Suganthan Vishnu Krisnarajah (Kris) escaped the civil war in Sri Lanka and came to Toronto, Canada as an 18-year-old refugee. Fast forward 13 years and this young tech CEO is causing a stir in the world of FinTech.
He’s the founder of AptPay, a FinTech start-up set to disrupt how companies send money from across the street, to around the world. No stranger to setting up his own companies, Kris found out first-hand about the pain points of disbursing funds using the tools available on the market.
“When running my check processing company, there was a lot of labour-intensive work involved from mailing, check re-issuance, exception handling, fraud, customer support and reconciliation. At the same time, end customers wanted to receive their funds faster. I saw that digital payments like those used for e-commerce could help to automate the order to cash process, and I wondered why we couldn’t have a similar user experience for commercial disbursements?” says Kris.
AptPay is the genesis of that question. Building on a successful track record of introducing innovative ideas to disrupt the status quo, Kris launched AptPay to deliver a truly global platform to support faster payouts – in turn revolutionising how disbursements are made.
After all, payments are the lifeblood of today’s global economy, and play a major part in keeping the world turning. Our connected digital society means that we can now transact with local suppliers, or those on the other side of the world in the matter of a few clicks. The question is, how do you pay them when no one is in the office to write checks? Or when differing time zones don’t allow for it… or even in the face of a worldwide pandemic?
“Last year we saw many examples of payment innovations helping businesses, as merchants increased their use of contactless payments and e-commerce to support consumers who did not want to use cash. Companies had to adapt to survive, many turning to technology to speed up their digitization plan by years. But we did not see as much support helping companies, governments and individuals send, or disburse money to someone else. AptPay is focussing on this burgeoning business need,” says Kris.
AptPay has built a platform integrating payment systems in different countries that makes it easier for businesses, technology companies and individuals to process domestic and cross border payouts, which are hard to do. In some places it can’t be done other than by using cash. Their core vision is to democratize digital disbursements globally and make them faster, simpler, and safer.
“New technologies have changed modern commercial activities, and we’re seeing the end user require more than what the traditional financial industry’s basic payment and settlement functions have to offer,” adds Kris.
Spotting a gap in the market, Kris and his team went about conducting the necessary due diligence, which ultimately led to the birth of AptPay.
“We talked to a lot of players in the payments ecosystem to see how they provide their services,” says Kris. “We talked to a lot of businesses across different industry verticals to understand the various types of payments, how they are made and to identify their pain points. Not only that, but we also talked to their customers as well to understand where they would like to see improvements.”
Kris continues, “What we found is that the big service providers and networks are providing adequate ways to move money, but they don’t provide solutions for the niche use case in a given industry. What we’re providing is a single platform that encompasses the payment types and the tools needed by other technology platforms to add value for their customers in each market. You need to provide solutions to common pain points revolving around speed, displacement of cash and automation”.
Entering a strategic partnership with Mastercard has supported AptPay to deliver on its vision. Mastercard has been a crucial partner with AptPay to grow broader and deeper into new and existing markets.
A few examples where Aptpay is already heavily involved includes providing support to governments distributing benefits to its citizens, casinos wanting to payout winnings directly to bank accounts, and FinTech lenders wanting real-time funding of loans.
“We’re working with one of the world’s largest payment technology company  for land-based casinos. We saw a clear need from both casino patrons and operators to reduce the handling of cash and to make the disbursement process more secure, so we stepped in to plug that gap. As the first payment processor approved by Mastercard to disburse casino winnings to both bank accounts and prepaid cards in real-time, we’ve seen a sharp increase in activity as more and more companies seek out our offering,” says Kris.
We’re set to see many changes in the world of payment technology. Innovation is happening at a blistering pace, and it will be interesting to see how Kris and his team adapt and pivot to meet the ever changing needs of an ever-present necessity like payments and disbursements.