GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Eran Haggaig, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Clear
The Impact of Blockchain on FinTech
Blockchain’s proven ability to enhance efficiencies in transactions while minimizing the manual processes that are involved will be one reason that will drive its popularity across finance and fintech. Eran Haggaig, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Clear discusses the future of blockchain in fintech in this interview.
Can you tell us a little about yourself Eran and the story behind Clear Blockchain – what inspired this service / solution and over the years, how has the solution evolved to meet changing needs?
“Sure, I’ll start off by telling you a bit about myself. Before joining Clear as the Executive Chairman and Co-founder, I worked for more than 20 years establishing and managing software-related companies across multiple industries including financial trading, insurance, and advertising. I would consider myself somewhat of a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold a number of companies in the areas of algorithmic trading, software development and media trading.
As an early entrant to the world of blockchain, I was always curious about how we can use the technology as a solution to some of our everyday problems. This led me to create, together with Gal my Co-founder, what we now know as Clear, a blockchain-based settlement and clearing network to remove friction in complex B2B trade. Clear’s solution is flexible and as our platform is blockchain agnostic, it’s suitable for a range of users.”
How according to you will emerging technologies like blockchain impact innovations in fintech in years to come?
“The characteristics of blockchain technology make it suitable to be deployed across a variety of industries, with its reputation in the finance industry being the most widely known. Blockchain’s ability to maximise the efficiency of transactions while minimising the manual processes involved has made it an attractive platform for those working in the sector to avail of. I believe that blockchain will play a part in many future innovations in the fintech industry in the area of commercial trust automation, leveraging distributed ledger technology (DLT), and smart contracts at the core. As we have passed the PoC phase and are moving into production deployment of the initial use case, we are in the phase of network building and growing adoption. In a few years, when most enterprises will have access to the networks and the technology, we will see rapid fintech innovation enabled by it.”
Given the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on more contactless solutions across the B2C and B2B realm, what are your predictions for how the finance tech segment will shape up in the near-term? If it hadn’t been for the Covid-19 pandemic what then would be your predictions?
“The Covid-19 pandemic has provided even more opportunities for innovation in the fintech sector. As we see a strong movement towards remote work as a result of the situation and due to the technology available today, we can expect to see a growing issue of commercial trust. When physical meetings, dinner, and drinks are replaced with Zoom meetings and emails the level of personal commitment and hence trust might drop. Combining this with the growing need for fast and flexible partnerships we can face a serious commercial trust issue that can slow down progress significantly. The need for automating commercial trust and cross company operations will become critical to the success of the companies. I believe this would have happened without Covid-19 as well, but the virus definitely accelerated it.”
Can you talk about some other latest innovations that use blockchain to help enable better security?
“Bridging the gap between legacy business systems and blockchain could lead to a myriad of benefits, most notably enhanced security. Blockchain’s reputation as being a secure and private platform makes it applicable for many, if not most, organisations today. For example, with financial institutions, distributed ledger technology (DLT) can be utilised for KYC or Know Your Customer processes, meaning customers’ history can be monitored while maintaining full anonymity. This is just one of many simple examples of where blockchain technology can be applied.
From our own perspective at Clear, in a bid to eliminate the complexity and streamline the process of B2B settlements, we developed a blockchain-based solution designed to automate contract settlement for enterprises, while also guaranteeing increased security and privacy. This was recently trialled successfully by three of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, and Vodafone.”
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?
“They say necessity is the mother of invention and for digital learning, remote working, and decentralized economies, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how true this is. One of the most pressing unknowns is what the future of work will look like. While this can seem challenging, it is also an opportunity to take a step back, review processes, and look at new ways of doing things. Brainstorm new ideas, seek inspiration from other leaders, and leverage emerging technologies. Technology has the ability to create new opportunities in many areas of a business. Implementing a new system or platform, as well as a new process, may make all the difference for the success of your business . For those struggling, I would encourage you to look at this as an opportunity to accelerate the direction that you know is right, but always thought it was too early to implement.”
Clear facilitates frictionless B2B trade by enabling enterprises to seamlessly transition from current inefficient and manual processes to real-time trading and clearing on a global scale. Founded in 2018, Clear has developed a bespoke toolset to create blockchain-based settlement and clearing networks for global enterprises across a variety of industry verticals. Clear’s platform helps enterprises automate contracts and data management while guaranteeing control, security, and privacy. This provides automatic payments and clearing, while also reducing transaction fees, long payment cycles, and managing fraud prevention.
Eran Haggaig is Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Clear, the developer of blockchain-based settlement and clearing networks to remove friction in complex B2B trade. Eran brings more than 20 years’ experience founding and managing software-related companies across multiple industries including financial trading, insurance, and advertising and was an early entrant into the world of blockchain. A serial entrepreneur, Eran has co-founded a number of successful companies including Whitenoise.ai, a machine learning company bridging the gap between commerce, content, and technology; Meme Video, a digital video advertising company which sold to Somoto for $13m in 2016; and Pegasus Smart Trading, an award-winning provider of accounting, payroll, and business software, where he served as CTO. He also served as CTO of Israel Direct Insurance and currently sits on the advisory board of DevOps platform JFrog.