Georgia Fintech Academy

S2 - Episode 18: Digital Transformation in Payments with Bob Howe, VP of Business Development, Opus Consulting Solutions and Anna Gelderman of UGA Terry College of Business

June 25, 2021 Georgia Fintech Academy Season 2 Episode 18
Georgia Fintech Academy
S2 - Episode 18: Digital Transformation in Payments with Bob Howe, VP of Business Development, Opus Consulting Solutions and Anna Gelderman of UGA Terry College of Business
Show Notes Transcript

The range of digital payment solutions coming to market and in development is exploding. Bob Howe from Opus Solutions is in the middle of executing these solutions. He joins Anna Gelderman from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business to discuss. 

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Georgia FinTech academy podcast. The Georgia Vintech academy is a collaboration between Georgia's FinTech industry and the university system of Georgia. This talent development initiative addresses a massive demand for FinTech professionals and give learners the specialized education experiences needed to enter the FinTech sector.

Speaker 2:

This is Tommy Marshall , the executive director of the Georgia FinTech academy. And this is season two episode 18 of the Georgia FinTech academy podcast on this June 24th, 2021. I have two guests with me today, Bob, how the VP of business development at Opus consulting solutions and our student guest today is Anna Geldermann of the university of Georgia go bulldogs she's in the Terry college of business and a rising senior. Welcome to you both. Thank you. Started to be here. Great, great to have you. Um, we're gonna spend some time talking today about digital transformation trends in digital transformation, career choices that are available to all of you listeners. Uh, but before we dive into that topic area , um, Bob, I want to give you a chance to introduce yourself. And I know from feedback I received from our listeners, they love to hear these career journey stories , uh, from folks like yourself who are , uh , in, you know, obviously very meaningful positions in , in the FinTech industry and have really worked on incredible , uh, initiatives and projects. Um, so , uh, tell us about that. Tell us about you.

Speaker 3:

Well, thank you, Tommy . Uh , glad to be with you all. Uh, I guess we could go back a few years , um , and maybe to , to kind of set the stage. I'm a guy that grew up in a very small town in the Western part of Massachusetts and , uh , was lucky enough to, to go on to a university or Boston college, a university, which is well known in the Northeast. But from a career standpoint, I was, I was , uh , not sure what I really wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to be focused somewhere in the area of business and technology and found my way to a company called linear business products. And at the time we were marketing and delivering , uh, various products that would help, you know , automate or make , uh , office workers more efficient and worked my way through linear business products in selling, and then , um , um , actually training individuals about selling and managing and worked my way up through the corporate ladder, if you will, to run large portions of that company. Um, I moved on from there and worked for a company called [inaudible] , which interestingly was also in the technology arena. And , uh , similarly I ran , uh , different , uh, offices, regions and divisions for that company, which really led me to , uh, financial services. Uh, we were one of the largest distributors of , um, computers, distributed technology, computers, networking equipment, and the like, and , um, something I've always enjoyed in my career. Um, uh, I enjoy because the technology is always changing, right? There's always something new to learn and to be involved with and to work with customers on. Uh , so I mentioned that I was led to financial services. I actually led a financial services division of this company. Um, and I took a turn actually, and that I was , um , really interested in working for a smaller company where I could make a larger impact and see, you know, my , uh, my personal involvement, how it can help this company grow. So I started off leading the sales and marketing initiatives and became the leader of this company for several years. Um, and it may relate to some companies that are starting up now in that it's , uh, we were working the, the underbanked , uh, unbanked , uh, Latino marketplace providing a basic payment product that these individuals could take their pay on a , on a debit card in essence , uh , and try to keep them out of the check cashing , um , stores, where they were paying high fees and some of them were being robbed and , and the like , so it was a very noble, but very, it was an awesome , uh , product set probably a little before its time, but, but , um, it was an exciting field to be in because we were helping individuals that really needed to be helped. But also again, we were working with technology in the payments arena, which was, which is pretty, pretty interesting. Um, I left that company. It was sold and we started with Opus consulting solutions. It was a frankly going back to my roots in , in business development. Um , I was able to shed a lot of the , the responsibility of leading , um, companies and raising money and all the things that entrepreneurs do these days. And I guess all of those skills that I learned over the years have really paid off well. So I've been at Opus about six years, and now I'm one of the leaders of the company leading large initiative sales opportunities and bringing those into the company. So I guess, you know, through my career , you know , where I've had the most fun is when I've been in, in , in cultures that were with people that were like-minded that had a great mission and vision and , uh, and had a lot of , a lot of fun working together. And that's, that's where I am today.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for all that , um, context background. Um, Anna , tell us about, tell us about you. Uh,

Speaker 4:

So I am, as Tommy said, a fourth year or a rising fourth year at the university of Georgia in the Terry college of business , um, I will be getting my degree in management information systems, as well as I have been super involved in the FinTech certificate program that we have here at UGA. Um, and so through that class, I, our program, I've been learning all about , um, the fetus FinTech ecosystem and just applying my knowledge as well as the summer I'm working , um, at MEFG bank , um , as a project management intern and just learning all about that within my FinTech certificate. Um, and it's just been really exciting to get to be part of this. So

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the , uh, the FinTech certificate is, I think is one of my favorite parts of the FinTech academy. I mean, we , we work with multiple institutions to help get these certificates put in place, and then of course engage deeply with students like you and the professors. Um, but , uh, it's, it's not, it's not an easy slammed up to get this fin sex certificate, right. I mean, you need to complete, I think it's three courses. Um, each school's a little bit different in their requirements, but I think UGA in particular, it's three courses and then you, it, and then an internship, like the one you're taking is required in order to get , um, the, the FinTech certificate. Uh, and I'll guess I'll give a shout out to Bob Trotter cause , uh, Bob Trotter, who , uh, is , um, the adjunct professor, Ron teaches the kind of, one of the multiple FinTech courses , um, also does a lot of work to help with these internships that , uh, we , we both deeply appreciate him for his efforts in there . Um, but , uh, Anna , I'm so excited you're pursuing the certificate and it's been great to get to know you over the last several months , uh, through the Terry FinTech society, which is also , uh, another great , uh, initiative that got started at , uh , UGA Terry in the last year , uh, that that's a student led , um, uh , society student group that is a hundred percent focused on FinTech. And , um, uh, just , um, you know, really is going to be, I know , fantastic in its second year, that's about , uh, about to start well, Bob , um, and Anna , I want to spend some time talking about , um, digital transformation payments , um, and maybe Bob, if we could start with you, can you say a bit more about , um, Opus consulting solutions? Like what, how, how you all focus your services , uh, and then maybe like in that work, what you're seeing as the top three trends that your clients are really leaning in , uh, uh, on, on your teams to , to help them address.

Speaker 3:

Sure. I'd be glad to do that. And Anna , nice to be with you as well. So , um, maybe just a bit of a background. So Opus consulting solutions was formed over 20 years by some ex tandem , uh, software development guys , um, in India. And , uh , they were working on high volume transaction processing solutions in , uh , in India, Europe, Asia, Africa, or we're building and delivering solutions to banks , um, actually trading markets and some payments companies. And along the way, they , uh, came to the , the north America and worked with one of the largest remit remitters for admins companies in the world, and one of the largest processors in the world. And we, you know , we started expanded the services business over the years where we were called as specialists to work on any, any kind of , um, payments , uh, software development or modernization or build from scratch payment solutions, whether it be in retail payments , uh, like with your , your merchant in store merchants, or whether it be for corporate payments or banking payments and the like , so our DNA and our culture is around designing engineering, consulting, advising, and building payment solutions , uh , for the world's largest brands. Um, and then a few years ago, as most saw that the digital transformation movement, if you will start to occur, we pivoted as a company invested heavily in , uh, API management tools, analytics tools, you know, cloud , uh, cloud enabled , um , initiatives. We retooled our, our top people in our and hired lots of individuals to help, you know , with this digital transformation movement. And so, so I , I personally work with some of the largest companies in the world that are in this space. And I mean, the trends we see are not uncommon. They they've grown through acquisition. Um, and they're , they're their initiatives typically are , uh , how do we put these payment platforms together? We know which features are the best, which technologies are the best. And then how do we rationalize and then modernized and , and build out the best platform in the world. So those trends touch on, you know, we call it dev ops, if you're familiar with that term , um, cloud migration, you know, what are the best cloud solutions to migrate to with them , the best security and the best economics, right? How do we leverage our , our new found, expanded , uh, data sets that we can consume ourselves or share with our customers, banks, merchants, what have you, and then how do you, how do you tie it all together? How do you link that through those, those capabilities with API APIs, or if you're a newer company, how do you deploy API APIs to move faster to the market? So there's a lot there, but those are some of the high-level trends that we see and are helping our clients with today.

Speaker 2:

And I'm just curious as you're listening to those , um, are these terms that are familiar to you or does this, has this been coming up in any of your , um, different contexts you've been in related to your FinTech studies in the last , um, I guess half year or so

Speaker 4:

For sure if they've been coming up , um, very often actually, especially the API APIs and the cloud servers , um, through the intro class that I took last semester, there was a heavy focus on the API system, as well as what , the project that I was working on , um, through my FinTech class. Um, and so a lot of this is familiar , um, and just looking through everything, just seeing , um, the trends that are headed to , uh, definitely professor Trotter focused a lot on those , um, because he knows that once we leave the university of Georgia, that is what we'll see in the near future. So,

Speaker 2:

Yeah . Awesome. The , you know, Bob, I mean, what is just continues to be , uh, just remarkable to me is the pace of this change that's underway. Um, and, you know, I guess I'm someone that grew up in industry doing a lot of , um, the same type of work you all have done at Opus in terms of putting large payment systems in place for , um, you know, banks, issuers, merchant, acquirers, et cetera. And , uh, I kind of, you know, most of that, a lot of that experience was on, you know , these what could often be year plus projects . So getting , uh, these kind of complicated , uh, systems with , um, a lot of , uh, kind of mainframe kind of processing behind them. And , uh, it's just the pace of , uh, the change towards , um, like cloud infrastructure, for instance , and then the speed at which new capabilities , uh, can be rolled out , um, just is amazing to me. Uh, and the , the opportunities that we see emerging for kind of bundling new products and services together , um, to drive a business growth is , uh, I think just , just remarkable , uh , in the speed to which that can occur. Um, I guess as I say that, have there been any kind of big surprises , um, for you and your teams as you've been starting to work with these , um, remarkable technologies?

Speaker 3:

Well, I'm not a technologist, but , um, I know that our, our , um, our technology team teams are technology strategists. They're always, you know , studying the latest trends and technology and how , what new services or what new companies can we bring to the forefront, to our customers to help them accelerate right, to accelerate their modernization and , and whatnot. Um, I guess what , you know, one side comment would be, it's , it's interesting that one big trend I've seen is , is, and you have as well, Tommy and Anna , you will as well, is that, you know, you'll have really smart people spin off and start their own startups, right. And they find a better way to build a better mousetrap. And then their goal is to be acquired by a company that came from probably, or one of those competitors. So the speed and the, and the , uh, in which this is happening, the investments that occur, and really the , um, you know, how , how the big companies are embracing fintechs and smaller companies is pretty exciting in the industry to bring, bring about change faster

Speaker 2:

This area or this topic. Uh , so, so FinTech south is happening right now while we're talking we're in the third day of that conference in FinTech sell some meaningful , uh, industry conference that , uh, started here in Atlanta. Gosh, I think, oh, a little, we might be in our 11th year of fintechs health . Um, and there's , uh, so anyway, I've been in a few multiple sessions over the last couple of days. And one , uh , topic that that's come up frequently is this idea of embedded finance , um, which really payments has led the way , uh, around this embedded finance trend and a lot , and often there's , uh , uh, the, the anecdote is given, or the use case that's provided is that Uber kind of started this embedded finance in many ways, but by taking that , uh, that payment capability and embedding it kind of right in the middle of the Uber experience , um, I mean, Anna , it's probably, it's no big deal for you. I'm sure delight, just get in an Uber car, take it somewhere. And then it rides and you just get out and you walk away. Um, that still for me is even though I've done it hundreds and hundreds of times, it's still, when I walk away, I'm like, whoa, it's still, it's still is me . I mean, just after so many of like either having to reach over the seed, you know, handsome cash or worse yet. I remember Bob like , uh, in the first, like , uh, I used to do a lot of work in New York, so I'd be taking these different , um, um, uh, you know, kind of , not the name taxis, but the, you know, car services and whatnot. And I would hand my credit card to the person in the front and they get out one of those knuckle Buster things and scrape the card and then I'd have to sign it. I mean, it would take like sometimes it would take as long to make the payment as the ride took. I mean , it'd be like 10 minutes to get somewhere. And then it's another 10 minutes to like, just get the payment consummated. Um, so it's , um, it's, it's , uh , it w it was a powerful part for many of us , um, when Uber rolled out , um, it , of course it was wonderful to just pull up your phone and get a car to show up, but then it was also a powerful moment to just open the car, open the car door and just walk away and not have to worry about, you know, dealing with the , the , the swipe or, or just, you know, whatever, however you had to pay. Um, but this , uh, this, this idea of it that if finance , I mean, Uber is obviously many years old now they're doing one, or they had had a little bit of a break maybe during COVID, but things are , of course are coming back and they've got different value props coming. But , um, Bob, how about this, like embedded finance? Like, are you, are you , you know , getting, are you all finding, like there's more, a lot more focus and discussion and kind of looking for building new business solutions , um, with your clients around this idea,

Speaker 3:

We are just a couple that come to mind. One would be, you know, just the , the touchless ATM experience that you're starting to see, right. Or from your mobile phone, you can walk up to an ATM, never touch a key. And then, you know, with a couple of clicks, you're , you're , you're $180 comes out of the ATM machine. Right. Um, we see another company on the west coast. You may know, Trevor Rubel used to be here in Atlanta. Um, he's with a company called [inaudible] and they're embedding payments in text . Right. So, you know, if your , your dog Walker comes by the house and takes your dog out and sends you a text and use you click yes. And boom, it , it, it takes your payment. Uh , so those types of experiences we're seeing more and more of from the end consumer. And then of course, everyone knows about the new Googles , the stores are , you walk in and walk out and, and , uh , probably the hotel experience where your , your phone could be all things for your hotel experience, 80 minutes, open your door, et cetera.

Speaker 2:

Right. Um, Anna, how about you in like your, your kind of daily life, or as you've been learning more about like, and your , you know, what, what are kind of real meaningful kind of spaces where you're seeing kind of FinTech engaging with , um, how you live as a student , um, how you, you know, kind of interact with the economy. I've

Speaker 4:

Definitely seen it a lot more now that I actually know that knows that it exists. Um, but , um, most of it it's like the , the social payment aspect. So a lot of what me and my friends do , uh, with like Venmo or Zelle or that type of system , um , especially like living in a house with roommates, you have to pay utilities and split them amongst yourselves, like easy to us to request somebody on Venmo for how much the water bill is. Um, as well as , um, just going , um, like to go to target or going to like the shops downtown, like eating those near field payments where I can just touch my card to the system and not really have to like swipe. Or at this point I'm used to just answering the chip. I never had to swipe my debit card. Um, and so just seeing that , um, aspect of it, and then like the apple pay where I can just bring my phone, like one time I forgot my wallet at home and I could just tap my phone to the target system and I could pay for everything that I bought, which is a lot normally at target. Um, and so , uh , I just, it's a lot more evident now , um , seeing FinTech play within the financial aid ecosystem for me. So,

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's really , um, it's just that, that pace of change of technology transforming financial services is , um, I guess I am , um, I've always had a long-term bet on, and I'm not changing my bed. It's kind of , I think , continue to roll out. I was , um, Bob the , uh , this morning, the, the FinTech innovation lab in New York city had their , um , annual demo day. And so , uh, I attended that this morning and was kind of, you know, here in the pitches. Um, but they had a nice , um, uh, kind of bookshelf discussion is what they were calling it with. Uh , Matt Harris from Bain capital , uh, who's kind of this legendary and , uh, uh, uh , venture capitalist in the FinTech space has been for gosh, probably eight or 10 years. Um, and there was a question around , uh, to Matt of like, okay, how do you see , um, you know, FinTech , uh, you know, which areas of financial services do you really think Fintech's going to see its biggest growth areas , uh, in the coming, you know, year two, three. And , uh, and Bob Matt's comment was there , their position was on, on P you know, payment's been the perennial leader of the kind of FinTech , uh, era , uh, for, for many years. Uh, and his comment was that what he's seeing now in pain, in , in FinTech from a payment standpoint , um, when it comes to the startups and kind of new newer startup innovations is that there's , um, more, just more, a bit more feature function, focus. Um, it's, it's becoming harder to find the opportunities , um, and it relative to other piece areas of financial services. And then Matt was kind of jumping to insurance and saying, and insurance, there's still a lot of white space. That's very kind of clearly there for FinTech technology to bring significant transformation. Um, but I wanted, so I thought that was an interesting comment that, that Matt Harris has made. And then I was kind of curious , um, Bob is someone who's, you know , so involved in many areas of what's going on with related to payments and digital transformation. I want him to see, like, do you agree, do you think that's true or would you argue , uh, with , uh, with Matt Harris on that point?

Speaker 3:

So maybe a couple of things, one, you know, insurance, if you really thought about it, you know, what, where are the opportunities for various types of insurance coverage, et cetera, a to make business a beat and make it a more pleasant user experience? Uh, I think there is opportunity there there's a lot of opportunity , uh, with, with the FinTech or the financial services arena. It seems like, you know, in the banking industry, they will be providing more and more payment services and fintechs are trying to provide more banking services. So it is becoming crowded that there are less gray areas, I think is the point we're making here. So I guess, I guess bottom line is I agree. And , uh , I'm not an insurance expert, but as a consumer who just rented the car the other day, I could have, could have had a nicer experience there, you know, with having insurance for a couple of days, but I needed the car. Right,

Speaker 2:

Right, right. Yeah. No , that makes sense too. Um, and I guess I was trying to think of like, okay, do I agree with Matt Harris or not, I guess at a large scale, like if payments relative to InsureTech , um, uh , yes. I've , I've spent some time in back offices of insurance companies and I'm like, oh my God, there's a lot of paper here. There's a lot of bigger , what are you all doing? Uh, and there's , um, uh , I'm sure a lot of kind of business process enhanced a lot of white space. I think I do agree with that point, but , um, there's, I guess kind of back to my points around embedded five , in fact, and then just the , uh, the pace of , um, kind of API APIs being opened up and from all different types of providers in term from those that have been operating in FinTech for decades and decades to these newer companies that are coming forward with different API enabled solutions. I, it came to the embedded finance point I was making earlier. I think there's lots of exciting opportunities to still be discovered , um, from the, from the payments , uh , part of the ecosystem,

Speaker 3:

Right. I would say know in particular, when you start combining the payments with the data, now that's available consumer data, consumer data, that's , that's there, and the security measures that you can now leverage to make the experience safer, but more rewarding. There's, there's so many opportunities that we could take to the marketplace.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. The data point is an excellent one. Um, and you know, there's all these cliche terms, like, you know, data's the new oil and things like that. Um, but there's, there's, there's always been, I've thought kind of a close , uh , uh , relationship between a payment transaction and , uh , data, data analytics, better understanding. Um, we've seen kind of meaningful companies really take advantage of that close relationship, local company, Cardlytics being one of them. Um, and, but there's all, there's so many different , uh, areas to explore. I know I was in a discussion with an earlier stage company recently, and they're looking more at that kind of corporate card space, the , the business card corporate card spins space, where there's a need for much more robust analytics and reporting around the peop the, the employees using those corporate cards, are they using them appropriately , um, getting better insights into that part of the spend , uh, that your company needs to manage and control. Um, and those it's clear if you've got a better data analytics, a better reporting capability with that payment instrument, the corporate card you're gonna win. You're going to get more share. You're going to do more. Uh, and that's , um, and then there's whole new , uh, types of data that can be accessed through , uh , the Penn relationship that could then be put into different , uh , created into different products that could be sold , uh, in the marketplace. Um, so a lot of really great, I think, exciting possibilities when it comes to data and digital transformation

Speaker 3:

Well , and using that data for loyalty purposes as well, right. We're seeing pretty interesting , uh, you know , use cases where you could accumulate your , uh , credit card points and spend them in various places or accumulate your, maybe your , uh, your favorite drug stores providing points. And you can use them at a home Depot, right? So across usage of points and the ability to, to know where your consumer shopping and , uh , and pop those based on geolocation and so on. So there's a lot of really cool stuff that's happening.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I love that as a great use case. Um, I used to do a lot of work with membership rewards, American express, and they kind of wrote the first four chapters, maybe of the pay with points book. Uh, I remember they were, they , um, get a relationship probably maybe 15 years ago with ticket master . Um, and it was the , to use membership rewards points to pay for your ticket master purpose, if you were an American express card number . Uh, and then, you know, they've expanded that to be offered in other ways, but what, you know , I think what we're seeing remarkable now is it's not just use your membership rewards points with a merchant that Amex has negotiated a direct pipeline to it's use your membership rewards points and use them in like 80 different places that are not necessarily directly negotiated with American express, as far as almost like a liberating of that reward currency to be used almost anywhere you buy. Um, that's exciting.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I've seen , uh , where the company who called back here in time and they were, yeah, so they acquired bridge to solutions recently. And so, right. You can convert your points to buy Bitcoin, or you can first convert it , I believe to cash or cash to send Venmo money to someone like Anna for , you know , good work on this call. Right. So , so that's , that's a pretty, pretty awesome, you know, Uber experience, I think, you know, take your route , your Delta points and , uh , you know, buy yourself a new golf club. So,

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a , it's a , it's a great point. Um, and I, I, I too love to talk about loyalty rewards currency , uh, and remind people that that was the first virtual currency , um, you know, fun to talk about Bitcoin loved that, talk about it there, et cetera, but you know, that, that , uh, rewards currency was a non us dollar currency that held value that you could use to buy products and services in the market going back, I think 15 years, whenever annex first created that first pipe. Uh, and so , um, we've learned a lot in, and we know a lot its consumers and how to, you know, take advantage of that currency and use it. Um, and I think that's , um, there's still a lot to learn and , and explore , um, in the use of those rewards currencies. Uh, well, I want to move over and talk about , um, just recent, recent news, recent news. That's caught our attention in the, in the FinTech space , um, in the past week, Anna , have you w what's caught your attention, you're on , you're on top of this marketplace, what's going on? Um ,

Speaker 4:

Well, I saw something that , uh, the American express American express, or we're just talking about it's RJ, like a cabbage checking, which is like a digital bank account for small businesses. Um, and that's been super well it's, they're like second small business focused product , um, leveraging and cabbage, and just follows like that type of funding. Um, and it looks just like an integrated small business payment and has lending and bank propositions and making. So I think that's a really cool opportunity , um, that was just recently in the news.

Speaker 2:

So I love that. Um , I'm glad you saw that and I'm glad you brought it up. Um, cabbage is a company that started here in Atlanta is still based here in Atlanta , uh, and was recently acquired by American express. Uh, and I think it was kind of maybe this time last year, they announced it this time last year, I believe. Um, and cabbage, w it's the business that grew in that the kind of core business that AMS bought. They, they made , um , loans to small businesses , uh , working capital loans to small businesses. Um, and this announcement that you're referencing and is like a new product offer. It's the first new product offering we're seeing in the combined Amex cabbage , um, uh, business. Uh, so it's , uh, it's been neat to see , um, you know, them continuing to , to build on the value proposition and , uh , create new ways to engage, I guess, retain those customers that Kabbage has and bring in some new customers , um, well through a deposit product. Um, Bob, how about you? What's, what's called your attention. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I mean, over the years, you meet people that have these neat ideas. And a few years ago, I met this gentleman who's who launched a company in the mobile space, mobile and payments. And then, boom, here's a , here's an announcement with visa the other day, where now you can use an Android to accept payments, you know, as a small merchant. So, you know, usually you have to have a , uh, a POS, a payment terminal or something, or you plug a dongle or whatever into your, your port on your phone. But this one, the phone Excel itself will take a tap and pay. So I could tap my Amex on your phone. You know, I might be at a street food market or food truck, or I could be at a concert buying a t-shirt and I can just tap, tap this device. And boom, I make my payment. I thought that was really, really cool. And I guess they're launching in , um , Washington DC and maybe Atlanta, a few other cities. And that's what this company called Zambizi . I ran into these guys with this great vision a few years ago. I'm thrilled for them that that's just coming to fruition.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. It's , that's , uh, that's really cool. I mean, I've followed of course closely some of these providers like , um, like square, I guess is a good example. Um, and there's, there's always a little bit of , they've taken a ton of friction away, but there's still a little bit like if you gotta have the dongle, you got to have this piece of hardware , um, I've got to go get that and then figure out, you know, how, when I'm supposed to use it. So I can see how , um, a small bit , particularly, I guess, a small business merchant could see a lot of value in just enabling this capability with their phone. Um, and without having to acquire any additional hardware to be able to accept payment. Yeah. It's

Speaker 3:

Pretty cool. You know, you've got 5g coming or you'll have so much more access to wifi and all the capabilities and it , to me, it's , it's pretty timely. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's a really good point. Really good point. There's going to be, I'm sure an additional huge set of innovations related to payment acceptance that'll be involving with 5g. Um, well, from my standpoint, there was news. I saw just this morning. Um, we've talked a few times about Greenwood bank , um, which is a , uh , new Neo bank. That's, that's been created by , um, entrepreneurs here in Atlanta, including , uh, the rapper killer Mike , uh, there , and there's been quite a bit of investment from , uh, the, the , uh, bank community , um, nationally I know truest bank for one , uh , invested in Greenwood. Um, they , um, they announced this morning that they're gonna need to delay the launch of their , um, production launch of their bank into the early part of next year, 2022. Um, and although that may sound disappointing , um, I think it was largely, they made that decision. They were suggesting in the, in the news that it's just the, demand's so large for their waiting list , um, that they're needing to think through , um, you know, being able to support on day one, a considerable scale, be able to support their customers at significant scale more . So , um, it sounds like they're taking some really responsible moves to make sure things are very smooth , uh, when they , uh, do their full launch in the early, early part of the year. So , um, that was , uh , some kind of, kind of local breaking news on , um, how Greenwood is , uh , continuing to evolve that bank is a neobank , that's particularly very focused on African-Americans and Latin X , uh, and really looking to provide the folks a very rich set of , uh, financial services, products, and services , uh , from that platform. So I'm super excited , um, for that , uh, for that launch. And it's, it's , uh , it's certainly been fun to be tracking their progress as they're going well. Good. Well, I want to thank you both , um, for being with us today. Thanks for the support you give to the Georgia FinTech academy. You're both always welcomed. Uh, I'm looking forward to our , uh, Anna was going full back on campus , uh, here. And , uh, I know that summer is going to be over before we know it in a matter of six or eight weeks. Um, and , um, and , uh , best of luck with the internship through the summer. I'm looking forward to working together , um, on the fin and Terry FinTech society and other items , uh, in the fall. And , uh, and Bob, I hope you'll come back and spend some time with us , uh, very soon.

Speaker 3:

Pretty my pleasure. I had a lot of fun here this morning with you and all the best.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. The Georgia FinTech academy podcasts are available on iTunes and Spotify to obtain additional information about the Georgia FinTech academy. Please visit our [email protected]