In the weeks leading up to THE Domain Conference, one of the most interesting things I learned is that Brandon Abbey, formerly the President of Escrow.com, was hired by Payoneer. For those of you who don’t know of Payoneer, the company is a payment platform used by companies like Airbnb, Amazon, and Google. The company is used in over 200 countries transacting in more than 150 currencies.
In March of 2016, Payoneer acquired Armor Escrow Inc., a California-licensed Internet escrow agent doing business as Armor Payments. Within the past week, the company rebranded its escrow product as Payoneer Escrow, and Brandon Abbey will be working with this business, specifically on its domain name escrow offering.
Because of the company’s entry into the domain space, I interviewed Scott Reynolds, President of Payoneer Escrow. If you have additional questions for Scott (or for Brandon), I invite you to post them in the comment section.
Elliot: Why is Payoneer moving into the domain escrow space?
Scott Reynolds: Since Payoneer’s acquisition of Armor Payments in March of this year, we have seen increasing demand for domain escrow services from existing Payoneer account holders as well as individual domain sellers and brokers. As a result, we believe there is a need for a licensed, global, easy to use escrow service, and we are excited to be launching a customized version of our service to meet the unique needs of the domain community.
Moving into the domain escrow space is a natural evolution for us, building on Armor Payments’ expertise in business-to-business goods and services escrow payments. For those who are not familiar with Payoneer, we are a leading global payments provider working with businesses and professionals in over 200 countries in 150 currencies. Payoneer has thousands of corporate clients including Google, Airbnb, Amazon, and Getty Images, as well as millions of account holders around the world.
Elliot: How can Payoneer make escrow easier/safer for domain investors?
Scott Reynolds: There are three key areas where Payoneer Escrow excels: providing a streamlined user experience, meeting compliance and regulatory requirements, and supporting our users around the globe.
Firstly, we had the benefit of creating our user interface from scratch, using the most up-to-date technology to offer a simple, easy transaction experience for buyers and sellers. Plus, Payoneer Escrow is fully integrated with Payoneer’s global payment capability, enabling sellers around the world to receive payments quicker and at lower costs than with traditional payment methods.
Secondly, right from day one, we took an approach to make sure we had all the compliance and regulatory requirements taken care of prior to launching our escrow service. Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements are extremely critical when transferring funds, and we handle those responsibilities.
Payoneer, as a global payment service provider is recognized for its compliance and risk capabilities, which are truly world-class. Finally, effective customer service is of utmost importance to domain investors. Payoneer has offices around the globe and provides unparalleled customer service to our millions of account holders.
Elliot: Do you think there are ways to innovate in the domain escrow space?
Scott Reynolds: Yes, absolutely. Marketplaces play an important role in the domain escrow space, yet the ability to conduct licensed escrow payments on many of these marketplaces has been very limited. Payoneer Escrow provides a simple way for marketplaces to offer escrow payment to their buyers, sellers and brokers without having to leave the marketplace site. You will soon be seeing Payoneer Escrow as a payment method on a number of leading domain marketplaces.
Elliot: By the end of 2017, what % of your business will be made up of domain escrow and how will you get there?
Scott Reynolds: That is hard to say, as we are a new entrant into the space. However, this segment represents a strategic priority for us and, based on early user feedback, we are confident that we will see significant traction right out of the gate. And we will continue to enhance our escrow service. For instance, we want to offer more flexibility in the way people can pay, so we will soon be offering a credit card option for buyer payments, in addition to eCheck, ACH and wires.
Elliot: What does Brandon Abbey bring to the company and what is his role?
Scott Reynolds: Brandon is the most experienced individual out there when it comes to online escrow services. When we heard of his availability we immediately reached out to him. We’re excited to have him on board as a Senior Adviser to our escrow division. His responsibilities include developing partnerships, end-user relationships, product innovation, pretty much everything he did in his previous position at Escrow.com, but as he says, “Without all the headaches and sleepless nights.” Payoneer has over 700 employees focused on enabling payments worldwide, so there is quite a support team out there to back him up.