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Comcarde has developed Bridge, an innovative and unique payment processing platform aimed at providing flexible low cost, secure payment systems to businesses, that address and embrace the impending changes in banking regulations.

Their commercialisation strategy is to white label the Bridge technology through partnerships with international infrastructure providers, such as IBM, that provide ready access to the market through trusted financial and retail brands with wide consumer bases; and to work directly with large retailers, SMEs and individual sellers.


The Problem

  • Businesses receiving income through different payment channels generally need to use multiple payment processing systems. For example, a business such as a retailer or hotel chain with on-line, in-store and back office sales, could have 3 or 4 different payment processing systems, such as PayPal, SagePay, and Worldpay.
  • Using these payment processing systems can be very expensive for businesses, with transaction fees of between 1% and 5%.
  • Payments from customers taken through payment processing systems are not received immediately, with delays of 1 to 3 working days being common.
  • Businesses lose money through payments not being collectable.
  • Payment processing systems are not integrated with customer loyalty schemes.
  • There are data security issues with customer payment card details being taken and stored by businesses.
  • On-line access to the internet is required to process payments at the point of sale. This is not always practical for businesses taking payments where Wi-Fi is unavailable or unreliable.

Three Stage Roll-out Plan


The Comcarde Solution - Bridge

  • Bridge provides a single multi-channel payment platform solution that operates in-store, on-line, by phone and through e-invoicing. The system will integrate with EPOS systems and accounting packages such as Xero and Sage.
  • Bridge will integrate with the Faster Payments system to allow immediate bank to bank payments, therefore improving cash flow and mitigating bad debts for businesses.
  • Bridge also offers traditional card rail payment options, providing businesses with flexible and low cost payment processing choices.
  • Businesses will benefit from significant savings in payment processing costs, by using a single system for all sales operations, and with the Bridge platform being available on a low fixed fee licence basis.
  • Bridge offers businesses an integrated customer loyalty and voucher scheme.
  • Increased data security as customer payment card details are not shared or stored, and customers can review and approve transactions before pushing payment.
  • Bridge allows payments to be taken and managed offline when no internet connection is available at one or both ends of the transaction.


The Payments Market

  • Global electronic payments market was worth $1.1TN in 2015 (BCG) and forecast to grow at 6% growth per annum taking it to $2TN by 2024 (BCG)
  • e-commerce and mobile shopping forecast to grow 44.9% over the next five years
  • Currently dominated by large banks, Merchant Acquirers and Card providers (MasterCard/Visa/Amex etc.)
  • All transactions subject to excessive fees and payments not immediately made available to recipients
    • Dissatisfied market trending towards reduced payment costs, faster payments, Request to Pay and relationships (subscription experiences)
    • Banks, bound by legacy systems, looking for cost reductions with security a priority
    • SMEs looking for cost reductions and strengthened money management
    • Large businesses limited by transaction fees and trying to tie together payments, delivery and loyalty schemes
  • Significant costs associated with supporting current multiple payment systems
    50% of small businesses write off 1-5% of turnover due to payments being uncollectable and cash loss Increased legislation
  • Increased legislation and regulation
    • PSD2 - an EU directive that is due to come into UK law in January 2018. The introduction of PSD2 will enable bank customers, both consumers and businesses, to use third-party providers (Payment Initiation Service Providers – PISPs), such as Comcarde, to manage their finances. Banks will be obligated to provide these PISPs access to their customers’ accounts through open APIs (application program interfaces). This will enable PISPs to build financial services on top of banks’ data and infrastructure, including access to the Faster Payment system.
    • General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) – this will be the biggest change in data protection laws for 20 years, and comes into effect in May 2018. As well as a significantly increased focus on data security and retention, one of the key aspects of these requirements is that customers can choose to limit access to their personal data in their relationship with their bank or a retailer. The Bridge platform enables a customer to exercise this control within the app.

Route to Market & Revenue Model

Partnerships
  • Bulk licencing of technology with preferred partners. Comcarde will integrate their technology with global technology companies, such as IBM, and international banks such as RBS and HSBC.
  • Currently integrating Bridge with IBM Bluemix to gain access to IBM’s internal sales teams and their business clients through the IBM Global Entrepreneur Programme.
  • Partnership with Worldpay to provide competitive rates and flexible payment options to companies using traditional debit and credit card payment rails.

Software as a service model
  • Fixed licence annual fee based on individual customer needs.
  • Add-on services including ePOS, vouchers/loyalty, e-invoicing, online checkout, international transactions
  • Providing bespoke payments systems at a minimum cost for SMEs
  • Customised bespoke systems for larger merchant environments


The Team

Directors

Jim Goodman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Jim is a serial entrepreneur with experience in a number of sectors including agriculture, online commerce and equity fundraising. His solid background in business has allowed him to build Comcarde from scratch into a rapidly growing business with a highly skilled team and unique global product.

Tom  Mathews, Chief Technology Officer

Tom is an experienced technology executive having managed the development of payment systems across Latin America, Asia, United States and Europe. He is also an expert software developer and had created the world's fastest secure transaction-processing engine to date. During his 20-year career he has designed, built and commercialised secure real-time transaction systems for web, digital and sports trading markets. Tom holds a PHD in numerical maths from Cranfield University and a degree in engineering and applied maths from the University of Nottingham.

Neira Jones, Chairman, non Executive Director

Neira has more than 20 years of management experience in financial services. She currently chairs the Advisory Board for mobile innovator Ensygnia and the Global Advisory Board for the Centre for Strategic Cybercrime & Security Science. Neira provides invaluable cyber security expertise for the Bridge TM payment system ensuring guaranteed data protection for all customers. She is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and was on the PCI SSC Board of Advisors for 4 years. She has held senior positions at Barclaycard, Santander, Abbey National and Oracle Corp.

Senior Management Team

Dr Keith Symington, Head of Systems Architecture

Keith started his career as laser physicist and has over 15 years of experience with research, development and commercialisation of new technologies.  His career started at BT Research Labs and took him to Heriot-Watt University, where he was awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship for his work founding Conjunct Ltd. He specialises in communications and infrastructure design and is well known for his expertise in data centre architecture.

Stuart Jamieson, Head of Innovation

Stuart has a strong innovative flair, working with Innovation UK programs throughout his career. He has over 30 years’ experience in developing software solutions for all levels of development, working with all the platform groups of the tier 1 Telecom Equipment manufacturers, and edited the largest open platform PICMG specification to date. His specialities include innovation, IP, secure financial technology architectures, redundant platform design, and UX/UI design as well as being an interpreter between sales, marketing and engineering.

Advisor

Professor Bill Buchanan

Bill leads the Centre for Distributed Computing, Networks and Security at Edinburgh Napier University. He is an expert in the areas of e-crime, intrusion and detection systems and digital forensics. For Comcarde, Bill analyses and monitors the security mechanisms developed or employed by the engineering team, to ensure they exceed best practises and are rigorously challenged to ensure they are fit for purpose as malevolent techniques become ever stronger.


Financials

  • £2 million raised to date
    • £1.5 million in equity investment
    • £500k in grants – circa 40% grants on wages and expenses
  • Shares in issue
    • Total 1p Ords in Issue - 1,432,629
    • Total £1 Prefs in Issue - 750,000
  • Loan debt only £35k
  • Current monthly running costs £70k
  • Current fundraise to further develop the product/brand and build management/relationship teams
    • £1m fundraise - agreed terms with Growthdeck to facilitate this raise
    • £400k additional equity or grant funding - potential co-investment or grant funding from Scottish Enterprise
  • Targeting profitability Q4 2017
  • R&D tax credits in process

The Investment Case

  • Payment innovation designed for mass market adoption covering all needs/opportunities
  • Proven, best in class, technology and data security
  • The technology is all owned by the Company, and the core operation of Bridge payments is Patent protected
  • Clear route to market through licence deals and partnerships with global technology companies and banks
  • Key partnership with IBM Global Entrepreneur Programme
  • FCA regulatory approval in place, including an e-money account licence
  • Strong market and regulatory drivers – right time, right product
  • Solid shareholder base and exceptional management team with specific technical expertise
  • Significant tax benefits under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (‘EIS’)
  • Investor exit opportunities through an IPO or trade sale of the company


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Website:www.comcarde.com

Registered address: 5 Drummond Street
Inverness
IV1 1QF

Company number: SC454090

Incorporated: 09/07/13

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