD in approved transactions by the close of this year and has grown from a start-up here in Limassol to having established its presence with an office in Dubai, a growing remote workforce, and a team of over 140 employees. Could you give us a brief introduction to Praxis and what it offers?
“Absolutely, and thank you for acknowledging our journey. This record volume of approved transactions is certainly a point of pride for us, considering our modest start-up roots, and I’m thrilled to say Praxis is now performing and in better shape than ever before.

“Simply speaking, Praxis operates behind the scenes of global online payments for businesses, helping them tackle the complexities of accepting international payments in a streamlined manner – crucial for companies dealing with high-volume transactions.

“While I’m sure the process of accepting payments might not cross a consumer’s mind very often, for businesses it’s a complex ballet of Payment Service Providers (PSPs), Alternative Payment Methods (APMs) like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, along with a multitude of local payment gateways. The way all of these work together can make or break the business model of companies, and that is where our merchants come to rely on Praxis’ orchestration platform.

“We’ve built a unified integration that eliminates drawn-out integration processes with PSPs and APMs, which sometimes could drag on for months, and provides – through one simple connection – our clients with access to hundreds of PSPs all over the world and the ability to accept over a thousand APMs.

“Our offerings also extend beyond mere access, providing our merchants industry-leading features that intelligently route transactions and a comprehensive suite of Decline Recovery features that have a demonstrated ability to convert a significant portion of their declined transactions into successful deposits and checkouts.”

Praxis has a global reach and is partnered with providers and gateways operating in all corners of the world. Why, then, was the decision made to headquarter yourselves in Cyprus?
“Cyprus, and more specifically Limassol, was always a clear choice location for our headquarters for several compelling reasons, especially given our primary industry focus on Forex and iGaming operators – a significant number of which are established and operate within this city. We decided to establish ourselves in the heart of our client base to build strong relationships and develop greater knowledge of our merchants’ needs and wants.

“In this sense, you could say the island’s FinTech landscape is mutually reinforcing itself, each success feeding into the next. Another factor was the talent of qualified FinTech professionals in Cyprus, who are not only experienced in our core industries but also bring a wealth of knowledge from other sectors. The ability to utilise local expertise to build Praxis has been fundamental to our success.

“The lower comparative cost of operations in Limassol than other European capitals like Berlin, Paris or even London, has also allowed us to invest in our talent – a success of which is being realised today.”

So now that we know what Praxis does, what’s the competitive landscape in Cyprus?
“We are lucky to be in a position where we do not have to think about differentiating ourselves. Our first product, Praxis Cashier, in a way became a household name for this type of software, as it was the first Cashier specifically tailored to the Forex and iGaming industries. The sector’s trust in our product built our reputation, and many of our clients learned about us mainly from word of mouth.

“Our product and the speed at which we release new features also sets us apart from other PayTech companies, as our technology-first approach to payments drives our client-centric strategy. Additionally, our merchants benefit from Praxis’ PCI DSS compliance for securely storing transaction data, ensuring trust and security in every transaction.

“Just this year, Praxis has rolled out numerous enhancements within our Decline Recovery toolkit that significantly boost our merchants’ transaction approval ratios. This includes our background currency conversion feature, which enables businesses to accept over 200 currencies effortlessly, even beyond their gateway’s limitations.

“This particular upgrade led to an impressive 13 per cent uptick in some of our clients’ approval rates. Smart Routing, and other features such as Retry with Open Banking, and Retry on Insufficient Funds, are also supporting our merchants in boosting their transaction rates.

“Earlier this year we pushed an update that now allows merchants to initiate transactions on their customers’ behalf after initial consent is granted, enabling them for the first time to accept subscription-based payments, one-click transactions, and automated account balance top-ups.”

2024 is just around the corner. What are Praxis’ plans and what can our readers expect in terms of product releases in the coming calendar year?
“We’ll be ending this year in our best form ever, and our team is optimistic about reaching the targets we set for ourselves in our 2024-25 strategic roadmap.

“A major focus for us is expanding our global footprint, and we have plans to establish hubs in key regions such as Latin America, mainland Europe, Asia, and Africa. The goal is to be closer to our partners, ensuring our product is as finely tuned to the needs of our merchants as possible.

“You’ll also see Praxis increasingly venture into new verticals next year, which is something we’ve been working towards in recent months. Of course, while we look outward to new markets, we’re also looking inward at how we can make our products even more adaptable to a wider range of industry needs and in this sense we’ll be leveraging the strength of our talent to make our product as flexible and adaptable to a wide range of industry needs.”

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