Addressing Customer Needs in the Payments Landscape: On Focus Interview with Daniel Davidov, CCO | CatalystPay

Addressing Customer Needs in the Payments Landscape: On Focus Interview with Daniel Davidov, CCO

  • 9 min read
  • 10 november 2023

In our latest On Focus interview we introduce you to Daniel Davidov, our Chief Commercial Officer. From navigating the maze of merchant onboarding to understanding the needs of high and low-risk businesses in the payment world, Daniel provides a close look at what makes our journey unique. As the backbone of CatalystPay's Sales/Business Development Department, Daniel's global experiences and keen understanding of the industry illuminate the unique approach that sets CatalystPay apart. Grab a virtual seat as we engage in a chat with Daniel about the nuances of CatalystPay's commercial strategy, uncover some insightful approaches, and dive into what makes us your go-to in shaping the future of digital payments. Let’s explore the details together!

Can you provide a brief introduction about yourself and your role as the Chief Commercial Officer at CatalystPay?


I have been working at CatalystPay since July 2020. It was only Kevin, Stefan and me at that time. Since then, with mutual efforts we managed to grow significantly for a period of 3 years. As a Chief Commercial Officer, I am responsible for developing the Sales/Business Development Department. I have been in the payment industry since 2016 when I used to work for Paysafe Group. From 2017 till 2020, I used to live in 4 countries (Spain, Italy, Malta and Lithuania) working for different payment companies. This brought a lot of connections and valuable network which very much helped me achieve my sales goals a CatalystPay. In my spare time I like to play tennis, run and read books. 

From all the conversations you held with prospects and clients what are the biggest pain points/struggles of business when it comes to payment processing? 

The biggest pain for all merchants is the timeframe for onboarding and the onboarding requirements from risk/compliance perspective. Sometimes, merchants are not able to complete the onboarding process since they don't understand all the requirements that the acquiring banks come back with. In contrast to the usual ways of working where the PSP/ISO is generally not involved in the due diligence process led by the Acquirer, CatalystPay stands out by not only being responsive but also offering proactive assistance to merchants in understanding and fulfilling the often-complex bank requirements during the onboarding process. This extended support services that we offer not only facilitates smoother onboarding, but also adds value to the customer/merchant relationship by providing knowledgeable guidance, ultimately influencing the onboarding process positively.

What are the key factors prospects are likely to consider when looking for a PSP/payment processing solution?

When businesses seek a PSP/payment processing solution, my observation is that they typically prioritize several key factors, among which:

  • the PSP's range of bank partnerships for reliable and flexible transaction processing
  • support for various payment methods and integration options
  • the efficiency and clarity of the onboarding process along with necessary documentation
  • well structured and easy to understand integration documentation (read more about the biggest challenges merchants face with the payment system integration in our latest interview with our tech ninja, Mihail Mihaylov
  • transparent and competitive pricing
  • robust security measures and compliance

All these aspects help make sure the selected PSP fits their business goals and needs, making payments smooth for both them and their customers.

Can you elaborate on your approach to managing your client portfolio strategy, specifically regarding the balance between high and low-risk clients?

High-risk industries such as Gambling, Crypto, Travel, etc. can be highly profitable for PSPs due to their substantial transaction volumes and lucrative pricing. However, it's crucial for PSPs to maintain a balanced portfolio, diversifying across both low and high-risk merchants. While high-risk merchants significantly boost overall profits, the stability and long-term sustainability of the portfolio are supported by the presence of low-risk merchants. Both high and low-risk merchants play vital roles in the success and stability of a PSP's portfolio, contributing to its overall resilience and profitability.

What are the challenges and opportunities with high-risk verticals like crypto, gambling, dating, etc from a payment processing perspective?

High-risk industry is vulnerable from a legislative point of view. All merchants should be compliant with regulations and requirements of the card schemes organizations. This affects the onboarding from acquiring perspective which leads to the need of constant assistance and consultancy by the ISO/PSP. An advantage of CatalystPay is that our team assists all merchants with various risk and compliance matters helping them to achieve the robust possible package. The primary challenge today is that all acquiring banks are particularly selective when it comes to high-risk verticals such as gambling, crypto, dating, etc., and have specific requirements and criteria regarding volume, KYC, and compliance.

Heads up to all iGaming businesses, Daniel will be attending SiGMA World Conference in Malta this November. If you happen to be there, make sure to get in touch with him - drop him a message to set up a chat.

Sigma Malta Nov 2023

What are the main differences in the needs of a high-risk vs low risk merchant when it comes to payment processing? 

Low-risk merchants primarily emphasize detailed pricing terms and focus extensively on technical aspects such as integration, backend office interface, available plugins, and the incorporation of alternative payment methods like Google Pay and Apple Pay, improvement of conversion rates. Given that low-risk merchants typically operate as e-commerce shops, these components hold significant importance for them.

High-risk merchants prioritize redundancy, cost and conversion optimization. Due to their high-risk nature, it's vital for these clients to achieve diversification, distributing their transaction volume across various multiple merchant accounts at different providers.

From a PSP perspective, it's crucial to provide multiple options for acquiring banks capable of accommodating high-risk businesses under one integration. This enables merchants to dynamically route traffic, ultimately enhancing their conversion rates.

Low-risk merchants usually operate with smaller transaction volumes and typically seek a single acquiring bank with favorable processing and settlement terms.

Trust is crucial in the payment processing industry. How does CatalystPay build and maintain trust with both merchants and consumers?

At CatalystPay, cultivating trust among affiliates and merchants is at the core of our approach. As the CCO, I extensively travel globally, ensuring regular face-to-face interactions with our partners. I firmly believe that personal meetings lay the foundation for successful partnerships, particularly in the payment processing industry. When we claim we have "great customer support" we mean more than the typical call center or email assistance. Being customer-centric is in our company’s DNA, ever since we were only 3 people in the team. Each of our partners or customers knows that they can contact members of CatalystPay via phone or chat any time they need it. This personalized, real-time approach defines our trustworthiness in the eyes of our customers and, in my perspective, stands as our most significant differentiator.

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