3 Questions with Jeff Scanlon of Paymentearth

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 Jeff 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
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

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.