Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Meet a new FinTech CEO every week
HomeProfileEvgeniy Chuikov, Co-Founder & CEO, EasyTip

Evgeniy Chuikov, Co-Founder & CEO, EasyTip

I’m really pleased to bring you today’s Q&A with Evgeniy Chuikov, the CEO & Co-Founder of cashless tipping company, EasyTip.

Over to you Evgeniy…

Who are you and what’s your background?

I’m Co-founder and CEO of EasyTip. We are a fintech platform for collecting and distributing tips in the hospitality and services industries. I’ve been in the payments space for around 5 years now and prior to EasyTip, I helped launch and co-founded another cashless tipping platform which was successfully scaled and sold to a large banking institution.

I also have extensive corporate communications and financial background. I used to work for a large private equity firm and as Member of the Management Board, I oversaw all corporate communications such as public relations, investor relations, government relations, CSR and marketing. Over the last few years I’ve also advised several start-ups and made my own start-up and VC investments.

What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?

My role encompasses all aspects of our business – big picture is usually made of small details. I am passionate about our product so I tend to spearhead product development with our Devs team. I’m driving strategy and roll out in different markets, fundraise, hire and partnerships. At times I help our team with pitching to large clients or bring new clients myself. Having my finger on the “sales pulse” helps drive our product offering and keeps me agile.

Our team is around 45 people and we try to steer away from pyramid structures for time being so a lot of the tasks are very hands on. I like to give people the freedom to explore and understand the business from different sides if they have the desire to learn and offer as much responsibility as they can handle. For time being this has helped us be quick on our feet which is the most important trait for any start-up.

Can you give us an overview of your business?

EasyTip is a platform that helps businesses collect and distribute tips for their employees. Globally payment of tips in the hospitality and services industries is over US$ 100 billion dollars each year. In these industries, income from tips can amount to over 50% of total income.

Historically tips were paid in cash and so went directly to tip recipients but cash transactions are in sharp decline. So, over the course of the last few years businesses have had to involve themselves with tip admin a lot more. This has resulted in lack of transparency and unfairness (some businesses don’t share out all of the tips) and additional cost burdens (processing fees, taxes, accounting, admin etc).

EasyTip solves this by providing a platform whereby customers can scan a QR code and tip waiters, stylists or drivers directly. Employer doesn’t touch or control the funds. Distributions are automated and payouts are sent to tip recipients instantly. Customer can also be happy knowing that their tip went exactly to the person (or team) they intended to tip.

Our platform makes tipping fair. It’s a trend that is gathering momentum – fair tipping legislation passed in the UK, Ireland and France in the last 24 months. As regulators try to make this space transparent and fair, it inevitably leads to more compliance and regulations for the businesses. And EasyTip takes care of all of this. Our collections and distributions are compliant and hassle free.

We launched in mid 2021 and now work with over 2000 businesses in the UK, UAE and parts of EU. Around 25,000 workers collect tips with EasyTip. We’ve built a lot of trust with them and believe this will open the door to other financial services in the future – cards, credit, loyalty etc. In a lot of cases, we have a better knowledge of our users’ financial well-being than the bank they bank with.

Tell us how you are funded?

I launched EasyTip with James Bevan my co-founder and so initially we funded the start of the platform ourselves. Since then we’ve had equity rounds and raised over US$7.5 million to scale the business. Our shareholders are private individuals and family offices. We are starting to talk to funds now too and welcome any type of investor conversations.

What’s the origin story? Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?

Idea originated from a similar platform which I invested in and helped launch a few years ago. It also had a sole focus on cashless tipping and operated in Moscow, Russia. It became a runaway success, arguably the most successful fintech of the last 3 or 4 years in that country. We launched, scaled and 2 years later in 2021, sold it entirely to a large banking institution. I wanted to test if a similar concept can be scaled international and that’s why EasyTip was launched.

Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?

We target hospitality and service businesses and their employees to sign up to our platform. Actually tipping is very wide spread so the types of businesses we have as clients are restaurants, salons, hotels, travel agencies, concierge, clubs, performers, influencers and creators, recreational venues etc.

For an average venue with 15 customer facing employees, we can save around £300 a month if they outsource tips collection to us. And that’s a big number. Most of the micro and small businesses are in undated with offers from other platforms but not many platforms can claim this sort of impact.

We make revenue from several streams. We charge a processing commission on accepting tips (usually covered by the customer), we earn fees on payouts of tips and we have a premium subscription model for the businesses. When a business subscribes to our premium platform they get more analytics and useful tip distribution tools. They can collect tips more efficiently and see all the data on their team. A lot of our customers (businesses) use our data as KPI’s for their teams.

If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?

On the one hand we keep hearing that payments are being simplified each day but on the other the level of bureaucracy and KYC is growing exponentially. Compliance is very important, but it is a double-edged sword. It’s the elephant in the room that not many people in the fintech or finance space are prepared to critically tackle.

Regulators need to find a balance on this topic and gateway keepers such as banks and financial platforms need to maintain business friendly approach. I’m concerned also by AI in this space as it’s algorithms can be restrictive. One of our payments partners for example recently introduced certain AI algorithms in their compliance, it caused problems for some of their clients. Of course, all was corrected and resolved but the time and efforts spent were very significant.

What is your message for the larger players in the Financial Services marketplace?

Embrace partnerships and integrations. Open source your platforms so other players in the eco-system can integrate freely.

Where do you get your Financial Services/FinTech industry news from?

From all over the place. Colleagues, friends, partners. Most recently, Linkedin seems to be a place where my feed is constantly showing me something new about fintech / finances. We also have some investors which are very advanced on the fintech news front so conversations with them keep me decently informed.

Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech and/or Financial Services sector that we should be following on LinkedIn, and why?

I’m not a prolific user of social media platforms and hence not a prolific follower of other profiles. But Ewan’s posts are a must read as he deconstructs user journey and experiences so well. Also, Tristan Brandt covers a lot of interesting topics on his Linkedin page and gets a lot of engagement from his network.

What FinTech services (and/or apps) do you personally use?

The usual suspects are all on my list: Revolut, Wio Bank, Wise, Liv Digital Bank etc. My preferences tend to skew towards platforms which offer simple and logical KYC and physical customer interaction when questions arise. I think customer service is essential and a lot of platforms have entirely forgotten about it. In most of my cases when I need help chat bots will not help me. So a platform that can respond quickly with a coherent human on the other end of the line is what I value.

What’s the best new FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?

I like the transparency of execution that my WISE account offers me. When I send money through WISE, I get a precise visual timeline of when my transfer will be processed and reach the recipient’s bank account. It’s just such a nice touch and incredibly convenient. It gives the user so much confidence and reduces the number of questions.

Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?

I think Open banking has a real chance to democratise payments. It’s cheap, quick and fairly simple on the user journey front. In theory it should also create pricing pressures for incumbent infrastructure providers (Schemes) so broader market may benefit too. I’m also a fan of blockchain technology and think it will dominate payment space very soon.

That’s great thank you Evgeniy Chuikov – thank you for taking the time and good luck with next steps!

If you’d like to know more about EasyTip, please do reach out to Evgeniy on LinkedIn or find more about the company at

Ewan is Founder and Editor of FinTech Profile and Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of mobile and FinTech industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

Most Popular