When a startup’s biggest competitor is the paper check, success is likely to follow.
At least, that’s the case for ePayPolicy, an Austin startup with the sole purpose of providing a digital platform for collecting independent insurance company payments.
“We’re competing with a paper check, and independent insurance agents know they have to give their insurers options when paying,” said Nathan Terrazas, who leads operations at ePayPolicy. “Offering the option of an online credit card payment is absolutely necessary. If they don’t, they lose business.”
With a team of seven, ePayPolicy has grown organically in a space that doesn’t see a lot of tech innovation.
“Our growth has consistently increased by 20 percent every month over the last year,” Terrazas said. “We're taking the pain out of insurance payments, and we’re the best at what we do.”
We’re not splitting atoms. We just process payments.”
The platform began as a tool that co-founder Todd Sorrel offered to the clients of his finance company, Select Premium. He recruited the engineering skills of co-founder Milan Malkani to build out a payment wireframe that specifically served clients of the firm.
“When things got serious, insurance companies showed an interest and confirmed that this payment platform could be a real product,” said Terrazas. “Todd always says, ‘We’re not splitting atoms. We just process payments.’ He and Milan saw a need, and they went for it.”
By 2014, Sorrel and Malkan had a startup named ePayPolicy and an undisclosed seed round of investor support. Fast forward four years and today the platform supports over 750 insurance businesses nationally with endorsements from 14 independent insurance state associations in Texas and beyond.
Despite other tech companies entering the market, Terrazas said their competitors don’t have the same internal experience that ePayPolicy’s co-founders have.
“There are definitely other payment processors out there, but the thing about us is that we are built by insurance professionals for insurance professionals,” said Terrazas. “We’re the only payment processor that is in that niche.”
Part of that insider knowledge meant developing a system that doesn’t slow the independent insurance agents down. For instance, ePayPolicy's solution integrates directly with partnering companies' insurance agency management systems making it easy to adopt. The platform also only takes companies five minutes to implement following an online application that typically processes within 24 hours.
Looking ahead, the team hopes to expand its headcount to 10 by the end of this year and double their customer base within 18 months.