EP 308 – Gabriel Le Roux – co-Founder and CEO of Primer – Payments Has to Be a Catalyst for Growth and Innovation

by | Dec 27, 2023

The Asia Tech Podcast had the opportunity to delve into the world of payment innovation with ⁠Gabriel Le Roux⁠, the co-founder and CEO of ⁠Primer⁠. Gabriel's journey from working at Braintree and PayPal to creating Primer provides invaluable insights into the evolution and future of payments.

Some of the topics that Gabriel covered:

  • The growing demand among businesses for more comprehensive payment solutions
  • The impact of integrated payment ecosystems
  • The power of data-driven decision making in payments
  • How Primer is leveraging AI for payment optimization
  • Primer’s vision for the future of payments

Some other titles we considered for this episode, but ultimately rejected:

  1. Rethink the Way You Are Managing Payments
  2. We Want to Give Superpowers to People Managing Payments
  3. This Notion of Payment Success Is Super Critical to Us
  4. You Need to Think of Payments as a Catalyst for Innovation
  5. We Are Fundamentally Reinventing Payments
Read the best-effort transcript

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

Michael Waitze 0:05
Hi, this is Michael Waitze. And welcome back to the Asia Tech Podcast. Gabriel Le Roux, a co-founder and CEO of Primer with us today, I did the most English sounding pronunciation of your last name. That’s terrible. I’m really sorry. Anyway, give the thanks for coming on the show. It’s great to have you. How are you doing? I’m very good. Michael, thanks for having me on the show. It is my complete pleasure. Before we jump into what I think is going to be a really interesting conversation. Can we give the listeners a little bit of your background for some context?

Gabriel Le Roux 0:36
Absolutely. So well, as you said, my name is Gabriel you can call me gab throughout the interview. I am French and British been living in 10 countries. I’ve actually lived in Hong Kong. And so a while back, the co founder and CEO of of primer, started a company about four years ago. Prior to that I was at a company called Braintree. Braintree was part of the PayPal group. It was the PSP that they acquired couple of years ago, and I was there for five years doing many, many things. I’ve done like, you know, sales, with small businesses, or medium businesses for big ones, I’ve done partnership. And my last gig at Braintree was actually as part of the product team in San Francisco. So I was working on their new product and services. Did

Michael Waitze 1:31
you leave Braintree with this idea of I’ve been through all this payment stuff already? And I think I can do it better? Or were you trying to because a lot of times entrepreneurs, right, they run to this particular problem that they’re having themselves, and they’re like, You know what, I’m just gonna solve this for me. And I know if it’s happening to me, it’s happening to everybody. What was it for you?

Gabriel Le Roux 1:48
It’s more like solving for others or solving for the merchant? Right? So, you know, I’ve sort of seen a transformation of payments, right? Being in the industry for about 10 years. Now, when I was at Braintree and PayPal, you know, I was sorting with the services we had, right, which are like, you know, very good services. But at some point like talking to businesses, you know, you start realizing that they want to do a lot more with payments, right? It was sort of very clear to, to myself and my co founder that the payments stack of a merchant was becoming a lot more than just like a PSP. Right, right. They want to, you know, use more services, they want to create unique experiences, they want to use payment as a lever for growth, and as a way to differentiate themselves. And quickly when I was in, in those meetings, trying to map out like their payment ecosystem, and how like, you know, they will do all the things they had in mind, you sort of realize, wait a minute, like, I’m not gonna be able to solve that with what I’m actually trying to propose right now. Right? And the reality is that you, you, as a merchant, want to do a lot more than just accepting of payments, you want to optimize for the user experience you want to optimize for, for prevention, you want to optimize for data consumption, many, many things, I’m sure we’re going to talk throughout the interview for the discussion, I should say. And at this point, like, you know, after five years, my co founder and I, we thought, well, we got to, we got to do something here. There is a revolution that needs to happen in the way like payment is actually being integrated, managed and consumed. And that’s essentially why we started primer. So

Michael Waitze 3:28
we say in the insurance business, right, that the claim is where the rubber hits the road for insurance, right? Because that’s where the real experiences and it started to make me think that like, the payment is one of the few commonalities among every transaction that happens online offline, no matter where it happens, right. And you cannot consummate a transaction without a payment. But I believe that a lot of the payment systems that have been built today that have been that we use today, were built like 20 years ago, so not even on like a modern tech stack. I want you to dig deeper into this idea of how you optimize how you differentiate how you acquire because I think it’s key and I’m curious how it fits into the technological solution as well. Because you mentioned with the tools you had before as great as they were, you couldn’t solve those problems.

Gabriel Le Roux 4:14
You’ve actually raising something that is super interesting. I think people don’t realize it I think prepayment is is literally part of our life every everything you do has like everywhere. Yeah, right. And I think you’ve seen like phenomenal like experiences happening over the last like couple of years with the likes of Uber for example, which made payment disappear, right so you having like this, like, extremely, like seamless experience, you jump into a car you go out your payment is happening, but you don’t even see it. Right. And I do think that you know, more and more companies are actually I’m convinced because I see it every day right? Yeah. I looking at sort of, they’re looking at payment now. Has this afterthought or that thing that just needs to work at the end of the purchasing funnel, right? They looking at it as, as an integral part of the experience they’re trying to provide. Right? And if you if you want to actually do that you need to think of payments as almost like a catalyst for innovation. And if you thinking that way, obviously, you need to rethink the way you view integrating or or managing payments. And the reality is, payment today is a combination of services. Right? So you’re going to have obviously, like the payment service provider. But the reality is, you need more than one, you need more than one for multitude of reasons, you need more than one in order to optimize for market coverage, you need more than one to optimize for resiliency, you need more than one to optimize for performance. But that’s just like, you know, a very small part of like, what should be a payment stack? Yeah, then you may want to actually optimize for, for prevention. And so if you want to do that properly, you need to integrate like a special solution for that, which is agnostic from the different services for the different PSPs that I just mentioned. But then you may want to actually use a communication service, what happens if you might call you’re trying to buy like, you know, a pair of shoes, and you can, you can pay on The Checkout? For some reason? Well, you know, maybe you want to receive a text message that says, Hey, Michael, we’ve seen that you couldn’t pay, and here’s a coupon code, and you may, the merchant on the other side may want to receive a notification when this is happening. And then you have like, the things which are more on the customer side, which are the payment methods, you know, you may want to have, like, you know, a specific open banking solution in Australia, or eventually buying up the later or something specific for, you know, the Netherlands, and so on and so forth. So I could go on forever. And I, the reality is that payment is touching, like many, many, many, many teams within the company, from marketing, to finance to security to customer success. How can you solve that efficiently? That’s the big question, we need to ask yourself. In order to show that efficiently, you need to have an underlying infrastructure that will essentially allow the merchants to connect all the services, which are not typically connected.

Michael Waitze 7:19
Can you tell me can you tell me the why it’s so important for these services to be connected? Again, just based on this conversation that I was having a couple of days ago, you wouldn’t necessarily think that even on the vendor side, that the payment matters that much. But actually, for them, you can also make that frictionless and seamless. And if it’s easier for them, well, then their sales team can actually do more sales, because they can feel like if they’re more efficient, if their back office is more efficient, they don’t have to worry about what happens post sale, they just know it gets taken care of. But then, but then it also should be connected to your data systems as well. So you can do all this data analysis. It’s not just for the purchaser. Can you just give an example of how all that stuff is tied together? Is that okay? Yeah, absolutely.

Gabriel Le Roux 8:01
Let’s actually try to think of a workflow. Actually, let’s stretch this or visualize what could be a workflow when you using primer, right? So we, you may want to do a couple of things on the on the merchant side, right? So you actually may realize that you have, I’m going to take something very simple for everyone to understand, I’m going to try to use like, firms, which are not to payment specific, right, because we love acronyms and payments, for some reason, every business would Yeah, exactly. So workflow could be okay, like, you know, a payment has been created. So, um, you know, given creation is essentially at the point of, which, like, the user on the checkout will click Pay, right. And so, the trigger on the workflow is that payment creation, and then you could say, alright, yeah, I know that for basket above a certain amount. So let’s say you’re selling like, you know, fashion items, you know, that, you know, when the amount is greater than 10,000 USD fictitious example, you have higher risk of fraud, right? And it’s a luxury item, let’s put it that way. That’s the condition. And so if this happens, you want to actually split the traffic across like two PSPs, you want to sort of like make sure that you’re not gonna send everything to one provider. So that could be another, you know, condition that you add here. So all these condition block, we call those utilities on primer, you say, okay, trigger is the payment. First condition is it’s luxury. The item is above like 10,000 USD. And I don’t want to send everything to one provider. I want to split the traffic 50% to PSP, one 50% PSP to that at this point, you actually want to do you select a provider, but what you want to do here you know that you have highest chances of fraud with you know, these items. You want to actually do a fraud check. So when you actually like you know, accept Two payments, you can actually do a photo verification. And you can do it, I’d like to two steps at the point of pre authorization. So before authorizing a payment, or post authorization, so in that case, you could say, alright, you know, I’m going to do the full check pre off. And then I’m going to actually select my payment service provider. And if that payment service provider is down for some reason, or if there is a soft decline, I’m going to select a fallback provider. So these are things that you can start doing. Eventually, if you wanted to, you could also like toggle, like, you know, our AI product. And we can discuss that. But essentially, with that product, we will essentially optimize it, you have it on you. That

Michael Waitze 10:42
was the note I just wrote to myself just now. Like it’s in the context of fraud, right? You know, I do a lot of stuff in the insurance space, right? When I talked to insurers and insurer Tech’s they spend a lot of time talking about how artificial intelligence can help them detect fraud event on the margins, right, even if they’re edge conditions, but they do happen. So can you talk about that a little bit as well? Because the main question was, absolutely, the real question was, were there new technologies that you had to employ to be able to create this new tech stack that you were talking about? And where does AI fit in?

Gabriel Le Roux 11:12
Yeah, so I’ll explain the UI in a sec. But I’ll just finish the workflow so that the audience understand like just sort of like ways all the services are connected. So you select the the PSP, you select the fallback PSP, and if you’re in a market where like 3d secure is relevant, again, quite specific to to you and AIPAC, but you may want to toggle through the essence either like having a link to the board response, or like having, like, you know, forced or, or you can even afloat the logic to us, right. But then, like, let’s, let’s go a step further. So now you sort of like did a pre authorization, you split the traffic, you’ve selected your provider? And again, what happens if, you know, the payment fails? For some reason? Yeah. Right. And you want to check out and you’re like, Well, okay, I want to buy these, you know, these things, right? Well, you can do a primary say, okay, you know, the status of the payment is actually is like a failure, or, you know, some other status, I want to send, like a text message to Michael, and I want to notify my customer success team. And so, what we’ve been doing here is we’ve actually like, allowing businesses to rethink the way they’re managing payments, and we are able to bring in like different departments into one single framework, I think of the user experience. And we can go like, you know, even a step, like further here, like, we are having connections to KYC providers, we are having connections to things like pager duty to manage, like, you know, if there is like, you know, an incident or things like that we have connections to Trello, Twilio, many, many things across the commerce lifecycle, but we are bringing those within payments, which is like, you know, an extremely huge innovation. Right? It’s unique, no one has done that. Right. It’s, it’s, it’s groundbreaking. And it’s what’s interesting to me, I go, and then I’ll stop talking, is that, you know, is that when I’m jumping on a call with a merchant, and I’m doing that, like, you know, every single week, right, I love to talk to businesses, it’s, you know, it’s a passion, right? I love to sort of like what they’re trying to do with payments. What’s interesting is how, like, when they start seeing primer, it’s almost as if like, primer or always existed, it’s so clear, I was like, sort of whiteboarding these things on the whiteboard. And we create a product out of it. And what’s interesting is how, like, quickly this sort of this job bringing people from different departments, marketing, support, finance, all these departments, so that they can work all together. From the private platform from the private dashboard. This is fascinating. In my view,

Michael Waitze 13:54
you know, you whiteboard this out, you imagine how you what you think the impact is going to be? But you kind of don’t know until somebody starts using it, right? So once they pull all these departments in, they all get on the same dashboard. Now, it means that they’re all looking at this kind of one same truth. So that when they’re having a conversation about whether its sales or marketing, or back office settlement or reconciliation, they’re all looking at the same thing. How has it changed? Do you think the way they work internally on the merchant side, right, because Because sorry, because you’re trying to solve a lot of problems for them, go ahead.

Gabriel Le Roux 14:26
The result of all this is that you’re reducing the silos, you’re creating, like a lot more collaboration across across departments, right? And the same thing, like we are creating a connectivity between services, the same thing happened, like the real world because those teams now they can actually reason about payments together. Right? Right. And that’s like, quite fascinating. If you think about it, just taking a step back here when we when we start a primer. The thing that we’ve done right from the very beginning is okay, scrap what we know let’s actually start fresh and we’ve talked to so many businesses right 100 Have them across different verticals DEOs everything. And we were like trying to really have an unbiased view of what we’re trying to solve, right? Yeah, I was in microphone or we were like, you know, at Braintree and PayPal for many years. So naturally, like you think in a way, right? Like, you have like a way of thinking, and we tried to sort of like, you know, scrap that and start like, fresh, but and so we knew, when we start developing the products, that we had product market fit in a way, because we were having all these interviews, we had like a past, you know, experience. And we had that sort of very grand vision to sort of really reinvent payments and connect all the services together. So this notion of like bringing everything, everyone to the same canvas, and creating connections between services, but also like teams was very much part of our vision.

Michael Waitze 15:51
Was there any surprise that you found when you were interviewing all these companies? Again, you you’ve been in the payments business, you said for 10 years, your co founders probably has a ton of experience as well. But when you come out of an existing legacy business, which I’ve done, you think, in a way, even subconsciously, that you may not be aware of per se. So even when you’re asking your questions, you may phrase them in a way, right, that gives an unexpected answer. Did you have any of those experiences if you know what I mean?

Gabriel Le Roux 16:17
It’s very interesting, because like, when you actually like in our past life when we’re like part of like, you know, Braintree and PayPal, again, amazing company. Yeah.

I think you, you get the you have like the the PayPal and Braintree had, right. So whatever you’re asking, you know, the person on the other side of the table would answer like, you know, knowing who you are in a way. Right, right. Right. We asked primer, we’re completely agnostic. Yeah, I could have like I could have like a complete separate discussion with someone with the Braintree the Braintree has in the primer had. Alright, and this is what happened. So I would like reconnect with someone and you know, we would know each other from like, you know, my past years, adventuring, PayPal, and with the primer had the conversation would be completely different, because they know that we are completely agnostic, what we’re here to do is help you optimize your payments experience, create new commerce experiences, use payment as a lever for growth, innovate with payments, optimized, like the way you thinking and consuming payments services. And the one thing that was very clear to us is that all companies out there want to expand their payments stack, and no exception whatsoever. Everyone want to use more services, right. And there’s the reason for that is because there’s a huge amount of innovation happening in the payment space. It’s, it’s amazing. Like you always have new things like new either payment methods or different services that you can use throughout the lifecycle of the payments. And that became like very clear to us. The other thing as well, which was interesting is how the merchant was telling us that they had very little understanding of the data aspect of things, right, the more services they use, even if you use like a few, they were like, it’s a black box, we don’t really understand, it’s very hard for us to reason about payments. And so that’s something that is super critical for us at primer, we are as an infrastructure provider, we are here to provide visibility. And we’ve built like service centers around that we have our observability product, we have monitoring, we have alerting. And that’s like a very critical part of what we’re offering to our businesses, we want to give like super power to people managing payments, if you think about how these super, you know, elegant engine, now, they have visibility, they can do amazing things the moment they have primary integrated. So

Michael Waitze 18:39
can we talk about this in a little bit more detail, because you’ve used this term a few times already lever for growth. I love this term, actually. And I don’t think that most people outside of the payment space are thinking about this as a lever for growth. But if I understand the way your platform has been built, right, connecting to all these different services, building your own services, and then creating essentially an ecosystem around payments, that solves problems for your clients, you you enable this sort of synergistic experience that couldn’t exist before because all this stuff was siloed. We can talk later about the later about the data. But can you talk about how that all now pertains to this lever for growth, maybe give an example or some kind of anecdote. If

Gabriel Le Roux 19:23
you don’t have primary, like all the services need to be integrated separately, right? So you have to learn and reason about like, you know, payments multiple time you have to try to find ways to create a logic internally at your company. And obviously, that you need to invest a lot of resources into that right. The moment you have us integrated now you can sort of like think of your payments roadmap as a very simple process in a way right? Just go and something that would typically take like 24 months, which we’ve seen is now like, a couple of weeks or hours or days or so at this point like, you know, you’re not going to wait like, you know, months to launch into the market not going to wait like months to create new experiences, you’re going to wait like days to optimize, like the user experience on on the checkout, you can just do it. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s phenomenal. You as in like a non technical individual managing like, you know, a payments at a company, or being part of like the group managing, like the user experience with the commerce experience, can just go in the dashboard of primer, and launch new services, optimize the presentment, under checkout out, and all these things. So if she can do that, you can, for example, we launched your market a lot faster. Yeah, you can, for example, like, you know, present a payment method that your marketing team want to actually like add to the checkout, in a couple of clicks, you can start doing all these things. In a matter of a few clicks, when in reality, it will take like, you know, a tremendous amount of time,

Michael Waitze 21:00
you said marketing into the payments. So was were there situations in the past, right? Where like marketing wanted to do a discount, or do some kind of, you know, special payment, like for this item only you can make for payments, but for most other things, you can’t do this BNPL thing. But now that they’re all integrated, are you suggesting that the marketing team doesn’t have to wait for somebody in the payments team to like, do some special programming for this particular discount? Because now they can just draft themselves?

Gabriel Le Roux 21:28
Exactly. Okay. So if you think about it, like, you know, if you’re like in a marketing team, again, taking a fictitious example, but like your marketing team, you’re like, a fast fashion in a fashion group, right? And you’re discussing with your, your peers, and you’re like, you know what, like, we want to attract new customers right onto the, onto the website. In order to do that we want to integrate like a bind operator, right? And so, if you don’t have primer, you go and you talk to several teams, you like, Guys, this is what we’re going to do? Sure. We try to find space in the roadmap, we’re going to have to learn how to integrate those services, and so on and so forth. Now, is your primer. You like, Guys, we want to actually launch that? Okay, fine. You just go into dashboard. You need to have a relationship with those providers, you want to launch, right? We are sure technical infrastructure. From a goal life perspective is literally like, a few clicks. Create a workflow, and super important as well, you can optimize the way that payment methods will be presented on the checkout. Right? Very relevant. Why? Because I think you know, some people think that the more things you present on the checkout, the higher your conversion rate.

Michael Waitze 22:43
No, well, it’s got to be.

Gabriel Le Roux 22:46
Yeah, it has to be relevant. Yeah, relevance is critical. Right? If you might call arrive on a checkout, you know, at your favorite, like, you know, fashion brand, or, or like, you know, furniture website, and you see, like a list of things, you’re going to be like, Well, what’s going on here. But if you see, like, your favorite painting methods, if you see, like, you know, things that you’re familiar with, then at this point, you’re gonna feel comfortable, it’s a matter of like, trust, you’re gonna go ahead and pay, right? Yeah, and what we allow, like, you know, companies to do a primary is to have like a fully dynamic checkout, we call that dynamic presentment. So the marketing person can go in and say, you know, what, dynamic later, I’m not going to show that to everyone, I’m only going to show it when the amount is greater than 10,000. Again, taking the example that I used earlier, right. And when we’re sending, like, you know, a specific item, and boom, by an operator will just be presented for the specific items. So not only we allow for a quick activation, we’re also allowing for relevance and the right experience on the checkout, would

Michael Waitze 23:51
it allow the marketing team to do some sort of strategic testing, like, test this, I’m just gonna test this on that gal, do that kind of thing, and then just not roll it out to everybody, but just the exact same cohorts and do some tests and get the data and then make a bigger decision on how to do that

Gabriel Le Roux 24:07
100% We bring like principles and concepts, which are like almost impossible, like in the world of payments, you will be testing all these things. You can just do it. It’s a simple process. So you’re absolutely right. I want to present a payment method here. I want to use this provider there. All these things are possible.

Michael Waitze 24:27
Yeah, there’s nothing I hate a checkout more than too many choices. And to be fair, in any part of your life, right? If you know what I’ve been purchasing, right, because you have all this data, then you should be able to present to me the best options just for me. And maybe this gets back to the artificial intelligence conversation. Like that’s one place where you can use AI to do personalization and customization. For me, you can also do it on the merchant side, I presume sorry, this just popped in my head, but I presume this works on a b2b basis as well.

Gabriel Le Roux 24:54
Yeah, absolutely. That we can work with b2b b2c, right? Certainly, on the on the AI side of things like we Have a tremendous amount of data at primer. Right? As a payments infrastructure, yeah, we see a lot of like, we see everything happening throughout this sort of like payment lifecycle. And we gathered like, you know, a huge amount of data points. And so what we’ve been doing over the last couple of years is we’ve been working on our, on our machine learning algorithm. And what we are able to do now is, we know where to send a payments to optimize for authorization, right? So we have, you know, if you use uplift AI, which is a phenomenal, like, you know, innovation, like we bring AI to the world of payments, and no one has done that, at this point. Like, if you toggle like, you know, primer uplift AI product will actually like, you know, know, where to send the transaction to optimize for payment success, right. And this, there’s this notion of primer, which is that we build like a tremendous amount of tools and services, to increase payment success, of payments and primer, as our chances of success, then irregular payments, which is for the merchant side, or for the merchant, specifically, an amazing opportunity, right, they know that with primer, they’re going to have like a higher authorization rate. And, obviously, further down the road, like, you know, high revenue and all that, right. So this notion of payments, success is super critical for us. And you can only do that if you have a unified things infrastructure, which essentially what we provide, and

Michael Waitze 26:23
this is all this is all blind to me, right? Like, I can’t see it as a customer, as a consumer, I don’t see anything, I try to make a payment. Yeah. So what you’re saying essentially, is it can go to this location, that location, this location, and wherever gets the best shot of being authorized, you’re just gonna keep going back there. But you can still test all three of them at the same time for any of these for any of these authorizations.

Gabriel Le Roux 26:42
Our model would run the background, which sort of like we wouldn’t know where to send a payment. So like, the user doesn’t see anything, and, and then like, okay, like this payment, boom, needs to go to that provider, right. So, but we have like many other services, right, in order to support like, you know, payment success, fallback as well, like, if you know, a provider is down, we can sort of fall back to another provider. So, but this notion of like, you know, payments, success is super critical. You as a merchant, you want to make sure that whatever happens, the user on the checkout will be able to pay. That’s the principle here that we bring to the market.

Michael Waitze 27:15
I want to make an analogy. Now I’m sure you’ll understand this. When I was sitting on an equity portfolio trading desk, we built algorithmic trading systems. Because at the beginning, let’s just use Japan as an example, there was the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Osaka Stock Exchange, and some of the shares traded on both of them. Not a lot. But then once you started getting dark pools, right, which were sort of just accumulations of stocks that some proprietary trading desks had, let’s say, you could send it to 10 locations and see where it got filled. And essentially, you’re writing algos, to do the same type of thing, you’re not trading because you don’t want to get overfilled. But we didn’t want to get overfilled either. But it’s the same idea. It’s there multiple places where we can get authorized. And let’s just go to the one with the highest possibility. And if that one is not available, we can fall back. And the consumer never knows. They don’t have to know just as either yes or no to them. If you gathering all this data, at some level, you’re gathering data on the what did you call them? PSPs? Like, who gives the best service to all this stuff about them as well. So is there a way for you then once you gather all that data, to get better pricing for yourself? If you move more of your payments to a place that’s more that’s easy to get authorized? And then then your clients kind of get better service and better payments? It’s

Gabriel Le Roux 28:37
a good question. But I want to make sure that the audience understand something that is super critical about primer, we are surely a technical infrastructure. So So from our perspective, we are not in the flow of funds. Do we never touching any money at primer, we’re providing the underlying infrastructure to connect all these services. So if, for example, you have your store, Michael, and you want to use primer, and you want to use like all those different services, the PSPS default provider, the communication services, the the operational tools, all these things, you need to have an account and a relationship with all of them, right? So you will negotiate pricing, you will open up an account and go through like, you know, their onboarding process and all that now. What we will allow you to do is to have a good sense of who’s the best performing product or services for your own business. So yes, I mean, if you have like, you know, visibility, we are like, we are agnostic at Pharma. We don’t have an opinion by Ron like, you know, who you should go with, but we’re going to give you the data to sort of instruct yourself, educate yourself on who’s best for your business. Yeah,

Michael Waitze 29:48
there must be other services that you’re going to plug into this as you move forward. There just must be like is insurance something you guys are looking at?

Gabriel Le Roux 29:59
Yeah, it’s So what depends on like how you think of insurance, like you could have insurance as a module on The Checkout, you can embed

Michael Waitze 30:05
it. Embedded insurance is a big thing, right now you can work with some of the biggest insurers in the world to provide them a connectivity service to any of your merchants that want to provide embedded insurance into any of the products that they’re selling.

Gabriel Le Roux 30:15
Exactly, absolutely could be an option, like, we are, like, very open appointments. And the more like, you know, the payment ecosystem is evolving. Yeah. And the more like, you know, merchant actually are aware of the possibilities, the more we’ll see, like services be integrated to climate, we have like so many interesting conversation, like the moment like deployment framework is integrated, we have merchant asking us, and we bring this can we bring that? Can we actually add this service? Now, can we do all these things, the one thing that is super critical as well is we are helping the merchant, but we are also like, you know, helping the ecosystem, for sure becoming the biggest enabler in payments and commerce, because now, you know, all these services can, can get integrated and activated super fast. It’s not a matter of like, you know, months or integrations anymore, I have an account with that provider, right? Boom, I can go live in a matter of days, we’re very much like creating a completely new dynamic on the market, which is, which is always what we wanted, right? We wanted to sort of make sure that now like, payments has to be a catalyst for growth and innovation, it has to be more than just this afterthought. And by providing the tools and services of yours to emergent, obviously, you creating like, you know, innovation on the partner side as well. And so there’s a complete shift in the market, since we’ve launched primer.

Michael Waitze 31:35
So one of the other things that really interests me is this idea of engagement. Right? We touched on it a little bit before you said, if this thing happens, you can get a text message send to somebody in customer service or something. But are there other ways that you see where engagement is really important? Because every time somebody makes a payment, it’s an opportunity for some kind of engagement, you don’t have to use it every time was always an opportunity. Right? Because you make a payment. You it’s like the beginning of a conversation for somebody, you know what I mean?

Gabriel Le Roux 32:06
Yes, actually interesting. There’s this notion of like, you know, social commerce. Yeah, I remember, like, you know, back back when I was like, in the US, like, we had this, I haven’t used it much, right. Because I was I was there for, like, about a year and, and we had this product of Venmo, right, where like, sort of like almost creating that social experience around like the notion of like, you know, paying like your peers, and now you can add them on to checkout. So I think, you know, before the services, specifically, there’s very much that notion of creating a community around payments, and to create some social engagement. And I do see that as like, eventually something, you know, you want to apply to like other checkout experiences, you know, you’re buying, you could say, like, you know, hey, I just bought this product and posting on social media, or you’ve done a donation, and you want to share it with like, a group of friends and, you know, bring them onto your journey. So yeah, do you see like a world where like, this is actually like, you know, possible. And the good thing is, because of our framework, and because like, you know, the openness of pharma, we could add these services, as part of the payment lifecycle?

Michael Waitze 33:08
It sounds like you’re having a ton of fun. Before I let you go, can you just tell me what the long term vision is here?

Gabriel Le Roux 33:15
Absolutely, I mean, we have like a very, you know, big vision and extremely high ambition at primer. Alright, we were now like, you know, working with businesses across the globe, in APAC, in the US across the UK, eu. One thing that is very unique with primer as well is that we fully remote. So I started primer as a fully remote organization, with my co founder. Why because we know that what we’re solving is global. Alright, and also because I wanted to make sure that we could have the best talent from all over the world working with us in what we’re creating. But also, I wanted to make sure that we had experience for from all over the world for our customer, right. And what primary is doing right now is we are fundamentally reinventing payments. Right? We’re fundamentally reinventing how merchant from all sides are thinking about the action of taking payments and meta gene payments, when you thinking of that, specifically, the opportunity for us is tremendous. Because now we are essentially like, you know, creating a complete new dynamic on the market, both on the merchant side and the product side. And so our vision is, you know, to become the underlying framework for like, you know, anyone out there who’s like thinking about payments and willing to accept payment, which is obviously like, you know, anyone who’s online and eventually, like, offline at some point for primer Yeah. And so there’s many things we’re working on, on the data side on the AI side, on the checkout experience, on payment success more generally. And so you’re gonna hear about us like, you know, a lot in the coming years because like we have a team that is passionate about payments, which continuously like you’re looking to innovate and who’s fundamentally here to help businesses with, you know, that revolution that is happening within payments today. And I think 2023 was like very much like a, a turning point, right? I think many of us within payments have always been thinking as like payment as an asset payment as like, you know, this catalysts for innovation. And I do think that it is happening right now. We are like very much at a turning point. And Pharma is the engine supporting that revolution, which is extremely exciting for us.

Michael Waitze 35:32
I can hear the passion in your voice. Gab, thank you so much for doing this…co-founder and CEO of Primer. That was awesome. Really awesome.

Gabriel Le Roux 35:40
Thanks a lot Michael.


Latest Episodes:

EP 324 – Creating a Canon for Progress: Empowering Global Entrepreneurs with Essential Knowledge – Tamara Winter – Commissioning Editor of Stripe Press

EP 324 – Creating a Canon for Progress: Empowering Global Entrepreneurs with Essential Knowledge – Tamara Winter – Commissioning Editor of Stripe Press

“Well, we think of this catalog as, ideally, a kind of cannon for progress, both in a very sort of explicit sense when it comes to, again, growing the GDP of the internet, making it much easier for people who have very ambitious ideas about a company they want to build to do that, and in an easier way than they might have to do if they were just trying to figure out everything themselves. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.” – Tamara Winter

read more
EP 323 – Building Businesses and Breaking Barriers: A Global Entrepreneurial Odyssey – Meenah Tariq – CEO of Metric

EP 323 – Building Businesses and Breaking Barriers: A Global Entrepreneurial Odyssey – Meenah Tariq – CEO of Metric

In this episode of the Asia Tech Podcast, ⁠Meenah Tariq⁠, CEO of ⁠Metric⁠ and an experienced entrepreneur with deep roots in emerging markets, shared her journey and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Meenah discussed her early introduction to entrepreneurship in Pakistan, beginning with childhood ventures that sparked a lifelong passion for business.

read more
EP 322 – Stripe’s Strategy Shift: How Open Payment Systems Benefit Primer – Gabriel Le Roux – co-Founder and CEO of Primer

EP 322 – Stripe’s Strategy Shift: How Open Payment Systems Benefit Primer – Gabriel Le Roux – co-Founder and CEO of Primer

“What we are saying is, hey, right now you have this unified infrastructure that allows you to do payment experimentation. And guess what, if you want to try and test different services, now you have access to an app store of services, you go in, in the Primer dashboard, they can just like toggle on and off, like the services you want to use. You can add test them, AB testing in the world of payments is simply impossible, right?”—

The Asia Tech Podcast welcomed Gabriel Le Roux, a co-Founder and the CEO of ⁠Primer⁠ back to the show for a quick catch up. Gabriel had written a post on how Stripe’s new openness would change the payment space and I wanted to record about it.

read more