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Fintech Fridays EP50: Compliance to the Moon

NCFA Canada | Feb 12, 2021

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EP50: Compliance to the Moon

Featured Guest:

MARK BINNS, Chief Executive Officer, BIGG Digital Assets Inc.  (LinkedIn);

BIGG CEO, Mark Binns Quote:  “BIGG is a compliance-first crypto company that believes Bitcoin offers the best store of value for its free cash flows. This has led us to adopt an initiative of reinvestment into the underlying asset of our industry. Of late, we are seeing a surge in the number of corporations buying Bitcoin to hold as a treasury reserve asset. We have held Bitcoin on our balance sheet since 2017, and foresee the next evolution being the investment of fiat profits into crypto. BIGG aims to be at the forefront of this movement. Profits from Netcoins’ trading and Blockchain Intelligence Group’s software sales earned in fiat will be converted into and held in Bitcoin, until such time as required by operational demands. The decision to roll forward our profits into Bitcoin, where we anticipate returns to outpace fiat values, is easy and highly strategic.

About BIGG Digital Assets Inc.

BIGG Digital Assets Inc. (BIGG) believes the future of crypto is a safe, compliant, and regulated environment. BIGG invests in products and companies to support this vision. BIGG owns two operating companies: Netcoins (netcoins.ca) and Blockchain Intelligence Group (blockchaingroup.io).

Netcoins develops brokerage and exchange software to make the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency easily accessible to the mass consumer and investor with a focus on compliance and safety. Netcoins utilizes BitRank Verified® software at the heart of its platform and facilitates crypto trading via a self-serve crypto brokerage portal at Netcoins.app.

Blockchain Intelligence Group (BIG) has developed a Blockchain-agnostic search and analytics engine, QLUETM, enabling Law Enforcement, RegTech, Regulators and Government Agencies to visually track, trace and monitor cryptocurrency transactions at a forensic level. Our commercial product, BitRank Verified®, offers a “risk score” for cryptocurrencies, enabling RegTech, banks, ATMs, exchanges, and retailers to meet traditional regulatory/compliance requirements.

For more information and to register to BIGG’s mailing list, please visit our website at https://www.biggdigitalassets.com.

Trade Symbols:  CSE: BIGG | OTC: BBKCF | WKN: A2PS9W

 

BIGG Digital - Fintech Fridays EP50:  Compliance to the Moon

About this episode:

On this milestone episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Mark Binns CEO of BIGG Digital Assets. They cover the rally behind bitcoin, big tech investing in crypto, and giving your kids crypto instead of fiat for allowance money.  Enjoy! 

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here:

Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

 


Fintech Friday Transcript of Episode 50:  Mark Binns of BIGG Digital Assets Inc.

Intro: Welcome to fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners. Covering all things fintech, blockchain, AI and alternative finance.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:00:00] For Episode 50, I got Mark Binns. Mark, thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

 

Mark Binns: [00:00:34] Yeah, great to be here. I'm excited to talk with you today.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:00:37] Awesome. So, Mark, could you just for, I guess, the five or six people that may not know who you are and what BIGG Digital Assets is could just give us a rundown of what big is and a little bit of background of who you are.

 

Mark Binns: [00:00:52] Yeah, absolutely. So BIGG Digital Assets, publicly-traded company on the CSC in Canada under the ticker BIGG. We're a compliance first crypto company. And what that means is BIGG is a company that has found a way to make money in the compliance and regulatory space around cryptocurrency. We own two operating businesses. One is called Blockchain Intelligence Group, and it's a crypto forensics software company. We make products that help track crypto through the blockchain and the other companies called Netcoins. And that coins is a crypto exchange in Canada, mainly focused in the Canadian market. And both of those companies together make up BIGG Digital Assets. My background and how I got involved is I actually did an undergrad in computer science. I'm a tech guy first and foremost. I used to write code for a living and then I got interested in the business side of technology. So I got my MBA from Western and started a consulting company and built and grew a couple of different consulting companies doing marketing and growth advisory to tech companies. And around twenty thirteen, the world's first Bitcoin ATM was launched in Vancouver, where I'm where I live. And it was a big, exciting event in the tech scene. And everybody was going to see this first-ever Bitcoin ATM. And I went down, had a look and said, wow, that's pretty cool technology. And there was a guy there named Mitch Demeter who was actually launching that machine. And funny enough, it got me interested in crypto started paying attention. I got into the space in about twenty seventeen with Netcoins and one of the very first hires I made was Mitche Demeter, the guy who opened that Bitcoin A.T.M, and he's now the president of the Netcoins division of big digital assets. So, you know, it's it's an exciting place to be. And I couldn't be happier that I ended up here in the crypto world.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:02:48] Yeah, it's it's kind of crazy how things worked out in that unheard of. Like, who would have thought that you'd meet the guy that first launched Bitcoin ATMs and then later down the line you're like, hey, you know what? Let's make something. Let's make something together.

 

Mark Binns: [00:03:02] I think he was so successful. He put those ATMs all over the world and he started an early crypto exchange called Bitcoiniacs and sold those and retired. And I had to convince him in twenty seventeen. I said, come on, give out a retirement, get back in the game. Crypto is getting exciting again. Like you're right. Let's do it.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:03:20] No, it's honestly it's a very it's an amazing move on your end.  So when you talk about compliance first crypto. Right. Why is compliance so important in crypto now that now that crypto is getting more attention, as it seems like by hour?

 

Mark Binns: [00:03:37] Yeah, absolutely. Compliance is important to protect the retail investor, the institutional investor. But the little guy, that's sort of why there is rules in financial services all over the world and it's for protection. So if you're buying Bitcoin on an exchange, you're spending two hundred dollars as an individual, that might be a really important two hundred dollars to you. You don't want to find out that that exchange was actually a pyramid scheme or something and fraudulent in your your two hundred dollars of the bitcoin disappears. So compliance isn't there to try to de-anonymize the blockchain or anything of the sort. It's there to protect the endpoints, which are usually the exchanges and the investors in the ecosystem, and make sure that the companies that are taking their money are are legit. And it also helps law enforcement. So we make products at Blockchain Intelligence Group that help law enforcement investigate crypto crime. And if you have these tools that will reduce the likelihood people will commit crimes and they know there is law enforcement, there's rule of law. So all of it really ties together for protection of people in the ecosystem. And, you know, there's a great market opportunity for us in that space by being leaders in the regulated and the compliance side of crypto.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:05:01]  Yeah, it's actually very amazing to see we're going on three years of having Fintech Fridays, and like if honestly, if I had you on two years ago and we talk about regulation and like all government getting involved, like honestly, like it was really a joke because like it was these are conversations just now starting to happen. But really there was no headway. There was no direction. But now, you know, with Blockchain intelligence, what you guys are doing with law enforcement, even with Secret Service in and of itself, we've come so far and it's only the beginning. And that that to me is just incredible and also wild at the same time.

 

Mark Binns: [00:05:37] Yeah, absolutely.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:05:38]  So Bitcoin is back in the news. I mean, people people thought I was going to crash, you know, people I've had my group chats have been blowing up my friends are like what's going on, like what are we doing? you told us to put money in this? So can you just walk us through what's going on with Bitcoin right now and like, what's your take on it?

 

Mark Binns: [00:06:01] The big thing happening in Bitcoin and crypto overall overall right now is institutional buy in. This is what's changing the fall of twenty seventeen crypto on its last run before the current one, when Bitcoin went up to nineteen thousand USD, and then it turned around and went all the way back down to something like thirty five hundred. That was a total retail rally. So that was small investors buying small amounts of bitcoin. The rally that happens is happening now since about mid last year and particularly the early stages of twenty twenty one is because of institutional involvement. It started with PayPal saying that they were going to get involved in crypto and let the individual person spend crypto on purchases day to day and then big buy-in on Treasury. That's the other big one. So company called MicroStrategy Nasdaq listed company said we're going to buy four to five hundred million dollars with a Bitcoin and keep our reserve cash in Bitcoin instead of US dollars. And part of that is because of the money printing going on in the US dollar, the Canadian dollar, the pound tied to the pandemic and covid. There's a huge lack of store of value in fiat currency right now. So they said we can do better, we're going to put this money into Bitcoin and we believe that will give us better returns. And then people started wake it up because it was half a billion dollars in a Nasdaq listed public company. And then Square went out and bought fifty million dollars. And That's Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, a lot of attention on it. And then it started a bit of an institutional rally where companies realized, oh, yeah, that might be a good store value. And just last week, Tesla bought one point five billion dollars worth of crypto to just a store on their balance sheet instead of holding it in US dollars. The current rumor is that Apple might actually step in and start buying Bitcoin on its balance sheet. And this is the difference is now an institutional investment rally, institutional involvement on spending, institutional involvement on saving. And it's bringing real credibility to Bitcoin in particular. But crypto overall as a store of value.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:08:12] Mm hmm. So, yeah, no, this is this is actually incredible, right. Because, you know, majority of cryptocurrency is the people that have been kind of rallying behind it, like you said, were many retail investors. Right. People just, you know, seeing what's going on with fiat currency, if you will be able to understand the market a little bit and seeing that, hey, you know, having money in just traditional assets like cash, it doesn't make any sense. Right. Especially now with the pandemic, everything is kind of a lack of a better word is going to shit. You know, they need to have more control of their money. Right. So cryptocurrency is a great place to do it. So what's BIGG Digital's play in this right now?

 

Mark Binns: [00:08:52] It's a two-pronged approach. So first of all, yeah, we have Netcoins. Right. Which is our exchange. And people need to get into crypto. You need an onramp. So Netcoins is an on-ramp. You can email money, wire money, bill pay money into the platform, traditional fiat currency. And with that, you can buy crypto, you can buy your bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, whatever you're looking for. So as adoption is rising, values are rising. Investors looking to access the space can use Netcoin's platform to onramp into the space. And with blocks intelligence group, it's the law enforcement side. So the more involvement the everyday consumer has in crypto, the unfortunately, the more crime will tend to rise, the more use of crypto through the ecosystem. There will be just like the crime. There will be crime involving crypto and our tools are extremely valuable. Some of the only tools in the world that you can use to properly track the movement of crypto through the blockchain so you can do law enforcement. So our customers are everyone from the US Secret Service down to Singapore Police Department, Hong Kong police department. Canadian law enforcement and we're helping market participants stay safe.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:10:06] Yeah, and that's one of the biggest, I guess, knock on crypto is the fact that, you know, criminals use it, terrorist organizations use it like you can you know, you can put money in today, and then tomorrow it's gone. Right. That's the fact that you guys are spending a lot of time and energy to work with law enforcement of some countries to make sure that's not the case and to make sure that it is accessible for everybody because we're having new investors come in by the hour and to make sure that the money just doesn't disappear. That in and of itself is very incredible.

 

Mark Binns: [00:10:39] Yeah, thanks. I mean, it's a fast-moving ecosystem, it's growing quickly, it's changing every day. And again, we want to be part of the future and the growth and the prosperity of the industry. So we're doing our part.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:10:54] Yeah, that's awesome. So, you know, you mentioned what with one of your pronged approach is you have you know, you're having more and more people invest in crypto. What is your take on these Meme coins, such as dogecoin? Right. You see it, Elon Musk's tweet out the wazoo about, you know, like going to the moon. I'm getting my friends literally just moon emojis and rocketships emojis every morning when I wake up, like, what's your take on that? You see, I guess organizations like yourself later on having like meme coins on your sheets for people to buy?

 

Mark Binns: [00:11:32] Well, we it's an it's exciting, I guess, is what you would say. I mean, the meme coins bring a little bit of excitement to the industry. They certainly create interest. They get people talking. They get dogs. Images of dogs flying on rockets to the moon sent around. Elon is waking up and I'm tweeting about it. It's creating PR and awareness for space. And that's the part I like about it. It's getting more people going. What is this thing about? Oh, it's crypto or what is crypto. Right. And getting more people involved in the ecosystem and paying attention, whether there's a real future for these coins or not, it's very up to debate. I mean, buying Dogecoin right now is a lot like going to the casino, right? It could triple tomorrow. It could also easily get cut in the third tomorrow. Right. It's based on nothing but speculation. And there isn't a traditional custody for a lot of these meme coins and coins. What I mean by that is a proper institutional grade, cold storage, insurance, etc. So because of that, they won't be adopted the same way as a Bitcoin Litecoin, Ethereum will be most likely. So the jury's out on where they go. I think they're interesting for the excitement of the space, but I certainly do not believe they're a safe bet for a store of value. They're much more like a lottery ticket.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:12:57] Yeah, of course. Yeah. I think you got a really good point. They do bring an amazing amount of attention to it. Is it the right kind of attention? I mean, the jury's still out on that, right? Because it's still a very ever-expanding and rapidly growing space. But the fact but like all attention is good attention at this point, especially in a space where the more people, the more eyeballs that we can get on the space, the better, because that we can show. Yeah, you know, like there's dogecoin, there's everything else. But there are so many other amazing, like companies out there that that are just using that using crypto for the greater good. Right. Be it through loans, be it through buying a house, just like the tech aspect of what you can kind of build on top of these cryptocurrencies. That in and of itself is very amazing. So kind of tying back to what I previously I was like. So we have companies like Tesla with Tesla-like you said, square of rumors of Apple, you having all these big names, you know, take some of the cash reserves and put into cryptocurrency. Right? Do you see more big brands doing the same thing and do and I guess and secondarily the fact that they would be doing the same thing? Do you think having these big companies? Own cryptocurrency, you think that's going to push the government or speed up the government regulation when it comes to cryptocurrency?

 

Mark Binns: [00:14:24] Yeah, absolutely. So first and foremost, I think there's going to be continued adoption of large corporations, public companies, private companies, insurance companies, you name it, buying crypto. I think Tesla's the start. There is the rumor Apple will buy crypto for the balance sheet. If Apple does buy every publicly traded company, the United States will have free reign to do the same, just sort of like no one gets fired for buying. IBM was the same back in the day. Now it's like if you say, Hey, Apple, Apple bought Bitcoin and you're the CFO of a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq, you can do it, too. Now, you can say, look, Apple did it and they're one of the most reputable companies in the world. So it's not a fly by night type of decision. They truly believe in the store value. They wouldn't do it. So I think you will see a continued adoption. You're going to see more and more insurance companies doing it. MassMutual about one hundred million dollars. And someone said, why so much? And the CEO is quoted as saying, well, that's a tiny amount. We manage billions. One hundred million. It's just a test. So you're going to see a lot more adoption of crypto on balance sheets. I truly believe that there's even discussion that the bond market might move towards crypto underlying assets of the trillion-dollar bond market, which is supposed to be sort of the longer-term stable store of value for Fiat, could start taking positions in crypto or crypto, could supplant the bond market or supplement the bond market. So I think that is all coming. I really do believe that. And that's why you're going to see a continued increase in the value of their currencies, namely Bitcoin because when you have that kind of adoption is only ever going to be twenty-one million Bitcoin. So you'll expect to see a continued rise in the valuation as demand goes up. The supply is not changing.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:16:19] That's. Yeah, I agree with you. There's always I always forget that the sort of finite amount of bitcoin because the prices have skyrocketed. Oh yeah. There's only so much bitcoin that you can purchase. So why would a company want to put the cash reserves in crypto? I mean, aside from big names buying into it, I guess like from a company perspective, like, you know, you being a CEO of a company, you having balance sheets you have in cash reserves, why why would companies put their money in cryptocurrency then cash?

 

Mark Binns: [00:16:51] I think there are two reasons. No. One is truly a store of value. It's like putting your money in an interest account except for an interest account might make you a percent or half a percent a year. Whereas you look at Bitcoin, it's been the best performing asset over the past one to five and 10-year time horizons. If you put it in to keep it and feel it. All you're seeing right now is a continued printing of money by world governments, US government, the Canadian government, the Canadian US governments have printed more money this year than they did in the last hundred years combined. And that is going to be incredibly. Bad situation for the value of those dollars, right, long term. So as a corporation, it's just a smart, safe place to keep your financial reserves. So they're buying power, stays where it is or grows as opposed to shrinking. So that's I think that's a big part of the secondary part is there are some companies using it as a way to make their company more valuable in the eyes of investors. So MicroStrategy for sure, but crypto, so people would buy MicroStrategy stock as a proxy for owning crypto or owning a bitcoin and crypto miners valuations, are generally based on how much Bitcoin they're holding on their balance sheet, or hodling, as they say, and other regular companies can do the same thing. You can buy Bitcoin, have it on the balance sheet. And if you're a publicly traded, people will buy into your company because they know it'll be worth more in the future for them today because it has Bitcoin on the balance sheet,

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:18:28] Of course. Yeah, that makes sense. You know. You know, it reminds me of talking to like we had we've had VCs on the on previous episodes. And of one of the things that they've mentioned was like how you have companies now they'll put like cryptocurrency and like AI got their pitch just to name just to see more value. Like even though the company has nothing to do with AI, there's no AI involvement whatsoever. There's no cryptocurrency involvement. There's no blockchain involvement whatsoever. But the fact that they have these buzzwords in their pitch like it's it just increases their value.

 

Mark Binns: [00:19:05] You know, there was a big twenty seventeen thing. I remember the juice company Iced Tea Bottling Company of New York, USA became the blockchain ice tea company or something. They literally just put it in their name and they got all this attention to this like value. But yeah, just a PR stunt that one.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:19:24] So how do you see I mean, now we have big companies coming into the market? All of us are getting more retail investors day to day. How does this accelerate innovation in the space? And I guess what innovation do you see happening in the space?

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:19:41] Well, innovation comes from corporate involvement, right? So most innovation has to do with a company that's looking to create a financial opportunity for themselves through some new technology. And then you get more and more corporations involved in whatever way with crypto and aware of it, the more likely they're going to drive forward and create innovations and put investment into the space. You look at companies doing things like helping build the Lightning Network for faster transaction processing and payments on top of Bitcoin. That's coming because more and more corporations are involved. So I really believe that corporate involvement in the institutional involvement we see now will put more money into innovation and searching for more ways to exploit the opportunity around crypto, which will just naturally move the market forward.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:20:30] Mm hmm. Yeah, no, I mean, that makes total sense. Or you need these big movers and shakers in the space to move and shake anything at all. Right. Like, you know, the Lightning Network is something I've been hearing about for like two years now, and it's still going. There hasn't been any any any system in place yet. So it definitely makes it makes a lot of sense, I guess. Where do you see just crypto as a general heading in the future? Do you see I mean, Do you see like your kids or any of these Tik Toc kids using cryptocurrency. Like where do you where you see cryptocurrency heading?

 

Mark Binns: [00:21:11] And I see a general adoption both in payments and also in-store value. So a cross between gold or people own it just to have it as is value that will increase in the future. And Fiat which people are using to buy goods and services. I hear about lots of parents now that pay their kids allowance and crypto because they believe that I mean, you could give them twenty dollars and in three years it'll still be worth twenty dollars, or you can give them twenty dollars worth of Bitcoin that in three years will probably be worth one hundred dollars. That's theory. So you see a movement of all sorts of. Yeah. Investment, payment, daily use. I think it really is going to infiltrate our lives. As you see PayPal making it available to twenty million Americans to buy goods and services. That's pretty exciting. And you see merchant adoption and acceptance. Now there are all sorts of merchants that will accept payment. Tesla just announced as part of their acquisition of Bitcoin, also that accept payment in Bitcoin for cars. Big corporations are starting to do it. I know Dell does it. Overstock.com does it. I believe Microsoft does it. I think Amazon is. Or talking about it, so as soon as people can spend it and in the meantime when they're not spending, I believe they'll get a bigger return on their investment than sitting in a fiat currency. It'll just be a self-perpetuating situation. So I really do see crypto over the coming years becoming part of your daily life financially.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:22:51] Yeah, no, I mean, paying me the allowance and crypto, that's a very wild, wild, a very amazing idea. And it makes sense. I like living in like, you know, living in a post covid world. It makes sense that you'd want to invest in something digital. Right. You want to make sure you have at least as many touchpoints as you possibly can. Cash is one of them. Right. Not like the ATM, taking it out, touching. It just so many light touchpoints, like, I don't want it. I don't want my change back.

 

Mark Binns: [00:23:18] Like, take it. Look, I don't want I have friends who gave their kids crypto as Christmas presents on ledgers. And I have there are all sorts of examples now of the use of crypto in the store, crypto becoming part of everyday lives like two and three-year-olds. I have crypto in my kids. RESP's is now the new financial instruments where you can buy it in RSPs and TFSA and RESPs and yeah, like basically savings accounts that are tied to crypto with underlying derivative assets. It's pretty exciting.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:23:53] Yeah. I mean especially like tiebacks where you sort of like if the bond market summerlike has a little bit of crypto into it and oh my goodness, I know my grandmother would be super happy with all the bonds that she was buying me if I could change them over to crypto.

 

Mark Binns: [00:24:09] There you go. Yeah. Awesome. So, Mark, is there, you know, aside from everything, what else is aside from Bitcoin and what's going on in big tech? what likes what are the things that you find interesting in the market? What what are the things that are like keeping you up at night or things that you're very excited to buy in the next coming years?

 

Mark Binns: [00:24:35] Yeah, I think it's an I'm excited about the things we don't know anything. Right. So we know what we know. But there's the old saying. You don't know what you don't know. There's there are innovations happening in every corner of blockchain. And I haven't, of course, seen them all. But every day I wake up and see some new novel way to use crypto or new novel technology to crypto. And I don't know where it's going to go. And that's sort of what's exciting. Nothing's changing, really, in the fiat world. Crypto, you're getting things like exchange-traded funds starting in futures trading. And like I talk about people giving it to their kids with allowance, but the technology around payments and processing transactions like the Lightning Network on top of Bitcoin, it's all just moving so quickly that it's as I have friends say, it's hard to sleep at night. You want to wake up every day and see what's changed and what's moving in the news tied to crypto. You're going to see governments get involved. I think there's this move towards central bank digital currencies, which is really just the digitization of their existing currencies, not true crypto occurrences that are decentralized. But I do think you will see governments start to get involved in true crypto decentralized currencies. There's an example of a small town in Ontario that you can now pay your property tax and get to it. Yeah, Innisville, all they do is take the crypto and sell it immediately and put the cash in the bank. But it does open up more cool uses for the technology. And you're going to see more and more governments getting involved one way or another. And that's just going to help accelerate the adoption.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:26:16] Yeah, no, I mean, I'm excited to have more. Yeah, I'm excited to. You know, when we open back up and so I can travel around Canada, I got to just pull up in like a small town in Alberta and just pay for my Tim Hortons coffee in the of Bitcoin that I think that they'll be amazing.

 

Mark Binns: [00:26:33] You're going to tap your Visa card and it's going to withdraw instead of fiat it from an account. It's going to basically convert some crypto into payment instantly and give it to the guy at Tim Hortons.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:26:45] Yeah, so that'll be amazing. Mark, thank you so much for sitting down today. What would be the best way to either get in touch with you or even get in touch with BIGG?

 

Mark Binns: [00:26:57] Yeah, you can check out our website, Bigg Digital Assets dot com, and be more than happy to hear from anyone mark@biggdigitalassets.com is my email address. Happy to talk about crypto. Happy to talk about BIGG and reach out any time.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:27:11] Awesome. Thanks so much, Mark.

 

Mark Binns: [00:27:12] My pleasure.

 

Outro : you've been listening to Fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit ncfacanada.org. Oh yeah.

 

End of Podcast

 

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Podcast and Paper: Roxana Mihet on Financial Innovation and Rising Inequality

IMF Podcast | Jan 21, 2021

WAccess to data and intel - Podcast and Paper:  Roxana Mihet on Financial Innovation and Rising Inequalityith the great strides in financial technology in recent years, the lower data processing costs and fees associated with investing in the stock market should have led to broader increases of household wealth. But in this podcast, economist Roxana Mihet says while fintech has reduced barriers to access and held out the promise of gains for all, it may have worsened capital income inequality.

Mihet is Assistant Professor of Finance at HEC Lausanne, and her recent study suggests the most likely beneficiaries of financial innovation are those who have access to the valuable data that inform good investments. Mihet was recipient of the ECB's Young Economists Award in 2020 for her work on Financial Innovation and the Inequality Gap. She was invited by the IMF's Strategy, Policy and Review Department to present her research.  Transcript

Roxana Mihet is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Lausanne, and a faculty member at the Swiss Finance Institute.

Overview of Research Paper

Information-based models of capital income inequality that link return heterogeneity to investor sophistication levels need to assume an increase in data costs to generate an increase in inequality.

Empirically, this assumption contradicts the fact that investment markets have become more informative over time, and theoretically, it also overlooks the possibility poorer investors can avoid paying a large fixed cost for data, simply by buying shares in a fund.

See:

In this paper, I study the impact of financial innovation on capital income inequality in a theoretical framework where investors, heterogeneous in their sophistication, have a costly choice between not investing, investing through a fund of average quality, and searching for an informed fund.

The model predicts that while financial innovation can make the investment sector more efficient and boost financial inclusion, some financial innovation also brings risks. For example, when the cost of financial data processing falls, more wealthier investors trade on information.

This makes participation less valuable for the marginal stock market participant, who is a relatively poorer investor in some average (uninformed) fund and who exits the market altogether, foregoing the equity premium.

This amplifies the inequality gap and also jointly explains why in the last decades, in spite of a dramatic reduction in data processing costs and fund fees, the US stock market has become more informative, yet the stock market participation rate has been on the decline.

Download the Paper (80 page pDF) Fintech and the Inequality Gap -> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Podcast and Paper:  Roxana Mihet on Financial Innovation and Rising Inequality The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Regulators Should Not Underestimate the Value in Having Younger Investors Enter the Market

Cato Institute | Jennifer J. Schulp and Caleb O. Brown | Jan 21, 2021

Robinhood is trading too easy podcast by Cato Institute - Regulators Should Not Underestimate the Value in Having Younger Investors Enter the Market

The “gamification” of stock trading has raised the hackles of state‐​level financial regulators. So what’s the big deal if Robinhood throws up confetti when you make a trade? Jennifer Schulp evaluates the claims.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Regulators Should Not Underestimate the Value in Having Younger Investors Enter the Market The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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‘Shark Tank’ investor Kevin O’Leary says bitcoin is too volatile for his portfolio — but says he would own a crypto ETF

Business Insider | Emily Graffeo | Dec 2, 2020

Kevin oleary on pomp podcast 1 - 'Shark Tank' investor Kevin O'Leary says bitcoin is too volatile for his portfolio — but says he would own a crypto ETF

Shark Tank investor Kevin O'Leary told The Pomp Podcast on Tuesday that bitcoin is too volatile and illiquid for his portfolio, but he would consider owning a basket of cryptocurrencies in an ETF.

O'Leary has created multiple ETFs as the chairman of O'Shares, and he said that a crypto ETF could be the most liquid way to buy and sell bitcoin. The investor said that right now there are too many fees associated with getting in and out of bitcoin, but he does own a little bit of the coin right now.

"Give me the top 7 cryptocurrencies, put them into an ETF wrapper, and let me invest in it with liquidity so that if I want to buy a million dollars of it in the morning and sell a million dollars in the afternoon, I can do that in an ETF format," he said.

He also told host Anthony Pompliano that doesn't believe there will be only one successful cryptocurrency, and coins like Ethereum will benefit when more investors see cryptos as stores of value and potentially a medium of exchange. Whereas equity investors can buy a "basket of stocks," it's harder for crypto investors to load up on multiple coins. An ETF would solve this problem.

See:  Hedge funds, not hipsters, may be powering bitcoin’s second big rally

Also, the seal of approval from the SEC that the ETF would require may convince more institutional investors to buy bitcoin, he said. O'Leary said institutional support is "slowly creeping" into the bitcoin market, but many investors are still hesitant without "clearance from the regulators."

"If tomorrow morning we woke up and the SEC said you can create an ETF with bitcoin and we think bitcoin is legitimate payment system and storage of wealth, not only would it go up, you'd have a lot of people like me investing in it, because I'd say ok, I'll give it a 5% weighting," added O'Leary.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - 'Shark Tank' investor Kevin O'Leary says bitcoin is too volatile for his portfolio — but says he would own a crypto ETF The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Fintech Fridays EP48: How to Connect and Resonate with Customers Through Podcasting

NCFA Canada | Nov 13, 2020

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EP48: How to Connect and Resonate with Customers Through Podcasting

Guest: FATIMA ZAIDI, CEO and Co-Founder, Quill Inc. (LinkedIn)

Bio:

Fatima Zaidi is the CEO and co-founder of Quill Inc. the world’s first one-stop marketplace where podcasters can find pre-vetted expert freelancers who will save them time, improve their podcast quality, and help grow their audience. As a member of the National Speakers Bureau, Fatima has spoken at various events around the world on media and tech trends leading her to keynote on world stages alongside speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk, and most recently Richard Branson. In addition to being a commentator for BNN Bloomberg, she is a frequent contributor to publications including The Globe and Mail, and Huffington Post. Over the past few years she has won two Top 30 under 30 awards, the Young Professional of the Year by Notable Life, and one of Flare Magazine’s Top 100 Women.

 

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About this episode:

Fatima Zaidi, CEO and Co-Founder of Quill Inc joins Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan to understand why podcasts have grown 200% in the last 6 months, and how influencers and corporate brands are building authentic customer relationships and motivating prospects with them. They talk about inspiring stories of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, building trust, advice for female (under-represented) founders, and how to connect with affluent, educated millennial professionals. If you’re new to the power of podcasts, tune-in to learn why they are quickly becoming an integral part of a company’s marketing mix, today.

 

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here:

Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

 


Fintech Friday Transcript of Episode 48: Fatima Zaidi

Intro: Welcome to fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners. Covering all things fintech, blockchain, AI and alternative finance.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:00:00] Hey everybody Manseeb Khan here. Thank you for tuning in to another fantastical episode of the FinTech Friday podcast. Fantastical is now a Oxford dictionary term. And I've joked about this before, but yeah, I did it. I made a request to make fantastical a word. Is my dad happy about it? Absolutely not. Fantastical is not a word at all. And it is something that I made up in these past 50 episodes. Anyways, moving on. This week's episode, we're doing something a little different. FinTech is something that I love talking about. I can talk your ear off and nauseam. But, aside from FinTech, there's another thing that like to I talk about as well. That's podcasts. And who better to help?  Honestly make this conversation that much more credible than my guest today, Fatema. Fatema, thanks so much for sitting down with today. Super excited to have you on the show.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:00:53] Thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be here.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:00:55] Awesome. So, Fatima, could you just for I mean, for the audience could just tell us a little bit of who you are and essentially a little bit of what your company does?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:01:04] Yeah, absolutely. So I am the co-founder and CEO of Quill Inc., which is the world's first marketplace for podcasters. So, if you're an indie podcast or a company looking to start a show or even outsource elements of your existing show, we are your one stop shop. We work with brands and corporations to create their branded podcast. So, we do have a full service agency team. And for people who don't necessarily have those big brand budgets, we also have a marketplace where you can go on and hire freelancers curated by us who are all podcasting experts for a range of different services that you might need. We also won the Listen In Conference, which is the world's first enterprise podcasting event that's held in L.A. Of course, everything's been put on hold because of COVID this year, but we are looking forward to moving ahead as soon as there's a vaccine that's readily available and your guess is as good as mine. But yeah, I would say that we are a full service podcasting company, a one stop shop for anyone who wants to start a show or grow their audience.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:02:08] Awesome. So how did you, I guess, get started? I mean, like podcasting is now, honestly, it's all the rage, all the craze. Pretty much because everybody's doing it. Everybody and their mothers doing it. My dad jokingly was telling me he wanted to do like a Bengali poetry one, which I was like, OK, I mean, my Bengali is not as strong as yours, but I guess I can edit that.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:02:31] There's definitely a market for it so props to him.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:02:34] Oh, 100%. I'm well aware. There's uncles calling me. I'm getting Facebook messages now about it.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:02:41] Your dad sounds really cool. He sounds like one of those hip uncles that I wish my dad was friends with.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:02:48] Hey, if it helps, he became a hip uncle because only I mean, as his son, I just keep calling out on like just like the Boomer stuff that he does. And I was like, hey, dad, you can't be on Facebook just talking about conspiricies with uncles. Like, you got to, like, write something, let's do something. Let's get creative. So, how did you get started in this whole space?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:03:08] Well, you know, I run an agency for quite a few years, and one of the biggest requests that we started getting towards the end before the agency got sold was, you know, corporations and enterprise companies that we worked with, like the big banks, big tech companies wanting to move aggressively into the podcasting space. And I just really found it fascinating as a medium, because unlike other forms of marketing, like performance marketing, it's all about mass downloads and mass targeting. But podcasting, the more niche and engaged your audience is, the more impactful. And so, I just started as a consumer. I listened to ten podcasts a week. And so, I started really following the industry, you know, following a lot of studies that were being put out in the industry. And one that in particular really stood out for me. And I think was the turning point when I decided that I wanted to get involved in the space was Midroll, like they did a massive, I would say, interview process with hundreds of thousands of podcast consumers like myself. And they found that all of these people that they interviewed, sixty one percent of these people said that they purchased a product or a service after listening to a podcast, which is pretty incredible when you think about traditional advertising that only converts at one to two percent.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:04:20] So I said, OK, it's really interesting that we're spending hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars, like performance marketing, that it's about mass targeting that converts at one to two percent. What if you spend a fraction of that budget for a smaller audience that's more niche and more engaged, where the conversion rates can be up to sixty one percent. And so just like really from that train of thought, I just started seeing an exponential growth trend. So I decided to productize our services and that's how I launched Quill. We started off as the marketplace because I wanted to make it accessible to anyone and everyone who wanted to start a podcast. It's a low barrier to entry. So who cares what your budget is? You should be able to put out really good content. And then, you know, all of those clients that we worked with came back to us and said, it's great that you have a marketplace. It's great for the indie podcasters, but we're a big brand. We need a full service team around us. And so launch another agency that lives alongside our marketplace where we work with corporations like CIBC, RBC, Bay Street, Microsoft to create their podcast and market them.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:05:27] Yeah, that's very incredible. Yeah, it makes sense. It makes sense that, you know, you create a--companies definitely want a full service team like I mean I'm a one man army when it when it comes to this show. So I don't need a full team. That's more people than me.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:05:43] What you would need is our marketplace that you wanted a logo or you wanted someone to edit your podcast files or convert the video into audio or distribute your show like you probably have one ad hoc services that you might need. And so you only want to spend like a couple hundred dollars to get something up and taken on. You just go to our marketplace and hire a freelancer.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:06:04] 100%.Yeah, I totally would do that. So I mean, now that you talk about like listen to 10 podcasts a day, what I mean, how has that list changed now that you've transitioned from being like just a corporate girl to being like a female founder? Like just like how does that list change? Like, how is. Yeah, like how is that list changed and how is that mindset kind of changed?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:06:25] Yeah. And when you just to clarify, when you mean how the is list changed, I mean in terms of priorities or in terms of..?

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:06:31] Yes, in priorities and I guess like what you're absorbing now, right, because like stuff, you know, coming from an agency like this, like the stuff you listen to, like something you absorb as someone that works an agency compared to the stuff that you absorb as a founder--the list. There's some differentials in that list? How has that list kinda changed I guess.

 

[00:06:52] I would say it's interesting because like as a CEO, my entire career, I've been a sales person so very much focused on contributing to the company's bottom line. And revenue has been a very core focus. As a CEO, you have to wear just so many different hats. And like the biggest hat, I would say that I have to wear is managing a large team. And you know, that is definitely, I would say, an experience for any early stage founder, because you go from becoming an individual contributor to having to manage the day to day productivity, motivation and retention of your team. And so there is a huge mindset shift in terms of your priorities day to day. What what matters to the long term success of your business? But I would say it's funny. I used to spend my days listening to podcasts like cereal and, you know all the junky sort of..

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:07:45] Oh, yeah, OK,

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:07:47] Awesome podcasts that have you on the edge of your seat, but the I think my list of of shows that I listen to are very much either in the mindfulness space to make me a better CEO or things that make me a better leader. So, Radical Candor is a show that I love all about supporting CEOs navigate through difficult challenges and becoming a better leader, an effective communicator. Another show that I absolutely love as a founder is How I Built This.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:08:13] Great show.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:08:14] So good, right? It's so good. And the reason I love the show so much is because they literally any time I have a bad day, I put on an episode. The one common thread between all of the success stories is that they had to go through all of the really difficult days. There was multiple failures before they iterated their business to a point where it was successful. And it kind of reminds me that even though being a CEO or a founder can be a very isolating experience, there's millions of people who are going through this entire process with you. And I think it's just kind of a comforting motivational podcast for me. And then there's just so many that I tune into week after week. But I would say those two are like my consistent--constantly coming back to any time I'm having a bad day.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:08:55] Yeah, I know. You brought up a good point of I guess like the best analogy I could come up with is like being a salesperson. You're so used to being the quarterback of the team. You're like, hey, I'm the one, I'm scoring the points, I'm throwing numbers on the board and then being a founder, you're now a coach. You can't get run out as much as you love to just like run out on field.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:09:16] I love that. I love that analogy.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:09:19] OK, perfect.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:09:19] And that's a very good analogy. That's exactly what it is. You literally go from like, you know, hustle, hustle, hustle to. Oh, my God. Now I have to worry about the day to day politics. Now, I have to worry about people being happy. And yeah, it's a humbling experience. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world. And I think you have to sort of master the art. But hey, you signed up for it when you decide to start a company.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:09:42] Exactly. And it just yeah...podcasting is just one of the many mediums where founders and I guess everybody can realize that, like, hey, you know, like you're not in this boat alone. There's like hundreds, if not thousands of people having just a shitty day as you are. It's totally fine. Everybody has it. Now, here's like little tips and tricks to make your day that much more better. And I think that's pretty incredible.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:10:05] I used to be so naive before I launched Quill. And in a former life, when people used to ask me why I wanted to start a company, I used to naively tell them it was because I wanted to be my own boss and not be accountable to other people. And now I realized how far from the truth that statement could possibly be. I almost feel so foolish looking back, realizing that you are so much more accountable now to your clients or customers, your investors, your employees, your team, yourself, the amount of pressure. And I would say accountability is ten fold. And so if you're starting a company because you want to be your own boss, that is not a good motivation or impetus because it will not last on the scale.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:10:46] Yeah, no, that's true. And like the crazy part is the realization of the accountability you have to have for yourself skyrockets. And it's like, hey, if I don't figure this out, there's nobody else. I can't go to a boss, I can't--There's no hierarchy. I'm the top of the pyramid. Where am I going to go? Ask the sky? What am I going to do? You can't do that. So switching gears, how do you think podcasting has now become important when it comes to running a business like do you--podcasts are popping out left and right. You're seeing it--it's like we're still very much in the early stages of podcasting. Do you see it later becoming more of an integral part of businesses later on?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:11:32] I wouldn't say later, I would say it's becoming a very integral part of businesses today. I think podcasting or rather the pandemic has sort of shown us that marketing teams have to sort of re-imagine what their business is they're going to look like in the in the short term. And how are they going to continue communicating with their customers and their employees in a time where, you know, the face to face touch points are just no longer possible. And I think we you know, if you look day to day, we use so many brands like Slack, Amazon, Google, Facebook Donalds. But do we really have an emotional connection or relationship to them? No, absolutely not. Podcasting can really change that. An example that I like to give people is Ben and Jerry's. I love ice cream and I've never been particularly loyal to any ice cream brand like I'll literally, whatever's on sale, I'll grab it. Whatever tastes good, I'll have it.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:12:22] But after I listen to the Ben and Jerry's podcast episode on How I Built This and then further saw their statement that they put out for the Black Lives Matter movement... I developed such an emotional connection and bond with the founders and their story and the inspiration behind Ben and Jerry's and what it took to get there that now I exclusively only buy Ben and Jerry's when I'm at the grocery store. And so I didn't--you know, it's just the perfect example of, you know, they become influencers. You end up trusting their product recommendations. You end up understanding their brand story. They become human. It's not just a brand far away in the distance that you have no connection to. And that is the perfect example of a story. Lush is another example. Now, I like, buy so many Lush products after hearing their story on a podcast. And so I would say in the 1980s, every company had a phone number for their business. In the 1990s, it was a website. In the early 2000s, it was social media and I think in the next five to ten years, everyone, every company will either have a podcast or be advertising on one. So we're still early in the hype cycle. But you know, in 2007, if you were one of the first people on Twitter, you're by default and influencer today. And similarly, if you're podcasting today, you will be an influencer in the next five to 10 years.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:13:38] Yep, I totally agree with you. Podcasting--like you have the ability to build such an intimate relationship..

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:13:47] It is intimate.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:13:49] Very much so because you get to...Because like people who have been like I mean, there's been so many situations are like, man, I wish I was a fly on the wall in that conversation. Now you can! You can literally sit--like I woke up and I forgot to turn my phone off and I was listening to like--I was listening to a podcast and I woke up and I was like four in. And I was like, oh, crap. I got I got I got to go back. So it's like, oh, wow. I'm like re-listening to old episodes. And I was like, oh yeah. Forgot about that. Or like this or that. It's...yeah you're right. Like brands have now they have the ability to build a very intimate relationship with their customers. Aside from...Hi, I'm Ben and Jerry's, here's my ice cream. It's like no, like this is the cool things that we're doing when it comes to Black Lives Matter. It's some amazing things that we're doing when it comes to like all these different kinds of food.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:14:31] Here's our purpose. Here's our mission. Here are values. Here's how we treat our employees. Here's what we're doing for our philanthropic efforts. And yeah, it's just like they become--They go from becoming this like, powerhouse brand to just becoming, you know, it's just a human interaction or a human connection. And the cool thing with podcasting is, unlike events and physical touch points, that typically offline tactics have the power of forming stronger relationships with podcasting, even though it's an online tactic, you reach a global audience. And so you're not sort of confined by geographic boundaries. And yeah, I just I think if you're a brand that is targeting to affluent, educated, millennial professionals, which is typically the audience that tunes into podcasts, that's 80 percent of the workforce that has purchasing power, then it's a no brainer that you should be starting a podcast.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:15:22] Yeah, I mean, you brought up a good point of like you have the ability like you have two abilities, like one, you know, like you're in between someone ears, like you in their head for a huge chunk of the time. So you have the ability to, like, not only get buy-in for your brand, but have buy-in for you as an individual. You as a CEO, you as a founder. And it's kind of amazing that you can take like the culture stuff that you spend so much time building within your company. You can share that with everybody and get more brand by it. That's always been like the biggest, I guess, issues with founders, like how do I share my culture? How do I share my message? How do I share my vision with everybody, not only investors, but the people. Well now you can with a podcast, you can sit down like. Hi, I'm Manseeb, host of FinTech Fridays. I'm a 25 year old kid that doesn't know anything about FinTech or anything. I sit down with people that do. That's my show. That's it. It's a really crazy, incredible journey.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:16:16] It is. And you know what, like not forget brands for a second. I mean, even just like the barriers of entry are starting of a starting a show is so low you literally need to have a mic and an Internet connection. That's essentially it. And so...

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:16:30] You don't need a mic you can just use your phone.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:16:33] I mean, I cringe when people use their phones, but yes, you could technically use your phone. All you need to do is have a story and content to share and there's something really cool about that.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:16:44] So how do you think the space has changed due to COVID? I guess like podcasting space? And I guess it's like business as a whole?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:16:54] So I would say that before the pandemic, when we had just launched in the New Year, a lot of people were saying that it was a huge risk because podcasting could still be a fad. I mean, I know it's been around since well before serial launched in 2014 I would say people were still very skeptical of its tactics. I think because of the fact that the pandemic has isolated people, people have been looking for new ways to consume content and people have been looking for new ways to stay connected. And we've seen like an exponential growth curve in the industry, not just with our own sales and revenue, but also just the amount of podcasts that have been created. I mean, I think before the pandemic, we were at something like eight hundred thousand podcasts and now we're at one point five plus million podcasts. Even in this short period of time, the amount of new shows I think get the stat is something crazy. Like five thousand new podcasts are launching every week. And so I think the pandemic is really shown us that we've been so reliant on physical touch points and human interactions, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But as soon as that would sort of put into question, people are thinking of new ways that they can allocate their marketing dollars, that they may have budgeted for conferences and events and videos and client lunches and team meetings. And now it's like, OK, well, how do we still continue to stay engaged with our audiences, our listeners, our followers, our customers or our families and people that we are typically just looking to shoot the shit with? It doesn't have to be some like a work agenda. It can literally just be a way to...I have actually some friends who have started a podcast just for their internal group of friends to talk about fantasy football all week. And, you know, props like what a great way to create content and have fun while doing so. You don't have to have some larger agenda for it. It can literally just be to have fun. So I think people are going to continue using it as a tool to stay connected with people. And it's like very similar to your phone. Zoom calls, Instagram. It's just another medium of a way that you will communicate. And I will say that everybody consumes content in different ways. For some people, it's visual. For some people it's audio. For some people it's written. And until this point, there has been no form of audio content that really can resonate. I mean, radio is real time, so it doesn't really count. But for someone like me, I consume content. The best way for me to learn is through audio while I'm actively engaged in other activity. And until podcasting became mainstream, there was like audio books. But that's pretty much it. Like where else can you tune in to hear really good content on the fly?

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:19:31] So yeah, no, I agree with you. I feel like if I'm not listening to music like I have in past episodes, I'd be listening to a podcast to prepare for my podcast. Which is very strange, but like it works like you're right, I mean, wow, that's now I think about it...I think I helped launch like two podcasts this week because, like, I have so many friends that are, that want to, you know, like they want to talk about their own little like X, Y and Z, like, you know, like what's it like to be like a founder, like in the mental health space? I was like, perfect, I can help you on the phone. So, I guess what would be, you know, now that now that like podcasting, everyone, everyone's launching a podcast right now that my dad might launch on probably after I've done this. What would be some, I guess, like tips and tricks that you can share dealing with so many brands, you know, like going all the way from a corporate level to just an indie one.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:20:25] Well, I think really defining the whole of why you're launching your podcast is really the first step, is that like your dad just doing it to stay connected to his friends and have a touch point with them. Then great. Are you looking to go into it full time? So I think once you figure out the why, the how becomes a lot more clear. For example, if you're wise to bring in sponsors and monetize on your show, then I would say your production quality and budget should look very differently than someone like your dad who's doing it just to have some fun. We want to record off of your phone if your goal is just to have fun. And that's totally OK. But if you are, you want to use Zoom, that's totally OK. But if you're looking to bring in a sponsor or monetize on your show, then you really want to start thinking about your brand elevation in your position and you want to make sure that your audio quality is spot on. You want to make sure that you have invested in your cover art, that you are thinking about ways to market your show, that you have a really great mic and like, you know, using a recording software that typically doesn't distort the audio waves. So I would say typically like figuring out the why is the first thing. And then the second thing is figuring out your ideal listener profile. You can't be everything to everyone. So your dad's case, it would be like Bengali uncles who really enjoy poetry or it doesn't have to be Bengali. My dad is Pakistani and also loves poetry. So he would be like the perfect target audience for your dad's podcast. Yeah, we'll connect our dads for sure. They'll definitely like to jam out to some poetry sessions, but...Yeah, like figuring out your ideal listener profile I think is so key. And this is an exercise we do with all of our clients, like who are we looking to target with this content and with our marketing efforts. And then once you know who that is, everything should be revolved and tailored around that ideal listener profile. And then just, yeah, from there it's just about really going to the steps, which is the easy part, to be honest. Like everyone can purchase equipment, create episode plans, source guests, hire people to help you with all of those things off of marketplaces like Quill or Fiverr. And but yeah, I would say just like figuring out the why should always be your first step and then everything else will sort of fall into place.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:22:40] Yeah. No, I agree with you. The biggest... Yeah, I mean, that's one of the biggest obstacle or hurdle of like figure is your why, right. Like granted like in podcasts, in life, in business, or what may have you, like, just figuring out why we're this, who we're doing this for is the biggest thing. You brought up a good point, podcast like profile. I don't think that's going to be a term that I think they're going to start using dramatically in the coming future of podcasting, because I don't think when people are launching a podcast, I mean, I don't think they're really keeping the end listener in mind. You know, like it's very similar to marketing, very similar to sales of like, you know, what's your customer persona? What's your customer profile or do they look like what are the sound like? What do they do? How do they shop? How do they buy? Very similar when it comes to podcasting. And a lot of people I think they make the mistake, which I've done personally of like they'll look at like really big podcasts like Joe Rogan or like Tim Ferris or what have you. And they have since there since a brand name so big, their audience is a lot wider. You have people like on Rogan, you have people that are fighters to hunters, to neuroscientists, to philosophers, to everybody. But they feel like an indie the podcast. Your stuff's really not for everybody. I think that and I don't think a lot of people consider that at all.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:23:50] Yeah, I would definitely agree with that, and you're right, I think Joe Rogan's target audience for his podcast are essentially white males, like he's very clear on who his target audience is. And that's great. That's great that he has a very specific niche. I am definitely not listening to Joe Rogan, but I love podcasts like... Yeah, look, I love podcasts with a lot of diversity that include diverse programming, for example. And so I would say that those are more of the shows that I typically gravitate towards. But yeah, I mean, like I would say, again, being hyper clear about who it is that you're trying to target. And yeah, if you are looking to promote your products or services, doing it in a way that's extremely tasteful and doesn't come across as salesy and promotional because that's not what podcasting is for.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:24:42] Yeah, no, not at all. You definitely you definitely want to have your podcasts to be a sales pitch because nobody likes big sales pitches. I'm a salesperson. I hate hearing sales pitches. Like leave me alone.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:24:52] So the best way to be a salesperson is to not be a salesperson.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:24:57] Yeah, it's everyone makes that mistake. I mean they'll learn. Everyone will learn and it's a matter of same. So, I mean, so you've got a good point. You know, you like to listen to episodes or so you like listening to shows that have more of that diversity. I mean, what do I mean by very diverse? What I mean, like what advice would you give to, like, female founders, I guess more specifically, like like diverse female founders? Like, is there anything that you, I guess, either listen to from a podcast that you kind of carry over into your business or something that you read in a book? What advice would you give to younger up and coming female founders?

 

[00:25:38] So I would say in typically when I look at my network, it's always the women in my network that are afraid of being too aggressive, too promotional, too opinionated. It's funny, I was on a work call this morning with a group of women in the tech community that I'm friends with. We have this like monthly standing meeting. And one of the women were talking about how she constantly suffers from imposter syndrome, where she feels like when she's in a room pitching to investors, she feels like she knows her product is good enough, but doesn't know how to articulate it and sell it and come across as super confident and aggressive and bold. And I would say that that that is something I find a lot of women struggle with. And so, you know, the system itself is flawed. Absolutely. I recognize that, especially for underrepresented founders. But we can counteract a lot of that by advocating for ourselves. At the end of the day, we are CEOs of our own brand. And so my advice is always take credit for your ideas. Don't act, don't get... Put up your hand, advocate for yourself, work on your personal brand, because if you don't, nobody else is. And then I think it's normal for everyone to suffer from imposter syndrome. But I try to remind myself whenever I'm sort of hearing those self-critical, self doubting moments that nobody else has more or less of a right to doing exactly what I'm doing. And the difference is just going for it. So that is actually probably my biggest piece of advice, because as a female founder and particularly one of colour, I would say that I have to be so over-prepared every time I'm in a meeting because there is no element of error and judgment. I cannot...There is no second chance, typically, I would say with us and we're already walking into the room with a disadvantage. We're already walking into the room where we don't look like the people who are giving us money and making the decisions. And so if there is going to be a clog in the pipeline and you're going to be so overprepared, then there's no room for imposter syndrome because you have done your preparation and with preparation comes confidence. So that would probably be my biggest learning lesson in the last few years that I would sort of pass on to other founders.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:27:55] Yeah, I mean, you bring up a good point of imposter syndrome among a lot of a lot of women deal with it. Right, because it's I mean, I was as you're talking, like I got reminded of, like my negotiation skills course that I took a couple of years ago. And like one of the things a professor brought on, like women are not as aggressive as they should be. It's like if you want to raise, ask for a raise. Reason why guys get raises is they ask for a raise.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:28:16] Your professor has not met me.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:28:22] Yeah, clearly!

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:28:22] I would say I would say not all, but like...it's definitely something that I think a lot of women are now working on and being conscious of. We have a long way to go. But I think like for me particularly, I want to try to keep profiling female founders in my community and championing them so that we have more examples to look to.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:28:44] Yeah, I mean, that's that's that's a huge part of the show of like having like female founders. You know, not specifically the financial tech space, but I guess now the podcasting space as well of, you know, having amazing people like you on the show just gives a chance for everyone else to kind of like, oh, crap, she's doing it and she's of colour, OK? Like, she's just as aggressive as me and she's very similar to my personal type. So why am I not doing it? Why am I think I can do. So yeah, it's incredible that what you're doing is to create that, you know, you're taking the traditional rhetoric of what it means to be, I guess, a woman of colour in business and like flipping it on its head and just running with it.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:29:27] Thank you. Yes.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:29:30] OK, so before we wrap up, is there any last minute tidbits that you want to, I guess, leave the audience before before we wrap this guy up?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:29:44] Yeah, I would just say that, you know, this is an extremely difficult time...

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:29:50] Whatever however you want...

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:29:51] I would say that, like I know that, yeah, I would say that I know that this is a really difficult period as people are navigating the pandemic and reimagining in the short term what their lives are going to look like. And so, you know, just try to stay as connected as possible as you can with people and maybe podcasting is that medium. Maybe not. But offline tactics do have the power of forming stronger relationships. And I've built my entire network one handshake at a time.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:30:17] Love that! One handshake at a time. That's going to be the....today's episode. For this. I'm calling it one handshake at a time. So Fatima will be the best way for audience members to either reach out to you personally, for business, to reach out to you will be the best forum for people.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:30:35] Google me, I'm pretty accessible. My handle is @zaidiafatima across the board. Our website is quillit.io. I'm like very accessible if you want to find me. It's like not hard to so feel free to reach out directly on any platform.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:30:52] I love it. Fatima, thank you so much for coming on the show today and I'm excited to have you back on.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:31:00] Thank you so much, thank you for having me. Really appreciate it. Happy podcasting!

Outro : you've been listening to Fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit ncfacanada.org. Oh yeah.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP48:  How to Connect and Resonate with Customers Through Podcasting The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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The Investments Most of Us Can’t Buy

CATO Institute | Jennifer J. Schulp and Caleb O. Brown | Nov 11, 2020

accredited investor - The Investments Most of Us Can’t Buy

Regular folks don’t have access to a vast array of investments, and that’s because of Securities and Exchange Commission rules. Why is that? Jennifer Schulp explains.

"Jennifer Schulp says that it is time for the SEC to give Americans the freedom to choose their investments. As it stands, the accredited investor definition decreases community investment and restricts the market."

Continue to the full article --> here

 

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The Investments Most of Us Can’t Buy The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Latest news - The Investments Most of Us Can’t BuyFF Logo 400 v3 - The Investments Most of Us Can’t Buycommunity social impact - The Investments Most of Us Can’t Buy

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Fintech Fridays EP47: How to Change the World: Risk culture and Work-life Balance

NCFA Canada | Nov 6, 2020

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FF EP47 Michelle Beyo Finavator - Fintech Fridays EP47:  How to Change the World: Risk culture and Work-life Balance


EP47: How to Change the World: Risk culture and Work-life Balance

Guest: MICHELLE BEYO, Founder and CEO, Finavator (LinkedIn)

Bio: 

Michelle Beyo is Founder & CEO of Finavator INC, Money2020 RiseUp Alumni, Women in Payments Global Console & Award Committee Member, FinTech Strategic Advisor, CPPO Member, Open Banking Initiative Canada FinTech Co-Chair and Associate Producer of The Social Movement Amazon Prime Docu-Series.

Michelle started Finavator as she is passionate about payments & financial inclusion. Her background in Telecoms, E-commerce, Prepaid and Loyalty programs nurtures her passion for the world of tech. She has 20 years of extensive industry experience driving innovation across the retail and payments industry. Her most recent roles were as Chief Client Officer for a Blockchain startup focused on consent based data sharing, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at InComm, and Director of Loyalty Solutions for Aeroplan Division of Shop Local program.  Her company, Finavator (www.finavator.com), helps Enterprise and Fintech companies present their customers with innovative payment and digital services. Finavator's team has experience and expertise in Payments, Open Banking, Prepaid Solutions, ISO 20022, NEO Banks, E-Commerce, Affiliate Marketing, Micro Loans, Rewards and Loyalty Solutions.

About Finavator

Finavator (www.finavator.com), helps Enterprise and Fintech companies present their customers with innovative payment and digital services. Finavator's team has experience and expertise in Payments, Open Banking, Prepaid Solutions, ISO 20022, NEO Banks, E-Commerce, Affiliate Marketing, Micro Loans, Rewards and Loyalty Solutions.

Finavator logo - Fintech Fridays EP47:  How to Change the World: Risk culture and Work-life Balance

About this episode:

Michelle Beyo, Founder and CEO of Finavator joins Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan who talk about taking risks, celebrating success and finding work-life balance. They talk about innovation during crisis and the need for Canada to adopt Open Banking and how companies that aren’t creating 50/50 diverse teams are leaving money on the table. Join us for an action packed episode that will have you participating in a sprint triathlon next year.

 

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here:

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Fintech Friday Transcript of Episode 47:  Michelle Beyo, Finavator

Intro: Welcome to fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners. Covering all things fintech, blockchain, AI and alternative finance.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:00:12] Hey Everyone Manseeb Khan here, thank you for tuning into another fantastical episode of the Fintech Fintech Friday's Podcast. My guest today is Michelle Beyo. Michelle, thank you for dropping by. I'm super excited for having you on.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:00:50] Yeah, I'm I'm excited to be here. And I created a word that I guess is doing pretty good out there, called Finavator, I just smashed fintech an innovation together.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:01:03] I love that. So tell me. So tell me more about not only the word Finavator, but your company as well?

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:01:10] Yeah, sure. So I started Finavator last July and largely started it because my background's pretty diverse, did six years in telecom, eight years in shopping, online shopping, three years and prepaid, one year in blockchain, and took all of that experience and have gone out on my own to create a boutique fintech consultancy called Finavator.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:01:34] Oh, awesome. So what made you want to actually get into consultancy? The business itself? You know, you have like just honestly going through your LinkedIn, you have so much experience. I didn't I honestly know where to start. So I was like, I'm just going to let her kind of take over and just go from there. How did you like how did you get started? Like, what made you what did you like, go on, like hiking. Like you saw a tree went Finavator. Like how did this idea hit you?

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:02:04] Yeah, so, you know, I think it took a little longer. I was at FinTech and I went to Money 2020, and it was my fourth year there in twenty seventeen. And just Money 2020 is one of those conferences that you go and you're just awe-inspired to all of the innovation and technology and things around the world that are coming out to help consumers. And I came out of there and I think it was my first intro to blockchain and I ended up finding a course at Ivy that was called fintech innovation. And it was the first of its kind or mastering fintech. And I ended up getting into that course, getting the company I was at to pay for half of it. And I just got there. It was a four day, 80-hour pre-read. And I ended up with all the SVPs of the banks learning about digital currency, blockchain, fintech crypto. And I was just like floored. I'm like, this is the future of finance. And I, I just fell in love with it. And that's really why I jumped out into that blockchain company as a chief client officer for a year and took that risk. And after doing that for a year and my friend passing away, I kind of just want the times now. Like, if you want to make change in the world and give back and try and help financial inclusion and drive innovation forward, just jump out there, create a company and try and help companies, fintechs, succeed faster and banks work with more fintechs.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:03:39] Yeah, I mean, again, super sorry, about hearing your friend passing away. But you did bring up a really good point of, you know, why not right now that we're living in the midst of a global pandemic? I mean, I know we were chatting well before I sort of work it out because I'm just like, hey, you know what? The world's burning. I'm also going a six pack. At this point, I got nothing to lose. Right. You might as well try something like something you got if you keep throwing stuff against the wall. Something’s going to stick.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:04:07] Yeah, I think like through crisis comes innovation because people are already… at risk, you can take more risk. It is when you're not at risk that you're fearful of risk. I think because I was a good corporate girl in the corporate world climbing the corporate ladder for so many years, like 15, 16 years. And then when I went out into the blockchain company and you experienced crypto winter and you end up at a start-up of any kind, you end up doing multiple different roles.  You learn so much. You're like when you're at risk, you can take more risk and true risk can come a lot of reward.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:04:46] Oh, I agree with you that that must have been such a crazy, I guess, switch of going from corporate to go on a startup. That's very much a very common theme in the fintech space. You have a lot of classically trained corporate bankers that decide to start their own company. I'm like, oh, OK, I'm working a lot more hats that I'm used to. This is was quite the juggle.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:05:10] Yeah, it's a different culture, but I really love it. It's really an innovation culture. That is, how do we work together instead of compete? I feel like that's the differential. There's so many different ways that companies can work together to drive stronger revenue versus just compete. Guess it's the same market.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:05:31] Yeah. So I mean, sticking to that, what are some of the ways that companies can collaborate instead of competing right now that you know, now that we have COVID, now that we have all of this chaos going on in the world, I feel like now we should be closer than ever. How, I guess, what are some of the ways that businesses can start to collaborate, instead of competing?

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:05:54] Yeah, I think a lot of people are changing their business model on its head, some people were in the entertainment business. Right. And basically turn their platforms into different ways to reward customers. I think it's just taking a look at your consumer and what do they need. And if you offer them one piece of the pie, how do you partner with someone else to offer them another? So I worked with a global reward's company and help them enable microloans so you can pay for your employee rewards. You can use your points, you can use your credit card, or you can get a microloan. So in Covid times, that's so important as you're watching microloans becoming almost a necessity on your online shopping platforms because people need to kind of pay as they can. So if they could break it down into six payments, then they could pay for other essentials and still get the thing they wanted to some degree, right?

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:06:58] Yeah, I absolutely. This actually beautifully translates into my next question about one of my favorite topics. I think it's your favorite topic as well. Open banking. You know, how does open banking look now in a COVID world? And I guess how does the conversation now change when it comes to open banking? To me, it felt a little bit more up in the air, like it felt like a nice to have. Now it seems like the conversation has dramatically changed where now it's it seems like a necessity. Like we like we need open banking.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:07:34] Yeah, I fully agree. So I just actually got my first board seat on the Open Banking Initiative of Canada and I feel extremely passionate about it because as you look to the UK and Australia and Singapore and Brazil and other countries that have taken a lead, Canada is just so far behind. And you're right. I think it just, we did really well in 2008 and we didn't have a financial crisis because we're conservative. So let's be conservative and let's hold off. And the consultations got held off due to covid, but thankfully, they're back on the books in December and that just got announced a couple of days ago. So I think the need for it is great because when you look at the opportunity in the UK, there was a platform built to allow a government when people were applying for subsidies to get access to show that they had the right qualifications. Where in Canada we're just passing everything out and hope we can look for who qualified later. So the thing about open banking is giving consumers the right and the ability to share their data and have better access to their data so they can make better budgeting decisions. They could save money on services because they can move from one location of a service to another provider in a much easier manner. And if today's society, like I think it was today, driving my kids to school and they're talking on the radio about how a study just came out, that we are number one, two and three of the most expensive telecom providing services in the world.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:09:20] Yeah, yeah. I think I would agree with that. That's. Oh, my God,

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:09:25] It's insane. And I come from telecom. So I think if someone was to do the same study on banking, I bet you we would be almost in the same situation on a global scale. So if we are the most expensive telecom and the most expensive banking in the world, what are we doing for Canadian consumers? And I think open banking is the thing we need to do to give them competition of ability to choose better and cheaper services for not just themselves, but their kids.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:09:56] One hundred percent, and especially now that we are moving into more of a global economy, you know, the first step is definitely helping out, you know, us Canadians, but also later on helping out the world like we definitely want. There's so many amazing companies here in Canada that can benefit the world so greatly. And open banking is just one of the many forms that that's going to take. Like Canada has so much amazing things to offer to the world. Unfortunately, we're just super conservative.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:10:27] Yeah, we're super conservative. And I actually state that quite a bit like where is the Shopify of financial services coming out of Canada? Because if we could do Shopify so well as an export that has really driven as a technology so many different opportunities as a platform for so many companies and done so well and is probably the most profitable stock in Canada better than the banks at this point. We need to find a way to have the financial service offering that is similar to Shopify in the fintech world to compete with bigger wallets that are QR based on a global scale because it's becoming globalized banking. Right. Open banking is opening the door for the financial race to who's going to be the financial services of the world. And Canada should be at the table. But without open banking, we're not even there.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:11:26] Yeah, no. I mean, I absolutely agree with you. There's actually no reason why our hats should not be in the ring for that race.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:11:34] Yeah, we're making some good strides I’m always a positive thinker, so, you know, there is some payment modernizations on the books. We have the consultation happening in December. There's a new finance minister who I'm hoping will see the vision of all of the industries in Canada trying to come together to share their voice like the OBIC and NCFA really trying to share why open banking is important. And then you have Colin Deakin, who's a senator, an independent, really trying to share the voice and education into the government to help them understand what the advantages of open banking is. And it's not like a turn on the switch and go right. We have to say, yes, Canada's moving to open banking and then we have to get our competition laws right. We've got to get our data laws right, and we have to modernise our payment infrastructure. So these are three important things we have to do. But all of those things have to happen to create the right infrastructure for open banking. So I'm really hoping we get some type of clear decision in the near future.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:12:47] Yeah, and I believe that conversations like this having I mean, you're also part of the NCFA board as well, which is I mean, congrats on both. It's I mean, these kind of conversations are super important. Right? These are conversations that not many people are having only because not many people know. Right. I mean, the general public honestly couldn't tell you what the heck I was talking about. And, you know, education does play a huge role into this. Education is going to play a critical role into any of the fintech initiatives that we're trying to move forward here.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:13:20] One hundred percent, and I think it's kind of on us to have the right marketing insights to help educate everyday Canadians.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:13:30] Yeah, I agree with you. So we'll switch gears here. Canada has introduced some new payment rails. So I guess what is the I guess like what is the relationship with open banking, with the new payment rails? Like, I guess how does it how does open banking, like, play a role, into the new payment rails?

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:13:54] Yeah, so they're the new payment rules are necessary to get up to ISO 2022  standard so that we can be part of the global messaging of having the right data infrastructure. So I guess I'm getting complex here, but I come from online shopping and in I guess 2002 I was doing online shopping and affiliate marketing where you can go, you can shop and then you would get double or triple the points because there was metadata in the transaction that could prove where you shopped, how much you spent, what you purchased, so that that payment can go from, let's say, Macy's to United Milage Plus Shopping Mall. So you got three times the points. And in the current system, we only have payment about, payment date, who it went to and who it came from. That's it. There's no place for you to actually put additional data insight. And therefore, like, we have kind of a rudimentary payment system that you can't put the invoice information into. You can't put additional insights that would be able to help you do better accounting, cheaper accounting. And these systems are available and embedded in the UK system. It's been mandated from a swift perspective, and Canada didn't have it on its roadmap until further down the path. And now it's coming in. The new links rails with IBM and hopefully by twenty twenty two, these functionalities and accesses will be available to really modernize our payment system.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:16:05] What's, you know, being a female in Fintech what is that like? You know, I remember in one of our earliest episodes we had Sue Britton on and she mentioned how, you know, the finance space is very much an old boys club.  And hopefully that's not the same case when it comes to fintech. I guess, like, what is your take on being a female founder in the fintech space?

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:16:35] Yeah, it's a great question. So I'm hoping that the fintech space can kind of correct what was happening in the financial space, but it's still challenging. I've largely been the only female in the room. As I came up through my career, I was in sales, executive sales, ran departments, but I was really happy. I worked for a company called Income and my boss was Brazilian and he was just 2015. We're creating a 50 50 executive team and I want you on it. And it was the best three years in that sense. Not only did he have a 50 50 executive team I created, but my team also is 50 50 and we were one of 30 countries and we were the only country with that initiative. But I have to share like in three years, I think we accomplished the most. So what I learned is that 50 50 is actually the best way, not only to drive revenue, because it's actually being proven that having more females on your executive team or board will drive about 13 to 15 percent added profit at the end of of the year. But it's also really a way to get both sides of innovation and drive things forward. So I've purposely made Finavator 50 50. I when I got offered the board seat and it was my first board seat, I asked that before I accepted that the board be made 50 50. So I think it takes. Individuals to speak up and to ask for change, otherwise it won't change because I've definitely see like when I go to work with the company or if I'm seeing someone present, I'll check their team online. And if it's all guys. It's just hard for me to kind of respect the vision that they have because, you know, you're missing an entire product mindset by having five guy founders, not to say you can't do it, but then go get some female board members to diversify your vision to ensure you're making the best decisions for your product and your profit line.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:18:54] Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, a lot of these five guy, five guy founded companies will definitely throw around the word innovation in a lot of their presentations. Very tough to be innovative. If you guys are just five guys, five guys like what are you guys doing.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:19:14] You're missing the side of the fence over there.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:19:18] Yeah. You're missing the whole side of the fence like what was going on.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:19:23] Yeah, take take the time to make the effort there's like great groups out there, like women in payments who are executive really powerful females in the industry around the world that are making innovative change within their organizations or have their own companies or SHEO or Wnet. And you can't make the claim that they can't find the women anymore. I think it's so much easier to find passionate, educated women who understand fintech or payments and can really help ensure that you get consumers that are also women because they have money, too. And if you're not paying attention, you're just you're missing money. That's how I like to position it. It's not about diversity and equality. It is. But it's also you're missing money because you're not paying attention to the whole demographic. And internally, you're missing a culture that could be so much greater if you had better diversity.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:20:21] Yeah, I think missing money is going to be the name of this episode. As I said it like like it rang. I was like, that's so perfect. I love it. So let's zoom out just a little bit here. Let's get out of FinTech. Let's talk a little bit more. General, what does being a SHEeO mean to you? Yeah, let's start with that.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:20:45] Yeah. I think, you know, I became a SHEeO activator back in twenty seventeen the same time that I went to that fintech IVY course, and I was just inspired. I got to it's called radical generosity. Like what a term.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:21:05] Please, please dig deep and I love that.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:21:08] Ok, so. So Vicki is the CEO of SHEeO. Awesome. Awesome name. And she created it because I think she came from the VC space and realized that no females were being funded. So she created this model on its head, which is basically called radical generosity. And it was started out of Canada and anybody can basically donate. It's a mandated amount, the same amount for anyone all around the world. I believe it's twelve hundred dollars. You gift it and what you get back is you get a vote so that money all goes into a pool and then organizations all apply that they have to be fifty one percent owned by a female or someone who identifies as a female. And then it all goes to a vote. I think there's over five hundred activators in Canada. It's actually happening next week. It happens one year and happens in different times all around the world, in Australia, in the UK and the US and all five hundred activators get to take a look at all applicants put in their choices and then they drill it down. And then there's another presentation. They drill it down again and then they offer some money. It's not a ton, but they also offer mentorship and different aspects to try and help the venture succeed. So it's just a really cool way to feel like in this world of chaos that you're doing something good.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:22:51] What would be some of the advice that you'd give up and coming female founders or, you know, like a younger version of you?

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:23:10] Yeah, I you know, I take a lot of calls, like 15 minute intro calls, I just did a presentation at Money 2020 on work-life balance. This is my first time on the main stage, even though it was virtual and it was me and someone else who won money 2020 rise up, Genevieve Dozier. And we were just talking about work-life balance in the midst of this entire global pandemic and the feedback and the women that have reached out just to say that was inspiring or that was helpful or thank you for saying imposter syndrome exists. I totally have it. It didn't know what it was. I think there's so many women out there that just have imposter syndrome, which is simply, you know. Being nervous or thinking you don't deserve something or being offered a chief client officer role and stepping back and saying, well, can I be a chief client officer and just know that, get in there, take the role, apply, you're going to do phenomenal. Don't wait till you have one hundred percent of all qualifying aspects. Put yourself in the ring and shine in personality and the want and will to do better and learn more. So you reach out to other women network every day, have a 15 minute chat with someone you don't know and be inspired. Stay positive. Think big.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:24:39] I love it. I love it. I think you brought up a really good point of the imposter syndrome and not being afraid of, you know, growing into a role. I mean,  I think that's the feeling that everybody kind of falls into of thinking they're not. They got the role, but they don't think they're good enough. I think they have to get on the other side of that and thinking that, hey, I could grow into this role  That's what happened to me. When I first started the show, I was like, I don't know anything about Fintech. Why am I talking to CEOs and founders of companies that are just absolutely killing it? I'm like, I don't know anything. And then as the shows at the shows, kind of like rolled in, I started to learn a little bit of terminology. So I do a little bit more research now on what? Thirty-seven. Thirty-eight episodes deep. I'm super comfortable. So I think, like. Allowing yourself to grow into the role, I think that's one I think that's an absolutely crucial step of. Yeah, accepting that like, hey, you know what I might not like, I might not think that I'm fit for the job or I might not think that I'm fit for the role now, but I'm going to get there and I'm just going to keep putting in the work every single day until I get there.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:25:52] Yeah, and be humble, like I think even if you get to a higher level, be humble, but also celebrate your wins, right? Like if something happened, like I signed a US bank and a Canadian bank, take a moment and enjoy and appreciate that situation, because I think so many of us, whether it's big or small, just kind of achieve things but don't acknowledge them. And you only grow confidence by acknowledging what you've achieved.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:26:22] Yeah, That's, I agree with you. I what I try to do is when I find out that you're coming on the show,, I just I ran upstairs to the to my little sister's room and I was like, I got a guest, let's go. And she's like, let's go. Give me a high five. I got a high five. She's like, yeah, I'd go to your research and that's it. That's my little one. The time I get a gust, any time, any time I get it, like on time. Oh those little ones, they mean so much.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:26:50] Yeah, because, like life is we're not in control of so much right now. Yeah, you're in control of your little world and if something good happens and it celebrate it.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:26:59]  One hundred percent. I totally agree with you. So. You ran a triathlon. I think hunger, you know what? Running a marathon has been one of my dreams ever since I was in high school and I ran track. So how did that? Yeah, how did that start? Like, you not only did you run a triathlon, but raise money, like talk about that entire story, please.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:27:27] Yes, it was total by fluke, and I was an athlete in high school, but I would say it ended there like I became more work-driven than sports driven. So I never first thought, like I never was planning to do a triathlon. I was a marketer and a sales girl and running three departments, and I was leaving to my new blockchain company. And the last thing I was doing for Incom was this PR. We got this really cool approval, this program to work with Visa, to sponsor five athletes, to go to the 2020 Olympics, which I laugh because that's not happening due to the pandemic. But the intention was good. We fought five years ago, had got the program and worked and got it approved, and in twenty eighteen and we're doing the PR launch at kids of steel event. So Kids of Steeles in Caledin and it's been happening for twenty-five years and I think like three athletes have made it to the Olympics from that program and it's super cute. My kids went.  Signed them up. My son, just like he was really little at the time, you just had to swim one length of the Olympic sized swimming pool, go on his little tricycle around the parking lot and do one hundred meter run. He got like a metal and bubbles and candy and face paint like it's so cool getting kids, like, into the triathlon and kind of loving it. But my daughter was the oldest of all of the kids from our office. And I didn't realize he actually had to as a nine-year-old, she had to swim for like the Olympic size swimming pool, which I didn't bring goggles for. She had to do a one-kilometer bike or three-kilometer bike in a one-kilometer run. And she finished and she was the last of her heat. He came over the line kind of crying. She's like, I was last. I'm like, no, this is you against you. You finished next year. You come back and you beat your time. She goes, Mommy, I'll come back. If you come back, I'm like, OK. Yeah, like a triathlon next year. So I didn't really train. I became a vegetarian, though, in a kind of pre-training for the triathlon. So it's like, I better finish this thing. Like, everybody, I work with is going to be at the finish line, including my kids watching me. So I did train a little bit in swimming because I was like I could bike, I was a runner, I could run, but I can't swim. Like it was eight lengths of the Olympic sized swimming pool. It was a 15-kilometer bike and a five-kilometer run. And I just wanted to make sure I finished. And thankfully, I came out of there, I finished. I was not hurt and I was not last into me. That was awesome.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:30:18] That's, I'm listening to your daughter do all that. I got exhausted. I was like, I can't do I if I could do half of that, I'll grab a beer. I could do half of That's. Wow. That's incredible.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:30:31] Wow. That's I think it's like why push yourself to like I was kind of hoping for rain, but like, you know, it didn't and I showed up and then that's it. You just have to do it. So sign up and then feel guilty if you don't show up.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:30:31] Your right.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:30:50] I'm sure you can do it. And it was a sprint triathlon, so let's be clear, it's not a full triathlon.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:31:00] My heart just sank. Like I might die midway through this.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:31:08] I started in the water fighting to swim. I've seen videos. At least this was in an Olympic sized swimming pool. I had my own lane actually was a lane with the woman who won the triathlon. So embarrassed because I was three lengths behind her, which means I was like eight and a half minutes behind her. We started at the same time. I'm like, yeah, I am not the Olympic swimmer, that is for sure.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:31:33] And you know what? You did it to raise money. So it is what it is. I mean, you did it. That's all that matters. So that's what you finish your daughter finish. Your son had a great time. I honestly would much rather be your son in that whole situation. I want to get my face painted and bubbles. That's fantastic. Oh, I'd love that right now.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:31:55] Yes, well, hopefully without pandemic, it will come back next year and then you sign up. There you go.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:32:00] Ok, perfect. So my perfect I just signed up for a triathlon. So that's great. Friends are going to love, love, love story. I'll bet on you. This will be fun. No, no, no. They're going to bet. They're going to bet against me. I, I can already see the brackets in my head like they're going to do it like sports. But I like OK, he's going to pass out on the three minute mark in the pool or he's going to fall on his bike. I just know.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:32:26] You'll make them laugh. It will be good.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:32:29] Yeah. I mean that's my role. I guess. So the Michelle is there any last minute. I guess tidbits that you want to leave the audience, anything that you feel like you haven't gotten off your chest yet, maybe something that keeps you up at night. Anything you want to, I guess, capped this episode off with.

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:32:53] Yeah, I think, you know, kind of to my earlier point, we're not in control of pretty much anything surrounding us right now, but you'd be impressed what you were able to achieve if you set your mind to it. So write five like ridiculous goals and trying to achieve them, because you use this time, this unique time in this weird world that we're living in to try and push yourself, because those lessons that you learn is something you'll take in this future and there's still a future ahead of us. So what are you going to do when you look back at this time of what you achieved? And for me, it's like just having really big goals and then being audacious enough to try and achieve them. So I hope more people take that initiative on whether those goals be small, whatever they be like. Can we just be better humans? Can we just try and help more people take 15 minutes to have a call with someone and try and inspire them or just let them vent or whatever that might be to just be a little bit more human in these crazy times?

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:34:04] Right, so everybody heard that I will be seeing you all in the triathlon with me. I'm not doing this alone. That's one of my big dreams and that's not one of yours to no discussions. Yeah, that's yeah. That's that's a fantastic way to cap this off. So what would be the best way for our audience to either reach out to you personally? If I have any questions about Finavator itself or if they wanted to grab a quick, quick 15 minute call with you?

 

Michelle Beyo: [00:34:35] Yeah, so my LinkedIn profile, a great way to reach out to me or finovator dotcom, you know, trying to spur innovation and help fintech close deals with banks and banks, closed deals with fintech, or just create more innovative products to compete with Asian technology that is driving really innovative consumer experiences. And we need a lot of North American companies to grow and expand and drive incredible user experiences so that our financial systems stay in country or at least compete on a global scale. So, yeah, really excited to find out who I can collaborate with and grow this mission and drive open banking forward. Thank you so much for having me today.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:35:28] Yeah. No, Michelle, thank you so much for coming on the show and can't wait to have you on again and possibly see you at this triathlon.

Outro : you've been listening to Fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit ncfacanada.org. Oh yeah.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP47:  How to Change the World: Risk culture and Work-life Balance The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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