Omise raises US$300K; can it be Thailand’s Stripe and Square?
Thailand-based Omise is looking to launch its payments API and app this September at Echelon Thailand 2014By Elaine Huang 19 Aug, 2014
According to Ezra Don Harinsut, Co-founder and COO, Omise, the one-year-old company will use the funds to boost product development efforts. The team of eight has been working on two flagship products — a payment API and payment app, both of which will be released at e27′s upcoming tech conference Echelon Thailand 2014.
For background, the payment API targets developers looking for minimum identification before accepting online payments whereas the Omise payment app leans towards allowing merchants to start accepting payments via channels like Facebook, Instagram, LINE and email. Essentially, the former is similar to Stripe, while the latter reminds us of Square.
Originally, Omise was meant to be an e-commerce store builder. However, upon receiving the funds from East Ventures, the founders decided to focus on building a reliable payments system instead.
He told this author, “Online payment has always been a fundamental problem for Thailand. Therefore, Omise saw this great opportunity to make online payment possible for everyone.” Additionally, he cites the team’s “good relationship and connection to the banks in Thailand” as the main advantage over competitors. The banks are Bangkok Bank PCL, Siam Commercial Bank PCL, Kasikorn Bank PCL, Krung Thai Bank PCL, Bank of Ayudhya PCL and TMB Bank PCL.
Another advantage, perhaps, is Omise’s attractive promise to users. It noted in an official press release, “Applying for Omise only will require minimal online identification, no minimum monthly commitment and low transaction fees.” Additionally, stores will be able to accept payments instantly, be it credit and debit card payments or bill payments, read the same statement.
Harinsut further shared that while there are many merchants selling goods on social networks like Facebook, Instagram or even Japanese chat app LINE, there is no one “proper payment solution.”
He also spoke about how Omise is now PCI-DSS 3.0 compliant. The acronym stands for ‘Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard’, and is a widely followed benchmark in the payments industry. Meeting it, however, was challenging, said Harinsut, who added that every single line of code has to be reviewed by a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA), rendering it a tough procedure. “A single mistake or error is unacceptable,” he said.