When the COVID pandemic unleashed its unprecedented disruption on life as we knew it, the road ahead was uncharted territory for all players across the economy. Taking a considerable portion of the brunt were Malta’s brick and mortar shops that were closed down abruptly over that fateful weekend in mid-March of 2020.

Many had to get very creative to survive what absolutely no one could foresee. Restaurants pivoted towards delivery services, while others sought opportunities in completely new sectors. But in many cases, this required a structure, or an IT backbone which some did not have.

“Businesses that already had a solid presence online, with their own digital e-commerce platforms in place, only needed to ramp up their efforts to accommodate the explosion in online business. Many businesses though, unfortunately found themselves unprepared and were potentially losing out on the opportunity. That is where we put our minds together and devised a way how we could help these businesses through specially created links that they could securely share with their customers, to be able to collect and process their payments, even if they didn’t have a website of their own,” Steve Grech, CEO at Trust Payments (Malta) Ltd recounts.

Trust Payments prides itself on being agile and most importantly, on being able to understand its clients. It is this special openness that has allowed them to establish themselves in the market of payment transfers, more specifically in their core area of POS (point of sale) management.

“We make it our business to understand what business owners are going through, and how we can offer them a superior service. It worked during COVID and it provided us with a solid platform to build on, once the lockdowns were lifted. Shop owners knew that they could trust us, as we continued to build on our relationship with them,” Steve, who brings over 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector, continues.

In fact, Trust Payments today has managed to penetrate a significant share of the POS market, with some 6,000 units installed on shop counters around Malta and Gozo, and growing.

Trust Payments

“Our sales and customer care teams are constantly on the ground learning how to provide a better service, and the feedback we obtain is often placed into practice. Our competitiveness goes beyond price-point and covers a more holistic attention to detail. For example, we make sure that payments are made to the merchants in the quickest time-frame possible. This is crucial for small businesses who appreciate liquidity, perhaps more than others. Similarly, we are vigilant on our infrastructure to make sure that technical faults are kept to an absolute minimum. This decreases the number of declined transactions considerably, to the advantage of all involved,” Steve explains.

“Product design is informed by all the feedback received across our company, from customer care, to tech, to compliance. That is how we managed to build a better service, and our customer-base appreciates our dedication towards them,” Steve notes. This includes 120 Malta-based staff and 550 staff in total worldwide.

This attention to detail was also central to Trust Payment’s strategy in bringing on board several sectors which differ greatly.

“Each vertical has its own needs, peculiarities, and nature of operating, which we make it a point to understand intimately. Some businesses open rather unusual hours and need to be assisted practically round the clock. Some others are solely online but need to affect payments in multiple currencies, while their transfers are considerably larger than average. All these different characteristics require specific specialisations in our product offering. Trust Payments calls this Converged Commerce™.”

Steve continues: “When forward-payment for deposits are added to the mix, we see an increased level of risk to transactions. Moreover, businesses are constantly changing and adapting to the markets around them, so understandably, all this is a process which remains constantly in motion. That is why we have dedicated teams with expertise in specific sectors in place, who allow us to offer a superior quality service, competitively.”

Trust Payments has created a groundswell of interest within the commercial community and has started to attract business from larger players who also understood the advantages of partnering up.

“Card payments today have become extremely common, with customers increasingly choosing to do away with old fashioned cash, in favour of cleaner, and more efficient electronic payments. Even smaller transactions nowadays have become the norm to be executed over point of sale, as improved charges and expenses have revolutionised this channel.”

Steve explains that customer care is central to Trust Payments and all clients have a dedicated account manager who they build a business relationship with. “Even though we do have a typical call centre, business owners in shops can contact their personal account manager who will be familiar with their business and will be able to help them much quicker and more effectively.”

Trust Payments is also proud to translate its commercial success into a number of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. In fact, apart from the company sponsoring a concert in aid of Puttinu, employees from Trust Payments have helped with beach and underwater clean ups in Ġnejna Bay and Għar Lapsi, as well giving a helping hand at the Valletta Soup Kitchen. 

Looking towards the future, Trust Payments has ambitious plans ahead. “We want to continue establishing ourselves in the POS market, bringing on board larger clients and expanding our service offering. We are also looking at entering the Open Banking sector to offer bank to bank transfers, as well as B2B payments whereby our clients will be able to make payment transfers to their suppliers and other merchants through Trust Payments.”

“Most importantly we will remain thankful to all those who have believed in our product, as we continue to build on our excellent relations with more businesses,” Steve concludes. 

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Written By

Edward Bonello

Edward Bonello is a content writer, PR consultant and generally chill fellow. When he’s not happily tapping away at his laptop, he enjoys collecting useless trivia, watching B-movies, and cooking the most decent carbonara this side of Trastevere.