Mauritius based Payment Express Ltd (PEX) provide comprehensive global digital payment services. Here, Founder and CEO, Dr Sailesh Sewpaul introduces us to his organisation, describes industry challenges and opportunities and explains how PEX addresses them.
Today’s fast-paced commercial world revolves around an increased need for speed and reliability. Customers expect technology to cope with their ever-increasing demands; the ability to make global payments from multiple devices safe in the knowledge that these systems are totally safe and secure. Additionally, financial institutions and businesses rely on payment partners who guarantee flexible, scalable and reliable services.
Awarded ‘Best End to End Payments Solutions Provider, 2019’ PEX combine world-class transaction security with data protection and industry legislation compliance to provide global payment products and services which are ready for today, yet geared for tomorrow. Under the leadership of Dr Sailesh Sewpaul, forward thinking PEX has been able to respond to the challenges faced when implementing smart card technology digital payments solutions from both client and customer perspectives. Here, he gives us a glimpse into PEX, its activities and aspirations for the future.
Firstly, as a highly experienced business strategist with expertise in IT and electronic banking, perhaps you could summarise your career journey leading to the formation of PEX.
Having achieved an MBA from Heriot-Watt University, my early career centred around IT and a variety of roles within 22 years of retail banking at the State Bank of Mauritius. At that time I was also a member of the advisory board for VISA for Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, and this opportunity enabled me to learn more about global payment systems, e-banking etc.
Cutting quite a long story short, whilst recognising the lack of both technical expertise and up-to-date payment systems across Africa, I began to enquire into possibilities to redress this balance. Unable to put my plans into action with the State Bank of Mauritius, I resigned to establish PEX and its team with a vision to cater for the payments industry sector within Mauritius, African and Asia. PEX was launched in 2008 and has achieved sufficient growth to now be regarded as a sector leader. We operate across approximately ten African countries, providing integrated end to end payment services.
Highlighting innovative ways of working in combination with advanced technological systems and processes, I’m extremely proud to say that last year (2018) I achieved my doctorate, graduating with a DBA in Technology Entrepreneurship from Walden University USA.
Taking such a leap of faith must have been quite a daunting experience. Could you tell us about the initial hurdles you faced when establishing PEX?
As with all start-ups, raising funds, building a team, and acquiring customers were my major obstacles. However, I was fortunate to attract colleagues who, as ex-bankers, shared my vision, understood the industry and were able to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in an efficient manner.
Are you able to recall your first project and share it with us?
Yes, it was rather a pioneering project as we issued six different VISA cards, including Classic VISA Gold and VISA Infinite using chip and pin technology for a retail bank within a time span of six months. Its successful roll out has definitely helped to put us on the map and establish our credible reputation.
Now, more than a decade on, how has PEX managed to maintain its industry reputation to reflect the rapid advancements in technology, and can you give a recent example?
We firmly believe in providing fully personalised versatile solutions. Think of us as a ‘bank in a box,’ if you like, being able to take care of as much payment infrastructure need as is individually required, including credit, debit, pre-loaded and contactless cards, account management programmes and customer management services software. By linking with a bank’s internal systems our EVM (Europay, Mastercard & Visa) compliant systems ensure world-class transaction security and data traceability – our technology being interoperable with leading global payment systems.
We’ve recently collaborated with the ABC Banking Corporation and Union Pay International to launch a Diamond debit card. Specifically designed for elite, high end customers, this enables holders to enjoy sophisticated banking methods and exclusive privileges.
Has PEX implemented any further initiatives to strengthen its cutting-edge position in the market?
Standing still in this market will never be an option as tackling ongoing issues with detection and prevention of fraud remains of key importance. With safety and security at the forefront of our development, PEX has established its own payment gateway system, leveraged by banks and payment service providers for e-commerce processing. We also enable banks to acquire transactions from ATMs, Point of Sale and e-commerce applications, providing customers with an omnichannel experience and we’ve also developed our own mobile Point of Sale solution. This is Visa, Mastercard and UPI certified, and features switching, transaction authorisation and fraud prevention capacity.
Additionally, our mobile-based, card-control facilities enables a customer to switch their EMV card on or off based on their circumstances. This acts as a crucial security feature in the event of theft or fraud as the customer has control over how the card is used for transactions.
To sum up, in your opinion, what area the determining factors which have contributed to the PEX’s global success?
Without doubt, I attribute our success to the hard-working dedication of our team. It’s been a collaborative effort and all have worked tirelessly to build and maintain our industry reputation whilst simultaneously focusing on providing excellent customer service.
Secondly, we thrive on feedback and a desire to improve. Staying ahead of the game means we must pay attention to the needs of our customers, meeting and discussing solutions and then following this up with strong communication, reliability, dedication and commitment.
And looking forward, what are PEX’s long term goals and objectives?
To continue to evolve in such a rapidly moving environment, we need to innovate and implement disruptive technologies, perhaps looking towards data analytics and AI. Above all, we must continue to listen, adapt and respond to the needs of our customers, providing solutions which fulfil their ongoing requirements as well as providing comprehensive support and training to their technical teams. We’ve launched some unique products over the years and our aim is to build upon this success and surpass expectations.
Up to date, in depth information on all products and end to end services offered by PEX together with case studies, news on accolades and achievements and contact information, can be found at www.pexintl.com