Statement from Mathias Graf about Payyo:
“Payyo offers a complete automation of accounting and financial controlling of B2B business.”
What is Swiss Activities?
Swiss Activities is the largest leisure activities platform in Switzerland. Guests from Switzerland and abroad can find their suitable leisure activity, book and pay directly.
Our questions to the founder of Swiss Activities.
Mathias Graf answers our questions about the background of Swiss Activities and the decision to cooperate with Payyo.
1. Hello Mathias, great that you have time for us! Why don't you tell us a little bit about the reasons for founding Swiss Activities and its business model.
The idea of establishing a marketplace exclusively towards the Swiss market came up at the end of March, after the outbreak of Covid-19. We were aware of the fact that domestic tourism is experiencing stronger demand. We examined the information compiled from various OTA's (Online Travel Agencies) and other platforms, with disillusioning results.
What we immediately noticed: The existing platforms have a very strong focus on foreign tourism and the product was designed accordingly.
Marketplaces are not new inventions in the travel industry and have always been an integral part of today's tourism. Nevertheless, we liked the idea of being on the road somewhere in Switzerland, check the cell phone, find the right activity within seconds and book it immediately.
Our motto is "Time is leisure time". Based on this we defined our four basic principles for the future: Digitizing and automating of the booking process, the tourism service providers are helping to build the platform, absolute transparency and no hidden costs for B2B and B2C and leisure activities must be searchable and bookable for less than one minute. In the sense of "more time for leisure time".
As a domestic marketplace for leisure activities , we have cost advantages over large OTA's that operate worldwide. The legal framework, cross-border transactions and content preparation in different languages, amongst other things, is a large task to build for a worldwide travel marketplace. It is much simpler to build a marketplace for one country.
The focus on Switzerland gives the opportunity to operate at significantly lower costs. This is one reason why every service provider in the tourism sector, whether big or small, never pays more than 9%. In the future we also want to expand to the hotel and vacation property rental sectors.
2. How did this result in the cooperation with Payyo?
As a start-up company keeping the fixed costs as low as possible in the beginning is essential. Particularly when setting up a marketplace, there are hardly any relevant sales and only high costs. As Payyo does not need fixed costs, from affiliated merchants or from marketplaces, this was the ideal starting point. But, the price should not be the only conviction, the product and stability must be persuasive too. Since Payyo offers a complete API based solution with Swiss payment solutions, the decision was in favor of Payyo. Payyo is designed for marketplaces. The expectations so far have been more than fulfilled.
3. What are the experiences as a marketplace so far with Payyo?
The cost control of a marketplace is essential. I was excited when we first tested the marketplace with potential customers and received live bookings in the summer of 2020. If bookings do not work, payments to dealers are not notified or something is settled incorrectly in the accounting, you very quickly end up in an administrative hell. This results in high costs and very dissatisfied customers on the B2C and B2B side. However, the expectations could be fulfilled and during the whole summer I had hardly invested any time in the payment process (until then I was the only employee).
4. How would you and your team rate the integration process with Payyo?
The integration is very simple, not time consuming and easy to understand. A great fact is that the Payyo Tech Team helps directly with the integration and actively supports the Operations Team in the communication with the B2B partners. This saves valuable time.
5. How is Payyo involved in the daily business with your activity partners?
"No news is good news" in terms of the payment flow of online payments and a marketplace. The onboarding process is automatic and occasionally we answer questions from merchants about the documents to be submitted for the KYC process. Once it is up and running, the entire accounting, finance and controlling process is completely automated. The leisure activity providers receive their payouts weekly after the service date (provision of the service) and Payyo also sends our payout receipt. In addition, Payyo provides us with a white-label Swiss Activities backend for our merchants, in which they have insight into the bookings of their customers. We don't hide any data from the tour operators and they can contact the customers directly after the booking.
6. What advantages do you and your partners see in Payyo?
Automation, transparency in costs and once again automation.
7. To whom would you most recommend the integration with Payyo?
Every marketplace that has built its own merchant accounting system knows the difficulties involved in payment processes and financial controlling. Payyo provides a complete solution for marketplaces. Like in a cockpit I have control and overview of all payment flows within my marketplace and do not have to allocate costs for this topic. Of course, I also see great advantages for software companies, which have other motivations than a marketplace.
Mathias, thank you very much for this detailed and interesting interview! We wish you continued success and are very happy to accompany you on this way.