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A Look Behind the Product and Into the Future of Fintech

2021 was another crazy year in Fintech (and for the planet in general). It feels like just last month we were recapping the adventure that was 2020, and suddenly here we are again.

Finix wouldn’t be here without the people behind the scenes working hard to bring better payments processing technology to software platforms, so we decided to ask some of these people why they think what we’re building here at Finix is important, and where they see the Fintech sector growing in 2022.

We asked Finixians across the company two questions. Here are their answers.

 

Why is what we are building at Finix important?

This is such a great question! The tech we build enables companies of every size, from brand-new startups to publicly traded companies, to embed payments acceptance into their platforms so that they can improve the customer experience. They can leverage our expertise to build an integrated experience that will delight their customers. Starting with Finix's Flex offering (Payments-as-a-Service) allows companies to begin their journey to becoming a PayFac, learning along the way. This lowers the barrier to entry as companies don't need to hire Payment Operations and Compliance teams unless they want to become a PayFac today.  Payments revenues can eclipse SaaS revenues as companies scale, so embedding the experience in the platform and managing that customer experience are key from the very beginning.

Nan Siler, Head of Payment Operations

 

Payments is complex, and that’s not changing any time soon. We’ve seen tremendous innovation in the last decade on the merchant side, making accepting and disbursing payments easier. However, if you want to make payments a more central part of your product, your options are still limited, and you’re back to unraveling the complexities. Finix is building infrastructure that simplifies the lift for software companies to embed payments. This enables a more efficient distribution of payments leading to more options and lower costs for merchant payments, and a better product offering and more robust business model for software companies – win, win.

Billy Chen, VP of Partnerships

 

What we are building ties directly into our mission of creating the most accessible financial services ecosystem in history. Financial services on a global level, for both consumers and merchants, have historically been limited in terms of accessibility due to technology limitations, awareness, regulatory inertia, and long-standing biases. We are building the connective tissue underneath the Fintech industry to bring these disparate services together in a seamless experience. Our work is not just on the tech side: we need to build intuitive visual experiences through strategic design, adhere to and eventually influence compliance and legal guidelines, and weave together a network of partnerships to create a comprehensive suite of products and services. There is a lot of work to do to get there and we are creating processes to make sure we are focusing on the right things in the short term while always progressing towards the end state.

Christopher Bodmer, Director of Product

 

Payment processing has not evolved much since the advent of online shopping. Even the technologies born in the wake of the online shopping boon were veneers over archaic technologies dating back to the 1970s. Finix is important because we are reimagining the entire stack. We are bringing payment processing into the 21st century and making it easier and more accessible than ever.

Jabari Pulliam, Software Engineer

 

Ultimately, the goal of fintech is to make financial services more affordable and flexible per transaction. At Finix, we are creating the most accessible financial services ecosystem in history. What we are building is very important because it will enable underbanked and unbanked populations to access robust financial services. This in turn will maximize our opportunity to positively impact global poverty.

Javed Shaik, Software Engineer

 

Finix is enabling software platforms to build and offer financial products to their customers who are often small to medium-sized businesses. Starting with payments, Finix is empowering these platforms' customers to scale their entrepreneurial efforts more efficiently.

Brandon Zorner, Director of Growth Sales

 

Finix gives users the flexibility to control how they make money and move money. I see this a lot with my team, we deal with payouts and fees. We're able to take these really complex concepts of when money moves and give the control to the user. It's a small part of the payments ecosystem that really makes a difference.

Marianne Motus, Technical Product Manager

 

​​What Finix brings to the table is very unique. Our suite of APIs takes away the complexities of building your own payments stack and provides a configurable payments platform tailored to a business's specific needs. In the foreseeable future, software companies are becoming payments companies and embedded Fintech solutions like Finix can help them focus on what matters most to their business.

Mary Naanep, Support Engineer

 

Vertical software platforms are exploding right now by monetizing their loyal user base through embedded high margin financial services like payments and loans. This has created a large pool of new entrants in Fintech who are hungry for financial infrastructure that can give them full control of the end user experience while abstracting and automating away the complexities of the underlying legacy financial services industry. This is why the Finix mission of building the most accessible operating system for fintech is so important at this moment. Our aim is to make it radically simple for these platforms to build and manage a payments business through an API powered platform that covers the full payments lifecycle. Each point of friction we remove will enable these platforms to focus and invest more in their core business.

Sunil Joshi, Director of Product

 

Where do you see fintech going in 2022?

In 2022, I see Fintech evolving primarily from a competitive and regulatory perspective. I wouldn’t be surprised to see further consolidation in the industry, as large Fintechs like Square and Stripe continue to expand their product offerings through acquisition. The cost of capital is cheap (for now) and with potential rate hikes on the horizon there could be a flurry of activity in the near term. I also think lending services, in particular Buy Now Pay Later, will receive more regulatory scrutiny next year. BNPL volume greatly accelerated in 2021 and we will soon see how these installments will affect the end consumer over time. If consumers get over-extended, and it’s easy to spend money you don’t have, there could be a wave of defaults and repossessions that catch the eye of regulators. BNPL has been great for accessibility to higher-ticket items but a general lack of financial awareness in consumers coupled with easy debt is not a good combination.

Christopher Bodmer, Director of Product

 

In 2022, I see Fintech's as doing more than just one thing (eg. payment processing, lending, etc.) and working to provide a more holistic and interconnected experience across all things money related to their customers.

Kalyani Iyer, Senior Partnerships Manager

 

I think that there is a tidal wave of financial change coming. Traditional financial models are being rethought of and are being challenged. We can take bitcoin as an example, it used to only be discussed by a small group of people but has gained so much traction that it is now an acceptable form of payment. Payments has changed so much that we have a different way of viewing money, and with that, generating revenue.

Marianne Motus, Technical Product Manager

 

Software ate the world in the 2010s, so I think it's pretty clear that the next evolution is for payments to eat the world next. 2010s saw a huge rise of vertical SAAS companies offering solutions for whatever underserved market or problem they saw. The companies that made it, are now looking for what's next. Money makes the world go round, and these software companies are going to want to provide "payments" as part of their main product offering. Payments is a nebulous term and I think it will continue to evolve (crypto, alternative options, FX, global expansion, touchless payments) but whatever the popular offering is, there will always be demand for companies to support them. I don't really know where Fintech will go in 2022, but I am very confident that there will be more companies clamoring for access to Fintech solutions.

Zack Ulrich, Software Engineer

 

We will continue to see platforms expand financial service offerings to their customers.  Leveraging a platform to help run their business is just the first step for many small business owners. They are looking to the experts who deliver the tech stack that helps them manage appointment scheduling or inventory to also help them accept payments. These businesses want contactless in-person payments and new card not present experiences to support curbside pickup. The pandemic is not going away, and small businesses are fighting to stay in business.  Anything platforms can do to enable consumer choice will help these small businesses maintain and grow their brand.

Nan Siler, Head of Payment Operations