French billionaire Xavier Niel’s telecoms company Iliad has launched its long-anticipated payment subsidiary Stancer. The businessman is well known for trying to shake up industries from telecommunications to media — now the tech world is waiting to see how he will fare in financial services.
Set up as a B2B fintech, providing payments services to small merchants, Stancer has been designed by engineers from the Iliad Group, led by veteran employee Aurélien Beaujean. Entrepreneur George Owen will lead as CEO.
“I think there is a spot to take in this market with our competitive offer and our value proposition. And the payment space has known massive evolutions in the past 10 years and that’s going to keep going,” Owen says.
“Stancer wants to echo the group’s values, one of the biggest is innovation. We want to be part of that and in the near future provide highly innovative payment solutions, whether it’s on the technical side or due to customer behaviours changing, we’re looking at both of these to develop new payment methods.”
Stancer will offer merchants and self-employed customers two options — a physical payment option, via a Verifone mobile payment terminal, and online, through an API. All payment flows will then be centralised and can be viewed in real-time through a single dashboard.
Once registered on Stancer, the merchant has the option to choose the payment options, which also includes a link for remote payment that can be shared via text, email or QR code.
Stancer's future plans
Stancer was initially created in 2018 and counts Iliad and its various subsidiaries among its clients. When asked whether the business had any other investors, Owen said it was a subsidiary of Iliad.
Over the last year, Stancer has handled 200k transactions a day, with 6m payments per subscription recorded each month. The firm has processed more than €1bn for its customers, which are Iliad and its subsidiaries.
In the next 12 to 18 months, the group will look to launch in other European countries. Owen declined to say which ones.
Currently, Stancer employs 25 people and is continuing to hire across technical, business and commercial roles. All new hires will be based in the firm’s Paris office.
While Owen says that they'll look at other services in the future to better serve small merchants, he adds that they will never apply for a banking licence and have no intentions of becoming a bank.
Niel, founder and majority shareholder of Iliad, says: “At Iliad, we were tired of paying exorbitant fees to be able to collect payments from our subscribers. That's how Stancer was born. It is a fairer payment solution. We first created it for ourselves, and today, after having tested and refined it for several years, we want to simplify the lives of other professionals. Stancer was created by merchants, for merchants. Its offer therefore perfectly meets their challenges and their needs.”
Stancer's business model
The service is offered to merchants without the need for a subscription or any commitments. Stancer will levy a fee on every operation that goes through its system, which has both a variable and a fixed component.
For cards within the European Economic Area (EEA) the variable charge is 0.7% and for cards outside it is 2.5%. In addition, when using the terminal, cards from the EEA incur a fixed charge of €0.07 and cards outside of the EEA have a fixed charge of €0.12. For payments under €7, there is no charge.
This, Owen says, is to remove the need for merchants to have a minimum spend limit on card payments, which is typically in place because the fees current payment providers charge make them too expensive for the merchant. For online payments, there is a charge of €0.15 and €0.25, respectively.