GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Gerard Griffin, CEO at AnyDay
Cloud based, API-driven payment solution provider QRails recently launched their earned wage access solution, AnyDay. Gerard Griffin, CEO at AnyDay joins us in this interview to share a few thoughts about AnyDay’s new solutions while diving into the evolving fintech and payments landscape and how much innovations in this segment will be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Catch the excerpts:
Can you tell us a little about yourself Gerard? We’d love to hear about some of your greatest highlights/challenges you’ve faced in your time being in financial services as an entrepreneur.
In my “former” life, I founded and managed the hedge fund Tisbury Capital Management, based in London. I can say from my 20 years of experience as an executive and entrepreneur that leadership roles share similarities in every industry. There are always highs, lows, challenges and wins.
I founded Tisbury Capital with eight people and $50 million under management. I was able to grow it into a successful global business that was considered a market leader within its field. And what was the biggest challenge there? Running a hedge fund during a credit crisis was certainly not easy. Having a front row seat to watch history in the making isn’t always fun. But daily application and having a strong team, in my experience, are the keys to success in the entrepreneurial space.
How have you seen new innovations in fintech (and what kind) gradually redefine capital markets/hedge fund management over time? What are your predictions as to what the future of this niche would shape up to be?
In looking specifically at fintech innovations in relation to capital markets and hedge funds, the broad themes I would cite are well known: distributed ledger technology is driving down transaction costs, meta data from some payments platforms is providing investment managers insight into consumer trends, and AI is informing sophisticated credit underwriting. Here I get to mention two UK fintechs that I admire in particular: Nivaura, which is making low cost private placements possible through distributed ledgers and smart contacts, and Aire, which does best-in-class scoring of thin credit files.
As far as my predictions for the future of fintech/ hedge fund convergence, I imagine that robo-managers using factor-based models will be able deliver hedge fund performance for lower fees – indeed that may already be happening (I haven’t checked.)
How do you see emerging tech play a key role in how newer fintech innovations are built/developed?
Today, our fintech partners are able to get to market faster with total control over their offering. This flexibility gives them greater certainty that they will be able to continue to innovate and grow.
We’d love to know how AnyDay is facilitating better payment processing features for their clients, can you share some active examples?
AnyDay is the only vertically integrated provider of on-demand payment solutions in the market today. Because we have built our own payments infrastructure with no middleman in the way, we are able to deliver on-demand pay cheaper and faster than anyone else. No one else offering instant payment of accrued wages can say that. We are really excited about our ability to deliver best-in-class financial wellness solutions at low-to-no-cost, starting with providing employees immediate access to earned wages.
Can you also share your thoughts on other technologies in the marketplace that are game changers when it comes to payments and risk management?
You have to be impressed by innovation at the point of sale by companies like Square, Stripe and Adyen, who are providing end-to-end solutions, including payroll assistance and inventory financing for their merchants.
Given the current world situation, what would your top tips be to B2B/Global tech (product) companies to secure their transactions and prevent fraud or identity theft during this time?
Data encryption and transaction tokenization for digital payments is essential, particularly mobile payments. Not sure whether the current world situation impacts that advice much – though geopolitical instability probably increases the likelihood of sophisticated offshore hacks.
What are some of your thoughts on how the current world situation will impact the use of (and development) of the fintech segment?
The events of today are bringing the efficiency and flexibility of digital payments to the forefront. While payments may have once been a back-office topic, decision makers are now being forced to address the challenge of how to make payments to suppliers and employees when everyone is working remotely — assuming they still have a job. The increase in unemployment levels and the number of households that have lost one or more wage earners means that those lucky enough still to have work are feeling even more financial strain. We know that employers want to do what they can to alleviate the strain. AnyDay is offering one important tool: enabling employers to provide wage payment on demand.
What immediate impacts are you seeing from the current world-wide pandemic and how can the fintech industry help?
Digital payments generally help address concerns over transmission of the virus through cash, and are easier to implement for companies and governments seeking to make disbursements with employees working from home. Fintechs can help traditional payors make the transition to digital payments by making the transition as easy and painless as possible: integrating seamlessly into existing payment processes, enabling developers full access to API menus; permitting customization through third party integrations.
That’s the general argument. Closer to home, earned wage access providers like AnyDay can enable employers to help their employees make ends meet without recourse to payday loans. Before the pandemic, some 75 percent of the U.S. population was living paycheck-to-paycheck. That figure will be higher today. Any solution that puts money in people’s pockets instantly and at low to no cost — like earned wage access — can and should be part of the answer to the economic pain people are feeling.
What is the biggest challenge for B2B/Global tech product companies when looking to implement operational changes during a crisis like COVID-19?
I would have to say it is imperative to find a partner that is flexible and able to move fast.. Someone who isn’t too bureaucratic or too committed to an existing product suite to help address the specific issues presented by the current climate.
What sector are you seeing the greatest demand from during the coronavirus pandemic?
For us it is payroll service providers, human capital management companies, workforce management providers, and large companies looking to implement pay card and earned wage access solutions. In addition to people working remotely, solutions for all wage earners – from salaried, hourly and the unbanked – need to be addressed. In short, the ability to pay and get paid quickly at little to no cost to either party.
Would you like to share specific finance or business tips for Marketing and Sales teams struggling through uncertain times due to the current pandemic?
Don’t allow wishful thinking to cloud your judgment! Everything will take longer than hoped, including getting investors to commit or deploy investment capital. On the other hand, don’t lose sight of the unique opportunities that are being created by the dislocation. My investment returns in 2009 were almost four times that of my previous best year.
AnyDay is the world’s first vertically integrated provider of end-to-end earned wage access and other financial wellness solutions. Thanks to the payments infrastructure of its parent QRails, the AnyDay platform enables payroll processors, human capital management companies, workforce management providers and large corporations to deliver instant payment of earned wages to employees at low-to-no-cost. With a strong focus on increasing financial wellness in the modern working world, the AnyDay team has extensive experience in financial services and a track record of success in growing new businesses in the payments industry.