3 Questions with Jeff Scanlon of PaymentearthApril 25, 2019
FintekNews is pleased to offer our readers our “3 Questions With…” column, where we chat with a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech and ask them to answer just 3 questions for our audience in their vernacular. This week, we’d like to introduce you to John Scanlon of Paymentearth, which offers a transparent FX pricing structure and shows the exact markup clients will pay on every foreign exchange transfer.
NAME: Jeff Scanlon
TITLE: Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
WEB ADDRESS: https://paymentearth.com/liverates/
How did you personally become involved in fintech & what does your firm offer within the fintech sector?
I’ve worked in the Foreign Exchange industry since 1989, and the old bank model of start customers off with a lost leader rate, then widen their spreads once they gain trust in you has always sat wrong with me. I believe a transparent price model, coupled with a fast real time delivery is the wave of the future and Fintechs are leading the way.
We offer fully transparent foreign exchange pricing to the SME space. We have a simple to use online platform and disclose the exact percentage mark up we charge our clients. We couple this with a simple to use online platform, hedging tools, and treasury management.
What area/s of fintech do you believe will grow the most in the coming 5 years?
I think the reality of real time payments is upon us. The hype of Cryptocurrencies, is one thing, but it is truly the infrastructure of blockchain that is an exciting and secure path for streamlining global payments! In the U.S. a lot of our customers like to pay by ACH, and while the ACH system has improved drastically and we now have the ability to pull customer payments and have access to their funds the same day, there are still improvements that need to be made to mitigate institutional risk when moving customer funds in real time.
At the end of the day blockchain is only really useful if it solves a problem! Telling someone you do fast payments via blockchain and then taking two to three days to deliver the currency hasn’t really created a better product, or solved any issues! What is fantastic is how the technology is creating a secure platform and pushing innovation and pencil sharpening both by incumbents and startups, and that is ultimately what will drive a better product for businesses and consumers alike
What are the biggest problems facing the fintech industry in the future?
I always like to ask, is this product solving a problem? And does this product have an actual revenue stream? Seems there are so many over hyped over valued fintechs, that are VC backed, but don’t have any clear cut way to generate revenue. At the end of the day if your product can’t stand on its own once the investor money has dried up, are you really going to change the world? It can be very exciting to be a part of something new and edgy, but all too often those same companies seem to forget that a lot of groundwork has to be laid to really be successful. In the payments industry, the cost of Compliance and regulators alone is a major barrier to entry, to say nothing of building a state-of-the-art online system.
Jeff Scanlon has spent a lifetime in the non-bank international payment space. He joined Ruesch International in 1989 as a Business development rep, and ultimately ran their California region before leaving to join Commonwealth Foreign exchange where he worked for the next 18 years. In 2016 Jeff launched Paymentearth to marry technology, transparent pricing and customer service for the SME space.
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Our Clients are Thrilled
My guy at Paymentearth took the time to explain how Forward Contracts work, and how they can help my business. My bank never gave me half the attention of Paymentearth.
Paymentearth makes uploading an excel file of all my monthly payments very easy! I upload it on their site and I’m able to print a confirmation in minutes! When we combine this with transparency and knowing our exact spread, it is a no brainer!
Almost any bank can help get a wire out, if that’s all you need. Paymentearth goes above and beyond for us though, and for a small business like ours, it makes a big difference to get such expert service. Of course, the rates are good too!
It’s not often that we need foreign cash, but it’s very convenient to order what we need from Paymentearth, and have one less thing to worry about before the trip.
There is a big move toward transparency in FX, but then it can be impossible to actually talk to a real person. With Paymentearth, they analyzed my business, gave me a fixed rate, and I can call them anytime. Frankly, they’re just straight-up, and I appreciate that.
In my experience, banks are only willing to bend over backward if you’re a giant company. I’ve never felt that with Paymentearth. These guys are upfront, they’re knowledgeable, and they genuinely seem to value my business. It’s actually a pretty good feeling.
We used to use three FX companies in order to keep the rate reasonable. With Paymentearth, they walked us through how to calculate the exact spread we get on every deal! A big time saver and a great way to do business!