Podcast April 14, 2021

Bringing omnichannel capabilities to next-gen payments solutions

Many payment solutions sit atop legacy infrastructures that don’t allow for much flexibility. 

New economy companies and Fintechs are looking for more.

In this episode, we chat with Patricia Montesi, Co-founder and CEO of Qolo, about how she designed a next-gen payment solution that embraces modern banking capabilities.

What we talked about:

  • The gap in the marketplace that led to the founding of Qolo
  • How Fintechs are forcing banks in the U.S. to become more progressive
  • The value that expertise brings

A Gap in the Marketplace

“There were a lot of industries and verticals particularly in B2B and B2B2C that were underserved and needed a next-gen payments hub platform.” — Patricia Montesi

In 2018, Patricia was working as a consultant helping corporations find solutions to their payment problems. 

She kept bumping up against a consistent problem: many payment solutions — particularly on the issuing side — were built on legacy infrastructures. That means they lacked modern APIs and were decidedly card-centric.

And what Patricia discovered is new economy companies and Fintechs — particularly in the B2B and B2B2C sectors — were in need of a better solution. 

They wanted something that not only combined the usual speed-to-market and security capabilities but also the flexibility to take in money in as many ways as possible.

So, she assembled a team and went about creating a next-gen payment solution that incorporated omnichannel capabilities and a unified platform that eliminated the need to build a payments ecosystem. 

That’s right. No more managing multiple integrations or vendors. 

All of these capabilities would be united through a single API set. And so, Qolo was born.

Qolo has two aspects that immediately appealed to Fintechs:

  • Native Cloud Issuing Processor: By virtualizing host system modules, Qolo can improve operational performance. But even better, it allows them to offer a licensed platform solution allowing fintechs to take payments in-house without much effort or cost.
  • Embedded Processing: Enables Fintechs to be their own system of record and couple their data with authorization and even funding source decisions.

Forcing Innovation in U.S. Banking

The U.S. is widely considered to be less innovative when it comes to its banking and financial institutions. 

A lot of that can be attributed to the heavy regulatory burden they bear.

So the question is: did that present a challenge for what Qolo was trying to build?

Patricia agrees that U.S. banking is far behind the rest of the world, but she does believe that it has come a long way — thanks in large part to disruptive Fintechs.

Point specialists have become challenger banks and this new competition has forced banks to partner with Fintechs and adopt more progressive policies.

Slowly but surely, Fintechs have pulled U.S. financial institutions into modern-day banking.

If you don’t innovate, you stand to go away.” — Patricia Montesi

She also believes that people — especially millennials — have been pushing banks to provide flexible solutions that offer a more unified view of their financial status. 

In this new progressive climate and by choosing the right bank partners, Qolo has found a seamless path forward.

Bringing Value Through Expertise

“Particularly in the banking as a service realm, a lot of people underestimated just how complicated it can be.” — Patricia Montesi

To be successful in BaaS, you need to have expertise with payments, coding, and engineering. 

From a domain expertise perspective, it’s invaluable in helping people design their payment solutions. 

But it can’t just be concentrated in your sales function. 

It’s important to have that expertise spread out across your organization.

How often have you encountered a treasure trove of expertise upfront with the sales division only to be sent to an implementation team that just isn’t as knowledgeable?

It can be difficult to navigate the complex BaaS space. And according to Patricia, many BaaS companies underestimated just how important that expertise is.

But that hard-earned experience pays dividends and can become a source of continuous value for end customers throughout the course of the relationship.

To ensure that you never miss an episode of Payments Innovation, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here and don’t forget to check out our YouTube!

Until next time!

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