My payments journey started several years ago, when I had the unique opportunity to lead the global expansion of payment providers for Apple Pay. I worked with an incredible team and built relationships across the world with merchants, payment service providers, acquirers and payment networks to ensure Apple was able to expand into each country.
The most interesting aspect of that experience was seeing the complexity that multinational merchants had to deal with and observing lead times of up to a year to launch a new country. This was the standard that merchants had to deal with in order to calibrate their new systems to changes in technology, regulation or simply add new payment capabilities. I thought to myself, there has to be a better way for multinational merchants to connect to several payment providers and operate worldwide.
Maybe you didn’t know this was an issue. The complexity of point of sale payments is largely hidden from consumers. We’ve done a reasonable job as an industry in making payments (mostly) frictionless. For merchants, this isn’t the case, payments are really complex. Orchestrating and resolving authorizations, captures, refunds and settlements is not an easy task — businesses stand up large organizations internally to deal with all the exceptions. Generally referred to as back office, shared services or payment operations — these organizations collect, account, apply and manage exceptions for all payments activities worldwide. And that only addresses the day-to-day. When merchants need to add new payment methods, countries and service providers — it gets a lot more complicated.
This is a problem I have always found intriguing, and as a self-proclaimed payments geek I am excited to announce my return to fintech with a company that is dedicated to solving this friction problem around the globe — Modo.
I joined Modo in January as Chief Product Officer after Bruce Parker, the CEO at Modo, reached out to me and provided a glimpse into a future where payments were “easy”. I was sold not only on the vision, but also on the technology that could actually make frictionless payments possible.
At Modo, we believe that payments should be simpler. Our capabilities take the complexity out of payments interoperability, from connecting new service providers to adding alternative methods. We ask ourselves how we can remove obstacles to help merchants and businesses realize a simpler way to manage payment processing so they can focus on creating great customer experiences that ultimately increase the bottom line.
My role at Modo will be to productize financial management and payments to help merchants, businesses and banks with their digital transformations. We are packaging and positioning our core capabilities into distinct product lines. With a goal of helping merchants add payment providers, methods and capabilities with the click of a button — through instant interoperability. What normally takes six months to a year to deploy to a country, we want to compress to a month or less.
I am looking forward to this challenge and helping Modo make a difference in the world of payments. Tune in for updates on our journey, and feel free to reach out to me. I would love to explain Modo’s vision further (especially to any fellow payments geeks).