We are launching a new blog series spotlighting Canada’s brightest Fintech startups on a mission to make everyone’s life easier, safer, and happier.
The first fintech startup we’d like to spotlight is Payso, one of Canada’s first peer-to-peer mobile payment service helping people send and receive payments from friends easier than ever before. Unlike online money transfer services such as the one offered by Interac, Payso is free. Co-founded by Jake Tyler and Natalie Cartwright, the duo met during their MBA program in Spain, where Jake got the brilliant idea for Payso. They both moved to Canada to build their business, spending time in both Vancouver and Toronto.
So how does Payso do it?
Payso believes that sending and receiving money should be as easy as sending a text message. Fast. Secure. Free.
- Send or request money to any phone number in Canada (plus send them messages) -- Payso syncs with the contacts list in your phone or you can manually enter a number.
- When you send a payment, the money comes either from your Payso Wallet or from a Visa or MasterCard (credit or debit). Either way, it’s free for you.
- When you receive a payment, the money goes immediately into your Payso Wallet. You can cash it out from your Payso Wallet to any Canadian Bank Account whenever you want, for free.
We had a chance to catch up with Jake Tyler, CEO & Founder of Payso, and he shared a few thoughts on the future of payments and how Payso fits into the ecosystem.
Trulioo: Is Vancouver a good city for Fintech? Why or Why not?
Jake: Vancouver is a great place for tech generally, punching well above its weight at a global level. We have a great ecosystem of smart, ambitious founders, mentors, investors, talent and fast-adopting consumers here, and this is the real underpinning of Vancouver's strength in tech. These are the key ingredients to a great fintech ecosystem, not proximity to banks.
In Canada, we are often guilty of comparing Vancouver to Toronto, and I think that's the wrong reference point. I think if we're asking if Vancouver is a good city for Fintech, we should be comparing it to London, Singapore, New York, and Silicon Valley. On that scale Vancouver and Canada, in general, still has some maturing to do. Canadian banks and consumers are laggards when it comes to fintech -- we're still excited about being able to take a photo of a check. This is a limiting factor on innovation. To overcome, it we need to be looking at leading global hubs for customers, partners and competitors.
Trulioo: What's next for Payso?
Jake: In 2015, our focus was creating a great consumer facing product that made it super easy to send and share money with friends. We did pretty well on that front; with over $700,000 shared in the year, over half in the last quarter. In 2016, we are shifting our focus to having as big an impact as possible in this space. For us that means working with banks, credit unions and other large incumbents in Canada and around the world. We offer them our best in class peer-to-peer payments, plus instant messaging platform on a 100 percent white label basis. There is a natural synergy here; banks have a lot of customers and do a pretty good job at core banking and payment infrastructure. But they don't do such a great job at “user experience” and face increasing competition from large non-bank players.
Trulioo: Where do you think Fintech will be in the next five years?
Jake: The most interesting players in banking over the next five years will be Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, SnapChat, Kik, Apple, Google, etc. Banks may have been the default 'owners' of consumer relationships in a world where we needed to visit a branch to open an account, but in the digital world this is not the case. The default owners here are social and chat platforms or any number of other players who can create a digital product that solves a problem for people and we enjoy using. As this happens, we will see money and banking baked into other experiences. For example, in the US you can send money to friends using Facebook Messenger. They've baked something you traditionally went to your bank to do into their product. Expect to see them bake in payments to merchants, then consumer credit, FX, savings and investment, etc. On the back-end, we will see core payment and banking infrastructure commoditize and consolidate around a few players who essentially offer the “Amazon Web Services” of banking. This is going to deliver a big dividend to consumers, who will get a better, more personalized service at a lower cost. As we head down this path, banks still start in a strong position. Those who move quickly and act like 'non-bank' counterparts will be winners. Incumbents who continue to operate business as usual will be losers. The thing to remember about technological change is that it is exponential, not linear.
Thanks for joining us on our first Fintechs in Canada blog series! Next up, we will be featuring Philip Postrehovsky, Co-Founder and COO at RentMoola, the emerging fintech startup making paying rent easier and more rewarding!