Publisher Spotlight: Zen
What is Zen and who is it for?
ZEN.COM is an international fintech company. Our mission is simple: we want to provide both individual and business customers with complete peace of mind in terms of managing their money and transactions. Both of these groups deserve a worry-free financial experience, regardless of whether they’re dealing with managing their household’s budget, handling e-commerce returns, or running the e-store.
To make it possible, we offer a comprehensive suite of digital products and services.
Individual clients can take advantage of a variety of features offered primarily through our mobile application. They need to pay only one fixed fee once a month in order to gain access to them. The ingredients which contribute to making our suite unique on the international markets include commission-free multi-currency account, payment cards – both physical and virtual (i.e. for Google Pay or Apple Pay) or top-ups and send-outs – it’s easy to add money to your card and to transfer them to your friends or family.
But we want to be much more than just another app for managing your money and transactions. That’s why we added a secret ingredient which makes our products truly spicy – in a pleasant way, of course. Customers can take advantage of a variety of benefits. We actually call them ZENefits, because they are able to make your retail experience even more zen. These are instant cashback in select top e-stores, the extension of warranty for purchased electronics – up to one year, and shopping protection – in case something goes wrong with your purchase.
We believe that the best thing about all of this is that there are no extra fees for these benefits – everything is included in your ZEN.com subscription.
When it comes to running an e-business, understanding the challenges faced by entrepreneurs is easy for us. Many of our employees working on the product have been there and know what’s it like out there. Our combined experience resulted in a comprehensive platform for managing the business finances.
Its main feature is easy integration which means that in a matter of seconds the entrepreneur can start accepting e-payments made with a variety of methods trusted by their clients across the world. BLIK, Apple Pay, Google Pay, debit cards, etc. – no matter what your customers particularly like or prefer, they don’t have to change their preferences in order to shop in your e-store.
Other useful aspects include the instant transfer of sales’ value to the account, no commission for each sale – instead of that, you pay a fixed fee each month based on the estimate of payments processed by your e-store, direct settlement of transactions in 30 currencies, with no spread fee and no chargebacks costs for the seller – we take care of them.
Each of these features makes merchants’ lives easier step-by-step. It allows them to maintain financial liquidity, decrease their operational costs and stop worrying about chargebacks. Long story short, they achieve complete peace of mind and financial harmony. That’s a feeling impossible to fake – and difficult to forget.
To sum up our offer for individuals and businesses, we are a safe haven for all of those seeking a simple and safe tool that will guide them across the chaotic waters of the e-commerce world. Our goal is to provide actual value to buyers and sellers at the best market cost, without any hidden fees. Last year has shown that digitization and cross-border trade is the unavoidable future for all sellers and buyers. However, there are still barriers that prevent e-commerce from living up to its full potential.
Overcoming them might be a challenge – but that’s why we’re here, to support everyone in the mission to clean up the chaos. Regardless of whether you are the buyer who wants to focus on getting the best deals in e-commerce or the seller who needs to innovate quickly in order to stay on the top of the competitive market – we let you focus on your goals without having to worry about all the boring or difficult technicalities.
How can you sign up for Zen and how much does Zen cost?
Joining ZEN.COM’s community is extremely simple. You only need to download the application, which is currently available on three platforms: Google Play, App Store, and Huawei App Gallery. The next steps are registering an account and selecting your preferred subscription model. That’s all you need in order to fully enjoy all the functionalities we have prepared.
ZEN.COM operates in a subscription model with the cheapest option valued at only EUR 0.99 monthly. We actually have counted how much our users get versus the value of the subscription and after analyzing similar offers available on the market, we are pretty confident that ours is simply incomparable. Considering the variety of benefits that come with each of the packages, you get back your money’s worth very fast. If you’re not sure about that, you can simply look up in the app how much you have saved, i.e. on cashback or warranty extensions.
Transparency is important for us as well – there’s a 30-day free trial period designed to let you try out the features of any particular plan. If you change your mind, you can always switch to any other subscription option or entirely cancel it.
How does the competition look in this segment? The first thought that came to our mind on the Polish market is Revolut. Can you point out the differences between your systems?
We are compared with other fintech very often, but we don’t actually have direct competition. We are the only company that offers a comprehensive platform for financial management, addressed specifically to people and entities who consciously buy and sell online. We want to be there for them, to give them real, tangible benefits – peace of mind in thinking about financial management and full security in transactions.
Being entrepreneurs, we realize that there are currently no other solutions on the market for companies of all sizes that would offer all the services they need in one simple and cost-effective platform. That’s why we decided to fill this space. Thanks to ZEN.COM, sellers get instant access to money on the account, including those from online sales. Their customers, in turn, thanks to the fact that we support a wide range of online payment methods, can freely adjust the payment method to their preferences. To sum up, your financial liquidity is easier to maintain, the high conversion rates are simpler to achieve, and – what we are especially proud of – you do not have to worry about chargebacks or lack of Polish IBAN. All in all, this provides the comfort of financial management on a level that no other tool on the market can provide.
How does your cooperation with Mastercard look like?
This is a unique model. It’s actually the first such extensive cooperation between a fintech and a payment company in terms of Polish or even European market. Partnering with Mastercard gives us a market advantage as well as the ability to provide unique services. In turn, we can provide safer payments and enable simpler financial management.
Examples include physical and virtual Mastercard cards, which – paired with Apple Pay or Google Pay – make it easy to pay by smartphone or smartwatch. Multi-currency features are provided with no commissions and lower exchange rates in comparison to those offered by traditional financial institutions, which means that shopping in a foreign store (traditional or online) won’t break the bank. All in all, in a current e-commerce environment this is an unrivaled market offer.
What is your development plan and what part does a cashback solution play in your business?
Our ambition is to bring zen to consumers and businesses not only across Europe but on a much wider scale as well. Global commerce is consistently undergoing rapid changes, especially in times of pandemic. Customers and businesses worldwide need a guide who will show them tailor-made and flexible solutions that are well thought out. That’s our main goal – constant work on making financial management simpler and easier.
Currently, we are strongly focused on improving our app and services by introducing features in high demand. In April we launched Polish IBANs, an app for the Huawei App Gallery store, as well as the new ZEN Buddies functionality, which allows transferring money to another person by phone number.
All of this is done to provide our clients with comprehensive service and meet their constantly growing expectations. Our business goals are ambitious. Within five years we want to support million registered users – and indirectly bring zen to much more customers by backing the sellers servicing them.
When it comes to cashback, business-wise it is one of the most important features for us. We offer it to individual clients together with our partners. And it seems that we are the fastest on the market: money from up to 15% of completed purchases is transferred to the account in up to 15 seconds!
Which European markets are your priority at this stage of development?
At the moment, we look at the European Union from a bird’s eye view. We focus on making product decisions so as to give the greatest possible value to the widest possible group of recipients, all in the easiest possible way. However, we want our reach to extend much further than Europe, as we believe in borderless trade. The statistics are clear: in 2020, the global growth of the cross-border e-commerce market was as high as 82%, and almost 7 out of 10 online shoppers made purchases in a foreign store. Local businesses and customers will increasingly want to participate in it and we want to be there to support them, regardless of their location. We believe that e-commerce doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. Sometimes we just are used to the way things are that we do not really see how simple improvements can make e-shopping much more pleasant. With our aim of bringing zen to global trade, we also want to show the customers that they have the right to expect more and to have their expectations fulfilled.
Do you already have cashback partners in these markets?
At the moment, over a hundred stores and platforms cooperate with ZEN.COM. We work closely with many recognizable brands, such as AliExpress, Allegro, Booking, Groupon, Rentalcars.com, or Geekbuying. Our team is constantly working to ensure that the list will expand to include both global and local e-stores.
Where do you see yourself in two years?
We don’t want to compete with others in terms of rankings and statistics. We consciously focus primarily on the satisfaction of our individual and business users. Therefore, in two years we see ourselves in their hearts. In the hearts of consumers and entrepreneurs who trust us and know that ZEN.COM will bring them peace of mind without any hidden agenda.
Thank you for the interview, Michal Bogusławski (Commercial Director, ZEN.COM)!