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Merchant success stories
How localized payments is driving Delivery Hero’s global expansion

How localized payments is driving Delivery Hero’s global expansion

Jul 26, 2023

Order a takeout meal or grocery delivery, and there’s a good chance that it’ll be with Delivery Hero. In just over a decade, it has become one of the world’s most popular online food-delivery services. Much-loved brands such as PedidosYa, Talabat, and Foodpanda fall under its family of businesses. Altogether, it reaches over two billion customers every year in over 70 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East; and partners with over 500,000 restaurants. It has also been a driving force for online grocery shopping, through its DMarts business arm (delivery-only supermarkets), which now totals more than 1,000 sites across 50 countries.

Payments power this success story. Delivery Hero employs over 200 payment professionals at its head office in Berlin and another 200 around the world. It reflects the company’s ambition to use payments as a lever for global expansion, and an appreciation of the complexities involved in that.

Better, faster, further has helped Delivery Hero to navigate these opportunities since 2019. Primarily focused in the Middle East and North Africa, payment localization has been a key workstream of the partnership—especially given that MENA’s highly-varied markets demand in-depth knowledge of customer preferences, payment methods, and regulations.

Do it well, and the prize comes in the form of higher acceptance rates, lower chargebacks, reduced operating costs, faster settlement times, happier customers, and ultimately more profits.

Do it fast, and you can steal a march on your competition. When Apple Pay expanded its service, was able to switch the method on for Delivery Hero in just days. It was a similar story when Delivery Hero added OmanNet to its checkout flow, making significant improvements by unlocking local debit card processing. This change not only reduced costs by eliminating the need for cross-border processing but also resulted in a higher acceptance rate. With local debit card processing, Delivery Hero experienced an incremental increase of 1% in acceptance rates, enabling them to capture a larger share of the Oman market.

“For Delivery Hero to be relevant in every market, we need to offer local payment options, otherwise we’re not convenient for customers,” notes Vera Aichkina, senior manager of payments acceptance in EMEA at Delivery Hero.

No surprise, then, that Delivery Hero is extending its partnership with to APAC and Europe.

Millions of marginal gains

For a company that makes “probably a million pricing decisions per month” to boost profitability, according to its CEO, every small improvement matters. That includes smart routing of cross-border payments to find the fastest and cheapest settlement paths, and a QR code payment facility that Delivery Hero is using to move into the offline restaurant world.

What’s more, by leveraging's recently upgraded Fraud Detection Pro, which harnesses the power of billions of data points, Delivery Hero can now automatically identify suspicious activities and block unwanted transactions. Not to mention adhere to SCA compliance in relevant markets. Delivery Hero also benefits from the customizability of Fraud Detection Pro, which allows them to set rules and thresholds for different markets.

With each innovation comes the ability to be more competitive. That is important at any time, but especially now. Inflationary pressures around the world are giving people reason to think twice about the food they can afford, while also driving up wages of the gig-economy workers that make up a lot of Delivery Hero’s 45,000 employees. Increasingly, the company is looking to payments, and more specifically, for the efficiencies and optimizations it needs.

For example, Delivery Hero knows that its move into subscriptions is predicated on having the right payment capabilities, such as network tokenization, which it can get seamlessly from without adding new APIs or integrations, giving it one less go-to-market hurdle to get over. explains…tokenization

Card tokenization is used in payments to make them more secure. It is applied to card payments or methods that use cards such as pass-through digital wallets. When a customer makes a first purchase with a business, the card information is captured and stored in a ‘token vault’. It is replaced by a unique token, often represented with a numeric code, which does not carry any of the card information, even in encrypted form. In other words, it has no inherent value. For future transactions, the token acts as the authorization for the business to take the payment.

Read more about tokenization

Harnessing platform and people for global success’s global coverage is a key feature of this partnership. The unified platform can be used to process payments from virtually anywhere, to anywhere in the world. Yet it also allows Delivery Hero to localise payment experiences for different markets.

But, technology is just one aspect of that.

Without knowing about a market, you can’t optimise for a market. Delivery Hero also benefits from’s ‘boots on the ground’ experts across the world, who understand their markets at a forensic level. This includes who to contact at specific schemes and banks to raise queries or investigate issues—personal networks that would otherwise take years to build.

The alternative for Delivery Hero would be to rely on in-house technology and people, or use multiple partners for different needs and markets. Both sap budgets and time, and may require complex engineering of different systems, making future innovations more difficult.

Underpinning’s world-class technology is a level of customer support that is equally impressive. ‘Dedicated’, ‘knowledgeable’, and ‘always available’ are some of the adjectives that characterise the partnership, according to Delivery Hero’s payment leads. With extensive care and special SLA, ensures that Delivery Hero receives timely updates on when APM is going live in specific countries. Moreover, their dedicated team of customer success managers is always on top of the current payment models in the region, providing valuable insights and guidance. As Delivery Hero expands globally, it is this combination of technology and people that is marking as their partner of choice.

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