For many webshop owners, providing their customers with easy ways to pay for products can be quite a hassle. PayPro’s payment system makes it easy, and supports all the well known services like iDeal, PayPal, Mister Cash, SEPA and all the major credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard. Founded by Henk Jan Wils and Eelco de Boer, PayPro is a classic example of how long days at the kitchen table and hard work can ultimately pay off.
PayPro offers all the traditional payment service provider (psp) options, like an invoice module, debit management and VAT (BTW) tax filings, but also gives webshop owners the option to join an affiliate marketing program, to help promote their webshop and increase the number of customers. Affiliate marketing in this case is a collaboration between two parties, where one promotes the other and gets a commission.
Long days at the kitchen table
In 2006, Henk Jan and Eelco started a service for sending online text messages and their business model of members getting a percentage when they sign up others, basically became the foundation of PayPro. “That was a real eye opener for us and in the same year, we decided to use that same principle to launch PayPro, making it just as simple and easy to use”, Henk Jan explains. “In 2009 we started growing and I started running PayPro by myself and Eelco later came back as a sort of silent partner.”
Henk Jan spent his early days working at the kitchen table. “I worked 18 hour days from home and people sometimes told me: ‘if I were in your shoes, I would have called it quits a long time ago.’ But the hard work paid off when I started getting more and bigger clients. We now have 16 people working here in an inspiring office and I guess I’m a good example of the classic entrepreneur story, doing something you love and starting out with an empty bank account.”
“And something else I proudly look back on”, Henk Jan continues, “was getting the official license for payment service provider from De Nederlandsche Bank, the central bank of the Netherlands. We’re one of 40 payment service providers in total to have one of those.”
The client that got away
Henk Jan also remembers his first not so successful face to face surprise meeting with a big potential client. “It’s a really funny story. I was still working from home, things were actually going pretty well for PayPro at that time and I was in talks with a potentially really big client.”
“This guy was curious enough about PayPro to drop by for a surprise visit”, Henk Jan continues. “So one day, this big Mercedes with a chauffeur suddenly rolls up next to my still very student like home, while I was casually working and equally casually dressed. I answered the door in my workout clothes and I see this guy in a suit, and he says: ‘Yeah, we talked about joining PayPro the other day, but on second thought, I don’t think that’s going to be a good idea…’ And he just walked away.”
“So, I guess you could call that a great learning experience”, Henk Jan smiles. “That’s when I knew it might be the right time to start looking for a real office.”
Towards a super API
In the near future, PayPro wants to focus less on the affiliate marketing side and more and more on the payment service side. Per January 2018, the EU will pass a revision law called Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2), which will open up a lot of new possibilities for companies like PayPro. Currently, your bank is the only one able to see your payments. The revised law means that banks will have to share that data.
“A lot is going to change, and the new law will also open up a lot of new possibilities for us”, Henk Jan explains. “I’m a techie at heart, and I want to build a sort of super API that everyone involved, both banks and companies, can use to make payments easier and better for everyone. It still feels far away, but I’m pretty excited about the future.”