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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop

NCFA Canada | Nov 2, 2018

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FF EP16 Cato Pastoll banner1000 1 - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop

Ep16-Nov 2:  Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses

About this episode:   On this episode NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO of Lending Loop Cato Pastoll. They chat about what opening banking is, how it might look like an app store, and how it gives power back to consumers. Enjoy! (see Transcript)

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest:  CATO PASTOLL, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop (view Linkedin)

Bio:  Cato Pastoll is the CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, Canada's first peer-to-peer lending marketplace for business lending. Prior to starting Lending Loop, Cato served as the Executive Vice President of a medium sized software consulting business. In addition to holding a senior management position, he attained experience building and managing robust commercial applications. Cato also brings relevant industry experience from his time developing a loan evaluation and management solution for a private mortgage lender.

Lending loop resize - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop

 

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Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan: Today I have an incredible guest today. OK. If you heard of the company Lending Loop I have the CEO today. I got Cato.  Cato thank you so much for sitting down today. I mean I'm very excited to just get the show on the road. I mean we have a very interesting topic and I'm very excited to share with people.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I'm excited as well. Thanks for having me on.

Manseeb Khan: So, I guess for just a minute could you just give us a little bit of your background and essentially what Lending Loop is?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah Lending Loop Canada's first marketplace for small businesses to be able to access affordable financing. And then investors people like yourself and myself who want to lend money directly to businesses. So essentially what we're doing is cutting out the traditional intermediaries who will be lending and rather allowing businesses to be able to access financing from regular Canadians who want to lend money to them.

Manseeb Khan: I'm glad that I can be my own little investor and help as many small businesses that I can. So, I mean the topic that I really want to discuss with you today is a topic that many of us probably seen in the media it from blog posts or even from videos would be open banking. So, could you guess a little bit. Tell us what open banking is and I guess how integral and what this means to the bank space?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. Open Banking can generally cover a lot of different areas or mean a lot of different things. But a high level generally kind of what people are referring to is the ability for people to be able to access banking data or other companies to be able to access your banking data. So, it's likely that you and I and probably the people who are listening to this have a bank account with maybe one of the big five Canadian banks or perhaps the smaller bank and they have a lot of data on transactional history around us. Who we are, our address all types of personal information as well as transactional bank information. Now that information is incredibly valuable and really the theory is that that information should belong to you not actually to the bank and we're open banking is really kind of contemplating is sharing that information or at least giving you the ability to access and share that information that your will. So, if what you say you want to give Lending Loop access to that information. Very seamlessly that you would authorize the banks to give us that information we'd be able to access that in order to provide better products. Products and experiences

Manseeb Khan: Ha. Okay. So, this kind of this really ties into I guess having a digital identity and having a sovereign identity right of we're seeing a lot of people pushing it from individual CEOs like yourself or just other institutions or other I guess organizations pushing for this identity and that having a digital identity would just be one more step closer. Open banking would be one more step closer of having digital identities and having companies in the future actually recognize your digital passport. In a sense, right?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah absolutely. I mean like it or not and, in a capitalist, driven society. Finance and financials are really a core to who you are from an identity perspective not just from a verification or an identification perspective but more importantly kind of makeup. A lot of the pieces of information and how many who someone is. And so, when we think about kind of open banking exactly what you just referenced is true. Now we're talking about layering on financial type information on somebody's personal profile if you want to call it that. So absolutely this is really something that that is. Kind of critical. When it comes to determining what that future of identification and Id profile look like.

Manseeb Khan: I like the aspect of it. You get to pick and choose who you share information and it's a lot like I guess if you have an android phone you can actually go within the apps and then you can kind of like pick and choose what the app can get access to it's kind of interesting of like it's the very similar concept but look more like a broader perspective. Yeah. Lending Loop can have this, this, this, and this but RBC or TD can't have  access to that, So I like that.

Cato Pastoll: That's a really good analogy and yeah, I think one that a lot of people identify with you know even with Facebook being in the news a lot lately. A lot of it is around that and like who get see your information and you get to share that information. You know open banking is basically extending that to the financial realm like who gets to access and see financial data because up until this point it's really only been banks that have been able or allowed to see that. And maybe that is actually to your benefit to be able to share that information with either you know people that you know or other companies that you want to do business

Manseeb Khan: Wouldn't an open banking be a threat to the current banking system now because now what open banking is or what I'm understanding is it's opened up a broader marketplace for people. For customers to just be able to pick and choose and to switch between banks with a couple of clicks right? Like I could switch my mortgage plan if I currently have it with CIBC I can switch it to TD because I've got these better rates, or I want to switch my savings plan from RBC back to TD or whatever so. I guess. Why would banks themselves even. Put their hat in the ring for this and. Why would banks even consider this at all?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah and I don't think that it's voluntary. I think I can do more. More part of a general pressure to provide better experiences to consumers. Banks are an oligopoly in their highly regulated and they're essentially protected by governments in every authority including Canada. Right. So, the banks are incredibly hard to create. They're also an incredibly hard to break down and that's when we think about like why this might happen. Really, it's too people you know to the benefit of the people who use banks so just the regular people. The customers and the businesses that leverage banking services. No, it's in our interest to. Be allowed to access that data. And I think kind of philosophically a lot of people believe that data actually belongs to you not the bank. You know the bank is kind of providing us with that service but at the end of the day. The data that they are leveraging, with the data that we're providing to them you know a lot people can have the sentiment that that belongs to us. Now what that actually means that from imprecations perspective is. You know people who are looking to build better products or better experiences for customers can now do that by kind of treating banks as kind of like your back in infrastructure right. Traditionally you think about banks as you were just describing and as you know that the end to end delivery of a product or service very like the know that they're giving you credit cards they give you mortgages. Well you know the bank doesn't have to not exist if somebody else to provide a credit card or mortgage they can rather just kind of be the backend service provider. where they allow other people, you know other companies to basically be more of that front-end customer facing solution that leverages their infrastructure their data maybe even the technology to be able to deliver some of those solutions. So, you know the reason that we're moving in this direction is because at the end of the day it's of benefit to the customer benefit not just from an experience perspective but also financially you know on average Canadian banks are generating. That to 2x the average ROE of U.S. banks and 3x the average ROE of UK banks. So, when you think about that you know people like yourself and me are actually paying for that and you know it's not surprising to think that policymakers and politicians want to kind of shake that up and actually. Give some value back to customers who are actually using it, the Canadian banks.

Manseeb Khan: Going back to the cell phone analogy it more of a market like it actually a true and true marketplace where we will have like the TD version of an app store and you'll have like financial tech companies like ourselves coming in and just providing all these services right.

Cato Pastoll: In a way I mean many different ways, there are many different ways that it could play out in practicality that that's for sure. One of the ways you know what a bank becomes I think is an interesting question and probably one that we could we could spend a whole hour talking about like what a bank might look like in the future as a result of it. But I think that the underlying thing is that they need to share or open data to people who want access.

Manseeb Khan: And it just makes I mean again I’m probably thinking of this more of a from a fintech standpoint because I'm so much  for team David here. It just makes banks even more like customer centric right.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean you know. Going on that point about being customer centric or delivering product experiences that are better or cheaper for customers if fintech or financial technology companies are able to do that much better than banks are. And so, as a customer I'm going to win by being allowed or being able to access those services seamlessly you know going back to your point maybe not directly in the interest of the banks but in the long run it's kind of in the overall interest of Canadians.

Manseeb Khan: So how do you see open banking impact. Companies like yourself like being in the loan service industry and giving more customers to get from around?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. I mean for us you know we're as you mentioned we're in the lending industry if you want to call it about you know we're in the business of kind of connecting investors with small businesses. When you think about what we do at a higher level and really what we're trying to create is a better way for small businesses to access financial services. And the reason is that that that that that particular segment of customers that have been under serviced by traditional financial institutions or traditional lenders. So, you know when we think about what this means for a company like ourselves it's not just about how it applies to you or your lending product or how maybe it makes a loan application was seamless. It also opens up doors of possibilities for us to be able to deliver other products and experiences to those customers who may not have had access to those products or services before.

Manseeb Khan: So, it gives you an opportunity to be more or less a little bit more of a diverse company than just being centric on one part of the banking industry, right?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. I mean can I just keep harping on that point. You know you want to be customer centric. It allows you to be more customer centric because you're able to access more of the relevant information to your customers and providing them with better access to products and services.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no absolutely and especially if you have the data to back that up. so, then you can make it very tailored and very niche so that's very incredible. So, I guess since open banking is a very brand-new concept and you're seeing regulations being a little bit more tailored to the country I mean you're seeing places in the EU like they just adopted their second payment services directive. Right. The P2D2 which forces banks to open up the data and regulate the new market right. So, they're making more of a push to the financial tech companies that are allowed to have access to your data has to be actually regulated. have to go have to meet these guidelines, have to jump through these hoops. So, based off just stuff that's is happening in the EU, in Australia recently, you've been seeing in Japan they're slowly getting started. What does open banking regulations look like in Canada and I guess how you would want them to either be similar or different tailored to the Canadian market.

Cato Pastoll: It's a fair question. I think if you look at the progress here generally we're about five to 10 years behind any other authority when it comes to financial regulation. Generally speaking we're in our industry for example were significantly behind new jurisdictions like the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. So, I you know I don't think you're seeing the same level of progress here in Canada as you're seeing in other jurisdictions. I think we're going to be much slower to adopt these things. There can sometimes be an advantage to being second or not being first and that advantage can be seeing what goes well and what doesn't go in other jurisdictions. I think like you know thinking about what this might look like. I think. Really you got to go back to who is this benefiting at the end of the day this is about driving value back to consumers. driving  back to people who use banking. Driving value back to small businesses. So, when we think about kind of what that might look like and what regulators need to consider when they're kind of creating new legislation on new frameworks for these businesses to exist or are these policies to exist really, I think the most important thing. To consider in that regard is how is it like who is going to benefit and how is it going to benefit them. I think something that kind of is light touch in terms of what it actually means for  fintech companies what it means to consumers what it means for banks. what one end up being that effective. And we'll probably see a little minor adoption I think I'd rather see us spend some time and create a robust strategy and policy around how we can create really rapid innovation in our banking sector. And I'll kind of give you the flip side of that coin if we don't do that and we don't do a great job of it. International companies that do benefit from open banking do benefit from fintech advancement and changes are likely to come to Canada at some point and kind of dominate the market here. So, you know the incentive is there because I think we've a great opportunity but there's also a massive kind of warning that we're given at risk which is if we're not fast enough to kind of jump into the race and we're going to get beaten by our international counterparts. So, you know that that's something that I really kind of. Think about from a regulatory perspective which is you want to get it right, but you don't want to spend too much time that you end up getting left behind.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no. I mean traditionally Canadians are very much by the book and they like to stay within the lines. So, it makes sense that Canada I guess like you to mentioned right either becomes second or third or fourth when it comes to fully adopted open banking and just later on hopefully dominate the open banking. We should probably like take our time understand fully and actually. The more information we have the more again data we've collected we can actually move accordingly towards that. I mean and again it's evolved or parish right. If we don't figure out fast enough we're just going to die out and nobody wants that.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean you look at kind of like what's happening with Netflix. you know Netflix is I think inevitably going to destroy the media industry here in Canada. You know when we think Rogers and Bell, Cogeco you know those companies have been protected by our government for so long. And regulation has been so slow to change, and people have heralded that.  You know on the flip side of that we're now seeing companies like Netflix, US companies that really have no attachment or need to this in Canada. From a from a domestic point of view you know they are solely headquartered in the U.S. Their assets are in the U.S. capital is flowing into the U.S. when we pay on that Netflix bills every month. You know they slowly but surely taking over that industry that was once Canadian. And I think that there's a stark warning that to think about there is a real possibility that that happens in banking or in the financial sector here in Canada. So, I think you know we do need to move pretty quickly because I think if we give the same attitude that we do in the telco industry or in the media industry that's definitely not a good sign. So, while being thoughtful is important taking too long is perhaps even more dangerous.

Manseeb Khan: But on that note it would be kind of funny to us to when we have kids of just of like yeah you know like before all you have to get is a Bell and Rogers and actually have cable. Now  the big three are the big four are like Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu so that be really funny.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah but the problem is. The problem is those companies are Canadian right now. That's like the fundamental challenge that you know people don't talk about that often but that's a lot of capital and a lot of profit that's being sucked out of Canada. I like that really scares me when I think about the future of the Canadian economy. Like I don't think we should put that as lightly as you know as we do great for me at the consumer I'm paying one tenth of what I did on my Rogers Bill. On my Netflix subscription. But at the end of the day like I think we're all kind of losing a little bit as Canadians. And I think that's something that like you know regulators and policy makers really need to pay attention to.

Manseeb Khan: No absolutely because it's I mean doing the show. I got to sit down with amazing CEOs like yourself and just understand the Canadian fintech marketplace a little bit better and it would really suck to see and like the Canadian fintech space just kind of slowly start diminishing because there's so much potential to so much promise and so many companies in the space itself are doing such amazing things. It really sucked to have I guess either American company or an Asian company to come in and just undercut everybody because we don't have the  regulations in place we have the right rules in place because again we took too long to figure it out.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, you're absolutely right. Like you said there's so much potential here. I think we need to really pay attention to that. Look at the positives like I don't like kind of always being  negative and saying what if you know what if this happens or what if a U.S. company comes to dominate. I think there's so much potential in so many positives here that so much of the right infrastructure. But sometimes I think the speed with the urgency doesn't exist. And I think like that that's the one thing that I think all of us as a community. Both you know the people that use our services as well as other companies in the space I think we could all do a better job of stressing that urgency to push things forward faster and innovate faster. Just kind of for our own benefits as well

Manseeb Khan: I guess. Do you see open banking being a little bit more global? Because I mean the reason I'm asking is because we're going to we're going to hopefully have regulations here in Canada when it comes open bank and you're already seeing this in the EU and you start to see this in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand like you've mentioned. Do you see  a global open banking regulation put in place with a I guess be it a Frankenstein version of some rules and regulations from Canada or some rules and regulations from the EU like do you see a global open banking regulation put in place later on? Once we fully adopted this concept.

Cato Pastoll: It's a good question. It's also a really difficult question. It's kind of one of those things like what comes first that you know the chicken or the egg  that type of thing. And what I mean by that is I think what's going to happen is that there will be no global banking existing and global financial technology services existing before regulation for it actually. Oh, I believe I'll be able to have  a you know quote unquote like the ability to move money seamlessly. Anywhere in the world sooner than I think regulation around how that's going to happen. And I think you can kind of apply that if you look at like Uber and Airbnb and then those types companies that have kind of come before a regulation caught up to them. I think you're going to see the same thing in open banking I don't think that. Companies are going to wait for regulators to create new rules or policies. I think that the innovation is actually going to come out and I think like some of those products services that probably fall on that you know on the edges of the of the categories of banking will probably force the issues for that to happen And that's just kind of my theory on it is I think you know the regulation will tend to lag the innovation. And I think you'll see that in the open banking space as well.

Manseeb Khan: Usually when you think regulation you don't really think innovation. So that's just a very hard balance to how right you because you want to protect investors you want to protect consumers at the same time you don't want to be in last place. So, it's a very hard beam to really balance on.

Cato Pastoll: You end up shooting if you over protect you end up shooting yourself in the right. Like I think the notion there's sometimes a flawed notion that no industry is better than a bad industry and that's very rarely the case. You know like at least having the possibility of making mistakes and learning from those mistakes gives you a better foot hold then simply not doing something because you're scared to try. And I'm sure you know if you see anyone in the startup space or are worked in an overseas company you know they'll give you a similar message which is not trying is definitely much worse than trying and failing. I think you know that's a really difficult message to share with a regulator or a policymaker like that. That's a really scary thing to say to somebody like that but it's definitely true because there's other people in the world who are thinking like that and I think like that that's something that I think we as Canadians have a big thing to overcome going back to what you said about conservatism. You know we are inherently more conservative. And so, getting over that barrier is definitely something that. We have to kind of actively think about.

Manseeb Khan: We definitely have to bite the bullet and understand that like we're really going to have to test and learn especially when it comes to policies and regulations because Open banking is such a new concept. and it's such like you said even when I even mention the whole oh I guess would be like an app store. It might not right because open banking such like a I guess of fluid into a lucid concept that it's going to have to be as fast as I guess changes in a startup like that's  the mentality we are going to have to have. When it comes to open banking because that's how fast and fast paced it's going to become.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean there's lots of there's lots of variables or unknowns as you said. So, it's not it's not a simple or straightforward answer to this. You know there could be an app store. It could be that a fundamentally changes the way the bank clerk it could even be that banks don't exist at all. You know I wouldn't rule out any possibility. So, you know when we think about what it means for the future of the financial sector or the future of banking I think we have to be open to all possibilities in terms of. What might things look like in 5 10 or 15 years.

Manseeb Khan: So, when you think of open banking one of the first concerns to mind would be the cyber risk and the security risk right because since we want to open up the data and make it accessible for quote unquote all there definitely will be privacy concerns. Could you talk a little bit more on the privacy concerns when it comes to open banking  or why or why not. It might be there, and I guess go  a bit more detail about that?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah. You know if anything I kind of you are the as I least of it's done right. I view it as better for the customer when it comes to things like privacy. Like what it really is you know when you think about it giving people access and the ability to control their own data and whether data goes in it get shared with. Like right now you have very little control over it you know where your data is, how it gets stored, who it gets shared with. Like really, you’re just trusting whoever you're storing that data with. I think we're starting to see that change. You know I think especially Facebook is probably the biggest example of that obviously it's been in the news a lot over the last year. You know they've been under an incredible amount of pressure. To get better and exactly what I just described which is. You know giving people oversight over whether that is how it's managed how it's stored and who gets to access that information. I think there's a similar opportunity here with. Finance and with banking. Where you're giving the customer control over their own data. And for me there's no better way of doing it than giving your, putting the control in the hands of the customer. You know if they choose to give somebody access to that data that's their choice, but they should be fully aware of the choice and fully aware of the consequences of doing that. Right. So, when I think about this I think there's a tremendous opportunity because you know we're really opening up a world that is significantly more transparent than the world that exists today when it comes to data and privacy.

Manseeb Khan: Do you see open banking. I mean again we  did talk about being open and open minded. But do you see open banking going into blockchain and becoming a little bit more decentral, so the security risk gets greatly mitigated?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, I mean I think that's definitely a case of blockchain now. Do I see that actually happening in the short term? I would say probably not just based on the amount of change that would be required to enter that infrastructure, but I think it does make a case for that type of technology. I think you were talking about the same thing at the end of day which is. Giving that access control privacy back to the individual. And really. Like. Technology is like blockchain technology are really about doing exactly that. So, I can't predict whether or not that you know that's going to happen or whether it's going to happen in the short- medium term but I would say it's definitely something that could play a role in mitigating some of those risks. I also think that you know one thing that is important is. Regulation and policy have a really important role to play there as well. Like in terms of who is allowed to play who go out and access that data. That's really where regulators need to step in and be focused on which is kind of keeping the bad actors out and keeping the good actors. And., I think that that would kind of be like the high-level answer I give to that which is I think there's some opportunity for it, but I think it's going to take time to fully flush out and really for us to determine how it's going to work.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no I agree with the whole keep the bad actors out and keep the good actors in because that's something that we've been many guest have actually touched on that in the previous episodes because the bad acting like it's as much as it very much sucks you're seeing a lot of bad actors get a lot more notoriety and if not more media exposure when it comes to like spaces like fintech, spaces like crypto and blockchain because it's so new it's revolutionary It's very easy to just really  shit on them because they're just like no like look at all that look all the bad use cases. What about all the great use cases so it goes back to like having policymakers and regulators having a little bit more of a startup mindset just like being a little bit more open of OK like learn how to vet the good actors and how do we keep them how do we make sure that they're being regulated. Also innovative at the same time. so, it's oh boy it's definitely, they are definitely juggling like 15 balls the same time but. But in due time it's very possible.

Cato Pastoll: Yeah there's a lot of balls to juggle like all of the things are double edged swords  right because you know when you're too strict your kind of disincentivized to get active and you end up with only bad actors who are trying to take advantage of gaps in the system. Right.  There’re so many times where you need, you know you can't be too light, and you can't be too heavy. If you are too heavy like I just described, you know you end up with a system whereby only the only people who aren't that to the play are bad actors who will take advantage of gaps or holes. And if you're too light it's kind of like the inverse of as well. Right away you let everybody in. But you really open up the floodgates or you know anyone whether they're good or bad to participate. So, you kind of have to find a balance between being too light and too hard. And that definitely you know it sounds a lot easier than it is in reality it's not an easy challenge for anybody to overcome.

Manseeb Khan: So, I mean I guess I'll throw this to you   I  do you have anything that we didn't cover comes open banking that's either been on top of mind or be it's something that's been keeping you up at night?

Cato Pastoll: No, I think like I mean it's been really interesting conversation, so you appreciate you kind of taking the time and having me on. I think when we look at the future and what this actually means. I think one of the you know one of the things that I always try to remind people is you know reflecting back on how it is actually going to impact me. You know you hear a lot of buzz was thrown out there on a regular basis on AI, blockchain, opened banking, fintech.  But like really like what it means for you as a customer or as a consumer is you end up getting more choice. You end up paying less money. And you end up with better products and services that you can use in your everyday life. That's why that's why fundamentally it's important. So, I think kind of going into the why. like why I should actually care about this. It's probably a conversation that we don't have enough. I think it's easy to kind of get carried away with some of these concepts at a high level but at the end of the day we also should be thinking about who is actually going to be benefiting and why is it important for us. As a society to adopt new ideas or new technologies. And. It's really got to go back to it's got to benefit the people that are using that are the end users of financial or financial sector and not just people like you and me.

Manseeb Khan: More or less believe the hype. It's like the hype real, believe the hype.

Cato Pastoll: Yes. But also understand it.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah OK. Fair enough.

Manseeb Khan: So, what I guess what excites you the most about open banking? We've talked the talk a little bit about. What are you most excited about. Be it if it directly impacts your business or even if it directly impacts you. What are you most excited about when it comes up that open banking?

Cato Pastoll: Yeah, it's giving people choice here. For me I get really frustrated by lack of choice I get you know get frustrated if I can only choose between Rogers and Bell. You know I get frustrated but if I can only choose between one or two banks I think for me the ability to be free and have choice and have lots of different people who are aggressively trying to compete for my business is really great because at the end of the day I win when that happened so I think you know when I think about this I think it's just the possibilities in terms of the different products and services that people will be able to create by getting access to a system that they didn't previously have access to. And being able to play a role in the banking sector where really, they were only you know. Five to 10 real players in Canada that that really were playing any meaningful part and how it took shape.

Manseeb Khan: Cato. So, what would be the best way for people to contact you if they want to pick your brain more when it comes to open banking . Maybe they'll learn a little bit more of Leading Loop what will be the best way to contact you. Do we snapchat, you do we tweet, you can we do we contact you via smoke signals like will be the best way to contact you ?

Cato Pastoll: Yes, smokes signal is probably number one but if you can't reach me by smoke signal then I am on Twitter. so, you can find me on there and also check out. I definitely encourage everyone to check out Lending Loop. It's a really awesome way to kind of use your money to invest in Canadian small businesses. Web sites just lending loop.ca. So, if you haven't checked it out already. I would encourage anyone who is listening to check that out. And yeah, I guess that I appreciate you kind of taking the time. Tweet at me or smokescreen me. If you're looking for me.

Manseeb Khan: Smokescreen would be difficult but whoever you are whoever out there like finds find you through via smokescreen that's  a very special individual for sure. So,  Cato thank you so much for sitting down today. I had. I mean I've learned a lot more open banking then I thought I did. So, this is this has been incredible and I'm very excited to have you on the show again.

Cato Pastoll: So yeah. Great, chatting with you.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, no worries so on the behalf of the NCFA Canada's leading national and fintech crowdfunding association. I wish you an amazing fintech Friday and weekend.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop 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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NCFA COVID 19 letter to government to support Fintechs and SMEs - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop

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Guest Post | March 5, 2021 Starting a new business isn’t easy at all. The world is littered with start-ups that failed in their first year, and you don’t want to become one of them. However, if it wasn’t challenging, then everyone would be doing it, and it’s all part of the experience of creating a start-up. While every business journey is different, here are some of the challenges most start-ups face. Financing Setting up a successful business doesn’t come cheap. To see your idea through, you may need millions of dollars of investment, and finding it isn’t always easy. This area has been opened up a lot in recent years with changes to initiatives like equity crowdfunding, but it’s still one of the biggest hurdles start-ups face. Getting that initial money in can set the ball rolling for your business, but you’ll have to work hard to secure it. Expectations Sometimes it’s your own expectations that can hold you back the most. The word start-up is very loaded. We tend to think of exponential growth, exciting markets, and fast money when we hear the word start-ups, but for many businesses, this is far from the truth. Business success takes ...
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Startup challenges - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop
Toronto.com | Veronica Appia | Feb 25, 2021 As countries continue to devalue their currency amid COVID-19, cryptocurrency is becoming more appealing to investors. - Pexels photo Experts weigh in on Bitcoin, crypto resiliency In an economy deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens and businesses have been experiencing financial hardship for months and governments have been using stimulus money to create supports and aid in economic recovery. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $100 billion to be spent over three years, beginning this year, in an effort to bolster the current state of the economy. But giving away stimulus money in such large amounts devalues a country's currency, said Henry M. Kim, an associate professor of operations management and information systems and co-director of the BlockchainLab at Schulich School of Business. See:  Privacy laws might prove to be a blessing in disguise for crypto This, in turn, creates a case for certain types of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, to become more attractive. "Bitcoin doesn’t act like money. What’s winning out is the notion that Bitcoin is digital gold," Kim said. "And Bitcoin, as volatile as it is, is not a currency that central banks are devaluing." For this reason, he ...
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bitcoin payments - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop
CB Insights | March 3, 2021 The future of blockchain is near and banking isn't the only industry affected. What began as the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain technology — essentially a virtual ledger capable of recording and verifying a high volume of digital transactions — is now spreading across a wave of industries. Blockchain has gone far beyond its beginnings in banking and cryptocurrency: Annual funding to blockchain companies, despite falling from 2018’s record high, more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2017. Annual spending on blockchain solutions will reach nearly $16B by 2023, according to CB Insights’ Market Sizing Tool. Industries from insurance to gaming to cannabis are seeing blockchain applications. See:  Tokenizing Assets and Unlocking Value on the Blockchain Bitcoin’s popularity helped demonstrate blockchain’s application in finance, but entrepreneurs have come to believe the tech could transform many more industries. Ultimately, the use cases for a transparent, verifiable register of transaction data are practically endless — especially since blockchains operate through a decentralized platform requiring no central supervision, making them resistant to fraud. Energy Management Energy management is another industry that has historically been highly centralized. In the US and UK, to transact in energy one ...
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Energy management blockchain - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop
CBS Sports | Gabriel Fernandez  | March 2, 2021 What you should know about the new NBA craze in digital investing in collectibles Something rather typical happened for an atypical reason on Feb. 25: A community within NBA Twitter was mad online. No, these weren't Denver Nuggets fans up in arms over their close loss to the lowly Washington Wizards, despite a 34-6-6 performance from Jamal Murray. Nor were they frustrated Los Angeles Clippers fans complaining about their team's stars being unable to do much against a Memphis Grizzlies squad that only just returned to a .500 record. They weren't even fans preemptively whining over their favorite superstar getting snubbed from this year's All Star Game. No, this was a relatively new group of people, sitting on the intersection of hoops fandom, memorabilia collection and digital investing, while looking to get into what's been described as the next big thing for those who belong to any of those three crowds: NBA Top Shot. Before getting into what tilted some of that base last week, let's first get into what Top Shot is, exactly. See:  The Outer Space Men are Landing at Liquid Avatar NBA Top Shot is an online company ...
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NBA top shot - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop
Wealth Professional  | James Burton | March 2, 2021 Finance app Hardbacon receives boost to growth plan as it prepares to go public A Montreal-based fintech company has secured more than $1.1 million through the Frontfundr equity crowdfunding portal as it positions itself to go public. See:  Fintech Fridays EP51: Bacon and Eggs Hardbacon brought in $1,136,400 from more than 800 investors, smashing its $500,000 fundraising goal. The company, which markets a personal finance app, has thus completed one of the largest rounds of equity crowdfunding in Canada, with this laterst round bringing its total financing to more than $2.2 million since its inception. A B2C app for self-directed investors, it generates revenue from Hardbacon Premium subscriptions as well as from lead generation and sales of its two white label solutions for financial institutions: a portfolio analysis module and a financial planning module. Its partners include National Bank Direct Brokerage and Desjardins Online Brokerage, and it also has an advisor feature. The funding will be used to accelerate the fintech’s growth and fuel its ambition to reach the summit of the lead generation market in the financial services industry. CEO Julien Brault told WP: “Raising a round of over $1 ...
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Hardbacon equity crowdfunding success - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop
Edelman | Feb 17, 2021 Canada is facing a crisis in leadership This year, after months of unprecedented disaster and turbulence – including the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, the global outcry over systemic racism and political instability – the findings reveal widespread misinformation and mistrust of societal leaders in Canada. See: Future Market Dynamics Part 3 – data sharing, trust and a world of choice In fact, 50% of respondents worry that business leaders are purposely trying to mislead them, and 46% believe the same about government leaders – this is a wake-up call for leaders, who need to take action to build trust amongst their stakeholders, or risk falling behind. Spring trust bubble bursts with no institution remaining in the trusted category In the Spring, business, government and NGOs all saw a spike in trust, moving them into the trusted category among the Canadian general population. Since then, the trust bubble has burst, with all institutions giving back most (if not all) of the gains they saw and returning to the neutral zone. Government saw the biggest increase in the Spring with a 20-point increase; however, despite declining 11 points in the past six months, government remains the most ...
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Trust declines across all sectors - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop
Be[in]crypto | David Lucatch | March 2, 2021 In Brief COVID-19 has changed the very fabric of our world and how we live our daily lives. The use cases of user-controlled digital credentials are nearly limitless. We must continue to support regulation like GDPR in the EU, CCPA in California, PEPIDA in Canada, and others. It’s no secret that COVID-19 has changed the very fabric of our world and how we live our daily lives.  For example, consumer online spending with US retailers increased 44% in 2020, compared to 2019, according to the latest Digital Commerce 360 analysis. International tourist arrivals declined by 74% (roughly one billion fewer trips) in 2020, compared to the previous year, making it “the worst year in tourism history.” Plus, 29% of polled working professionals said they would quit their jobs if they couldn’t continue working remotely, as the world begins to reopen. All of these changes will impact the way that business is done moving forward. They will push organizations to closely consider the vulnerabilities of their current online and on-premise privacy and data management policies and procedures. See:  Digital transformation: 9 emerging roles you need on your team The internet has always been ...
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digital identity a basic human right - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop
Betakit | Meagan Simpson | March 2, 2021 Payments Canada has selected its second solution provider for the country’s upcoming real-time payments system.   Interac Corp. has been selected as the exchange solution provider for the Real-Time Rail (RTR). Expected to launch in 2022, RTR consists of two components: a clearing and settlement component and an exchange component. Mastercard-owned Vocalink was selected last year to operate the settlement component. A real-time payment system designed to modernize Canada’s core payments infrastructure, RTR will allow for payments to be sent and received within seconds. The system will be operated by Payments Canada and regulated by the Bank of Canada. The idea behind RTR is to create a payment system that is fast, secure, and flexible, to allow for innovation. See:  Revolut to roll out QR code payments for business customers in 25 countries Interac might be considered a natural choice for Payments Canada to work with when it comes to building the exchange. Interac is set to use the already-existing technology behind its Interac e-Transfer service to build the exchange component of Canada’s RTR. Interac e-Transfer is currently used by millions of Canadians daily and connects to almost 300 financial institutions in the ...
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payments and transfers - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop
FCAC | March 2021 Overview The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is a federal financial sector regulator, which oversees federally regulated financial entities’ compliance with consumer protection measures, promotes financial education, and raises consumers’ awareness of their financial rights and responsibilities. In addition, FCAC is responsible for monitoring and evaluating trends and emerging issues that may have an impact on consumers of financial products and services, as well as providing timely and objective information and tools to help consumers navigate financial products and services. The Advisory Committee on Open Banking (the Committee) shared consultation materials with interested stakeholders, including the FCAC, in fall of 2020.  FCAC welcomes the opportunity to participate in the development of a uniquely Canadian open banking solution that prioritizes the right of the consumer to control their financial data and puts in place safeguards to ensure they are protected from financial and non-financial harm. This submission has been submitted to the Committee for their consideration in the context of their consultations. See:  NCFA OpEd: Canada’s Open Banking Consultations: Let’s Get it Done! FCAC is broadly supportive of a hybrid model for open banking that carves out specific roles for government and industry and sets out ...
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FCAC review 2nd around of open banking consultation - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop
KABN (LQID)  | Cara Buckspan | March 1, 2021 Liquid Avatar name and symbol change better reflects Company's corporate branding TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / March 1, 2021 / KABN Systems NA Holdings Corp. (CSE:KABN)("KABN" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has changed its name from KABN Systems NA Holdings Corp. to Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. (www.liquidavatartechnologies.com) and its ticker symbol from KABN to LQID. Subject to approval by the Canadian Securities Exchange (the "CSE"), the Company expects the name and symbol change to take effect for trading purposes on March 3, 2021 when its common shares will begin trading on the CSE under the new name, CUSIP number and new ticker symbol. On February 18, 2021, the Company launched the first phase of its flagship product, the Liquid Avatar (www.liquidavatar.com) app in the Apple Store and Google Play. Like search, online communications and browser usage, digital identity is addressable to up to 100% of the online market and is a very early-stage market opportunity, with the potential to reach up to 400 Million people in North America and over 5 Billion people online globally. See:  KABN North America Launches Liquid Avatar App in the Apple Store and ...
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KABN changes name to Liquid avatar - FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.16-Nov 2): Envisioning the Future of Open Banking for Consumers and Businesses with Cato Pastoll, Co-founder and CEO, Lending Loop