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Leaders In Payments

Author: Greg Myers

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Hear directly from C-level executives in payments/fintech about industry trends, successful strategies, products, services, and what the future holds for the payments/fintech industry. We cover the entire industry from merchant acquiring, payment processing, ISOs, payfacs, fraud, security, issuing, b2b, fintech, to start-ups, if it goes on in payments we will be talking about it.
131 Episodes
Jason Mugford, President and CEO of Ascendant is our special guest this week on episode 130 of the Leaders in Payments podcast.  Jason is a Toronto native and loyal fintech supporter. He talks with me about his journey in the industry and how he went from an aspiring Lacrosse player to a seasoned payments professional. Ascendant is an international accounts payable and receivable business that facilitates foreign payments for companies on a global scale.  One of their most notable services is reducing the vertical fraud and risk investigation potential for their international customers and tracking payments from release to remittance. According to Jason, this not only adds more transparency to the industry but also reduces investigations from an average of 20% to less than 1%.  As for the future of our industry, Jason predicts that both sides of the transaction will eventually come together as a network, enabling us to expedite the movement of money in a more seamless fashion.And can you believe all this started with a childhood affinity for Thomas Cook travelers checks?
Bob Dowd, CEO North America for Moneycorp is our special guest this week on episode 129 of the Leaders in Payment Podcast. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Bob – a man who started his 38-year payments career at Kennedy airport in New York carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars across terminals in a canvas bag. So, how did he go from this to CEO of the only non-US bank in the world to have a direct relationship with the US Federal Reserve? Well, “the harder you work, the luckier you get” is one of his favorite adages, if that tells you anything.Moneycorp is an international payments and foreign exchange company that leads the industry in providing global payments and currency risk management to corporations and partners around the world. They have $50 billion in foreign-exchange flows and $200 million in top-line revenue and facilitate 6 million individual payments on an annual basis. Bobs talk about where the industry is headed as it relates to real-time, low-value payment rails and blockchain – and how his company kept global economies afloat by delivering cash throughout the world during the COVID pandemic.
As we come to the close of financial inclusion month, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge my guests in terms of what they’re doing to promote financial inclusion and ensure the betterment of our flourishing ecosystem. It’s because of proactive efforts like this that we are getting closer to closing the gap between all the advantages that digital innovations provide and all the challenges that the underserved communities face in trying to take advantage of them.In this podcast, each of my sponsors for Financial Inclusion Month take the opportunity to highlight what they’re doing within their companies to service the underserved. We touch on everything from the current payment dilemma, to how we can effectively change the employee’s relationship with their paycheck, to how the strain of cash-only transactions impacts the rental, lending and government verticals specifically.Each guest brings a unique perspective as they highlight fintech’s relationship with financial inclusion, including what needs to be done to future proof our journey towards banking the unbanked.Today’s roundtable discussion includes The Clearing House SVP of Sales and Relationship Management Elena Whisler, Paysafe VP of eCash USA Jan Marc Kuelper and Instant Financial Founder and COO Steve Barha. Tune in to see what these three innovative leaders have to say about all things financial inclusion!
A native Canadian with a degree in molecular biology and computer science… and also the only guy I’ve ever met that can create a successful analogy using payments and farming, Instant Financial Founder and CEO Steve Barha speaks to us about the necessity to support financial health in some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.The pioneers of no-fee-no-interest earn-wage access, Instant Financial is taking a proactive stance when it comes to ensuring financial inclusion. And Steve’s personal vision when it comes to the financial status of the every-day employee? To live in a world where living paycheck-to-paycheck is completely extinct.So, how close are we? Sadly, not close enough. With 80% of working Americans still living paycheck-to-paycheck, we are actually worse off now than we were 10 years ago, when the number was 60%. But Steve and his team have a strategy…It all comes down to proactively lifting the underserved communities from the status of “financially vulnerable” to at least be “financially coping.” Once that has been achieved, they can then graduate to “financially healthy.”Tune in and hear us talk about all things financial inclusion and see if you share Steve’s vision for the future.
We’re halfway through financial inclusion month and we’ve had some really amazing guests share some of the industry’s top challenges regarding financial inclusion – as well as what their respective companies are doing to proactively close that gap. Today, I speak with FSS CashTech CEO V. Bala about the overwhelming strain of financial inclusion in India and what FSS is doing to alleviate it.An engineer by trade, Bala has had 30+ years of experience in the technology sector, with the last decade dedicated to payments specifically. His self-proclaimed strength is working with startups to make them successful and he has done nothing short of that with FSS and their CashTech product.In this episode, Bala shares the staggering numbers of the underserved villages in India. How are there still an estimated 1 billion people still devoid of financial services in one of the hottest pulse points of digital disruption? And what is being done to service these individuals?Bala goes into great detail about the FSS branch-in-a-box solution that is proactively alleviating the two main barriers to financial inclusion: available access and digital literacy. The initiative, itself, is admirable and the results are quite impressive.  The ultimate goal? To uplift 1 billion lives through their own payments ecosystem. 
A proud Chicago native with decades of experience driving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the payments space, and a heartfelt desire to “pour back into others some of the lessons his mentors taught him,” Will Lewis is a dynamic individual. He’s a Drake University graduate, the Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Officer at Experian and he is grateful for the opportunity to speak to you about one of his truest professional passions: financial inclusion.When it comes to the percentage of the American population who are still un-and-under-banked, it truly is a wonder that we haven’t managed to cross this hurdle in today’s digitally dominated landscape. And this is why people like Will are so valuable to our industry.With programs like Inclusion Forward: Experian Empowering Opportunities and Experian Boost, Will and his team are driving opportunities for individuals that are currently challenged with the limitations that come from being “credit invisible,” as he puts it. Through advocating on behalf of the consumer, these programs aim to give the cash-only consumers financial opportunities with a more comprehensive view of what could be considered “credit visibility.”Wil speaks about all things financial inclusion, including the goals of these programs, what Experian is doing to promote financial inclusion and why it’s so important in today’s every-changing ecosystem.
When it comes to payments, it’s no secret that digital is dominating the ecosystem. This, we know. But what about Americans that are either unbanked or underbanked… those that don’t have access to the technology or have the resources required to take advantage of the perks digital disruption provides?In today’s podcast, Paysafecash VP of Strategic Business Development Jan Marc Kuelper and RentMoola’s Chief Product Officer Jean-Francois Brissot come together to speak about the current landscape of the underbanked demographic and the strides they are proactively making to support this population. The ultimate goal? To make the life of the cash consumer as easy as possible.A creative thinker with 25 years of thinking about all things Fintech, Jean-Francois Brissot is the Chief Product Officer for RentMoola. RentMoola simplifies property payments into one efficient, secure platform. Jean-Francois oversees product innovation, engineering and customer success. Also, a big player in the Fintech space and my other guest on this podcast, Jan Marc Kuelper oversees the eCash business (both Paysafecard and Paysafecash) in the United States, with the responsibility of pursuing strategic partnerships to accelerate international expansion. Together, they provide some much-needed insight into our lingering dependency on cash, the financial challenges caused by the global pandemic and the impact this has on some of their target verticals (specifically, the rental market).
In this week’s Leaders in Payments Podcast, I speak with The Clearing House SVP of Sales and Relationship Management Elena Whisler about financial inclusion and why there are still so many unbanked and underbanked Americans. A mother of two, marathon runner of many and proud Canadian native, Elena is passionate about payments inclusion as she talks about the various initiatives The Clearing House is involved in to proactively service our underserved communities. For those of you that may not know, The Clearing House is a banking association and payments company owned by 23 of the largest financial institutions in the United States. They are the nation’s most experienced payments company, with a payment network that clears and settles more than $2 trillion dollars each day.
Rob Lincolne, a self-proclaimed left-handed, homeschooled Tasmanian who currently moonlights as Founder and CEO of Paydock is our special guest this week on episode 122 of the Leaders in Payments podcast. Growing up on an island off the coast of Australia in a family that traveled extensively, Rob has a widespread cultural background with global exposure. This coupled with his extensive industry experience has afforded him a rather unique perspective on people, progress and (most importantly) payments.  Rob’s vision of a company that not only solved problems but provided value has gone through many iterations that have been (in his words) “rewarding, terrifying and exhilarating.” The most recent manifestation of this is Paydock. Founded in 2015, Paydock is a payments orchestration platform that helps medium and enterprise merchants simplify their increasingly complex payments stacks. According to Rob, there are four emerging trends in the payments ecosystem that are already impacting the marketplace and will require us to “future proof” our payments strategy for successful forward momentum.
Lara Hodgson, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Now is our special guest this week on episode 121 of the Leaders in Payments podcast. Lara grew up Atlanta, Georgia. She got her undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech and went to business school at Harvard. She has started several businesses in her career including Insomnia and Nourish – which was the inspiration for starting Now.  Now helps small and medium size businesses get paid immediately after sending an invoice. Their customers sign up for a NowAccount, upload their invoices into their NowAccount and their receivables are basically converted into cash.  It isn’t factoring and it isn’t a line of credit. Lara shares an interesting startup story about how the company was formed and why. Lara has a passion for her family including being room mom and team mom. She loves education and children. She has a professional passion for leveling the playing field for small businesses. 
Sathish N., Chief Product Officer of FSS is our special guest this week on episode 120 of the Leaders in Payments podcast. Sathish grew up in a small town in India. He has worked for some of the leading companies in India with assignments in Tokyo, London, Copenhagen and the U.S. and has travelled to over 55 countries.FSS has been in business for 30 years and provides payments services and technology to banks, central regulators, governments, merchants and more.    FSS helps their customers with everything from issuer card programs to omnichannel acquiring, digital banking, payment processing, ATM monitoring, payment security and analytics and financial inclusion programs. Sathish is a nature enthusiast and enjoys bird watching and wildlife photography. 
Flint Lane, CEO and Founder of Billtrust is our special guest this week on episode 119 of the Leaders in Payments podcast. Flint grew up on Long Island, New York and from the beginning thought he was going to be a software developer for life. After a few software jobs, he started a company called PayTrust, sold it and started Billtrust in his basement in September of 2001. Billtrust exists to help medium and large companies digitize their financial supply chain – think b2b payments. They went public in January and expect to do $125 million in revenue this year.  Billtrust has always been in the cloud and is sold via a subscription model. They are the market leader for AR solutions and have been in business for 20 years. He’s the Leaders in Payments first star table tennis or ping pong player. He plays competitively several times a week.  
Today we’re taking a special look at the Unattended Retail space with industry leader Cantaloupe. Cantaloupe, Inc. is a software and payments company that provides end-to-end technology solutions for the unattended retail market. Cantaloupe is transforming the unattended retail community by offering one integrated solution for payments processing, logistics, and back-office management. The Company’s enterprise-wide platform is designed to increase consumer engagement and sales revenue through digital payments, digital advertising and customer loyalty programs, while providing retailers with control and visibility over their operations and inventory.On this episode Elyssa Steiner from Cantaloupe is joining me to discuss the results of their recent survey. They targeted more than 2,000 census-based US adults. We’re going to talk about some of the surprises compared to last year, some of the latest trends, micro-markets and much much more.  
Oliver Werneyer, CEO of Imburse is our special guest on episode 117 of the Leaders in Payments podcast. Oliver was born and grew up in South Africa and found his way to London after getting married and now resides in Switzerland.  Imburse provides insurers and large enterprises a single connection point to initiate any payment, collection or payout saving them time and money. Imburse currently has 46 employees and recently closed a roughly $12 million funding round and are growing rapidly. Imburse has a unique start up story involving an app that tracked flights, a customer and a major pivot. Oliver is really passionate about the people side of the business and loves to play golf with his 6-year-old daughter. 
Trent Sorbe, President and Founder of Central Payments is our special guest this week on episode 116 of the Leaders in Payments podcast. Trent is a small-town Midwesterner. He grew up in Iowa, went to college in Iowa and have been in South Dakota for the last 20 or so years.  Central Payments is the payments subsidiary of Central Bank of Kansas City. In 2013, the bank started to think about future growth and approached Trent to start Central Payments in 2014. Central Payments has two customers – traditional fintechs, and embedded finance – which are bigger companies that want to embed a financial product but don’t want to become financial services companies. Trent talks about the Open CP which is their API marketplace – where their customers can come in and get access to financial products. He also discusses Falls Fintech which is their early stage accelerator program.
Andrew Hoag, Founder and CEO of Teampay is our special guest this week on episode 115 of the Leaders in Payments podcast and I’m your host Greg Myers. Andrew grew up in North Dakota, went to a small liberal arts college near Minneapolis and then move to Silicon Valley.  He is currently based in New York where he started Teampay in late 2016. Finance teams today are still using 20-year-old technology in many cases, so Teampay started with the idea of how they can help companies control and manage access to their bank account across all their employees. In modern companies today, every employee makes a purchasing decisions and Teampay is a solution that helps enforced the company’s policies, helps them stay in compliance and provides visibility across the organization.  Andrew talks about blockchain and smart contracts and how they might be used in this space in the future. He also has some great advice for those just starting in our industry.  
Meg Nakamura, Co-founder and CEO of Apto Payments is our special guest this week on episode 114 of the Leaders in Payments podcast. Meg grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and has been in San Francisco for the last 13 years. She’s passionate about enabling other companies to solve interested use-cases with their products. Apto was started in 2014 and currently has approximately 50 employees. In 2015, Apto launched the first U.S. bitcoin-backed debit card. Today, Apto is focused on eliminating barriers for entry and making it easy for non-experts to enter the payments space with a focus on helping their clients launch innovative card programs.  Meg believes that crypto is in the early days and that there are opportunities around real-time payments and international payments with crypto. 
Michael Young, Founder and CEO Photon Commerce is our special guest this week on episode 113 of the Leaders in Payments podcast. Michael grew up in Philadelphia, moved to the West Coast to attend grad school at Stanford. He dropped out of Stanford and started a few companies before realizing the need for a Cash App or Venmo like solution to make b2b payments fast and easy.   Photon Commerce has created an AI solution that focuses on enriching payments data with line-item data. Today they have 25 employees and enable their customers to move at the speed of light – therefore the name Photon Commerce.  Michael’s advice for those just starting in payments is to truly understand the big picture or the mission of the company as well as the societal impact the solution could make.  
This is the second episode of this quarter's Pulse of Payments series and I’m talking with Petr Kozyakov, the Co-founder and CEO of Mercuryo. The topic for today’s episode is crypto payments – or better said accepting cryptocurrency as a method of payment. Everyday there are articles being written about Bitcoin, Stablecoin and other cryptocurrencies but typically that is related to buying and holding these cryptocurrencies with the hope that the price goes up but what I am most interested in is understand more about cryptocurrency as a method of payment.  Mercuryo was built to bridge the gap between fiat and crypto. Petr and I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of accepting crypto currencies. We talk about the consumer demand to pay with crypto currencies as well as the global regulatory environment and much much more. 
John Lunn, the CEO of Gr4vy and he is our special guest this week on episode 111 of the Leaders in Payments podcast. John was born in the UK, raised in Switzerland and about 5 years ago moved to the Bay Area. John was employee number 4 at PayPal outside of the U.S. He also ran PayPal Ventures for 5 years prior to starting Gr4vy.   Gr4vy is a tool in the cloud that allows companies to add, manage, change and orchestrate their payments types without large engineering teams. They recently closed an $11.1 million dollar series A round and currently have 21 employees. John is passionate about making fintech and payments available to everyone not just those with credit cards and the latest gadgets. He’s a cold-water swimmer and cycles hundreds of miles – for fun.   
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