Hi Daniel, please tell us about your journey into financial technology management and how you started at Weavr?
Hi! Lovely to speak with you. I’ve worked in banking and payments for almost 20 years’, with the first decade, working with well-known global companies, such as HSBC & American Express. After studying, I started working within sales and business development roles before I decided I wanted to work somewhere where I could make an impact, where my actions and outputs would make a real difference to a company, and somewhere I would feel an affinity to their mission.
I’ve spent the last ten years’ working with disruptive tech start-ups, the sort who really want to make the world a better place. Initially I began working with Ethoca, a Canadian financial crime and fraud data sharing platform. I was the first salesperson to introduce Ethoca into Europe, leaving just before the company’s acquisition by Mastercard.
I left to join Feedzai, a Portuguese AI start up working in the same space – fraud and financial crime. At the time I joined as employee their second employee (in the UK), when Feedzai had just raised their Series B and was rapidly on the up. During my time there, I had a range of roles within direct selling, later becoming part of the European Leadership team and heading up company growth into APAC markets. I left shortly before their Series D in 2021, which is where they achieved ‘unicorn’ status. I loved my time at both Ethoca and Feedzai, but when the chance came to join Weavr, I saw an opportunity to become involved with a company right at the beginning of its journey. At the time, Alex and Adrian had just closed their seed funding round and were looking for someone to join them on the executive team to help with the formulation and execution of their strategy to take the solution to market. I was incredibly excited about what they were doing, I couldn’t say no.
What is Weavr? Could you please tell us a little bit about your fintech customers?
Weavr is the next generation of Embedded Finance. Banking as a Service was first generation, Embedded Finance was the second generation. Weavr, and Plug and Play Finance, is the third generation.
The idea of embedding finance can be best described as consuming financial services in non-financial settings, creating a seamless user experience. This technology is behind some of the largest companies in the world today, including Amazon, Uber, AirBnB and many more. Each of these companies disrupted and reinvented the industry by invisibly banking their customers and suppliers within their products and services. This doesn’t just work in B2C service industries but has in fact been revolutionary in modernising some of the outdated B2B technology that many businesses were battling with to do their daily business.
Which markets are you currently serving in? What is the scope of Fintech adoption in the newer markets that you could be targeting in the coming years?
Weavr’s innovators are disrupting a range of industries, including employee benefits, healthcare, lending, expense management, marketing, accountancy software, B2B payments, gifting, to name just a few. Geographically, we are based in the UK and EEA, with plans to expand to both the US and APAC markets soon.
You recently launched Banking as a Service in Portugal. What is the idea behind this decision?
We look to serve innovators, and we exist to make it easier to innovate. Last year there were over 2,000 start-ups in Portugal, and as a company focused on facilitating growth and innovation, we wanted to diversify into a rapidly growing, European market. As we focus on Europe, and start-up hotspots, we continue to find a wealth of fertile ground for innovation. Portugal was a great place to continue our European growth.
Tell us more about embedded Finance and the team at Weavr that is working in building and marketing this product globally.
Today’s innovators are trying to bring the smooth, seamless embedded finance experience to every B2B SaaS product and service we use. The problem with this is that building fintech experiences are incredibly expensive and time consuming, and that’s before even thinking about the huge regulatory burdens. To alleviate this problem, Weavr enables non-fintechs to provide the benefits of a fintech without having to incur the hassles, stresses, and burdens of becoming a fintech themselves.
How do you work with AI and machine learning at Weavr?
We recently partnered with Hawk.ai, a leading software provider of anti-money laundering surveillance technology. Weavr’s technology allows us to provide what we call contextual compliance. Fraud and financial crime is largely centred around rules and limits, and the patterns you see to set those rules and limits. By pioneering the concept of Financial Plug-ins, which are ready-made to provide financial services in different sectors and verticals, we can create domain specific solutions that leverage AI & ML to create better customer outcomes by reducing friction. In doing this, we prevent services from incorrectly rejecting less legitimate customers, instead correctly identifying and blocking illicit activity.
What kind of tech infrastructure does a company need to generate ROI from Weavr? Do you provide any IT support to optimize the Fintech stack of your customers? Could you share a case study with us to highlight this Fintech-IT pairing?
Weavr is providing what we call as Financial Plug-Ins. This is an out of the box solution that comes with everything you need to set up and function the software. When companies plug in to our solution, we manage everything behind the scenes for the financial service to be fully functional. Once plugged in, they’ll find a range of services including onboarding, fraud prevention, strong customer authentication, card issuance and processing, online wire transfers and much more. All these services are completely white labelled too, meaning the company won’t be seen to be linked with us at any stage of the process.
To kick the process off, the only thing an innovator needs is an existing website or application – we’ll do the rest. Weavr is enabling all non-fintech businesses to have the benefits of being a fintech, without having the costs or the challenges. We’re making embedding financial services as easy as adding a payments checkout page to your website.
How is the role of the Chief Commercial Officer for a Fintech company different from other SaaS/ Cloud/ B2B technology companies?
As a Fintech, you are responsible for another company’s money. And often, at Weavr, it is actually the customer of our customer’s money. As Chief Commercial Officer I am a front of house representative, and our clients hold immense trust in what we are doing for their business. It’s a huge responsibility and one I’ll never take for granted. Our innovators rely on us to fulfil huge parts of what they do daily in order to make a living for themselves.
Your take on the future of Banking as a Service solutions and how emerging technologies such as Blockchain, AI and Automation could influence this domain in the near future?
Everybody recognises that we are in the age of digitalisation, and I believe we’re at the early stages of a larger shift in banking than anything we’ve seen before. Banking as a Service showed how non-banks can own and provide banking and financial services, something that was previously solely the domain of banks. Embedded Finance, as version two of this shift, then showed how financial services could be provided in non-banking settings. I imagine that the third shift will be for non-fintechs to provide those services in every setting. This is reflected in a recent survey, which revealed 39% of adults in the US said they would ditch traditional banking for peer-to-peer and social media app payments. This number rises to more than half when considering Millennials (56%) and Gen Z (54%) consumers*.
As is often said, the worst reason to do something is because that is the way it has always been doneEven though a bank is classed as heritage, it does not make it a better service provider. Often, SaaS businesses provide a better service and digital experience than traditional banks, making it more appealing for consumers to make the switch. In the future, the way we consume financial services is likely to be totally different to the ways we have been used to for the past fifty years.
Technologies like Blockchain will, amongst other uses, allow digitisation of all asset classes with ownership stored immutably on distributed ledgers, and I’ve already outlined how AI & ML powers smoother, slicker, more accurate digital financial experiences.
Automation is already reducing process flows that were highly labour intensive to rapidly executable scripts, creating a huge increase in speed and efficiency, opening a whole new world of possibilities. The speed of change has never been faster than right now, and this really excites and motivates me.
Thank you, Daniel! That was fun and we hope to see you back on globalfintechseries.com soon.
[To share your insights with us, please write to email@example.com]
Daniel joins as Chief Commercial Officer at an exciting time for Weavr as the company exits stealth mode – accelerating its growth and product development.
He brings with him a wealth of experience – having spent over 17 years in banking and payments. Most recently in senior roles at both Ethoca and Feedzai, Daniel has helped both early stage Fintechs, and global financial institutions, meet the challenges of an increasingly digital economy head on.