Accloud PLC was founded to empower and stimulate the growth of micro SMEs, (Small, Medium Enterprises) by offering business management tools through its integrated cloud-services platform. Founded in 2015, the company’s signature platform – Accloud offers user-friendly and affordable support to accelerate micro SME growth in rural communities, thus offering the ability to trade and network with other micro SMEs. The man at the helm of affairs – Ross R James, CEO of the company, is a man with a mission. He is on a quest to bridge the economic disparities within communities. An astute man with sound business acumen, coupled with great determination and a competitive spirit, Ross has earned great admiration within the industry. Empowered with high-level expertise and excellent leadership skills, he has proved to be an exceptional CEO. In an interview, he talks on an array of topics – from the decision to build Accloud to the current fintech industry, from the present economic slowdown to Accloud’s expansion to other countries. Excerpts from the interview: Ross feels that for too long, entrepreneurs in high-growth economies have struggled to achieve their ambitions. “Accloud was created to challenge that status quo. In October 2015, we began developing a platform that makes business management simpler, empowering people to grow, and giving them access to new markets and services.
“We believe that everyone everywhere should have access to technology that helps them improve their financial wellbeing,” says Inigo Rumayor Belausteguigoitia, Co-Founder of Arcus. Arcus is a FaaS (Fintech-as-a-Service) company he co-founded to help every business make fintech accessible for each of their customers. By being smart, strategic, and being ready to pivot, Rumayor was able to build an easy-to-use platform. The platform eliminated the complexity of launching a fintech business. This strategy has enabled Arcus to expand its operations across Latin America and the USA. Earlier, the fintech ecosystem was fragmented, diverse, and afflicted with inefficiencies. FaaS was the ultimate solution to this problem. FaaS has completely revolutionized the fintech industry by incorporating the power of technology into the legacy systems that drive most of global commerce. FaaS has completely revolutionized the fintech industry by incorporating the power of technology into the legacy systems that drive most of global commerce. FaaS has unlocked a new playing field for financial innovators everywhere. Arcus has made it possible for any company to become a fintech company. Thanks to FaaS, now there are fewer barriers to enter the fintech market. However, building scale still seems to be a challenge.
“Make sure you are passionate about your business idea and love what you do,” says Sean Moshir, Co-founder & CEO of CellTrust. CellTrust is a leading provider of secure, compliant mobile communication for enterprises around the world. CellTrust’s award-winning security and mobile compliance products are radically transforming the way enterprises communicate and work. But, CellTrust is not the only feather in Moshir’s cap. Over the years Moshir has founded several cybersecurity companies. Each has excelled in its own way. Moshir is a hard-working and versatile person who has a knack for recognizing the raw energy in people. He motivates them to positively channel that energy to reach their full potential. Half of CellTrust’s current staff have worked with him at his previous companies. Their loyalty and knowledge have led CellTrust in developing leading-edge solutions with global reach. So, what has CellTrust planned for the post-pandemic world? Let’s find out! Moshir and his team realized early on Fintech was missing certain aspects of secure, compliant mobile communication including SMS/Text archiving. Moshir executed on a strategy to make CellTrust the first company to patent an innovation for secure communication.
“I like to dedicate responsibility to my teams and have great trust in them to deliver the best possible result”, says Mark Hojgaard, CEO & Co-Founder of Coinify, a wallet-independent platform that provides individuals with secure and simple access to the virtual currency space. The company aims to go beyond traditional finance practices and introduce people from all walks of life into virtual currencies and adopt financial innovation. Hojgaard is a leader who believes in delegation and a person who leverages fear to propel himself to go the extra mile. With an incredibly strong determination, Hojgaard is steering the company towards building a strong, trustworthy community and injecting novel methods of payment across industries. So how does he plan to achieve this? Let’s find out! According to Hojgaard, immature technologies and the unregulated approaches are the two biggest challenges faced by the Fintech sector. Another challenge is the one faced by the customers when deciding what platform to invest in. A few years ago, the Bitcoin was the hottest topic, but now there are thousands of similar tokens coming up every day including LibraCoin by Facebook and CBDC (Central Bank own Digital Currency).
“Whenever life knocks me down, I bounce back harder and stronger. I keep going and I don’t stop until I achieve my goals “, says Craig Cecilio, Co-Founder, and CEO of DiversyFund.
DiversyFund is a Fintech company that was born out of recession. It was founded to help normal people in their time of need. By breaking down the barrier between Wall Street and Main Street, DiversyFund opens the doors for the everyday investor to build up their wealth. Cecilio lives according to the philosophy that man’s potential for growth and improvement knew no limits. It totally justifies why people call him the “Renaissance Man”.
Even with the current pandemic causing losses for numerous companies around the world. By moving more processes to the digital space, he ensured that DiversyFund didn’t face much of a challenge. By delegating to the right people, he has led DiversyFund beyond to reach greater heights and has been successful in unventured areas.
As a leading provider of remote user iDentification systems (via streaming video), Electronic Identification (eID) has been a game-changer in creating the highest level of customer experience within industries that require a high level of security. Started in 2013, as a software manufacturer in the Regulatory Technology (RegTech) field, eID is touted as one of the 100 most innovative RegTech in the world. Operating out of four continents in the world today, eID’s technology is used by most of the banks in Europe for end-to-end online customer onboarding. Noted Ivan Nabalon, CEO eID that the company’s flagship product VideoID combines streaming video along with an advanced artificial intelligence algorithm, giving the same technical and compliance level as face-to-face identification in presence. “It is the only technology that allows us to reach this level of security and only annoying the user for a few seconds” he added. Ivan added that as a Regtech company, his firm has always had the vision that regulatory technology and digital identity can change the world by legitimizing users through the internet. “The main feature that characterizes our company is a team of people who never give up. Our motto is: It is very difficult to beat a team that never gives up.”
“I approach my leadership in the same way a conductor works with an orchestra to shape an ensemble, using the right musicians, leading them and keeping them on track,” says Joanne Dewar, CEO of Global Processing Services (GPS). GPS is an award-winning payments technology provider that has enabled many high-proﬁle ﬁntech innovators. Dewar, an empathetic leader with a rock-solid vision, has led GPS’ transformation from bootstrapped startup to private equity-backed scale-up that continues to extend its reach globally. Besides possessing a strong ability to optimise the performance of a diverse team, she is also a proud mother who seeks to balance the responsibilities of being CEO with spending quality time with her three children. “Imposter Syndrome is a huge issue for many people in high-level positions. It is something that I certainly struggled with when I first became CEO,” says Dewar. To combat Imposter Syndrome, she suggests Jack Welch’s ‘Destroy Your Own Business Theory’ – that one should consider how the competition would respond to a situation and do that thing yourself. Dewar had a fear of public speaking. She overcame it by focusing on the hundreds of other people who could learn something from her, instead of the one she thought could not.
“For me leadership is very much about listening to others, understanding their opinions and arguments and trying to reach an impactful and efficient decision,” says Michael Juul Rugaard, Partner & Co-founder of Norfico. Norfico is a fintech consultancy that combines strategic advisory and PR activities exclusively for the financial services sector. Rugaard is a pioneer of exclusive fintech consultation. He has spent over fifteen years as a strategic communication adviser, an author, and an editor of magazines, books, articles, and white papers. This has shaped him to be a visionary and futuristic person who always seeks opportunities to identify and fill up the holes in the market. He started as a press manager at one of the biggest payment companies in the Nordics. During his time there, Rugaard faced immense difficulty while looking for external communications consultants. The professionals who were hired didn’t know the basics of the payments industry. “We had to teach them for months before they could help us with just basic stuff, and in most cases, we ended up doing the work ourselves,” states Rugaard.
Pipe was founded to help cloud services companies grow efficiently by becoming the financial rails of the industry. Founded in September 2019, Pipe’s suite of products allows companies with recurring revenues to unlock their deferred cash flows and invest in growth. Designed particularly for SaaS companies that can benefit from immediate payment, the company enables companies to grow without diluting their current cap table. Harry Hurst, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Pipe said, “When we founded Pipe, we had a clear idea of who our early adopters would be: SaaS companies with the proven product-market fit, servicing customers in the SMB to the mid-market range. So, we set about building and launching our product, and lucky for us the reception has been phenomenal.” Harry noted that post the launch of the company, he discovered the product was in demand with a subset of the SaaS market that they hadn’t expected to be serving in the first few months of the launch – large enterprise focused companies with customers who historically pre-paid annually upfront but are now requesting more flexible payment terms. “We’re fortunate to be in a position to provide much-needed cash flow to SaaS companies.
As a pioneer in deploying wireless ultra-low latency and transcontinental communications systems, RAFT Technologies has come a long way in serving especially the financial markets and particularly the HFT – algorithmic trading firms. Started in 2013, the company enables the communication between different exchanges and delivers data between exchange co-locations in the lowest latency in the industry. Said Haim Ben Ami, CEO, RAFT Technologies, an experienced professional in capital markets that, RAFT Technologies employs a skilled team of more than 40 years of cumulative experience in the fields of radio communications, networking, management, and monitoring systems. “We have intimate knowledge on how to combine the essential components of all legal, location, and technological aspects of communications systems, which allows us to offer complete and state-of-the-art ‘Plug & Play’ packages to all of our clients.” Haim added that in 2017 when he was offered to become the CEO of RAFT Technologies, the company was in an important stage of its evolution. “I realized the vast potential. I was attracted not only to the opportunity and challenge but also to a place where I could synergize the trading world and wireless communication field which I love and have experience.
SnapCheck’s mission is to eliminate paper checks and empower businesses to adopt digital payments. This unique open-ecosystem platform, founded in 2015 was created so that any business could pay any vendor, supplier, contractor or employee, anywhere with the familiar form of a check, but without all the problems inherent in the paper thus reducing the cost to the business by 70% and the risks of fraudulent activity by 90% over any current payment method. On what inspired him to start SnapCheck, Ken Kruszka, CEO & Founder of the company noted that SnapCheck was born of a pain that he himself had as a small business owner trying to easily pay his bills and invoices, and feeling disheartened at the pervasiveness of paper checks. Ken noted that he ended up blocking four days a month just to pay payroll, and it was this pain that spurred the idea of creating the ‘paper check killer’. “Businesses do not have options that are quick and easy and painless. SnapCheck brings that same convenience of a service like Venmo to the business world, giving them an easy way to transact without having to overhaul their back-office processes.
Trademaster is a fintech company specialized in B2B credit solutions that strives to empower small and medium retail companies, by offering credit to all links in the distribution chain – industry, distributors and retail. The company provides an innovative payment platform that is integrated with the commercial operation of the industry or distributor, using technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Launched in 2015, Trademaster enables companies to free up credit and increase the purchasing power of the distribution channels, leveraging sales and mitigating risks. The company offers financial solutions for more than 30 large corporations, including more than 180,000 retailers, with total transactions close to the volume of U$1Billion. Says Francisco Pereira, CEO Trademaster that the platform is a Cloud and Container-driven one, developed for microservices. “Our platform communicates through a catalogue of APIs, integrated in real-time with the sales process of our customers. This helps us provide a truly frictionless process. We also have a customer service portal that has an interface developed with the best of UX” he adds.
As a pioneer in developing agile technological solutions for electronic signature and automation of KYC, used by banking and insurance companies, Vialink has heralded a new era in digitalization. The company strongly believes in investing in its R&D and it pays off. The result: Its innovative Artificial Intelligence solutions, developed to support finance companies in automating their KYC processes through an easily integrated API platform.
Said Philippe Sanchis, CEO, Vialink, that he decided to invest in digitalization and automation of the KYC processes within banking and insurance sectors many years ago. The plan was to offer a 360° vision of the customer in real-time, drastically improving both banks’ productivity and customers’ experience, while minimizing the regulator’s sanctions risk. “In the last 15 years, the rise of terrorism and money laundering has forced worldwide regulators to establish new directives and to require better customer knowledge from the financial sector. Thus, the bank, insurance players have put in place appropriate measures to verify their customer’s data (KYC – Know Your Customer), often via a set of manual procedures.
Finance is one of the major sections of each and every sector regardless of their business domains. It’s been a part of each business since traditional age when accounts were only done on the papers, but now the time has grown to a technological level where everything is automated then why not finance sector. With the flying time and growing using of technology, finance sector has undergone great changes and now it is used to automate a number of financial activities and make it easier for business and common folks too. Finance technology, more commonly known as fintech is a very commonly known name but hardly few are well aware of each and every benefit it offers. Fintech is a vast sector with a number of operations sorting capital management in various ways. There are a number of fintech users but they are totally different from one another in terms of objective, type of use and many more. This states that fintech industry is serving a number of distinct requirements with appropriate solutions. Finance management is very crucial aspect for a business to operate smoothly and generate revenue.
Financial planning is the backbone for every type of business to operate efficiently with achieve targeted objective. A single mistake in the financial records or planning can drag the growth of an organization to zero. As a solution, Robo-Advisors serve a digital platform with automated functions backed up with algorithm-driven financial planning services. This digital platform allow to automate the procedure with least or can be said no human supervision. A question might be nudging your mind, “How a digital platform can be able to plan financial operations?” It is a worth question that must be answered before using such a high tech platform. The mechanism of Robo-Advisor is very simple which involves information gathering from client about their financial state and then conducting a thorough study over the market based on the future objective of the client. Output of all such study and surveys are used as input by this platform to take financial decisions and investing client’s assets automatically. Investing is a boon for an organization or an individual, but hardly people have any idea about investment. So, when they plan to invest their money for a better ROI, the very first solution hit their mind is wealth advisory team.
Finance sector has grown to a large extent and the word fintech itself states a great combination of finance and technology. Business operations need to be speed paced to match the current requirements and fintech allows the business operations to enhance the operations and financial services. Fintech has improved the way finance was dealing with the common life, now it has supported professional and personal lives with easy mobile payments, cryptocurrency, automated investment apps, crowd funding platforms and many more. There are multiple technologies which are responsible for the boosting of fintech sector. To know more about the technologies involved in embracing this sector, continue reading. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are most important technologies which play a major role in finance industry to make it potent enough to serve in much better manner. Fintech applications that include artificial intelligence are fraud detection, credit scoring, wealth management, regulatory compliance, and many more. Most of the financial operation includes repetitive tasks. Robotic process automation assists to enhance the procedure and make it swift by automating such procedures. Most used applications of RPA in fintech sector are listed below:
Blockchain is one of the swiftly emerging technologies in present world and none of the sector is untouched from this extravagantly amazing technology. Especially this technology is having a great emphasis on fintech sector. In current era, almost 77% of financial service providers are incorporating blockchain technology to enhance their service qualities. If integrated in the right manner, blockchain can bring robustness to any large retail banks. To know how blockchains are helping fintech sector, first you need to understand what is blockchain and how does it work? It is a public ledger which is built by collecting all data available on internet. The information in the blockchain is not confined to any number, name or address, rather it comprises details about the transfer of money, personal identities, official or nonofficial agreements between different parties. Each information in this structure is stored in the form of blocks with a capacity of 1MB each. KYC is one of the biggest aspects in national stock exchange sector. It allows banking industry to record electronic details about each transaction along with authentication and verification. In this process, blockchains is the backbone which allows the finance sector to record and track the details efficiently.
Fintech may sound very different but in simple language it is financial technology. Along with other business sectors, technology has a great impact on banking and finance sector too. A number of business sectors are deploying Fintech for a better performance. Actually Fintech is transforming the money transaction procedures and helping companies to make it online with an automated data saving about each transaction made or received. The emergence of this technology has also impacted customers and their usage. Nothing comes out immediately but an innovation is a result of requirements. Fintech is also a result of a number of changes occurred in various industries and lifestyle of targeted audiences. On a side of this world, every sector is highly influenced with the technological growth and is implementing it in some or other way. This is a fast paced era where every sector is moving at a fastest speed and to intact the operations they need finance technology which can match up their speed and serve them with an instantaneous result. In olden day customers were habitual of going door to door and searching for the best solution for their requirements.