Published Aug 25, 2021
Pelikin is a Travel Fintech start-up based in Melbourne, Australia. It’s committed to helping young travelers manage their money overseas, easily and transparently.
Pelikin launched in December 2019 with a local bank handling their card issuance. When the pandemic hit, the start-up paused operations to “focus on the product, find some new partners and come out the other side stronger,” according to Founder and CEO, Sam Brown.
Brown found the firm’s issuer moved too slowly, was expensive, and lacked the customer-centricity that Pelikin felt would be key to business success. He was unable to get the issuer to support streamlined eKYC, and virtual cards or digital pays.. There was also no flexibility in how to manage card stock. That meant Pelikin was beholden to the card factory, which caused further issues for the firm.
At the start of 2020, triggered by learning their current issuer was leaving the Australian market, Brown began to explore opportunities with Nium for card issuance. He was attracted by Nium’s partnership with Visa, which had become a close partner of Pelikin’s, as well as its commercials—which were “20-fold more favorable” than its existing deal. Brown also rated the Nium technology stack.
While exploring how Nium could assist Pelikin’s growth into Singapore, a market their existing issuer could not support, Brown was also taken with the scalable opportunities the partnership could bring.
“With Nium I saw the ability for us to scale quickly, not only locally but in new markets, and at a commercially feasible cost,” he says. “Going deeper, I met with the Nium team in Singapore, and a walk-through of the back-end portals and management systems made what we were using seem pretty archaic.”
Other shortlisted partners, including a local challenger bank, couldn’t handle multi-currency or offer the growth path into new markets that Nium delivered, Brown adds.
“What we’re able to bring to market with the technology Nium offers is going to be an exceptional product,” Brown says. “It’s not going to be beaten as a proposition in terms of young consumers’ expectations of financial services. It puts us in a very favorable position in the market.”
With Nium’s card issuing capabilities, Pelikin has been able to expand the number of currencies in its wallets from four to 13, with ample scope to grow further still. This includes Apple Pay and Google Pay, which Brown admits “would have potentially taken years to get across the line with our previous issuer.”
Pelikin also now has the autonomy to manage plastic stock itself, removing a further operational headache. Most importantly, the Nium partnership has enabled Pelikin to thrive at a crucial moment for the company.
“It’s given us as a business a pathway out of the pandemic,” Brown explains. “I’ve been able to secure more funding to fuel our growth, and it’s given our brand some credibility by announcing a partnership with such a reputable organization as the backbone of our financial services.”
As the partnership progresses, Brown is keen to investigate working with Nium to support expansion into new markets, including the UK and North America.
“It’s great to work with a technology company that can offer banking services as opposed to a bank that has the terrible tech,” Brown concludes. “With Nium, the first answer is ‘yes,’ and if it’s not, they’ll figure out a way to work it out.”
Nium is a leading B2B financial services technology platform that seamlessly connects businesses to the world’s payment infrastructure with a single API.
Nium’s modular platform removes the complexity from global payments and allows banks, payment providers, travel companies, and other businesses to embed financial services, including technologies for pay-outs, pay-ins, card issuance, and banking-as-a-service, in weeks, not months.
Once connected to the Nium platform, businesses have the ability to collect and disburse funds in local currencies to over 100 countries, plus issue physical and virtual cards globally. Nium owns licenses in 11 of the world’s largest and fastest-growing jurisdictions to enable seamless global payments, regardless of geography.
Contact us to learn more about how your business can access the world’s payment infrastructure with Nium