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My guest this week is the perfect person to keep our traction going for diversity and inclusion month! She is a self-proclaimed proud and positive disruptor that lives by the motto if you know better, do better. And she has had more than 20 years of experience in the fintech space, paving the way for the much-needed disruption of gender bias along the way. Zum Rails COO and Chief Diversity Officer Tara Wilson talks to us today about how to bake DEI into your DNA.For those of you who may not know, Zum Rails offers a seamless, off-the-shelf product to combine open banking with payments, creating an easier way for businesses to manage the full maturation of the transaction. Their objective is to simplify the payment space and they see each payment as a full lifecycle that includes onboarding, settlement and even management beyond the payment reconciliation. Their target markets include mortgage companies, crypto, lending an investment, and their company currently has just under 50 people – all of which are working fully remote.As for the diversity and inclusion aspect, I talked to Tara about how to build it into the company DNA. She speaks passionately about having each company know what their NorthStar is when it comes to DEI and to strive to make that journey happen while living within the values and principles of each individual company contributor. Some of the main strategies she talks about include defining core values, establishing a mission and vision, leadership training, the importance of same-place mentality, and executing all of this from the top down through open, honest, and consistent communication.  Tune in this week to hear Tara talk about her journey to COO, including what it felt like to be one of the only women in fintech and the “lucky to be here” versus “deserve to be here” mentality that has motivated her passion for DEI. We also talk about how to make DEI a true company standard versus a tick box exercise, and why leaders need to understand ROI when it comes to employee well-being.
As we move into the second week of diversity and inclusion, this month’s theme for the Leaders in Payments podcast series, I’m excited to take the time to speak with Worldline HR specialist Basil Onyia. What makes him such a good speaker for this series? His number one passion in life is helping people become the best version of themselves – together.For those of you who may not know, Worldline is the payments provider and software of choice for ISV providers across 60 global industries. They are currently ranked #4 in our global ecosystem, with a competitive advantage rooted in sustainability. As for their key offerings, Basil says the best way to think of it is 1 platform + 1 integration + 1 billing service. And this is their equation for success.From a diversity and inclusion perspective, Worldline does an exceptional job of creating a culture that follows the IDEA philosophy on a global scale. IDEA, according to Basil, stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equitability and Accessibility. And these are the four crucial components to ensuring a thriving culture grounded in equality.When asked about the specific initiatives they take to ensure this equitable foundation in their corporate culture, Basil speaks of three different pillars: internal, external, and global. Their internal focus includes subcultural celebration, psychological safety, and education, while their external focus relies heavily on building community relationships and a diverse talent pool with the partners they choose to do business with. From a global perspective, their third pillar, Basil speaks about Trust 2025 – an initiative to make Worldline the frontrunner for closing the gender and accessibility gap in the tech industry.Tune in this week to hear Basil talk about his journey to diversity and inclusion, what drives his passion for it, as well as the details our industry needs to be focusing on when it comes to the neurodivergent population and how to create an equitable foundation for them. Also, learn about the one thing Basil says can shift an entire society!
It’s that time of year again! March is upon us and, as my loyal listeners know, this is Diversity and Inclusion month for the LIP podcast series. And I can’t think of a better guest to kick us off than Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient and UK Fintech Diversity and Inclusion nominee Lissele Pratt. Oh, she also holds the title of Capitalixe Cofounder and COO (in her spare time). For those of you who may not know, Capitalixe is a fintech consultancy company that specializes in helping medium-to-high-risk industries obtain payments and banking solutions. They have a global network of more than 50 banks and financial institutions that they match their high-risk clients with, based on their needs and business goals. As a general rule, this includes the underserved industries such as gaming, quick tow, CBD, and various investment platforms.A female minority in the fintech space, Lissele herself has dealt with the challenges of gender bias in such a heavily male-dominated industry. In fact, she will be the first to say that her initial experience in finance found her in a company where she was the only ethnic woman out of a group of 50 – the rest being compromised of white men. This experience in and of itself motivated her to create a company with diversity and inclusion already thriving in their foundational DNA. And this is exactly what she has achieved with Capitalixe.Some of the stats she touts are very motivating – including a 25% potential increase in financial returns for executive-level gender diversity and a 35% potential increase for executive-level racial and ethnic diversity. All this (and more) validates that diversity and inclusion are two necessary ingredients for success and scalability.Tune in this week to hear Lissele talk about the necessities around diversity and inclusion as it relates to the success of the overall company, how she wove it into the foundation of her company culture and why she believes “you only achieve true success when you’re able to help others achieve theirs too.” 
My guest this week has a passion for building, a love for farming, and history with solving problems in the music industry that really fueled the foundation of his professional payments career. Zum Rails Cofounder and CEO Marc Milewski wanted nothing more than to build hydrogen cars in Iceland but found himself building payments technology in Canada. For those of you who may not know, Zum Rails is a fintech company with a mission to change payments as a whole into something they call financial interactions. According to Marc, the best way to think about them is “open banking meets instant payments.” They offer a different way of thinking about payments regarding how to forecast them into financial information, and their goal is to eliminate the hassles of all the nuances that come with payment acceptance.As for their competitive advantage, Marc himself said it best: “Our competitors think about payments as just payments. We see it as something completely different.” Their business model goes beyond shaving basis points to drive a strategy that makes their customer’s lives genuinely easier. And with one sales guy in a company of 42 employees, it’s fascinating to hear Marc talk about how the product really sells itself.Tune in this week to hear Mark talk about his journey to CEO, including how he got from almost building hydrogen cars to building payment platforms, as well as where he sees the industry going in the next 2 to 3 years as it relates to payment companies owning more of their software, the high disruption of digital currency, the thinning of the herd, and the unrelenting Asterix that always goes with moving money *instantly.*
My guest this week leads from a place of ownership, action, honesty, and trust – the core values upon which his company was founded. Nayax CEO and Co-Founder Yair Nechmad has a passion for creating an efficient enterprise system that affords his customers and employees the work/life balance we all deserve.For those of you who may not know, Nayax is a payments company offering integrated POS solutions and software for the unattended market sector. They are currently growing at more than 35% year over year, with more than 700 employees contributing to their success.As for their competitive advantage, according to Yair, they are the only company globally operating an end-to-end loyalty and payments solution, with a foot on the ground in 65 different countries. Their use cases include tier 1 retailers looking for a business-in-a-box solution and they offer both software and hardware for a one-stop-shop ecosystem.Tune in this week to hear Yair talk about the evolution of the unattended industry and his journey to CEO. We also talk about where he sees the industry going in the next 2-3 years as it relates to loyalty programs, embedded options and payments being the center of gravity for the entire customer journey.
My guest this week has quite a fascinating résumé in the sense that none of it really has anything to do with payments. To his own admission, he’s not going to win on pedigree, and on paper he may not even make sense, but Extra CEO Max Hellerstein has proven himself to be quite the “silent winner” when it comes to finding a problem and solving the hell out of it.For those of you who may not know, Extra is the first ever debit card that allows consumers to build their credit history with every single swipe. And not only do customers get the opportunity to have credit level history on a debit rail, they also benefit from AMEX-level perks and rewards to incentivize their sensible spend. As for the user experience, Extra requires no existing credit for application. The only thing Extra need to verify approval is a cash balance that is sufficient for subscription. They then underwrite their customers for a spend power equivalent to the amount of cash in their account plus an additional predetermined cap. And then every transaction counts towards sufficient spend data to be reported to the existing credit bureaus. The company generates revenue based on a subscription fee, and the interchange on every transaction is then given back to the customers to incentivize them with rewards and select offerings. Regarding their competitive advantage, Max touts their capacity to say “yes” more often, take smarter risks, and offer less painful onboarding.Tune in this week to hear Max talk about his journey to CEO, his strategy for getting obsessed, and where he sees the industry going in the next 2 to 3 years as it relates to consolidation, bundling, and the potential for one universal rail.
My guest this week has a genuine passion for teamwork and a competitive edge that she credits her family for. Being the youngest of seven children, CompoSecure Chief Revenue Officer Amanda Gourbault always had to be able to run faster than everyone else in order to get them to pay attention to her. And this tenacity has served her well throughout her payments career.For those of you who may not know, CompoSecure is the world leader in metal cards. They have a portfolio that spans throughout financial institutions and fintechs alike, with some of the most recognizable brands in our industry. In fact, the fintech sector is actually the leader of metal card issuance. Why? According to Amanda, the metal card offers an enhanced user experience that you really can’t get anywhere else. She describes it as the physical embodiment of the customer relationship with such an innovative flair that it provides a natural uplift for any brand that issues it.As for the benefits of a metal card, Amanda talks about several use cases with impressive results – including an Amex issuance that resulted in a 52% uplift in customer retention and a 17% uplift in spend. Another interesting stat? 47% of all new metal cardholders are millennials!Tune in this week to hear Amanda talk about her journey from magstripe to metal and some of CompoSecure’s most innovative projects – including an Amex/Delta partnership that issued a limited-edition card made from the wings of a 747! We also discuss where she sees the industry going in the next 2-3 years as it relates to frictionless authentication, password-free login, and biometrics.
What does an avid cook with a graduate degree in law and epidemiology have to do with payments? A lot more than you may think! Banyan CEO and Founder Jehan Luth has a passion for item-level data and credits his background in both computer and food science as the foundational building blocks for his success.For those of you who may not know, Banyan set out three years ago to build the infrastructure to both manage and utilize item-level data. And with this data, they work with merchants, banks and fintechs to power new experiences and use cases leveraging this type of granular information.So, what are we talking about when we say item-level data? It’s a very distinct specificity around what you choose to buy versus where you choose to spend your money. And the most prolific use cases are, of course, card-linked rewards and loyalty offers. It’s the difference of being able to take the standard loyalty offer of, let’s say, $25 off your next purchase at a certain location and optimizing it to a more personal offer that gives you $25 off pet food the next time you shop that store. Why pet food? Because that accounted for 75% of your total bill the last time you shopped there. As for their competitive advantage, Jehan talks about powering the rails to leverage experience-based value in a way that has never been done before. In this way, Banyan is not just taking an existing product and trying to make it better but, rather, creating the infrastructure for a product that has yet to even be mainstream enough to optimize.Tune in this week to hear Jehan talk about his journey to CEO, including why the Indian banyan tree provided the inspiration for his thriving ecosystem. We also talk about the power of atomic nodes, V2 fintech and the future forward trend of merchants and banks coming together on behalf of the customer journey.
My guest this week has a fascinating history indeed. He speaks 5 languages, has lived in 6 countries and has a genuine passion for solving customer problems. In fact, he’s only interested in tech that can manifest solutions. Trustly CEO Alexandre Gonthier is a true trailblazer when it comes to payments. For those of you who may not know, Trustly is an alternative payment method for consumers that enables them to pay with their bank account by signing into their online banking. It’s a formless user experience with absolutely zero reliance on card networks or card rails, and their target audience includes billers, online gaming, financial services, and ecommerce merchants with low transaction volume and high frequency.  The original pain point they set out to solve was how to the bring paper check methodology alive in a mobile first world. From there side, billers were having a challenging time getting ACH adoption from their mobile customers. They needed an experience where people didn’t have to remember their routing and account credentials just to satisfy their payment. And why was this such a good niche? Because, according to Alex, 30 to 50% of Americans still prefer to pay their bills using their bank account. As for their competitive advantage, Alex touts a user experience paradigm that is formless, more secure, more economical and more revenue efficient. The capacity to process payments outside of the card networks offers less fraud and higher transaction approval rates.Tune in this week to hear Alex talk about his journey to CEO, including why we have him to think for the first content charging platform and the first proximity payments platform, as well as where he sees the industry going in the next 2 to 3 years as it relates to real-time transactions, crypto, blockchain, and stablecoin.
My guest this week is an engineer by training who found his love for tech and finance while in the middle of his MD-PhD program. And we can now credit him as one of the primary influencers who put esports on the map and helped establish it as a real industry. Payment Labs CEO Han Park has a passion for building businesses and mentoring people – both of which have paved the way for his professional success.For those of you who may not know, Payment Labs is an online gaming and esports payout company that set out specifically to address a large gap in payments. Efficient, global payments for businesses to pay out in a cross-border and compliant fashion was a necessity, at one point, that was not being addressed by any of the broader platforms. Seeing this demand, Han built an entire business based on the need to efficiently and compliantly clear out prize pools for gaming and esports events – a use case that would have originally taken up to 9 months to complete before his innovative platform.As for their competitive advantage, Han touts compliance regulation and optimized payment routes as two of their most competitive offerings. Not only do their clients get the benefit of mitigating risk through AML, cross-border, and tax credit compliance, they also benefit from the most efficient means available for payors and payees to pay or receive using their preferred exchange medium.Tune in this week to hear Han talk about his journey to CEO, including how biotech eventually led to fintech, as well as where he sees the industry going in the next 2-3 years as it relates to the global digital economy, online virtual markets and the gaming/esports sector.
What do ISVs have to do with banking in the near future of fintech? According to Maast CEO Tom Bell, just about everything! For those of you who may not know, Maast (which actually stands for Money as A Service +) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Synovus bank with a mission to create a true embedded finance platform for ISV and SaaS providers. When asked to expand on what their platform is capable of, Tom says “imagine everything you know about embedded payments and extend that into other banking products. Our goal is to take the bank itself and embed it into the software providers platform.”As far as the Synovus relationship impacting their competitive advantage in the marketplace, it actually serves to create one of their biggest value ads. Not only do they take a lot of friction out of the embedded model by enabling Synovus to take their product and distribute it nationwide in a much more efficient manner, they also provide a tremendous benefit to their ISVs and SaaS customers in that they already have all the regulatory, risk, and compliance mandates covered comprehensively on their end due to their relationship with the bank. It really offers much more of a plug-and-play model, allowing the ISV/SaaS to be 100% confident that the Maast platform is in line with regulatory compliance and requiring them to do nothing more than code to their API.Tune in to hear Tom talking about the true definition of embedded finance as it relates to the comprehensive offering, not just embedded payments, as well as where the embedded finance industry is headed in the next 2 to 3 years. Spoiler alert: in this new world, small businesses may not even know who their bank is because they have no need to.
Attention all music fans! This podcast is for you. If you could think of one area in the music industry that has remained totally stagnant amidst all the technology and evolution, what would it be? For those of you that said ticketing, you’re exactly right! Now, for those of you wondering what revolutionizing the ticketing industry has to do with payments, I have YellowHeart CEO and Founder Josh Katz here to tell you.  YellowHeart is a Web3 based digital ticketing platform with a mission to evolve live event ticketing for the first time in history! And where does it all start? With the payment, of course! In Josh’s model, the payment is actually the point of engagement that allows for a ticketing experience that far exceeds the traditional industry standard. Before YellowHeart, the ticketing experience consisted of a barcode or proof of entry stub that told you your seat, location, and basic event information. Now, with YellowHeart, ticketing is a full-on engagement tool for fandom.In fact, the payment process unlocks a plethora of perks available for purchasers. This includes everything from the capacity to receive messages from fans, digital content, high-end art, coveted vinyls and a slew of other interactive engagement tools. Before YellowHeart, the ticket would die immediately after the point of entry. Now, just the point of purchase brings (and keeps) it alive! Tune in this week to hear Josh talk about his journey to CEO, including why you have him to think for good music in public places like restaurants, offices, and coffee shops (just to name a few). We also talk about where the industry is going in the next 2 to 3 years as it relates to bitcoin, Blockchain, and Web3 technology.
Happy New Year! We’re starting out with a bang this year with a guest who was not only a former Southwest Conference Rice University football player, but one who also has bragging rights with both George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev. Oh, and he’s also a big player in payments (of course). AccessOne CEO Mark Spinner has a passion for coaching, loving what you do, and being willing to invest enough to keep showing up.For those of you who may not know, AccessOne is a financial technology company that exists to empower patients to live healthier lives. They focus on human-centric payment affordability tools with a passion to help patients manage their financial responsibilities with payment options they can afford. The company itself was founded by a third-generation physician and the DNA of the brand is steeped in empathy for the patient experience.As for what problems they solve in the industry, Mark speaks openly about the complications that still plague the financial healthcare landscape. Disengagement in healthcare payments due to friction is a big problem area they strive to find the easy button for, as well as affordability from the patient perspective. Regarding their competitive advantage, Mark touts patient centricity and flexibility as their driving distinguishers within the payments healthcare space.Tune in this week to hear Mark talk about his journey to CEO, including what drew him to AccessOne, why he has never been so excited about multifactor authentication, and where he sees in the industry going in the next 2 to 3 years as it relates to a frictionless obsession.
This episode is sponsored by Citizens Pay. With Citizens Pay, merchants have the security of a leading national bank and an omnichannel platform designed to streamline the buying process.  If you want to learn more about Citizens Pay, visit where you can find additional information about Citizens Pay and the buy now pay later payment model.My guest this week has a passion for a conscious decision making and a love for the growth potential that comes with working for smaller companies. Span this across a 25-year career in fintech and you have the makings of a podcast worth listening to. PayQuicker President Charles Rosenblatt has a lot to say about payments and the original gig economy!For those of you who may not know, PayQuicker is a global payments platform that does payments for gig economy workers around the globe – in 200 countries and 50+ currencies. They are a complete white-label solution that offers companies the capacity to pay in multiple currencies and with multiple payment methods, including virtual card, direct deposit, e-wallet and even crypto. They have upwards of 80 employees and the company has been around for 15 years. For those of you wondering what market sector they serviced 15 years ago, when the gig economy wasn’t a thing yet, you’re a good company. I asked the same question. And the answer was unexpected! According to Charles, there was, in fact, a thriving gig economy back then. According to him, multilevel marketing reps were the original gig workers!As for their competitive advantage, Charles touts the company motto (happy payees) as a main driver for their success. While it’s true their main customer is the corporate client, their intentional focus on the payee results in a company culture and brand that excels in customer experience. The other advantage? In addition to their global platform, PayQuicker also developed the first ever payments orchestration platform for payouts that offers only 1 API and only 1 integration!Tune in this week to hear Charles talk about his journey to president, how they manage to secure a 99% retention rate, and where he sees the industry going in the next 2 to 3 years including more simplicity, ease at the corporate level, and one single point of contact. 
This episode is sponsored by Citizens Pay. With Citizens Pay, merchants have the security of a leading national bank and an omnichannel platform designed to streamline the buying process.  If you want to learn more about Citizens Pay, visit where you can find additional information about Citizens Pay and the buy now pay later payment model.In trying to find a word to describe my guest this week, I can honestly say that fascinating wouldn’t even be enough to do him justice. Not only has he been in the industry for 32 years, he’s also had the opportunity to work for some of our most reputable brands. And it doesn’t hurt that he has a driving passion for (and a qualified certification in) both digital anthropology and AI ethics. Infosys Finacle CEO Sanat Rao call himself an “accidental technologist,” but I’d be hard pressed to find someone with more purpose driven passion around tech.For those of you who may not know, Infosys Finacle is an industry leader in digital banking solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Infosys brand. Their evolution spans through decades of experience in everything from core banking to front-and-back-end digital solutions. And they operate in 100 different countries with a portfolio that accounts for global, regional, and local bank customers. Another fun fact? According to Sanat, more than 1 billion adult individuals have an account with a bank that uses Finacle. And this translates to upwards of 16-17% in global market saturation for their proprietary brand.According to Sanat, they exist to inspire “better banking” (not best) for billions of people and millions of businesses so they can save, pay, borrow, and invest better. Why not best? You’ll have to tune in to find out!As for their competitive advantage, Sanat touts four main ingredients to their secret sauce:1.     The capacity for banks to cherry pick from a suite of industry-leading banking solutions2.     Composability3.     Global adaptability4.     And the capability for banks to deploy cloud native and architecture-driven solutions built on proven constructs of layered design and scalabilityTune in this week to hear Sanat talk about his journey to CEO, his passion for academic tech and where he sees the industry going in the next 2 to 3 years including core banking transformation, emerging markets, seamless integration, and the modernization of legacy technology.
Season’s greetings everyone! And welcome to the next episode. This one is a special one. Not only because it’s our 200th episode, but we have a real mover and shaker in the payment space to help us celebrate it! He’s a 30-year payments veteran with a passion for flying and a self-proclaimed “fintech geek.” Fortis CEO Greg Cohen is a true leader in payments.This episode is sponsored by Citizens Pay. With Citizens Pay, merchants have the security of a leading national bank and an omnichannel platform designed to streamline the buying process.  If you want to learn more about Citizens Pay, visit where you can find additional information about Citizens Pay and the buy now pay later payment model.For those of you who may not know, Fortis is a fintech company with a mission to make software companies better through embedded payments. They offer a processor neutral gateway that caters specifically to the hospitality, healthcare, specialty retail, B2B and VAR industry sectors. And their employee headcount sits at about 250 dedicated team members, with an annual processing volume upwards of $20 billion in the North American continent. And that’s just their cereal box stats. Their real drive is in their competitive advantage! The company’s edge in the marketplace revolves around a guided journey for their customers through vertical specialization. This means customers can use their gateway, proprietary technology, GTM guidance and feature functionality to walk/jog/run towards their goal of being a:·       Payment facilitator/Payfac·       ISO/Agent·       Or a successful referral partner Whatever the destination, Fortis can guide the journey. And, according to Greg, it’s this ability to talk the talk and walk the walk in a very vertical specific manner that gives Fortis the right to win in just about every industry sector. Tune in to hear Greg talk about his fascinating journey to CEO, including what motivated him to get his private pilot’s license and why flying is truly his great escape. We also talk about upcoming trends to expect in the industry over the next few years, including an uptick in mergers and acquisitions, the globalization of Omnichannel payments and a faster path towards the embedded experience. 
This episode is sponsored by Citizens Pay. With Citizens Pay, merchants have the security of a leading national bank and an omnichannel platform designed to streamline the buying process.  If you want to learn more about Citizens Pay, visit where you can find additional information about Citizens Pay and the buy now pay later payment model.My two guests this week come to you from the city most known for rain (Seattle, WA) and the city most known for chocolate (Hershey, PA). And, somehow, they both ended up with a drive towards tech! AppTech CTO Ben Jenkins and Product SVP Bryan Guy have a passion for disruptive innovation and technology advancement.For those of you who may not know, AppTech is a payments technology company that offers two core technology products: payments as a service and banking as a service. They are vertical agnostic, and they target disparate systems lacking integration. Their clients are most often found in verticals missing core solutions and core opportunities for their omnichannel banking and they offer these clients a “layer of thin integration often missed by a number of other industries.”When asked about their competitive advantage, both gentlemen will agree that their UX offering is one of the most significant distinguishers in their space. They come in with a modern platform and are not beholden to any legacy systems. Not to mention, their adaptable, modular platform allows them to offer a proprietary experience unmatched in the industry today. Think commerce overlay meets payments orchestration.A fun fact about the business? AppTech has been around since 2013 and throughout this time has secured several technology patens within the industry, including tech specific to:·       Mobile-to-mobile payments·       In-app geolocations services·       And text-based payment optionsAnother fun fact about our guests? Ben started a software innovation lab in Tijuana Mexico, and we have Bryan to thank for the tech that enables you to pick up your mobile Starbucks order (already paid for) and go.Tune in to hear these guys talk about their journey to AppTech and where they see the industry going in the next 2 to 3 years, including cashier-less technology, low code/no code solutions, business in a box, and embedded banking.
My guest on episode 198 has a passion for going after the big problem and doing what people think can’t be done, as well as a genuine intrigue with the power that disrupted companies can have on just about any individual. In fact, Flywire CEO Mike Massaro likens the time spent in fintech companies to dog years: It may be five years on paper but in terms of experience, it really is so much more.This episode is sponsored by Citizens Pay. With Citizens Pay, merchants have the security of a leading national bank and an omnichannel platform designed to streamline the buying process.  If you want to learn more about Citizens Pay, visit where you can find additional information about Citizens Pay and the buy now pay later payment model.For those of you who may not know, Flywire is a fintech company that sits at the intersection of software and payments. They offer best-in-class, enterprise-grade software for specific industries, as well as cutting-edge payments technology. Their target market consists of clients in industries that have been left behind and their ultimate goal is to digitize these industries and bring them up to speed with more modern offerings when it comes to their back-office capabilities.Originally going to market as a payments company specifically for the education sector called Peer Transfer, Flywire went from a startup model with roughly 30 employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential revenue to a publicly traded company with thousands of “flymates” and hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue. As for their competitive advantage, they cater to the market need with market-leading experts and cutting-edge technology versus generic solutions backed by generic teams.Tune in to hear Mike talk about his journey to CEO, why he refused the offer at least twice before saying yes, and where he sees the industry going in the next 2 to 3 years including more payment methods and a back-office protocol that functions seamlessly without requiring multiple system integrations to support it. 
My guest this week is a self-proclaimed “recovering consultant” with a love for technology and an eye for connectivity. Cantaloupe CEO Ravi Venkatesan joined Cantaloupe in December 2020 with a path for progress that’s already dominating their industry sector.For those of you who may not know, Cantaloupe is the technology ally for any business that “doesn’t have roots in the ground,” according to Ravi. This includes unattended cafeterias, vending machines, parking lots, EV charging stations, laundromats, and self-service massage chairs, just to name a few. And one of the things that makes them such a main player in the industry is there IoT capacity. Not only do they provide the telemeter and card reader necessary to enable a self-service storefront, but they also have all devices connected to a proprietary cloud network, with a proprietary payments gateway and an enterprise SaaS solution that lets any customer successfully manage their inventory input and output. And, as if that wasn’t enough already, they just recently got into the self-service kiosk-based market with their recent acquisition of Yoke Payments.Ravi and I have an interesting discussion about the self-service economy. Not only is it much more prevalent than we think it is, but it’s also expected to grow to be a $46 billion industry by 2027. According to Ravi, the three dominant drivers for this massive growth spurt include:  ·       Labor shortage ·       Consumer preference ·       And availability of technologyTune in to hear Ravi talk about the projected growth spurt of an already prolific industry sector, the convergence of the physical and the digital worlds (coined phigital), and what it looks like to guide a company at the intersection of IoT, digital payments, enterprise SaaS, and self-service kiosk innovation.
What does fintech have to do with cooking? In this podcast, a lot! This week I talk to Solid Founder and CEO Arjun Thyagarajan about living the American dream, the right recipe for a successful fintech business and how fun is always the most important ingredient. For those of you who may not know, Solid is a modern fintech company providing infrastructure as a service for any aspiring fintechs looking to go to market quickly and successfully. Coined by Arjun as “the AWS of fintech,” Solid offers the following core products to any and all of their users: ·       Banking ·       Payments ·       Card issuance ·       And cryptocurrencyThey are use case agnostic and have an ideal offering for just about any company challenged with the art of payments and getting paid. According to Arjun, Solid offers “the best-in-class ingredients for each company’s individual recipe” and they tout themselves as being in the business of simplifying fintech. As for their competitive advantage, it revolves predominantly around their one-stop shop offering that includes a simplistic strategy, agnostic platform, and consultative approach.Also worthy of mention? Solid just closed a $63 million funding round, reached $10 million in annual revenue, and officially became profitable (all this year), after founding in 2019 and going to market in 2020.Tune in this week to hear Arjun talk about his journey to CEO and where he sees the industry going in the next 2 to 3 years, including fintech then and now, the upcoming embedded experiences to rival even the seamless Uber approach, and how fintech as a whole is not even one percent done. We also talk about his tried-and-true business and life philosophy: If you’re having fun, results will follow.
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