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Disruption by Blockchain Part 19: Mariliis Mia Topp – Paytailor

  • 20 February 2018
  • Expert Insights

Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.

The following is an interview we recently had with Mariliis Mia Topp, Co-founder and Head of Marketing and Communications at Paytailor.

1. What’s the history of Paytailor? How and where did you begin?

MMT: The idea of a mobile payment was born in a tiny dorm room, in Oxford, UK,  where the nearest corner shop charged extra for card payments. The idea of a smart solution that is driven by the actual needs of a merchant, but at the same time, would be as equally simple and useful for the customer, was born.

We believe that technology should be serving the people, not the other way around. Innovation has the power to improve the way people interact with businesses, bring them closer together and create experiences beyond imagination. Paytailor skipped the need for integrations, card payment terminals or any other additional hardware for that matter. And most importantly, high additional costs. Customer app works seemingly without dictating the brand of the device nor taking too much memory space. Moreover, neither the customer or merchant need to have additional bank accounts simply because Paytailor works with existing bank accounts.

However, we want to do more than simply solve problems. We want to change how people use technology – it’s the technology that should serve people not the other way around. For this very reason, we can proudly say we are looking further than problem-solving,

  •       create value through social cohesion
  •       provide better, smarter and cheaper solutions
  •       help businesses to increase sales and to build strong customer communities

2. Who are the founders and key team members?

We have two founding members, who work together like a well-oiled machine.

Rode Luhaäär, Co-founder and CEO

Rode has tailored and designed the concept of Paytailor. He is managing co-operations,  sales and takes care of other business development tasks.He has hands-on approach as well as has as a in-depth experience in the digital field as a manager,  project manager, designer, and e-marketer. Rode has executed projects for companies and brands such as Coca-Cola, L'Oreal, Kühne+Nagel, Telia,  McDonald’s, KPMG, Hill+Knowlton  Strategies, Swedbank,  Sandoz etc. Projects have been delivered to  USA,  UK,  United  Arab  Emirates,  Finland,  Lithuania, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Kenya, and Estonia.

His experience and projects have been supported by his studies in Oxford in e-business field as well he is sharing his knowledge in Estonia’s biggest private University as a lecturer for 8 years now.

Mariliis Mia Topp, Co-founder / Communication & Marketing

Mariliis is supporting the team with communications, marketing, and business development. Mariliis has an extensive experience in corporate communications from a Nasdaq OMX listed, blue-chip company. Amongst other functions, as a member of the top management, she was responsible for investor communications, branding, and marketing, crisis communications, internal communications and CSR for nearly 9 years. Mariliis has enhanced the role of the communication’s function within the company from corporate services function to Executive role, grew an independent brand out of tap water, helped to increase the company value by transparent communications through the company’s activities.

Mariliis is also active in competitive sports and heavily engaged with increasing community awareness on health. She holds BA from Psychology, MBA in Business Administration and Postgraduate degree in Public Affairs (London).

Nevertheless, Paytailor would not be Paytailor, if it wasn’t for our two superstar in-house developers, Lauri and Marvin. Those guys do everything from IOS and Android development to front end and back end.  

3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?

MMT: Paytailor was founded to solve a real problem many people across the world face on a daily basis. In several places, it is not possible to pay with a card. Different payment solutions can be complicated or uncomfortable to use, or equally importantly – often very expensive. In many European countries, it is quite common for merchants to pass card payment transaction fee to the customer. Otherwise, the card processing fee significantly reduces merchants’ profit margins. To avoid the fee from the merchant, customers are either motivated to buy more goods, making the fee manageable by the merchant, or pay in cash.

Most common problems merchants face:

1. Card terminal infrastructure that sets limits to accessibility

2. High costs for merchants for card terminals, fees or integrations of different solutions

3. No customer database. Card and cash payments are anonymous, which means the merchants need other ways of engagement to attract customers. However, most of those solutions mean yet another card or paper in customer’s wallet.

Whereas many of the mobile payment solutions are being born behind corporate desks, aimed at creating a cool feature for the users, Paytailor is a merchant-driven software. Merchant is really the one telling how you can pay, the one that struggles with high fees, lack of accessibility or customer loyalty.

4. What is your solution to this problem?

MMT: Paytailor resolved the problem with a cloud-based payment platform, that combines different payment methods, big data, NFC, location and social aspects of nowadays technological capability. The flexibility allows payments app to app, browser to app, via public API, through e-commerce and Internet of Things payments.

Paytailor is designed to take care of both sides from the customer relationship. Allowing multiple clever options for merchants to accept payments and customers to leave their wallet home.

Merchant solutions

Mobile terminal app

Merchant has the opportunity to choose the way of accepting the payment. This can be done from the smartphone, tablet or desktop. Once the merchant signs up with Paytailor, they can immediately start accepting payments. Mobile terminal can be taken everywhere, allowing to accept payments wherever needed, either at outdoor events or on the go.      

Paytailor API aka integrated payment solution

Paytailor public API with enables integration into nearly any point of sale software on the market. Thus, merchants integrate mobile payments directly into their current point of sale process, leaving the choice of how to pay to the customer.


Paytailor built an e-Commerce platform on top of our mobile payments solution, to incorporate e-commerce experience with the brick-and-mortar experience. This means, the customer has easy access to e-shops, restaurant menus and much more in just one app. Check-out is faster and much more convenient than in regular e-shop, as the customer already has a bank card connected to their Paytailor Mobile Wallet.

Internet of Things

Once the device is connected to the internet, Paytailor’s platform enables it to accept payments. Clearly, the device must provide a service or deliver a product. This technology expands monetization of devices without requiring a person to take the payment. We can add payment to supermarket toilets, gates, doors or even electric bulbs.

Think about a vending machine. Coins-only can be quite a frustration, when you’re starving with no cash around. Mobile payment is super easy: 

Key advantages

1.  Easy to adopt

2. Replaces card payment infrastructure

3.  Helpful tool to increase customer loyalty

Paytailor for customers

Regardless of the method of accepting the payment, customers only need the Paytailor mobile app to make a payment.  Everything the customer needs within one app.

Value for customers

  • Simple and fast solution to pay, no need for physical cards
  • Easy registration
  • Easy to add up to 3 bank cards
  • Multiple payment options
  • In-app eCom allows simple shopping with only 4 digit pin code check out

5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?

MMT: There is no doubt the world is shifting towards greater accessibility and better user experiences. Things people never new they could do or have are now within our reach. Would we have ever imagined to hop on a cab with no wallet? Simply in and out. Or rent an apartment from stranger or leave ours for people unknown simply based on trust. People are getting more and more used to getting stuff done just via their mobile phones: we shop online, we use mobiles for communicating, working, taking pictures. Thus it's no wonder, the popularity of mobile payments is increasing rapidly.

Mobile payment business is an accessibility business. On one hand providing easy to access, cheaper and more useful tools for accepting payments for merchants. On the other hand allowing cashless and cardless secure payments for customers, at the same time keeping or creating new opportunities for the relationship between the merchants and their customers.

So where are we heading? An estimated 1.9 trillion dollars and nearly 48% of all digital payments are being paid through e-wallets by 2021. Furthermore, more and more payments are being done via devices connected with an internet, predicting a staggering 30.7 billion dollars to be paid via Internet of Things by 2020. That’s already in two years!  Needless to say, those rough estimations demonstrate the shift from known to the whole new era of user culture.

6. What’s the future of your industry?

Prediction #1: Cashless and cardless society. People be reminiscing about their ancestors carrying an extra bag (called wallets) with cards and cash.  

Prediction #2: Community-like, mutually pleasant and beneficial relationship between the merchants and customers. Mobile wallets will take over, offering all loyalty benefits that can be used as a means to interact.

Prediction #3: No-hustle secure payments regardless of the payment place. People pay however they wish – in a way most suitable for them. Either in crypto, with card, carrier billing etc. Merchant will , in turn,receive money in a preferred way. Mobile wallets do the work to allow that.

Prediction #3: No-hustle secure payments regardless of the payment place. People pay however they wish – in a way most suitable for them. Either in crypto, with card, carrier billing etc. Merchant will , in turn,receive money in a preferred way. Mobile wallets do the work to allow that.

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