Podcast Episode

Dear Third Party Payment Vendor, It’s Not You, It’s Open Banking APIs

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Corporate Payments Are Clunky

Joseph Drambarean: So I’m gonna tell you a little story. I’m not gonna say who it is. I’m just gonna say that someone I know really well is in the process of starting a business. And, of course, the first step has been: you gotta get the finances in order, have to set up the corporate accounts and all of that, and get everything wired together.

Well, funding those accounts has been something that’s been super interesting to observe just in the wild, getting the operating funds from other sources and… In some cases, there were constraints, right? Where I needed these funds right away because maybe I have to pay for certain things because we’re getting on an office lease together, etc., etc., and they’re expecting the funds right away. And we need to do it either through like a debit card or whatever it might be.

And so I’m watching all of this play out. And in the back of my mind, obviously, I have the consumer mindset of, “What do you mean?” I mean, if I need to move money from here to there, I could do it right now on my iPhone. I can just put some money on my Apple Card and just deliver it to you instantly – and you just have it. How is it the case that I can’t just put money into any bank account instantaneously?

Well, it turns out that that’s not the case. It turns out that when you’re dealing in the corporate space, it’s not just the fact that the bank websites themselves don’t support all of these technologies that you would expect from a consumer perspective, like instant transfers. That’s not a thing. You can’t use it, especially if you have a new account. That’s the other kind of thing that’s interesting here. It’s that you wanna get up and running, you wanna start making moves – well, you’re gonna have to wait at least a week to get funds moved around. Yes, you could wire. But even in the case of wire – let’s say, you’re doing it on a Saturday – well, you’re not gonna get your funds right away, you’re gonna have to wait until at least Monday.

So it’s this whole thing that… I don’t think many people realize that even though on the consumer side of the house, there’s been a massive transformation. You’ve got PayPal. You’ve got Zelle. You’ve got Square Cash. You’ve got Apple. All of them have their own version and implementation of real-time or instant funds transfers, but that’s just not the case – at least we think – on the corporate side. And I think what was floating around my mind and…

Of course, I didn’t even kick off the podcast yet. Welcome to Fintech Corner! I’m Joseph Drambarean. I’m Joseph Drambarean. I’m your host, and I’m joined by Brett Turner – a founder and CEO here at Trovata. And today, we’re gonna wade into the murky waters of payments, especially on the corporate side. 

And I think we wanna demystify a little bit about what has been happening within corporate payments. And framing it with these expectations that we should have, right? We’ve gotten used to a better payment ecosystem on the consumer side. Why can’t that be the case on the corporate side? It turns out it can be. And so, I wanted to start with just this prompt. Is it as bad as I think it is on the corporate side? It isn’t a simple “yes” or “no”. I’m just curious what your take is on that right away.

Brett Turner: First of all, you said you know a friend who’s setting up a business. Usually, when you say that, it’s like, “Is that actually you, and you’re developing this side hustle?”

Joseph Drambarean: No.

Brett Turner: Well, then, you need to tell me about some of those.

Joseph Drambarean: It’s not me. It’s not me.

Venus & Mars of Payments

Brett Turner: No, I mean, the crazy thing is, when you think of Venmoing $25, it’s just very different when you have this thing that’s got to go through a controller and internal controls and how it’s gonna translate…

Joseph Drambarean: Okay.

Brett Turner: …to all the corporate policy and governance that needs to happen. So, you’ve got all those things that just need to happen. It’s a whole different world, of course, so…

And then, you’ve got really the banks that are sort of split into retail, which is a small business consumer. Anything that’s above maybe 10-20 million in revenue – it’s more on the wholesale side of the bank. Banks are still built on mainframe computing or run on mainframe computing. So, you’re not going to have two separate different mainframes essentially.

And so, yeah, it is crazy that these two worlds are becoming so different. And then, we all live in it and experience it. It just feels like a different planet. I’m living on planet Earth, and it’s feeling more modern. Why do I have to go to Mercury or Venus to kind of do my corporate business? But it is changing. Some of the cool stuff that’s now… We get to see that. We get to see that because we’re really bringing the modern into this whole world. And what you kind of see in consumer starts to make its way into corporate. We’re at the forefront of pioneering APIs with banks, and they’re… It’s all kind of starting to happen on the payment side. And so, the wave is coming. It’s definitely coming, and a lot of people – I don’t think – have any clue on how disruptive that’s gonna be.


Venmo Pushes the Envelope

Joseph Drambarean: It’s interesting because I see some analogies between how peer-to-peer payments helped evolve everything on the consumer side. So if you rewind the tape, and you go back to the Stone Age of peer-to-peer payments, and you think of Venmo and PayPal, that really drove a lot of behavior change with the banks because they had to react, they had to introduce their own technologies: Zelle to introduce peer-to-peer payments. And that transformed a lot of things. They kind of pushed, for example, the clearing house to support same-day ACH transfers and almost create these new technologies to support it. And it was because PayPal and Venmo were doing something that was crazy. They were willing to kind of take the burden and the risk of moving money instantaneously for their end users so that their end users could have a great experience.


The Fragmented Payments Ecosystem

Joseph Drambarean: It seems like the same thing has been happening on the corporate side where there’s this whole other ecosystem outside of the banks, not the banks that came into play. So, you mentioned Bill.com as just one example. They’re not the only ones.

Brett Turner: No.

Joseph Drambarean: There’s a bunch of players that almost sit in between the bank and the customer. And the customer – all that they wanna do is make a payment, right? They wanna make a transfer of some kind: pay an invoice to pay a vendor or to receive a payment, whatever it might be. And I’m sure that they wish that that could just be done natively, that they could just…

Brett Turner: Right.

Joseph Drambarean: …request that payment and get it – and it’d be put into their accounts. The problem, though, is that a) there’s a level of controls, which you just mentioned, that is kind of inherently tied to this whole process. And that has to be a check-in-the-box. So you have to be able to initiate these transfers and be able to validate and audit and control when and why payments happen. Okay, that makes sense.

Brett Turner: Yeah.

Joseph Drambarean: That’s a software problem, though, right? Anyone should be able to solve that problem through a great user experience.

The second part of this problem, though, is that, once that’s done, you would assume, “Okay, now give me my money” or “Now let me send you my money.” The problem is that even that is fragmented. There are…

Brett Turner: Yeah.

Joseph Drambarean: …many ways that you could do it. You could do it via the traditional ACH route, right? One, two, three days. And that is based on a technology that is super old at this… We’re talking about multiple decades worth of experience on those rails, and not much has changed other than, maybe just recently, this concept of instant ACH, but it’s more consumer than it is corporate, I’d say. Then, we have wire, which has existed forever, right? Not much has changed on that front. And then, we have new things – RTP, Fed – getting in the game and kind of introducing their own payments program. In Europe, they have their own kind of systems through PSD2. All around the world, there are all these different programs that are kind of bringing to the forefront, “It’s possible to do instant. You don’t need to be PayPal to have that…

Brett Turner: Yeah.

Joseph Drambarean: …kind of technology. We’ve come up with it.”


The Gap Between ERPs & Banks

Brett Turner: Well, some of it is just even the personas that you’re dealing with too because you’ve got essentially two institutions and then this gap that’s widening.

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: And the widening is caused by digitization. So, you basically have the banks, and then you have ERP systems, right? And that gap…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …exists between the two, and that is growing because the new emergent aspect of kind of what’s driving that wedge to make that gap even wider is really what’s happened with e-commerce over the last 15-20 years. E-commerce is really… You talk about payments getting into everything. Every business is turning into a payments company and… Maybe not really, but the fact is business has done digitally so much now. And with the rise of e-commerce and… And what that’s done is it sort of brought this need for this operational money-moving aspect that needs to be programmatic. So you’ve got…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …the aspects of treasury that really needs to move money to make sure, from a liquidity standpoint, it’s almost like a load balancing. We need to make sure…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …money is there when we need it, that it’s happening correctly, it’s happening from corporate governance or with statutory reasons because they’re doing business in different countries. All of those things are there for a reason. The AP team is all the money movement for vendors. We gotta pay our bills. We gotta pay our suppliers. And there’s a whole different reason of governance around that like, “Are we paying the right bills? Are we paying too much money?” or…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …”Do we need to look at a different vendor because this is an inefficient way of how we’re spending our money?” So you’ve got these business reasons and these other very tactical reasons all kind of around liquidity and then this whole emergent operational means that needs to be programmed that could move your money. And so, all of that is causing this gap to widen. And then, over the last 15-20 years, it’s… Of course, all of that necessity is the mother of invention, right? So…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.


APIs Bridge the Payments Gap

Brett Turner: …the gap is getting filled. And there are companies that are making a really good living off of that because that gap is closed with experience, with different automated means or just taking care of some of that heavy lift. And therefore…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …you’ve got this massive ecosystem that’s grown up now. So, if you think about that ecosystem, in a lot of ways, it’s been doing things because if the banks were tech companies, they would be doing that – they’re not. And so it’s sort of eating out of the bank’s bowl from a transactional payment standpoint. And that’s been…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …kind of happening sort of… It’s like a leaky bucket. It’s just been flowing out for a long time, and the banks have kind of made peace with that. And all these companies now are earning a living on the payments stack, a transactional stack of revenue that normally used to always be for the bank (and now it’s shared). And there’s now a wholesale stack, so…

But now all of those companies have been doing that to the bank, and now you have this thing called APIs and the banks’ payment rails that are being now accessible. And now the game can change materially, and that’s kind of what we’re right on the cusp of.


Payments Need to Get Smart 

Joseph Drambarean: It’s really weird because you don’t really think of kind of the banks playing a role in digital transformation, at least the traditional role that we’ve seen. And just for some context, I mean, when we think of digital transformation, we think of “cloud”. What happened over the last 10 years was players like Amazon and Google and Microsoft came in and they said, “Hey, guess what? We could do data centers way more efficiently and effectively than you could ever dream of doing. And so, put all of your eggs in our basket, and we will keep it secure, we will keep it performant, and we will keep it bleeding edge. We’ll give you the best of the world when it comes to compute and technology. And all you have to do is just keep giving us your credit card, and you’ll have the best of it.” Take that as the context from almost a business operations perspective.

Let me just throw some examples at you because there’s some truth to what you said just a few moments ago. While not every single business could call itself a payment company, if you will, every single business deals with the art of money movement in some way, shape, or form. And most businesses are being forced to accommodate automation on the payment front.

So let me just hit you with some examples. Let’s say that I’m a T-shirt maker in LA and I’m just trying to set up an Instagram business where… I sold my T-shirts on Instagram. And the way that it works is I create viral posts, people see it, they click on my link, they see the T-shirt, they click the “Buy it”, it has to get basically outsourced to one of my partners, they make it on demand, they then ship it, they take money out of my account to cover the cost of that T-shirt, they do it incrementally for every single T-shirt because they’re not gonna take the risk of doing that T-shirt for me, right? This is all an on-demand business. And let’s say that one week, I put together a social media post that did okay, but then the next week, it goes viral. It gets picked up by someone crazy. Justin Bieber finds my T-shirt and decides to wear it and does a post about it, and it gets like 30 million views, okay? And then, that business all of a sudden experiences scale issues where hundreds of thousands of people put in an order. My vendor then says, “Hey, in order to keep up with those orders, we’re gonna need to start drawing from your account more aggressively because we’re not gonna buy tens of thousands of T-shirts to fulfill these orders and carry all that risk. We’re gonna need to draw money from your account automatically.”

Well, in the past, what would have happened, right? You would have had to sit there and move funds. What if you don’t have money in that account? You have to move funds from another account to supplement it, right? You have to find the money somehow. Maybe, you have to draw some debt down, move that debt into that account so that the vendor can pull it in, right?

But what’s happening is… Take that same use case and play it out to Facebook. Facebook does this, right? They build tools that enable creators. Those creators then get payouts based on incremental things that they do. They drive views, they drive all kinds of viral behavior, and then Facebook pays you out based on that. And they do it precisely based on the things that have happened from an analytics perspective. Well, there’s not a person at Facebook that sits and looks at spreadsheets all day and says, “Well, it looks like you did 10,000 impressions. So according to my math, I’m not going to transfer $400 into your bank account to cover those.” No, it’s all happening automatically.

And so, the only way to accomplish that kind of scale, both from an individual doing a T-shirt business all the way up to Facebook, is the same technology. It’s APIs, right? It’s these building blocks that allow you to implement automation to say, “If this case, transfer money programmatically from this account, and it has to be instant. It has to be right when I need it,” right?

Brett Turner: Yeah.

Joseph Drambarean: So that’s pretty transformative, right? Because the way that we were doing it before is, we had people at every step of the chain. They’d review what happened, the analytics, right? They then would have to book it into the ERP system. They’d have to approve it. Then, a person would have to go take that, move the money, confirm that it happened. Then, the vendor got it. Then, they’d do their thing. And it could have been five to 10 days, maybe longer in between.

Brett Turner: Yeah. It’s a process.

Joseph Drambarean: And that does not work. That just does not work.

Brett Turner: As businesses are just scaling, you have to do it… It’s all in batch mode, right? You have to do…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.


Batch vs Bulk Mode for Payments

Brett Turner: …payment runs. Back in the day – I’m aging myself, gray hair – when I was starting out as a controller, I mean, you were signing checks, you could still…

Joseph Drambarean: Yeah.

Brett Turner: Then, you release checks. You’re paying your bills all more manually off of invoices. You’re mailing checks out in the mail. There’s a lot that’s kind of come from some automation around that, but it’s still a payment run, it’s still a batch mode.

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: And at the end of the day, there’s still a payment file that has to get integrated with the bank and the bank to do… There’s a heavy implementation there in processing this batch file.

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: And all of that now is just ripe for disruption. At the end of the day, when you now look at the banks having APIs, everything is processed as an individual payment. So you can let… It used to be your passing files because you couldn’t send a million transactions and that kind of volume because it’s an IT problem then, right?

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: Adjusting, sending all that through the internet – it just would be an issue. So you send it in a file. It’s more efficient to pass a file. You have SFTP, pass a file, take the file, unpack it, process it.

So, now though, you look at the speed and the automation that you could do. The problem with passing and processing a file is now you have a lot of reconciliation issues because if a payment falls out of the batch, it might…

Joseph Drambarean: Yeah.

Brett Turner: …hold up the entire batch. And then, there’s a fire drill for like, “This is happening today.” There are companies. Big companies will process – let’s say, it’s gonna be – 1,000 payments or 10,000 payments. And the files will get held up because there’s something wrong down the line that happened on that individual payment. So when you look, it’d now process everything out at fast speeds, but it can be done all programmatically. And then, individually, now you don’t have to worry about reconciliation. You’ve minimized…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …the risk for processing. And now, if one payment falls out, now it’s not gonna hold up the batch. So the things that can now happen where the API is starting to innovate and starting to open up things and how it can be done… I mean, this old archaic IT “send a file in…” That’s so 25 years old. We’re just now opening that up, where now you could process directly through the banks’ payment rails. 

The Banks’ Secret Weapon

Brett Turner: That’s why when you look at this massive ecosystem that’s just blown up in 15-20 years largely because of the lack of innovation and the clunkiness…

Joseph Drambarean: Yeah.

Brett Turner: …of the handoff between the two institutions really – of ERP and banks – that’s now widening. And everybody’s having to do less or more with less and have to do with greater precision. All of that has come down now to the need for automation. All that’s grown. So, in some ways, that ecosystem has blown up and really affected the bank. It’s sort of shifted the gravitas a little bit from the bank on payments over to the ecosystem. And all those companies are… We can name a lot that has done pretty darn well.

Joseph Drambarean: Yeah.

Brett Turner: Now, it’s like the banks have this massive weapon, which is really the API. Where they can actually start to close that gap, there still needs to be an intermediary point, but it’s much thinner, and it’s more about the processing of that…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …solving that from the constraints there, adding some experience. But nobody’s really building it to it because all the saturated ecosystem that exists today… It’s like, in some ways, they’ll kind of cannibalize their revenue if they start to leap right into that mode. 

So, I think that’s one of the exciting things now when you can get just better, faster, cheaper all of the things that you can get out of this, that are just so game-changing and coming, and how that’s gonna affect this ecosystem that needed to be there and made a good living over the last 15-20 years, but… There’s this massive transformation that’s about ready to take place. And how that group is really gonna fit into that? There are a lot of question marks.


Collapsing Payment Intermediaries

Joseph Drambarean: So that’s interesting. This just occurred to me. You mentioned something that kind of stopped me in my tracks. It’s not just about the speed of the payments. It’s about how the whole end-to-end lifecycle is delivered because… Let’s put speed aside just for a second. We could stay on the old school of one to three days. The problem is, even if you’ve wanted to do it that way, you’ve always had to deal with an intermediary of some kind. You can’t just go to the bank if you wanted to. I guess you could, but it would be a very manual, very one-off type process. But let’s say, you wanted to do a bunch of work, right? From ERP, you wanted to deliver a bunch of payments or you wanted to have some sort of delivery system. Well, these providers, the middleware we were talking about before – the Bill.com…

Brett Turner: Yeah.

Joseph Drambarean: …they’re sitting in between for a reason. It’s not just their user experience. That’s a part of it.

Brett Turner: Yep.

Joseph Drambarean: But they’re actually facilitating the money transfer, right? So…

Brett Turner: Yeah.

Joseph Drambarean: …they are the ones that are delivering those funds to the bank and making sure that it completes and whatever it is that they do from fraud prevention. So…

Brett Turner: Like a digital post office.

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: They gotta do some of that routing that you don’t wanna do.

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: Back in the day, there still had to be somebody in the mailroom who had to mail out all the checks with all the payments. The checks had to get stuffed in only envelopes, and somebody gotta mail that out in the mail room. They kind of had it… It’s a little bit like an automated railroad. They’re handling all of that, doing all that stuff that nobody wants to do. And when you have to go from point A to point B, from ERP to bank, there’s a pretty congested process. So they fill that gap and they do that for a fee.

Joseph Drambarean: So what’s happening though here is that they’re being this disintermediated because they kind of don’t need to be there anymore. We can just go directly to the bank. We can connect with their services. And not just that – we can also itemize our use of their services. 

Instead of having to collect it, wrap it up in a basket, and put a bow on top, and say, “Hey, bank, here are 1,000 transactions that I would like to do,” now you could just say, “No, I have this one. Take care of it, please. And now I have another one. And I have another one. And I have another one.” And it can be happening programmatically, as you’re saying, where it’s not even a person doing that. It’s just happening as it’s needed, and it’s also happening in a way where it reflects the closing of the books automatically because it knows I have this entry over here and I have this transaction over here that covers that entry. So when I see it in the bank statement, it’s done. That’s it. Case closed. I have seen it settled.

Brett Turner: There’s no reconciliation. Reconciliation sort of goes away when you can process everything. When everything has an independent ID on one end, an independent ID from how it’s processed by the bank on the other end, then…

Joseph Drambarean: Yeah.

Brett Turner: …matching up unique ID… It’s pretty easy then. You don’t really have to reconcile much. You don’t have a lot of fallout. You don’t have stuff that you’ve… Because you’re not dealing with these clunky files and then having to reconcile, “Did it happen? Did it not? What payments didn’t make it?” And I think when you look at that, yes, there still needs to be experienced… But the thing about the payment ecosystem is, doing some of the bank’s job there, it’s almost like… Most companies will have an intermediary bank.

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: An intermediary bank essentially – it’s what’s been going on from the days of even ADP. When you process payroll, the money comes out of your account in bulk, and then all of the downstream recipients to receive all those funds in those payments will get those from the intermediate bank, maybe the bank that ADP is using, for instance, to process.

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: And then, everybody’s getting their direct deposit. So now, that whole intermediary bank and intermediary process, that banking portion of it, now can basically be collapsed.

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: Basically, you have a means. Because you can go directly to the bank, companies can initiate the file as payments to go directly through the payment rails, their bank…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …their bank payment rails. And their bank then is initiating those transfers individually to the recipients directly. There’s no intermediate bank. There’s no managing float and all that stuff. That’s all kind of nonsense and gonna go away. Now, all of a sudden, that void is kind of starting to be able to kind of get squeezed and brought together. And the way to close that gap is just so much easier than it used to be. And it’s more of a tech and experience issue than it is like we have to kind of help the bank do its job. That now is going away.


Chain of Trust Issues

Joseph Drambarean: I think the other piece here that’s missing that we should probably talk about is, there’s a chain of trust issue that has been solved through this entire ecosystem because, of course, the reason for having the clearinghouse and all of these players in between in the past was because you didn’t know whether or not the funds that were being transferred or the attempted transfer would actually clear. And there was no technological way to know within seconds if that would happen, which is why it would have to enter this kind of shadow portal, waiting to make sure, doing a bunch of checks, right? Fraud checks, a bunch of different human use cases to make sure that it could clear.

Well, now the other big transformation that has taken place, especially with RTP, with technologies like FedNow and others, is that they’re checking right away, right? There’s a chain of trust that is being completed bank-to-bank. That’s “in-network” that says within seconds, “Yep, these funds are available at this DDA account that I’m trying to transfer from. Make it so.”

Brett Turner: Yeah.


Legacy Infra’s Race to the Bottom

Joseph Drambarean: And it is immediately transferred. So, that almost sounds very crypto-like from that side of the world. And I don’t wanna spiral into crypto, but it…

Brett Turner: A quick interrupt on that. I think it is inspired a lot, but I think the benefits of crypto are kind of pushing a lot of folks out of their comfort zones a little bit. But it sort of forced like, “If this is where it can go, this is one of the benefits it can yield.” And so, it sort of pushed in some of these other more regulated or institutionalized alternatives, though, to at least do some of those concepts. And I think that’s where you’ve got FedNow and some of that that’s come into play now, which is good. So, in some ways, it kind of served an innovation purpose and kind of drove that and pushed the industry where it needed to go.

Joseph Drambarean: Yeah, because at the end of the day, what we’re saying is, “Modern businesses need to operate on a real-time basis.” It’s not gonna get any slower than this. We need to be able to move funds around. We need clarity and transparency that the funds that we are moving have settled. We need to be able to react based on those insights and make changes, for example, to our liquidity if certain conditions take place from our business perspective, from a market perspective. Those things should be happening on an automated basis, and it shouldn’t be humans that are sitting down, looking at reports, trying to figure it all out. It should be done based on “if this then that” programmatic technology because, at the end of the day, how else could you possibly operate at scale if you didn’t have that, right? And so…

Brett Turner: And I think if you look at the kind of here payments, it’s a race to the bottom. I mean, it’s maybe… I mean, it’s definitely gonna decline because the biggest driver there at the end of the day is there still a lot of legacy infrastructure that’s driving a lot of the stuff. And so, when you have the legacy infrastructure, you have the legacy cost. And legacy…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …cost plays into all those models. So, if the whole payment revenue model, transaction revenue model, is built on legacy infrastructure, legacy cost, then you’re gonna have higher prices. But as that starts to get innovated with the banks’ payment rails directly…

You think of even Trovata’s model. We don’t really have any implementation because we don’t have to…

Joseph Drambarean: Right.

Brett Turner: …because we don’t really have any implementation to do or things to do there. And therefore, since there’s no cost, we don’t charge customers for implementation. I think in the same way, it’s like because on modern infrastructure, the burden of cost is so low, you can now pass on those savings – have a lower cost and then, therefore, pass on those savings to customers. 

And this is what they’ve been waiting for. And sort of, I think, most customers, most controllers or CFOs or treasurers – they look at this as like, “Yeah, this is…” They see what’s happening in consumer. And then, they see what’s happening on the corporate side. And even the rates, which they’re having to pay – all that stuff is gonna change massively. There’s a step function coming. And when it does, the benefit… The low-tech burden is gonna translate into lower prices. 


Send Payments For FREE

Joseph Drambarean: So I’m gonna do something crazy here. This is unscripted. So, we’ll see how this plays out. I happen to know that we really believe in this here at Trovata. We think that this whole space should get totally transformed based on APIs, based on a great experience. I’m gonna put you on the spot right now in front of our global audience. How would you feel about…?

Brett Turner: And maybe, Justin Bieber’s listening. So maybe, that global audience is gonna expand now…

Joseph Drambarean: I hope Justin Bieber does not react to this statement because…

Brett Turner: The T-shirt.

Joseph Drambarean: …I don’t think we’re ready. Okay, let me ask you this. Would you be open to letting our audience experience payments as it should be for free?

Brett Turner: Yes.

Joseph Drambarean: You’re serious?

Brett Turner: The beauty about this is that one of the things that… As you know, what we’ve punched through is that we’ve been perfecting this low-cost infrastructure model. And I think when you kind of look at even folks in treasury and all the TMS providers, they don’t quite understand this. They talk about “cloud” as if they…I just don’t think they understand actually what “cloud” even is because when you have all of this tech debt or all of this infrastructure, maybe, that you’re hosting, and, therefore, that all… You have a high cost you gotta contend with.

Well, because we’ve been hard at perfecting our infrastructure model, our cost to deliver services is so low. So that’s why we can deliver a freemium experience. So, we can deliver a rapid boot-up. There really isn’t a lot that we have to do to kind of get you into the product from implementation or… And just let you be able to sign up for free. Those are things that we’re doing. So yes, we wanna add payments for free, which is crazy, which is unheard of.

Now, how long can we do that? I don’t know. But I think when we kind of look at the things that we can help the bank kind of be that bridge through their API… Because I think the other thing that’s getting missed is a lot of the existing ecosystem isn’t really building to it because they have more to lose than to gain, right? And then, you don’t have a lot of folks in the corporate space who understand corporate as well. So nobody’s really building the APIs as much. And so, we can do that. And because we have this really optimized infrastructure model, we’re gonna make payments with our freemium. Sign up for free – we’ll process transactions for free. You’re not having to…

Joseph Drambarean: Oh, my God!

Brett Turner: …pay transaction fees. And now, how long will we be able to keep that going? I mean, we definitely wanna use that as an incentive to get people using this because we now can be a bridge and let you experience all of the benefits, which there are many, to drive that payment processing directly through your banks’ payment rails and let that happen.

And again, we’re intentionally not being a payment provider. So if we had to be a payment provider and deal with bank regulation, of course, we wouldn’t be doing it for free. But we don’t have to do that. We’re a tech provider. We can give you this great tech experience, handle the instructions from your ERP, particularly NetSuite, and make that seamless and flow through to your bank and transact – the bank is the payment provider. We can facilitate that in a way we think is game-changing. And we want everybody to experience it. It’s gonna be pretty cool.

Joseph Drambarean: Wow, I haven’t seen you this fired up in a while. So this is awesome. So I guess… Okay. So, for those of you that are listening to our podcast, this is real. We’d love for you to try the Trovata payments experience. So if you bank with JPMorgan or with Wells Fargo or with Bank of America or Silicon Valley Bank or PNC, we would love for you to join our payments experience for free. We’re not kidding. We would love for you to experience that. So you’ve heard it here first on the podcast.

And I guess that’s a pretty crazy way for us to end the show today. This has been awesome. There’s just so much to dig into with payments, and this is probably the first of many conversations we’re gonna have on this front, the point being we really believe in this. We think that this is just the beginning of transforming this space. We wanna have a strong voice in this marketplace, and we’re putting our money where our mouth is, and we would love for you to experience it.

So, thank you again for joining us on Fintech Corner! Of course, my name is Joseph Drambarean. I’m your host. I’ve been joined by Brett Turner – our founder and CEO. Until next time. See you guys later.

Hosts / Guest Speakers
Brett Turner
CEO & Founder, Trovata
Brett Turner
CEO & Founder, Trovata
After starting out as a CPA at Deloitte, Brett spent his early years as a financial reporting & GAAP specialist in Controller roles prior to his time at Amazon managing its SEC reporting. After leaving Amazon in 2005, Brett developed a strong track record for building, financing, and growing tech startups as a CFO. Prior to starting Trovata in 2016, he raised over $100M through equity and debt financings with successful exits at 3 enterprise startups generating over $500M in shareholder value. Outside of work, Brett enjoys time with his family, the beach, playing golf, and watching the Seahawks.
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Joseph Drambarean
CPO, Trovata
Joseph Drambarean
CPO, Trovata
As a Director of Strategy with the mobile app design firm, Punchkick Interactive, Joseph was responsible for developing roadmaps and executing global product launches for brands like Marriott International, Allstate Insurance, and Harley-Davidson. He later served as a Senior Manager in Capital One’s Digital Product Management team. Joseph is a Chicago native, and graduated with a BA in Political Science & Economics from Loyola University of Chicago.
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