GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Brady Harris, CEO at Dwolla
Fintech is now a must-have not only for businesses, but even for individuals. Brady Harris, CEO at Dwolla, an e-commerce company that provides an online and mobile payment system discusses a few thoughts on programmable payments and the need for simpler, seamless payment processes in this QnA. Catch the excerpts:
Can you tell us a little about yourself Brady? You joined Dwolla as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded a few months ago; could you share a little about your journey leading during these times?
I joined Dwolla as CEO in late February. At the time, I was still living in Atlanta whereas the Dwolla team is based in Des Moines. Not only is running a business challenging at a time like this, but it’s even more challenging to lead a brand new team remotely. When the pandemic hit, my leadership skills were put to the test. In my first few weeks on the job we had to make some really difficult decisions as a business, both how to be judicious with our finances while driving new revenue in a time when businesses were hunkering down and how we could support our clients, who were facing their own challenges.
How have you seen fintech evolve over the years and what according to you will fintech shape out to be say ten years from now?
Fintech has grown from a nice-to-have to a must-have. Modern businesses need a programmable payments infrastructure. The old way of doing things with cash exchanges and paper check deposits is not sustainable for businesses to scale. Modern consumers expect efficiency and companies must deliver. As we look towards the future of fintech, it will be about simplicity and security.
Given the recent innovations in the payments landscape, and now with the effects of the Covid19 pandemic, how do you feel this niche will need to evolve to meet needs of different industries?
COVID-19 forced companies across all industries to accelerate their digital transformation. In doing so, they’re realizing that what has traditionally always been the “cost of doing business” is now a wasted part of the budget. Fintech has created a more effective, cheaper way for moving money that is suited for any market.
What are some of the near-futures innovations or current innovations you feel are game-changers in fintech today?
The rise of digital transactions has taken off in the last few years and we’re seeing that escalate even more because of COVID-19. Rather than writing, mailing and depositing paper checks, more companies are digitizing their payments. By doing this, businesses are saving on traditional fees and processing costs by taking the programmable approach through the ACH Network. With electronic bank-to-bank transfers, their users simply enter banking information such as the account number to send or collect a payment. Not only is it cost-effective, organizations are also finding that it’s a quick and secure way of moving money.
What are the top innovation areas you feel fintechs have a lot more scope and need to innovate in?
Leveraging complementary technologies with the fintech “ecosystem” is a big area that needs to be further unpacked amongst key players. Fintech is one of the industries where rarely is there 100 percent direct competition, rather so many companies bring niche value and solutions to all different aspects of banking, payments, etc. By partnering and innovating together, there is so much mutually beneficial leverage and market expansion opportunities.
Before we wrap up, would you like to share specific finance management or business tips for Marketing and Sales or Finance teams struggling through this uncertain time due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
More so than ever, businesses and decision makers are cost sensitive and hesitant to spend new money. That requires that marketing and sales teams are razor sharp on defining the value proposition they bring to the market and consumer. These teams need to find creative ways of cutting through the noise in messaging that value. Consider ways that your product or service can help businesses grow (or survive) in meaningful ways and center your demo’s and proposals on clearly articulating what they will benefit from when engaging with you or your business.