105 episodes

Fintech Impact is an exploration of the fintech world where we interview different fintech entrepreneurs about what they do, their story, and what their impact is on consumers, incumbents, and the industry is as a whole.

Fintech Impact Jason Pereira

    • Business

Fintech Impact is an exploration of the fintech world where we interview different fintech entrepreneurs about what they do, their story, and what their impact is on consumers, incumbents, and the industry is as a whole.

    Better Money Choices with Doug Dahmer (CEO) | E105

    Better Money Choices with Doug Dahmer (CEO) | E105

    Summary:
    In this 105th episode of Fintech Impact, Jason Pereira, award-winning financial planner, university lecturer, writer, and host welcomes Doug Dahmer, CEO of Better Money Choices, to talk about democratizing financial planning, having a long-term view of planning, and more. 
    Episode Highlights: 
    ● 00:32: – Better Money Choices is a financial platform that puts the power in the consumer’s hands. 
    ● 01:25: – Before Better Money Choices, Doug founded Retirement Navigator. 
    ● 02:22: – Better Money Choices allows consumers to gamify their choices to explore what their financial options are. 
    ● 04:50: – The biggest obstacle to financial planning is the initial data collection, so the Better Money Choices platform has a wizard that allows for that data collection in 7.5 minutes or less, and to identify the places that need further detail and clarity later. 
    ● 08:59: – Financial planning is a verb, not a noun. 
    ● 10:20: – Better Money Choices is owned by the client and can be shared with any other financial advisor if the client wants a second opinion. 
    ● 13:12: – The platform is based on the idea of adult learning; it isn’t effective to tell an adult what to do, but if you give them the tools to learn, then they’ll come to you for help. 
    ● 20:24: – Doug is able to duplicate a client’s plan to play around with it and explore options without touching their actual plan, but then can send that new version of the plan back to the client for review. 
    ● 21:50: – It’s almost never as easy or simple as choosing one option or another. 
    ● 24:06: – Financial advisor decisions are best guesses at the time of the decision based on the information they have and the factors at play. 
    ● 26:17: – The majority of Doug’s time is spent reassuring high-income people that they can spend money and won’t run out of money, which sounds strange to the average person who typically overspends. 
    ● 27:40: – Doug pushes clients to decide if their current life is the best life they can live, if this is their goal, or if they can reallocate their money to get closer to goals. 
    ● 31:27: – If Doug could change one thing in the industry, it would be to democratize access to financial planning. 
    ● 32:06: – Doug’s biggest challenge has been the current state of the financial services industry and the lack of new thinking. 
    ● 35:06: – What excites Doug the most is that the need out there is so huge, and he wants to get out there as fast as he can. 
    3 Key Points 
    1. Financial planning isn’t a one-time action, but an ongoing process. 
    2. Better Money Choices empowers clients to learn the process and help them make 
    decisions or propose changes to a financial advisor themselves instead of relying entirely on someone else to tell them what to do. 
    3. People should stop looking at financial choices as permanent or definitive when the best anyone can do is to make their best guess based on the information they have at the time. 
    Tweetable Quotes: 
    ● “Close to 30 years of financial planning has taught me that it’s not the latte’s that are killing financial plans. What’s killing financial plans is that people aren’t getting what they want because they don’t know what they want.” –Doug Dahmer 
    ● “More of one thing usually means less of another. What choice do you want to make? Your life will be defined by those choices, but now for the first time in your life you have a tool that allows you to discover the outcome of those choices before you make them.” –Doug Dahmer 
    Resources Mentioned: 
    ● Facebook – Jason Pereira’s Facebook 
    ● LinkedIn – Jason Pereira’s LinkedIn 
    ● FintechImpact.co – Website for Fintech Impact 
    ● Better Money Choices website – http://web.bettermoneychoices.com/index.html 
    ● Doug Dahmer Twitter – http

    • 36 min
    Soarpay with Scott Hawksworth (SMD) | E104

    Soarpay with Scott Hawksworth (SMD) | E104

    Summary:
    In this 104th episode of Fintech Impact, Jason Pereira, award-winning financial planner, university lecturer, writer, and host interviews Scott Hawksworth, Sales and Marketing Director at Soar Payments. Soar Payments is a company that focuses on providing payment solutions to higher risk businesses in the United States. Scott Hawksworth explains chargebacks, examples of high-risk businesses that banks tend to have trouble with, and the value that Soar Payments offers to its clients. 
    Episode Highlights: 
    ● 00:33: – Scott Hawksworth defines Soar Payments. 
    ● 01:11: – Soar Pay was launched in 2015 in Houston, Texas. 
    ● 03:10: – What are examples of higher-risk industries from the standpoint of payment processing companies and banks? 
    ● 06:38: – Scott explains a chargeback and why the threshold is a small number. 
    ● 10:51: – How is Soar Payments solving this problem? 
    ● 12:11: – Soar Payments’ goal is to present merchants in places where they have the best chance of getting approved. 
    ● 14:22: – How do they implement the tech solution into their business? 
    ● 16:16: – How does their pricing to the end-user differ from other options? 
    ● 20:45: – Soar Payment is not a technology company. They’re a company that provides tech to users to fill a gap in the market. 
    ● 22:41: – What would Scott change in his business or his industry? 
    ● 23:48: – What has been the biggest challenge in his business? 
    ● 25:25: – Soar Payments has an underwriting process that every business goes through to get approved. 
    ● 26:11: – What is the most exciting thing Jamie Hale is working on? 
    3 Key Points 
    1. Soar Payments focuses on business in the high-risk space that needs payment solutions. 
    2. High-risk companies from bank perspectives include: credit repair companies, document preparation, online marketing/SEO services, subscription services, the adult industry, E-Cig/vape/smoking accessories, nutraceuticals, moving companies, and transportation services. 
    3. The bank threshold percentage for low-risk businesses is 1% or less, calculated based on the dollar amount that you’re having charged back. 
    Tweetable Quotes: 
    ● “We offer merchant services to businesses of all kinds to help them get set up to accept payments, mostly for credit card processing. But we also offer ECheck and ACH options.” – Scott Hawksworth 
    ● “If you have a business and you are having lots and lots of chargebacks, that is a problem for the bank because they are having to give that money back and that doesn’t reflect well on your business itself.” – Scott Hawksworth 
    ● “The merchant comes to us and then we take a look at your business. We look at your documentation and all of that and we have these established relationships so we can pass you along to the best possible option.” – Scott Hawksworth 
    Resources Mentioned: 
    ● Facebook – Jason Pereira’s Facebook 
    ● LinkedIn – Jason Pereira’s LinkedIn 
    ● FintechImpact.co – Website for Fintech Impact 
    ● Linkedin –Scott Hawksworth 
    ● Soarpay.com – Website for Soar Payments
    Full Transcript

    • 28 min
    Wealthbar & Snap Projections with Tea Nicola (CEO) & Pawel Brzeminski | E103

    Wealthbar & Snap Projections with Tea Nicola (CEO) & Pawel Brzeminski | E103

    Summary:
    In this 103rd episode of Fintech Impact, Jason Pereira, award-winning financial planner, university lecturer, writer, and host welcomes Tea Nicola, Co-founder and CEO of Wealthbar, and Pawel Brzeminski, Founder and CEO of Snap Projections, to talk about what led to their companies’ partnership, fintech’s rise and the financial planning industry’s move towards technology, and more. 
    Episode Highlights: 
    ● 00:46: – Wealthbar is one of Canada’s first robo-advisors. 
    ● 01:18: – Snap Projections is a financial planning platform for advisors. 
    ● 02:38: – Tea was interested in Snap Projections after using it herself for years as a solution to having to do calculations in Excel and then manually transfer data over into reports for clients. 
    ● 04:33: – Pawel was interested in the relationship because he wanted a partner to help grow and improve the platform. 
    ● 06:44: – Snap Projections has helped Wealthbar grow because it has been helpful to own software that allows advisors to work more efficiently and effectively service more clients. 
    ● 08:15: – Pawel believes Snap Projections has added a lot of value for advisors over the years, including estate planning. In the future he’d like to develop APIs. 
    ● 11:11: – Tea’s vision is for a platform that automates routine tasks but has a human safety net to help you understand your finances. 
    ● 13:09: – Tea envisions her advisors as salaried employees on the same level as her developers as opposed to the current model of advisors as sole proprietors of their business. 
    ● 17:33: – Pawel intends to reduce friction and heavy lifting for advisors by providing recommendations to advisors while acknowledging that no one algorithm can account for all scenarios. 
    ● 21:19: – Snap Projections has between 600-700 feature requests on their list right now. 
    ● 21:40: – Pawel wants to spend more time exploring issues around stress testing. 
    ● 22:03: – Algorithms are better at doing the heavy lifting but a human still needs to be involved to make sure the recommendations apply to a client’s reality. 
    ● 24:21: – If Tea could change one thing about the industry it would be that the average Canadian’s financial literacy level would go up tenfold. 
    ● 25:45: – If Pawel could change one thing it would be to change the backend of financial planning software to focus less on the individual and more on the household. 
    ● 28:26: – The biggest challenge Tea has faced in scaling Wealthbar to where it is today would, again, be the issue of financial literacy. 
    ● 29:33: – Pawel’s biggest challenge in scaling Snap Projections was lack of resources. 
    ● 32:40: – What most excites Tea is the way the industry is changing and moving towards more technology, including AI. 
    ● 35:33: – Pawel is most excited by helping people and seeing the impact he’s making. 
    3 Key Points 
    1. The ideal robo-advisor platform would automate routine tasks while allowing clients to 
    speak to a human for deeper understanding and specific issues. 
    2. Increasing the level of financial literacy among the population is crucial for the growth of 
    fintech. 
    3. Canadian tax code poses a challenge for advisors because of its focus on the individual 
    rather than the household. 
    Tweetable Quotes: 
    ● “I’ve always had this vision in my mind of a busy mom walking into her house with a bunch of groceries and getting a push notification from Wealthbar... and she can react to it with one button and at the same time have access to an advisor if things aren’t clear enough.” –Tea Nicola 
    ● “It’s all about making planning pleasant and easy to use. We don’t have to use all the complex tools with lots of inputs. It’s all about making sure that information that we’re using to make decisions is right in front of us.” –P

    • 38 min
    Haven Life with Yaron Ben-Zvi (CEO) | E102

    Haven Life with Yaron Ben-Zvi (CEO) | E102

    In this 102nd episode of Fintech Impact, Jason Pereira, award-winning financial planner, university lecturer, writer, and host welcomes Yaron Ben-Zvi, founder of Haven Life, to talk about how he ended up in the life insurance industry, the problems he found once he got there, and how Haven Life aims to fix those problems.
    Episode Highlights:
    00:36: – Haven Life is a service that rethinks how people purchase life insurance policies using better tech.01:24: – Yaron started Haven Life because he was shocked at how outdated the process was when he went to purchase his first life policy after the birth of his first child.04:25: – Every step of purchasing life insurance had tons of friction that Yaron believed could be alleviated using technology, from understanding the product to applying to underwriting and the customer decision.05:25: – Jason notes that Yaron includes policy examples in the application process to remove the intimidation factor.06:54: – The best insights while developing the Haven Life website came from in-person conversations with users, not A/B testing.07:18: – People mainly wanted to see what kinds of policies other people were buying and how much they were paying.10:20: – Haven Life is backed and wholly owned by MassMutual. Each Haven Term policy is issued by their parent company. 11:00: – When a customer submits an application, the Haven Life software reviews application and third party data in real-time to determine eligibility immediately.11:57: – Yaron started the company as an online, intermediary insurance broker, but quickly decided he wanted to partner with an underwriter, and that’s what led to MassMutual.13:58: – Haven Life is built for a younger, previously unapproached customer for life insurance.14:53: – The hardest part of underwriting is gathering medical information from doctors.16:42: – Haven Life removes the communications barrier of the customer not knowing the status of their policy.18:43: – Everything on Haven Life is managed online. You can access your policy information and manage it in a customer portal online.20:27: – If Yaron could change one thing about the life insurance industry, it would be to create a better way to get products into the hands of underserved customers.21:09: – The customers who need life insurance most are often the ones for whom it would cost the most and for whom it would be most difficult to afford.21:50: – Yaron’s biggest challenge has been the specific complexities of the industry since he entered it as an outsider.23:08: – What excites Yaron the most is that he truly believes he is making a difference in people’s lives and that he still has so much work to do to make the product better.
    3 Key Points
    Haven Life is trying to remove the traditional friction and pain points in buying a life insurance policy.Partnering with MassMutual allowed Yaron to rethink the entire life cycle of an insurance policy to be digital from the ground up.The life insurance industry is not set up to make the product accessible to underserved populations. 
    Tweetable Quotes:
    “It’s a tough thing to wrap your head around. We’re talking to them about the two things we’re wired to want to talk about least—your mortality and your finances.” –Yaron Ben-Zvi“How do we redesign the life insurance process, how do we think about the underwriting process in a way that is completely digital from the ground up? It kind of let us rethink the entire life cycle of the process in a way that you couldn’t if you were just an outside intermediary.” –Yaron Ben-Zvi 
    Resources Mentioned:
    Facebook – Jason Pereira’s FacebookLinkedIn – Jason Pereira’s LinkedInFintechImpact.co – Website for Fintech ImpactHaven Life website – www.havenlife.com Haven Life Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/havenlifeinsurance/Haven Life Twit

    • 25 min
    Mylo with Phil Barrar (CEO) | E101

    Mylo with Phil Barrar (CEO) | E101

    Summary:
    In this 101st episode of Fintech Impact, Jason Pereira, award-winning financial planner, university lecturer, writer, and host welcomes Phillip Barrar, founder of the Mylo savings and investment app, to talk about banking differences in Canada versus the EU, banking regulations, and more. 
    Episode Highlights: 
    ● 00:33: – Mylo is an app that rounds up your purchases and invests the change to help you work towards your savings goals. 
    ● 03:18: – Phillip started Mylo after he was already teaching his friends and family savings techniques. 
    ● 04:24: – Canada has an under-banked population and aren’t saving or investing. 
    ● 04:40: – 53% of Canadians have under $1,000 in their bank account. 
    ● 04:54: – For Phillip, it’s about inclusion; how do you make products more accessible and affordable and remove friction points? 
    ● 09:06: – The roundup process in Mylo helps people go from saving nothing to saving their first $1,000 in a year. 
    ● 09:15: – Users can also set up recurring deposits in addition to the roundup. 
    ● 09:47: – Users typically save between $10-30 in roundups over the course of a week. 
    ● 10:16: – Mylo is not investment focused, it’s life goal-focused for users. 
    ● 10:46: – Each goal you set up in Mylo has its own risk profile and allows you to invest differently depending upon the goal time frame and your preferences. 
    ● 12:29: – Mylo isn’t monetized off of robo-investor fees, but from $1-3/month subscription fees. 
    ● 13:24: – Mylo also offers cash back offers with partner brands. 
    ● 16:01: – Phillip is expanding Mylo into the EU. 
    ● 16:50: – Banks regularly change their websites and APIs to break connections with third party aggregator apps. 
    ● 18:09: – Companies in most English-speaking countries are afraid to expand to the EU because it’s multilingual and multi-domicile, but for Mylo, which was founded in the bilingual Montreal, it felt natural. 
    ● 22:55: – Mylo partners with Canada Helps and allows you to connect a goal to a charity and directly give to them through the platform. 
    ● 23:28: – Mylo recently launched a beta version of Mylo Advisor, which allows you to ask a one-off question to a financial planner. 
    ● 24:58: – Most Mylo users are high-income users for the age group. 
    ● 28:45: – If Phillip could change one thing in the industry it would be to push people on the regulatory side to be more open to change more quickly in order to remove friction. 
    ● 30:10: – The biggest challenge has been that the bar to get funding is so much higher in fintech than in other industries due to the money needed to navigate regulatory bodies. 
    ● 31:59: – What most excites Phillip are the messages he gets from users. 
    3 Key Points 
    1. Canada is an underbanked population that does not save or invest its money. 
    2. Mylo is focused on helping users achieve their financial goals. 
    3. Banking security comes from regulation not from the size of the bank. 
    Tweetable Quotes: 
    ● “We need to be able to start putting together the right practices in place. It’s something everyone wants to do. It’s more financial literacy through doing versus more financial literacy through learning or education.” –Phillip Barrar 
    Resources Mentioned: 
    ● Facebook – Jason Pereira’s Facebook 
    ● LinkedIn – Jason Pereira’s LinkedIn 
    ● FintechImpact.co – Website for Fintech Impact 
    ● https://mylo.ai/

    • 34 min
    Episode 100 with Michael Kitces | E100

    Episode 100 with Michael Kitces | E100

    Summary:
    In this 100th episode of Fintech Impact, Jason Pereira, award-winning financial planner, university lecturer, writer, and host welcomes Michael Kitces of the Nerd’s Eye View blog, XYPN, and AdvicePay, to talk about product iteration, specialization within the field of financial planning and more. 
    Episode Highlights: 
    ● 01:40: – Michael ended up in financial services by accident after majoring in Psychology and minoring in Theatre in undergrad. 
    ● 02:55: – Michael had a job selling life insurance policies, and he hated it and was bad at it, but luckily ended up finding mentorship from the one certified financial planner in the company. 
    ● 06:25: – Michael sees the evolution of the fintech space as having several small epochs. 
    ● 08:35: – Developers tried making a holy grail all-in-one software which resulted in every area of the program being mediocre. 
    ● 09:02: – The rise of APIs have turned the industry upside down, allowing financial planners to create their own perfect all-in-one solution. 
    ● 12:55: – Small companies that specialize can evolve so much faster than any enterprise software ever could. 
    ● 16:22: – Michael observes that most fintech software companies in the US are homegrown, with developers trying to solve problems, rather than big venture-funded startups. 
    ● 18:00: – Scaling your product to enterprise solutions means pivoting to a lot of enterprise features and iterations instead of iterating on your core product for end users. 
    ● 19:45: – Because enterprise companies evolve more slowly, when they approach smaller companies for solutions they’re often asking them to move backwards to match where their advisors are in their mindsets. 
    ● 22:20: – Michael believes that financial planning software has the most room for disruption of any software category. 
    ● 25:30: – It is still useful to know old, antiquated programming languages because companies that have evolved slowly and are still written in old code need people who understand that architecture in order to modernize it. 
    ● 27:45: – Michael sees a lot of companies trying to solve culture and training problems with technology instead of addressing the real issues. 
    ● 29:20: – Companies trying to pivot to financial planning advice without certified financial planners means the employees are selling the plan as a product rather than providing advice as added value. 
    ● 31:10: – In order to reduce liability that comes up with offering advice, companies centralize their planning departments and put excessive compliance procedures in place. 
    ● 33:24: – A lot of specialized programs are cropping up to streamline processes for things like planning for your money management in the event that you are cognitively impaired with dementia, for parents and children managing student loans, etc. 
    ● 37:50: – If Michael could make one change to the industry it would be to decrease the requirements to be called a financial advisor. 
    ● 39:00: – The biggest challenge Michael has faced is figuring out how to get out of his own way. 
    ● 40:53: – What excites Michael and gets him out of bed in the morning is, surprisingly, checking his email. 
    3 Key Points 
    1. The development of APIs has allowed for much faster iteration and development. 
    2. You can’t solve company culture problems with tech. 
    3. The fintech space has so much room for disruption and specialization. 
    Tweetable Quotes: 
    ● “You’re still going to get out-expertised, out-devved, out-scaled, out-manned, because the independent companies have been able to get so large. I think it’s a thing that could not have happened until the internet showed up and API connectivity became possible.” – Michael Kitces 
    Resources Mentioned: 
    ● Facebook – Jason Pereira’s Facebook 
    ● LinkedIn – Jason Pereira

    • 44 min

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