Lopay leverages new insights to help SMEs offer cashless payments

Payments operator improves and accelerates analysis to help deliver affordable, effective cashless solutions for SMEs.
“We’re a small company with lots of new ideas, and things change on a regular basis. Fivetran gives us the speed and agility to respond in near-real time. It’s a very important platform.” - Steve Callery, Chief Data Officer, Lopay

Key results

  • Enables new levels of insight and engagement for teams across the business
  • Powers business expansion without increasing headcount
  • Removes pressure from data and engineering personnel

Data stack

Fivetran Connectors: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Stripe, Shopify, Google Analytics, Intercom, Mixpanel, PostGres, Xero 

Data Platform: Snowflake

Business Intelligence Platform: Metabase

The U.K. has a global reputation as a pioneer of cashless payments. Larger retailers have happily accepted contactless payments for many years, but for smaller retailers – often independent small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – the costs of accepting and processing electronic payments through the three main market players have remained relatively high.

This is the market that Lopay is looking to disrupt. The U.K.-based start-up enables SMEs to accept electronic payments at rates previously reserved exclusively for larger-scale retailers, and at below half the rates of other payment providers operating in the SME space. For some small traders, this is the difference between profit and loss. 

“Our previous business offered competitive pricing to hospitality businesses, and that gave us the idea that we could serve the SME market with a similar proposition,” says Steve Callery, Chief Data Officer at Lopay. “That’s how Lopay was born.”

Delivering the value that Lopay provides to merchants takes much more than good input costs. Lopay relies on data to ensure their employees are equipped to perform to their highest potential, whether that’s finding cost efficiencies internally or delivering great customer support.

“From day one it’s been about how we maintain a very low operating expense ratio,” says Callery. “We’ve got razor-thin margins, so if we want to scale we can’t always put new people into the mix. It’s all about getting the right tools in place to allow us to operate at maximum efficiency.”

Improving decision making, efficiency and effectiveness 

For Lopay, enabling employees to analyze data is critical for increasing efficiency – especially when tracking performance and identifying more areas of opportunity for the business. Callery is responsible for the data that feeds this process, as well as managing databases, data ingestion and transformation, dashboards, product and marketing analytics and even fraud detection.

“I’m a one-person data team; we don’t have any analysts or scientists in the business. I look after everything.” he explains. “Everybody understands the value of data and has an appetite to use it. Whether it’s our product, development, marketing or support teams, everyone wants data to improve their decision making efficiency and effectiveness.” 

Prior to the launch of Lopay, Callery had experienced limitations in how his previous business handled data, specifically with ETL processes that fed into Snowflake. Neither its off-the-shelf integrations or levels of granularity met his needs, and poor reliability and uptime compounded the issues.

“It got to the point where I was setting my alarm for 3:30 every morning to check that the nightly jobs had run,” Callery recalls. “If they hadn’t, which was about every other day, I had to manually trigger the jobs to pull fresh data into the warehouse, and then trigger all the transformation jobs that depended on that raw data.”

Callery needed a platform that would allow him to aggregate data from multiple sources quickly, easily and reliably, without having to pull engineering staff away from critical tasks such as developing and maintaining platforms to build out new pipelines. That platform was Fivetran.

An excellent breadth of integrations 

Having learned the lessons from his previous business, Callery realised from day one that Fivetran was the reliable ingestion tool Lopay needed to feed data quickly and accurately into Snowflake, giving the necessary raw material to vastly accelerate and enhance the reporting process – and letting him snatch an extra couple of hours of valuable sleep.  

“Fivetran really takes the pressure off,” he adds. “We don’t need to be nervous about failing processes or sending out incorrect reports that have to be manually clawed back and reissued.”

The company sets up new connections in just a few minutes and, with the initial training and documentation provided by Fivetran, it’s a relatively simple job that Callery can complete on his own. Fivetran’s 14-day free trials for new connectors enable him to experiment with new sources without having to commit to additional costs up front.   

“The breadth of integrations provided by Fivetran is excellent, it is the only provider that has every single one on our current and future wish lists,” he explains. “A lot of other tools talk a good game, but with Fivetran the user interface and user experience are so clear, and the granularity of data that can be ingested is outstanding.”

New levels of accuracy and timeliness

With business-critical data now refreshing in near-real time, Lopay employees are confident in the accuracy and timeliness of the reports they access. For its marketing team, this delivers vital levels of control and visibility when managing campaigns and client acquisition.

“The marketing team has a lot of disparate data sources, ranging from Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Google Analytics to our production database,” Callery says. “Fivetran allows us to pull all that data into one place, merge it, and deliver a simple dashboard so they can confidently track how various activities are performing.”

Elsewhere, Lopay’s support team can better meet customer needs with real-time insights into their profiles and transaction histories. The impact on Lopay’s product team is equally significant, as new data availability and reporting capabilities are providing high-value insights. 

“We’re constantly releasing new features at Lopay, and we keep a very close eye on how they perform with beta testers,” adds Callery. “Being able to quickly and easily build dashboards that report on that in a relevant and accurate way is priceless.”

The levels of speed and accuracy in analyzing data give Callery the opportunity to provide answers to questions that colleagues previously thought were impossible. And with Fivetran’s help, Lopay is also mapping out an exciting future, planning expansions and moving into new markets without significantly increasing headcount.

“I’ve never even thought about asking my CEO for more resources to look after the engineering and analytics; Fivetran allows us to do that so quickly and easily,” Callery concludes.

Download this IDC report to learn how Fivetran drives millions in financial impact and enables new business initiatives for enterprises.

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