First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Viktoria Soltesz: Healthy, thankfully- after all, that’s what matters now! We built a new base in Malta last year, so I was travelling very frequently between Cyprus – Malta – Hungary before the virus hit. But since the lockdown in March, I cannot travel, and so I am unable to see my colleagues, my family, and friends as much as I used to.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded PSP Angels.
Viktoria Soltesz: Being an accountant and tax advisor, working with the offshore industry for over 14 years, I’ve had the chance to work as a CFO with various Fintech and E-commerce companies. I have started by running my own Finance and Tax Consultancy Firm in Cyprus, which is now working successfully for over 10 years. The more I grew within the industry, I realized that every time I had a new client, we always faced the same problems – payments and banking. Either the banks closed down our accounts, or we could not process cards. As time passed by, things got more and more strict and regulated. So we were always on a hunt for new payment providers and needed alternative methods. This indicated the big demand for something which was missing on the market – a payment market screening tool that provides a solution for all cases – and that’s how I came up with PSP Angels!
How does PSP Angels innovate?
Viktoria Soltesz: PSP Angels is a payment consulting firm that helps businesses find their best payment service provider (PSP) and banking solutions. We screen the market in and out, allowing us to give each and every business an accurate picture of almost every option they have at the best rates, quick time frames, and ease of mind. We explain the industry to our clients to understand who will accept their business, so they can make an informative decision on where to put their money.
Although our portfolio is mainly high-risk clients, we have solutions for all ranges of businesses, including ones considered ‘lower risk.’
Since we handle the application process from start to finish, our clients not only can rest assured about not wasting time on the search, filling long forms, and dealing with lengthy application processes but also that we will always have alternative options in hand for them.
We also assist in other solutions, such as crypto payments, chargeback alerts, payment insurance, risk management tools, etc…all based on individual needs.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Viktoria Soltesz: We have seen exponential growth in all types of high-risk businesses in 2020 (CBD, forex, gambling, adult, crypto, influencer content, online education, etc.) It seems like lockdown gave an opportunity to everyone to start their own businesses from their own bedrooms. Although this is the ‘perfect’ time for everyone to do their own thing and be their own boss, many people do not realize they are considered ‘high-risk’ until they get rejected from all banks and payment providers, which puts their whole operation on hold until they find the right solution, which is mainly through our services.
Coming to how we are coping as the PSP Angels team, we are doing great! Luckily, the job only requires a laptop and a good internet connection, so our whole team works from home, which has never become an issue. Four of our team members are in Cyprus, one is in Serbia, two are in Malta, and one has just moved to Bali last week! Good communication is key in this instance, and we’re definitely acing that.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Viktoria Soltesz: The only difficult choice is to decide who to work with! In an ideal world, no one would need us, but unfortunately, there is huge confusion on the market when it comes to payment processing and banking. This means we have more and more demand every day. Luckily our team expanded significantly during 2020, so we are successfully trying to catch up with the never-ending demand and advise everyone accordingly. Our company policy is not to turn down any application! Our success rate is now over 96% – we are confident to say that we will find a solution for everyone!
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Viktoria Soltesz: I can only talk about myself, but I believe this applies to my team as well: stress is our booster. This industry is very unique, as everything is based on trust, speed, experience, and connections. You simply cannot do this job with half steam. The clients who give us the reasons to be stressed are only doing it so they can start collecting money! This means the quicker they start, the more we all benefit! So stress is what makes us want to be better, quicker, and more effective. 80% of our job is actually pushing people and following up (sending out “kind reminders”), so the workload is huge. But the feeling we have when we get a genuine “thank you” from our clients worth it.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Viktoria Soltesz: I wish we had more competition as this would ease up our workload and allow more online businesses to thrive! Our job is unique, and as far as I know, unheard of – we try to stay as independent as we can, providing multiple different options to the clients. Usually, gateways and cashiers only promote the handful of solutions they are integrated with – we work with over 250 gateways, cashiers, acquiring banks, payment providers, and banks all over the world. We advise – not sell. We give options to choose from – instead of talking you into the option which pays us the most. It’s not easy – but I believe this is the most ethical way to do this business in the long term. Right now, we gain 90% of new clients via recommendation. A good payment expert is really priceless.
Your final thoughts?
Viktoria Soltesz: For all the wrong reasons, 2020 was an absolute prime time for us. The stricter banking regulations, the growing online sales during the lockdown, and the increasingly absurd VISA and Mastercard requirements left more and more businesses confused and in a desperate need for high-risk specific payment professionals, gaining business to us. Nowadays, if you are at high risk, having an experienced payment professional on your team is the only way to excel. To stay in the game, you must understand how to keep your money in movement all the time, minimize the associated risks and maintain a good relationship with your banker to keep the banking costs low – the sudden payment industry changes will ruin your business in a blink if you are not on alert 24/7