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The third and final episode recorded at Fintech Talents, that we produced in partnership with Andaria, experts in scalable embedded finance solutions.
The event took place at The Brewery, London in November where we recorded a series of interviews from Andaria’s booth with a number of the speakers and attendees. Our guests for this episode were:
1/ Toyosi Ariyo, Founder and CEO, Diaspora World
2/ David Cox, Payments Lead, Virgin Media
3/ Kevin McAdam, Director of Cards, Andaria
4/ Jit Ng, Payments Industry Interface Manager, Transport for London
5/ Lee Taylor, Chief Financial Officer, OnlyFans
6/ Alexandru Dorobantu, Senior Director of Global Payments, Delivery Hero
Toyosi Ariyo, Founder and CEO, Diaspora World
Toyosi Ariyo, the Founder and CEO of Diaspora World, discussed the company’s mission of addressing financial inclusion for SMEs in emerging economies. Leveraging innovative technologies such as AI and machine learning, Diaspora World aims to bridge the financing gap for SMEs in regions where mobile phones are prevalent but traditional banking is limited.
Participating in fintech talents, Toyosi spoke on the panel titled “Shaking the Foundations,” exploring the delicate balance between fintech innovation and regulatory protection. Emphasising the symbiotic relationship between established banks and FinTech’s, she highlighted the need for collaboration and playing to each other’s strengths to foster a conducive ecosystem.
The discussion extended to the UK’s post-Brexit regulatory landscape, with Toyosi noting the Financial Services Markets Act’s role in shaping a competitive advantage for the UK by selectively adopting regulations.
Reflecting on her collaboration with RISE by Barclays during Black History Month, Toyosi shared insights into diversity and leadership, emphasising the importance of diverse voices in the fintech space.
Regarding Diaspora World’s future priorities, Toyosi emphasised engagement with regulators through digital sandboxes to co-create solutions that balance innovation and compliance.
At Fintech Talents, Toyosi aimed to engage in conversations around identity and inclusion in fintech, exploring use cases beyond mainstream headlines and understanding the perspectives of developers and other stakeholders.
The interview captured Toyosi Ariyo’s multifaceted perspective on fintech, regulatory dynamics, diversity, and future priorities for Diaspora World.
David Cox, Payments Lead, Virgin Media
David Cox, the Payments Lead at Virgin Media, discussed the evolving landscape of payments in both the industry and the context of Virgin Media’s priorities. Acknowledging the once straightforward nature of payments, David highlighted the current diversity in payment options, including wallets and open banking, emphasising the need to cater to various consumer preferences.
As a participant at Fintech Talents, David delved into the inclusive approach at Virgin Media, recognising the importance of supporting traditional payment methods for those who may not have smartphones. The focus is on ensuring a seamless experience across all channels.
David also touched on his involvement in a session about open banking at Fintech Talents. He emphasised the dual benefits of open banking, facilitating swift and cost-effective payments for merchants and providing consumers with valuable insights for accurate budgeting.
The conversation extended to the potential of embedded finance as the next step beyond open banking. David noted that Virgin Media already offers handset finance and sees opportunities in utilising data for affordability and fraud checks.
Regarding his priorities for payment infrastructure at Virgin Media, David highlighted the ongoing challenge of merging Virgin Media and O2 and streamlining the consumer journey. The goal is to transition to a unified billing system, providing a more cohesive and customer-friendly experience.
In conclusion, David Cox shed light on the complexity of his role in merging diverse businesses and platforms into a seamless, unified customer experience, expressing optimism about achieving this goal within the next 2 to 3 years.
Kevin McAdam, Director of Cards, Andaria
Kevin McAdam, Director of Cards at Andaria, shared exciting developments in the company’s embedded finance solution at Fintech Talents. Andaria has recently secured principal membership contracts with Discover and Mastercard in the UK and Europe, marking a significant step in their cards proposition. The comprehensive suite includes dedicated IBANs, business accounts with multi-currency support, and a new cards feature, offering virtual accounts, physical cards, and e-wallets.
Discussing the impact on Andaria’s embedded finance offering, Kevin emphasised the importance of providing a complete solution as a unique selling proposition (USP). The goal is to offer businesses a one-stop-shop that streamlines their financial processes, eliminating the need for multiple partners.
In terms of card-related news, Andaria is set to onboard its first client with a unique focus on the metaverse space and crypto elements. This venture into the metaverse aligns with Andaria’s strategy to cater to the community-based membership space. Kevin sees this move as a significant step forward, leveraging the strong affinity that community-based memberships have with their clients and offering a suite of services that enhance their engagement, cost-effectiveness, and data monetisation.
As Andaria looks ahead, the focus remains on community-based memberships, where they have already gained traction due to the appeal of a comprehensive solution that caters to the unique needs of these communities. The goal is to enrich the relationship between businesses and their supporters or associations.
In conclusion, Kevin McAdam highlighted the dynamic and forward-looking direction of Andaria’s embedded finance solution, anticipating further growth and opportunities in the evolving fintech landscape.
Jit Ng, Payments Industry Interface Manager, Transport for London
Jit Ng, Payments Industry Interface Manager at Transport for London (TfL), shared insights at Fintech Talents on TfL’s approach to open banking and the unique challenges it presents for transit operations. Highlighting that “transit is not retail,” Jit emphasised the need for the industry to understand TfL’s distinctive challenges, such as cost implications and complex processes.
Addressing the question of why TfL considers open banking, Jit stressed the importance of exploring new options for customers and the organisation itself. Considering open banking aligns with TfL’s pursuit of better commercial and service models, ensuring they provide valuable options while adhering to their customer-centric approach.
In terms of customer experience, TfL’s fundamentals revolve around transparency, fair treatment for all customers regardless of status, and simplicity. Jit emphasised the significance of maintaining a consistent customer journey for everyone, reinforcing the success of TfL’s straightforward model.
On the topic of fraud, Jit acknowledged that while fraud in transit is low, there is a need to stay vigilant, especially against trends like TikTok crazes that may encourage misuse of TfL services. The focus is on combating emerging trends and educating the public to prevent non-malicious attempts at exploiting the system.
In conclusion, Jit Ng provided valuable insights into TfL’s unique considerations in adopting open banking, their commitment to customer-centric principles, and their proactive stance against emerging fraud trends.
Lee Taylor, Chief Financial Officer, OnlyFans
Lee Taylor, Chief Financial Officer at OnlyFans, attended Fintech Talents to engage with the fintech community and strengthen connections related to ID verification and global payments. Discussing challenges for a two-sided marketplace like OnlyFans, Lee emphasised the historical focus on collecting payments from fans and ensuring prompt, dependable, and cost-effective payments to creators. Having successfully paid over $15 billion in creator earnings, the platform is now exploring opportunities to optimise processes and enhance benefits for creators and fans.
In a session on easing cross-border payments, Lee highlighted the uniqueness of OnlyFans’ cross-border challenges, stemming from its global creator base. While acknowledging the absence of a one-size-fits-all solution, he shared insights into the platform’s piecemeal approach, emphasising the importance of building local payment networks and protecting creators from foreign exchange costs.
Addressing the concept of embedded finance, Lee reflected on OnlyFans’ commitment to focusing on the product and maximising creators’ earnings without monetising payments or data. While exploring initiatives to reward creators and fans, the platform remains cautious about incorporating new elements and prefers a product-centric approach.
Looking ahead, Lee Taylor’s priorities as CFO align with OnlyFans’ vision to disrupt the existing internet model by prioritising safety and improving transparency. Supporting decisions related to KYC, content moderation, and fostering a safe social media platform are key aspects of his role in the coming months.
Alexandru Dorobantu, Senior Director of Global Payments, Delivery Hero
Alex Dorobantu, Senior Director of Global Payments at Delivery Hero, attended Fintech Talents to explore innovative payments-related services in the embedded finance and identity space. While emphasising the importance of broadening horizons, Alex acknowledged the diverse offerings beyond traditional payment services and their relevance to the industry.
Delivery Hero, a leading global food delivery company operating in over seventy countries with €45 billion GMV per year, faces complex operational challenges due to its vast reach and presence in emerging markets.
Participating in two sessions at Fintech Talents, Alex shared insights on embedded finance trends. He highlighted the decomposition of big banks, paving the way for ecosystem players to assume various financial services. For merchants entering fintech, Alex stressed the significance of establishing clear synergies between their products and financial services to enhance overall offerings.
In the second session on digital wallets, Alex discussed the growing prominence of merchant wallets and the potential for open-loop wallet experiences. He anticipated a rise in merchant wallet adoption, emphasising the value of creating ecosystems. Notable examples from Southeast Asia, such as Alipay and Grabpay, highlighted the success of expanded payment ecosystems.
Wishing Alex success in his sessions and endeavours at Delivery Hero, these insights provide a glimpse into the evolving landscape of embedded finance and digital wallets.
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