Gilles VERBECQ, PIM a sweet dream with business accents. Portrait

Last updated:

Gilles Verbecq is the founder of PIM, a daily solidarity payment application. After ten years in Morocco leading its application development structure, he moved to Bordeaux.

Gilles Verbecg

Personal experience that generates a solidarity solution

It is partly after these ten years in Morocco that a year and a half ago, this new idea was born in Gilles’ mind. Confronted with the true definition of poverty, he was quickly made aware of associative causes. In addition, at a very young age, he had become aware of the luck of the French health system. Carrying a serious illness, Gilles VERBECQ underwent a transplant of both lungs. Beyond the social and solidarity economy, the creation of PIM, for Gilles, is for him a way to reciprocate.

In 2017, Gilles VERBECQ moved to Bordeaux. By passion for the city and its economic dynamics, a real accelerator of projects. Since then, he has been actively involved in managing and closely monitoring the progress of the application developed by his other company. It also works to make the application known to local associations.

A project of conviction, carried by a fully invested team

Within the adventure, PIM, Gilles is associated with David BOUCHER, Chief Executive Officer. He has a significant experience of more than thirty years in the banking sector. David is in charge of all regulatory aspects and financial compliance of the PIM payment system. The team is also completed by Maria TRAVERT. She has about ten years of experience in management control, and is attached to the Finance Department of PIM.

PIM also surrounded itself with Michael Zimmermann, who met during the special FinTech Startup Weekend of which PIM emerged as the winner. Student in economics and law at Montesquieu and himself an entrepreneur, he is the founder of Simple Cloud. His company offers tailor-made data storage solutions for individuals and professionals and consulting to facilitate collaborative work.

Very involved in the associative world, he immediately recognized himself in this project. Convinced by the resolutely human side of PIM and the fact that they were “touching with their fingers” a viable solution. The one that could be thanks to a daily payment, finance associations, he intervenes on the crowdfunding aspect and the Social and Solidarity Economy approach which is particularly dear to him.

Since then, the two men have been talking about their respective companies on a regular basis.

PIM, or how to support the associations you care about with ease

In concrete terms, PIM is a mobile payment application that allows you to pay for purchases in partner stores. This by eliminating as much as possible the financial intermediaries between the buyer and the seller. This makes it possible to be much more competitive, and to reserve on each payment a donation to the member association of his choice.

Indeed, when paying by credit card, the bank of the cardholder, and that of the TPE (electronic payment terminal) take a commission on the transaction.

The amounts vary (from just under 1% to significantly more for Paypal payments for example) but these commissions are systematic even if the buyer does not see them. By creating PIM, Gilles aims to reduce costs and donate part of it to a humanitarian association of their choice.

How PIM works

Technically, the concept is relatively simple. Each customer benefits, when opening an account, from an IBAN fed by a transfer or another PIM user. On each transaction, half of the fees would be paid to the association chosen by the buyer.

In this market, PIM already has some competitors such as HEOH or Rounding Solidarity, However, the use of PIM does not cost the user anything in itself.

Then, the consumer can directly modify the beneficiary association within the application through an internal search engine. While the latter option seems obvious, it is far from widespread.

For the merchant, PIM is an additional means of payment to be installed in store through payment by phone or even a system of QR code linked to the cash register. From an accounting point of view, it has also planned everything since it generates bank statements every month. For the buyer, it is the way to contribute to causes that are dear to him in the actions of everyday life.

In addition, he also has access to transaction details to track his expenses. For both of them, it’s a solution to keep costs down on transactions anyway.

In addition to offering an alternative and solidarity payment system, PIM wants to offer each association listed a wall of publication in order to publish news about the actions carried out through the donations collected.

A business model far from a utopia

With a market of 177 billion transactions per year worldwide and 2 billion people in possession of a smartphone, PIM’s potential scope is considerable.

By simply charging a small fee in lieu of traditional bank transaction fees, the application could generate sufficient revenue to both live as a business and pay 50% of these fees to associations.

The individual amounts represent a derisory cost. The daily repetition and the number of users that would allow associations to receive interesting amounts and overcome a major concern: seasonality. Indeed, donations to associations depend on an annual communication campaign, and not a regular and predictable inflow of money.

Annual support for associations

With PIM, associations would receive money throughout the year. Beyond the daily payment, and as users will need to feed their account, the app provides two free transfers per month for an individual and four for a professional. Beyond that, they would pay a fee in the order of 10 euro cents.

PIM’s business model therefore relies on a significant volume of transactions to be reached but once the break-even point, it requires little investment in order to intelligently finance associative causes in addition to offering an alternative to the traditional banking system and therefore serving possible personal convictions.

A service available before the end of the year

The PIM team plans to launch the service at the end of November. To do this, it is active in marketing it to the major accounts of the ESS, and its existing personal and professional network. As a first step in order for the service to be fully operational quickly, PIM obtained the necessary accreditation from Treezor, “the new core-banking platform that facilitates the management of white label payments”.

To begin with, PIM relies on 40,000 users after one year, with a payment service available from about twenty brands and a dozen referenced associations.

In the long term, PIM aims to become a full-fledged payment institution in order to become the first bank to finance the association. He wants to be able to offer credit and investment solutions, with European and then international ambitions.

For Gilles VERBECQ, beyond financial ambitions, this is a real new challenge, of a consequential dimension, as a business leader. A real revenge on life in the service of the causes that are dear to his heart.

Abonnez-vous à la Newsletter