FinTechs and the Promise of Inclusivity and Diversity

Written by Kite Hill PR

February 24, 2022

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A conversation on “Fintechs and the Promise of Inclusivity and Diversity” with Jeanniey Walden, chief innovation and marketing officer with DailyPay; Sushil Prabhu, CEO of Dropp; Craig J. Lewis, CEO and founder of Gig Wage; and Raja Chakravorti, financial access at Plaid moderated by Robin Raskin, founder of The Virtual Events Group.
Video Transcripts:
Speaker 1 (00:07):

We will see this in perpetuity on the c e s website. It’s really great to have you here for what I think is one of the most important topics that is evolving as we sit in this chair and we have a wonderful panel to talk to you. So on the name of the panel is fintech’s. Well, there went that title slide. Fintech’s, inclusivity and Diversity. Now, FinTech Financial Technology, not something really new, really been around for quite a while. A couple of dates. 1918 last pandemic for those that are counting the Federal Reserve built Fed wire so that we could move money electronically. 1971, NASDAQ became the digital online stock exchange. 1998 seems like a dinosaur, but really still innovating every day. PayPal started first FinTech company where you could make online payments. 2009. Venmo now owned by FinTech, let us pay with our mobile phones Peer-to-Peer 2010 Google Wallet 2013.

And we’re really lucky, although I don’t know you were at Plaid in 2013. Raja’s here to join us from Plaid that started to provide the wiring underneath to connect all of our apps and all of the banks. And today FinTech is a billion, billion dollar business that actually in the beginning thought they were going to take over the banks and replace them. It turns out that storyline did not work, but what they did was compliment them, amplify them, take the friction away and make it really easy for so many more people to get involved in banking and finance loans trading. So I’ve got this fabulous panel here today that I want to introduce you to, and then we’re going to dive in and I want you to each think about your businesses, what FinTech products should you use now, what you should be using and how you should be thinking about banking in the future.

So I’ll start down the aisle here. Raja Chakra Vti is the financial access person from Plaid and has a lot to say about plaid’s mission on inclusivity and diversity. Craig Lewis. Craig j Lewis is the founder of Gig Wage. For those of you in the gig economy, I think you know that there’s some shortcomings that Craig’s looking to fix. Shield PBU is from Dropp and he’ll talk about micropayments in the FinTech community. And Jeannie Walden whose new company Daily Pay is making a lot of progress in getting daily workers the money access to the things they need when they need them. So I’m going to just dive right in and I’m going to start with Raja and just ask, tell us what you think FinTech has done for inclusivity and diversity and in particular, how has PLAID figured into that?

Speaker 2 (03:21):

Yeah, thanks so much. First off, thank you for having me. It’s really exciting to be able to be here at c e s and be able to see you people here, plaid. Our mission at Plaid is to democratize financial services through technology. And the way in which we do that is we build the infrastructure that helps connect thousands of financial institutions to thousands of FinTech applications. I think there’s really three things that FinTech has done to increase inclusivity. The first is around access. So FinTech is designed as mobile first and certainly it was there to meet the moment. So we always all talk about how the pandemic has accelerated the use of digital applications by five years. And FinTech being designed mobile first was already there to be able to meet consumers when they weren’t unable to do things like go into bank branches and find other financial services that way.

The second piece is around tailored use cases. So I think there’s a couple really interesting stats depending on where you look at it. There’s a stat that says 45 million people in the United States are credit invisible. Certainly when you think about minorities, new immigrants and millennials or people who are new to the workforce, they’re certainly disadvantaged because things that traditional financial institutions use to evaluate and provide them with financial services are skewed against them. Credit score is a good example that’s dependent on a lot of credit history, but FinTech has been able to tailor point solutions to be able to use data in a much more comprehensive way to be able to deliver solutions to a lot of individuals of that sort as well as focus on developing much more seamless use cases than what they might’ve been able to access in traditional financial environments. And then finally, FinTech has met the moment and has actually started to integrate into people’s everyday lives.

I think this is one of the key elements. So Plaid actually released a study that we launched recently called the FinTech Effect in conjunction with the Harris Poll. And there’s some eyeopening stats for us. The first was that nine out of 10 people are using FinTech today to put that in proportion that’s greater than the amount of people using social media that’s greater than people using video streaming services like Netflix. It is quite ubiquitous. And further to that, that 50% of people are actually using it on a daily basis. And so there’s been this shift in terms of how people are accessing financial services all the time, and that has had this profound impact on actually removing the taboo or stigma of talking about finances. And that creates a virtuous cycle so that people are actually now being more considerate of their financial situation and therefore having healthier financial lives. And Plaid gets the opportunity to be able to help facilitate this by building those pipes that ensure that consumers are able to use FinTech applications as seamless, as seamlessly as they’re using their bank accounts.

Speaker 1 (06:33):

So can we find the FinTech effect report online

Speaker 2 (06:36):

Somewhere? Absolutely. Go to and you’ll be able to find it.

Speaker 1 (06:40):

And so show of hands in the audience, everybody who does not use mobile banking. Okay, enough said. For those of you watching, everybody uses mobile banking. So I’m going to move on to Shields to get another look. And I want you to start with the very simple, what is a micropayment? And then tell us how that creates for a more diverse inclusive banking world.

Speaker 3 (07:08):

Absolutely. Thank you. Thanks. Thanks for the invite. Thanks for inviting me here. Micropayments, there’s a lot of different definitions, but we define micropayments are really tiny, small purchases that you can make under $10 all the way to a fraction of a cent. This is how we define as a micropayment. These micropayments are payments, which typically you use a credit card or you use physical cash, right? These are transactions that happen every day where without a credit card you won’t be able to make that payment or without a physical cash. So these are very small payments and the merchants pay incredible amount of transaction fees on it by say incredible meaning very large, which becomes economically unfeasible for them to offer you small goods. So we define micropayments as very tiny, small purchases that you can make, which you right now cannot make in a digital economy.

Just talking, going back to FinTech and financial inclusion in the last 20, 25 years, the digital economy has done extremely well. All of us are here because of that, but the dominant model for monetization has always been subscription. You have to subscribe for everything right from your newspaper to a medical journal, to a financial literacy journal, whatever you want to hide. It is either offered to you for free, but if you want something special, something premium, not your white paper, paper, I’m sure it’s free, but you have to subscribe for the services. What’s happened because of that is a large population in US and globally have been not involved in the digital economy because everyone can afford the subscription fee that we all buy. So we have created a model by which you can make small purchases, you can make those purchases without paying those taxes or those fees to the merchants.

And the merchants now have a tool that they can use, which is called Dropp. That’s my company, where they can offer you goods for small purchases, digital economy, which we’ve all enjoyed for the last 20, 25 years. As I say, there’s at least two, 3 billion people out there globally who are really not involved in it. If you don’t have a credit card, you could even have a bank account. But if you don’t have a credit card, you can’t get involved in the economy. Our concept is implement a tool like Dropp by which you can offer paper use for merchants. So merchants can actually unbundle their services and sell them in very small increments. FinTech has done very well in the last 20, 25 years using internet technology, mobile technology, big data technology, and now the defi world. And I think it’s going to continue lead. So if you look at concepts like micro-financing, micro-lending, micropayments, crowdfunding, these are all the concepts that have come out from financial services from FinTech companies because our cost of operations, our cost of transaction is really low. So you’ll always find FinTech and plaid being one of them, and the other of my mates here have offered companies we can offer goods at a lot lower price and make it affordable. Financial inclusion is about making it affordable so more people can have access to financial services. Micropayment is one of those things. We think billions of people are going to utilize this micropayment tool everywhere in the world.

Speaker 1 (10:47):

So your targets are, you go to the merchants with Dropp offerings, is that Yes,

Speaker 3 (10:53):

It has to start at that because they have to unbundle their goods. It’s not that the merchants don’t want, merchants would love this. This is why fintechs like it. The merchants like it. This is an underserved population. It’s a large populations and most of the large institutions. For them, it’s more of a distraction, more of it’s a low margin access for FinTech, with our technology and with all the modernization that we have, we can very easily, it’s a matter of focus. So yes, I’m sorry. Yes, it is for the merchants to one bundle that goods and then they can sail on pay per use basis.

Speaker 1 (11:25):

And is there one particular sector of merchants that you’re looking at first?

Speaker 3 (11:29):

We’re looking at a variety of sectors. We’ve started with micro-donations, just so you know, once we launched this product, micro-donations, micro-royalty, micro-subscription. These are all the concepts that the came out. Imagine when we talk about financial inclusion, we always talk about someone, let’s provide them with bank account and we can also provide them with payroll. And these are nice things, but they also want to make donations. Let’s say you want to make a dollar donation. I would like to, if I don’t have, everyone wants to make some charity. So there’s a plethora of use cases out there. We are focusing right now initially just to get started on media digital information. It’s also going to be used for physical products, but we’ve started with digital products.

Speaker 1 (12:12):

Yeah, it’s really interesting to see how the financial plays into, you’re seeing it on Patreon and in CK and places where royalties are in particular. So moving on to Craig Lewis. Craig, you saw a problem in the gig economy, right? You want to tell us about the size of this market that we all know see and what their banking and financial problems are?

Speaker 4 (12:35):

Sure. Yeah. So gig wage is in its most simplest form a payroll company for the gig economy. I’m a X A D P guy, so that was really the thesis of it. Help a company, pay a freelancer. But what we found that was really unique is that people don’t identify as like, I’m a gig worker. Nobody says that. And so when people think of it, what you typically think of as like an Uber driver or a Lyft driver, but we forget that all types of people are what we call independent alternative workers. And none of the infrastructure was designed to help companies pay these people. And so what you find is people using duct tape bubblegum to pick solutions to try to pay people in this different kind of way. And then as Uber and Lyft and the others have matured, they’ve really trained the market that you should be paid instantly and on demand, you should be able to onboard easily.

But if you’re not Uber and you don’t have their balance sheet and world-class developers, where do you get this infrastructure from? Where do you get that balance sheet from? And so gig wage saw an opportunity where we could come in and provide that infrastructure to the rest of the world basically. And so our whole mission is economic empowerment. So but not just for the gig workers and the contractors, also for the companies that serve them. So unlike a lot of people in the market, we’re not just focused on the end user or the worker, we’re actually bringing operational excellence to the businesses responsible for paying them. So as that payroll company, workforce management infrastructure, we’re helping the accountant, the finance person, the HR person, the operations person at the company’s responsible, we often talk about the 10 and the 10,000. So we try to bring just as much valuable to the 10 people responsible for paying the 10,000 people. And that’s where we’re a bit unique and different.

Speaker 1 (14:21):

That was really great. So give us an example of the kinds of the numbers that you’re seeing.

Speaker 4 (14:27):

Oh yeah. From a scale perspective. Yeah. So we started with SMBs first. Actually we pivoted, we used to have, we had a different payroll thesis. We were in r and d, I call it startup r and d. We were trying to do free payroll for small businesses at first, so think like Augusto or an A D P, but for free with a Credit Karma model. And we were hyper-focused on small businesses and we spent about two years trying to do that. But when we pivoted to gig wage, we started with helping small businesses pay a freelancer, a graphic designer, a plumber, whatever it might be. But as we got into it, we quickly realized that it was a massive opportunity. We frequently say a gig wage. The gig economy is the economy you’re talking about on the low end, anywhere from about 37 to 40% of the US workforce.

On the high end, you have estimates north of 50%, 143 million working Americans today, I could probably show you data around about 75 million of those doing some type of 10 99 gig work. That doesn’t mean they don’t also have a full-time job, which is really cool and expansive about the industry. And so the data’s really sparse, but everybody has earned, has received a 10 99 at the end of the year before, even if you work at the largest company in the world and friends and people that have done it. So how does this money get to these people? How does that data get tracked? And then how do you build services around that data because it’s unaccounted for, I think you talked about credit and visibility, right? A lot of this stuff happens off the books. We’re actually talking to the I r S about some fund initiatives because that data is important.

When you start to think about, well, all of my financing is based on my employment and my income. If that stuff is not on the books, how do I get a mortgage? How do I get a credit card? How do I get a loan? How do I get an apartment? How do I get a student loan? And so Gig Wave is kind of here to solve that problem for what we think is, again, kind of think of it as skating to where the puck is going, not where it is. We think it’s a larger market than the traditional W two workforce.

Speaker 1 (16:24):

Incredible. And Jeannie. So Daily Pay has a very different look at empowering both merchants, business owners and their employees on how they get included into this financial ecosystem. So why don’t you give us a little background on how you came to Daily Pay after numerous other adventures and what you see as financial inclusivity?

Speaker 5 (16:51):

Sure. Well, when you think about FinTech and everything that FinTech has done for the financial system, it’s been incredibly powerful. Even so what RA has done at Plaid and what these organizations have built, this infrastructure behind the scenes powering all these financial opportunities so that we can have access to make money move more freely through the system. And that has been so game changing for everybody as all three of the esteemed colleagues on the panel have talked about. But when you think about what makes Fintechs successful, and when you think about this movement of money, it comes down to one basic fact. Nothing in FinTech works if you don’t have money. So if you have a wallet and nothing’s in it, that wallet is effectively useless. If you’ve got the best and most robust infrastructure or banking system, but you don’t have people putting funds into the banking system or running through that, then it really isn’t as effective from an inclusive and a diversity standpoint.

So what Daily Pay has done is we’ve built this incredible mission to create a new financial system that starts working the minute that work starts. And our belief is really that what we’ve done in FinTech, what all of our partners and supporters in FinTech have done has built this great infrastructure. And now it’s our job to look at what we consider these invisible rules around money and eliminate them. And one of the most basic invisible rules around money is a company scheduled payday. Why is it that we have to wait two weeks to get paid? We’re working, we’re earning money. Craig’s talking about the gig economy, they work, they earn money, they want their money, but there’s company rules or invisible rules around when we can have access to that money where we can access that money. And even banks put restrictions on, hey, you might’ve worked four days, but that money’s not in the bank account.

So if you try and take it out of the bank account, there’s going to be a non-sufficient funds fee. So what Daily Pay does is we give people through our digital wallet solution the ability to be financially fluid the minute that they start working for a company that uses daily pay. So as you are working in real time, you’re earning a balance as we all do. You look at your pay balance and you can have access to it. So that accessibility through the FinTech ecosystem enables people to get out of that invisible credit situation that Raja so eloquently discussed. Now there’s 45 million people who don’t have any credit, but they have funds. And to Craig’s point, they don’t have an established credit history, but now they can have access. So now they can start saving money as they earn it. They can take money as they earn it to pay off a bill, to start to build a credit history and do things that really enable everybody from an inclusivity standpoint to be on a more balanced and a more level financial playing field. And there’s so much good that can be done for the world that way.

Speaker 1 (20:06):

Okay, so I’m going to give you the challenge on this one. Go for it. My 21 year old or whoever year old whips through their salary before they can get to their monthly rent, are there things in place because while you’re giving them access to their funds, you’re also giving them access to their funds?

Speaker 5 (20:27):

Yeah. Well, remember back when we all took our paychecks out and made really stupid decisions and then how to suffer the consequences. You do that one time pretty much if you make those mistakes, if you’re new to using funds responsibly as all of us have opportunities to misuse funds, and in certain occasions you learn from those mistakes. But for the average person, it’s saving $1,200 a year through research that we’ve done with a number of different third party partners from non-sufficient funds, late fees and overdraft fees. Because really from a FinTech perspective, it’s not as much the money that’s wrong, it’s the timing of the money. And N B C did this great report that said, no matter how much money you make, you can be Elon Musk, maybe not him, but 33% of us run out of money in between pay periods. It’s just the fluidity goes up and down like a roller coaster. So this eliminates that. It’s there when you need it, if you need it, and if you don’t, that’s fine too.

Speaker 4 (21:29):

If Elon Musk becomes a daily pay customer, I’m coming to work for you guys.

Speaker 5 (21:34):

I’ll give you all jobs if you want. We’ll be working in Mars

Speaker 4 (21:37):


Speaker 5 (21:37):

In Jupiter somewhere outside of the US though in our latest adventure. That’s funny.

Speaker 1 (21:41):

Which dives in a little more to this credit and visibility because I think it’s so important. The traditional system, I think we discussed this in a pre-call, is kind of lame. You get your FICA score and that’s how you’re rated and you have another life and you have friends and social lives, and there’s so many components that go into your financial persona. I mean, I know more about my health with what’s on my wrist than I know about my finances in my bank account. Raj, why don’t you take a stab at, are we getting better at this?

Speaker 2 (22:12):

Yeah, I mean, look, I think it’s actually important to contextualize what that credit invisible population is. So take the MSAs of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas, and that’s the population that is credit invisible. I mean it’s dramatic, but in addition to that, one in four Americans classify under the term of underbanked. And so there is this tremendous gap in terms of how people are serviced. One of the focuses that I focus on a daily basis at Plaid is actually working with financial institutions of all sizes. So there’s call it, depending on the stats that you look at roughly 10 to 15,000 financial institutions in the United States, whether you look at traditional banks, you look at alternative banks like brokerages. But then also there’s this whole segment of CDFIs and MDIs basically community development, financial institutions, minority depository institutions. And what you’ve tended to find is that of that kind of giant population of underbanked people, they’re not getting no services.

These institutions have actually focused on within the communities ensuring that some level of financial services are provided to these individuals, certainly to small businesses as well. And that’s been the balance point to individuals and merchants not having access to the traditional financial system. What started to happen is that with FinTech, I think that’s helped accelerate a lot of different things, but it’s also accelerated kind of the digital roadmaps of a lot of the biggest financial institutions. They’re saying, okay, look, we get this idea that we’re not meeting a lot of customers. We want to expand our use case. We want to digitize, we want to think about looking at alternative data sources. And that’s great, and that serves the majority of consumers in the us. But particularly during the pandemic, the trust factor that people built with these community development organizations, these very local credit unions and community banks was really, really strong.

And they built certain levels of history with those financial institutions. They want to continue to bank with them. They know that those financial institutions understand them. But the issue that you will find is that these institutions may not have the digital infrastructure or the dollars to actually build out their own technology stack. And this is where we might run into this potential issue of this digital haves and digital have-nots, particularly as we start to digitize because that has kind of already flowed out. And this is really where Plaid and what I’ve been working on really tries to help meet the moment in that we can work with financial institutions to meet them where they are within their technology stack and through a series of methods, either help them build out an a P I infrastructure to share their financial data with FinTech applications or help them figure out what they would need to do it or do really lightweight things just to make sure that even basic levels of facilitation happen. And that’s been really positive because what it allows is it allows this kind of segment of underbanked people to actually start to access the FinTech economy, and that’s creating this full service suite of options for these underbanked such that though they may not have one institution that does their checking, savings, lending activities, personal financial management, they’re actually able to get the holistic view of it by tapping into FinTech in connection with their community lending institution and be able to still be very modern in terms of how they’re managing it.

Speaker 5 (26:13):

Raja, you made a comment there about transparency, which I think is so key for all fintechs as we’re building just transparency behind the scenes so that you can get that information if you’re a banking solution or a banking institution or even transparency for the consumer that’s trying to see where their money sits and how much they have. I think that just really helps to elevate Robin than what you were saying that financial literacy and education that gives people an understanding of what assets they have, how they can use them, and how they can create a better financial future for themselves.

Speaker 1 (26:47):

So follow on with that. So let’s talk about the people who aren’t in the room, the MasterCards and the Visas and the Amexes, the traditional banks. Do you see them jumping on the wagon and embracing the FinTech folks that they should be to round out their repertoire? Are they inventing on their own? What do you see happening? I

Speaker 5 (27:09):

Mean, we absolutely have a great partnership with Visa we’ve had for a number of years with a d p in their marketplaces. I think with Visa from a payment processing standpoint underneath, there’s a lot of opportunity to just enable so many more people to leverage their finances faster and in different ways than they can. And it has the power to positively move the entire economy. So at Daily pay, think about it. If you have people that have made money and they’re working late shifts and they get off work at two in the morning, so they really can’t stop to get groceries for their family now they can go shopping before they go to work on a Tuesday by being able to shop on a Tuesday instead of having to wait until Friday for payday, that puts more money into the local merchant faster. That puts more money into the delivery drivers. All that Craig is fueling and paying that puts more money into those small businesses, into the communities that enables the communities to build faster. It creates positivity and a positive push forward for everybody.

Speaker 1 (28:20):

Yes, you are really accelerating the entire, absolutely removing the friction from

Speaker 5 (28:24):

The banks see it as tremendous opportunity to get that visibility, especially now with all the movement and all the challenges around overdraft fees and is it predatory or not? There’s a lot of opportunity to do what’s right for everybody.

Speaker 2 (28:40):

And let’s not forget that there’s actually regulatory provisions that are actually stating that consumers own their own financial data. That is Dodd-Frank 10 33 and the C F P D has issued in this last year kind of directives oriented around that FinTech is here to stay, that people should be able to utilize it. And so I don’t think there’s this tension as much anymore about big banks or big networks saying, Hey, let’s not do it. There’s I think a broad scale acceptance that yes, we do need to do it, but how do we actually then innovate, which is actually creating better solutions in my mind for the consumers because it’s actually forcing the entire ecosystem to deliver better and better solutions in the aggregate. But I think there’s this additional layer that is basically stating that FinTech is here to stay, and in fact it’s here to explosively grow.

Speaker 3 (29:33):

Absolutely. I think just amplifying with your point, the more digitization that we do with digital currencies, ledgers, all of that, the credit worthiness of someone is going to be a lot more than a FICA score. We have this application Dropp where we maintain all your transactions and it’s on a ledger. Anyone can look at it if given the right suite, and there’s going to be hundreds of these applications and they’re all digitally stored. So your transaction is not just with Visa and MasterCard for someone to go in and measure your credit worthiness, it’s going to be in lots of different places. And with all of the technology out there to find out, get a digital insight of someone, and not just their FICA score, but looking at every transactions they’ve done in the, let’s say last 10 years can also be accounted for when I measure someone’s credit worthiness.

When you are lending money, if you look at small merchants, it’s already happening. Look at companies like Cabbage and many of these other companies, if you are online, they can lend you money in a day because they can look at all your digital transactions because it’s out there and then they can give you, so it could be the same thing we can do for the general population where your credit worthiness is not just because you had bad credit score with fico. There’s lots of other good things that you did, which I can very quickly absorb that information. And

Speaker 4 (30:57):

I’d be remiss if I didn’t hop in. I said I’d be remiss if I didn’t hop in. So two things you talked about the big financial MasterCard, visa, the big banks at gig waves, we view ourselves as an on-ramp to the gig economy for all financial services company, all the large ones. So we’re doing tremendous work around a lot of this stuff. And so they’re all involved, but I do think there’s another conversation to be had just not about the MasterCards Visas, bank of America’s whatever. I’ll be the first one on the panel to kind of rip the bandaid off and say with crypto and web three, I think. Have you heard of that? Have you that before? I think there’s some tremendous innovation and opportunity there when we’re talking about inclusivity and diversity. I think people need to get paid when they want, how they want, where they want, they need to be able to access capital.

But from a digital divide perspective, I think is it going to be just a replication of what’s always happened? And the thing that I wanted to say that I don’t know that it was necessarily a part of our discussion, but when you think about what FinTech has done for inclusivity and diversity, we oftentimes go directly to the end user and the consumer. But I just want to paint a really powerful picture for you guys. If I, Craig Lewis had said, I want to start a bank, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. It would’ve been next impossible. When I look at the ability to start a FinTech company, the accessibility to that technology, and then for me to be the one leading that charge and others, whether it’s women, black people, Hispanic people, L G B T community, the ability to start companies with a different perspective from the top down, FinTech has made that extremely possible.

And I think that cannot be overlooked. And so when you think about, again, the big banks, the visas, the MasterCards, the coin bases, whatever it may be, what FinTech has done has allowed a unique set of people to come in and create a unique set of solutions with a different perspective. And the last thing I’ll say about it, just kind of predictably, we’ve seen this specific focus around different types of wallets and bank accounts, a bank account for this type of user, for this type of user, the creator economy, this everybody’s creating, these banks starting to see a trend. And I think the next big thing will be credit types, credit worthiness for specific groups, mechanics, home care workers credit will start to be created and crafted. We’re doing a bunch of work around this for gig workers. And so anyways, I just wanted to get, as you guys were talking about all of that, I thought all of that was super interesting,

Speaker 1 (33:39):

Super interesting, and a super way to spend. I think the remainder of our time together is talking about the what’s next. And if you could go on the defi, are we all going to be our own banks? And certainly people have tried, but tell me,

Speaker 4 (33:55):

Here’s a better question. So if we do become our own banks, I’m allowed to

Speaker 1 (33:58):

Ask a better question.

Speaker 4 (34:03):

I was bidding to not moderate. I wanted you to be the panelist. No. So when you think about that, here’s a really interesting conversation I was having with Web three and crypto in general. My C T O had made a comment in Slack the other day and he said, the code is the law. That’s what he said. And this has been touted as a very positive thing, right? There’s inclusivity in there. You can’t be biased, you can’t discriminate against, it’s just the code. It’s ones and zeros. The code is the law. And so the question has to be raised though. If the code is the law and I have a discrepancy and something’s wrong, who do I go to? Do I go to the code right now? If there’s a financial transaction that I have a dispute with, or if I felt I’ve been wronged, I can go to the courts.

And so there’s this conversation that everybody, and when I first got into FinTech, I saw everybody jumping on the unbanked and underbanked bandwagon and that was the buzzword. And now we’re talking crypto and everybody’s like, oh, the democratization of everything. And all I’m saying is the same people get left out of the same shit, excuse my language. And it is real. It’s just a different way. And so I think there still needs to be very real conversation around this innovation, which is why I wanted to make the point. Who’s building the stuff, the democratization of who’s building the stuff is what becomes super important. And I think that’s where fintech’s power is. So the thing about web three, crypto or even just FinTech, if you have a problem with how things are happening, you can go build a solution to solve that problem. I think that’s the important part so that nobody gets left out. And so really hard topic, crypto is great, law is code, but people are still getting discriminated against and left out. But the more people that are able to build, the better. So

Speaker 2 (35:57):

I love a lot of what you said, Craig. Prior to Plaid, I spent some time in auto insurance. And a really interesting aspect of how an auto insurance premium is issued is that F ICO score is a dominant variable in what you look at. You also look at zip code. And so if you’re literally sitting at two zip codes right next to each other and one zip code houses a significant proportion of minorities, which through history we’ve seen through things like redlining, like there have been very stark differences in the way in which lending activities happen that actually changes fundamentally the ability to access premiums for people who shouldn’t be paying two x, the rate of somebody who lives two streets over but gets to be solved that a different way. So I think I totally agree with that being the issue. How do you actually solve it?

Certainly, there’s a lot, certainly at this conference around crypto and defi and how that can fix things. I think fundamentally it is about data and alternative ways in which to analyze what actually is meaningful as it relates to the issuance of any set of products. And this is where I think FinTech solutions really start to differ in terms of what they’re doing. So there’s a lot around defi, there’s a lot of promise to it. There’s also a regulatory framework that is non-existent that is going to be very important in terms of how it’s, it’s used. And then there’s the other piece which is there’s a lot of volatility right underneath it. And so people actually moving to using these assets in the way in which they want to operate and own their financial services, I think that’s going to impact things. And certainly the adoption curves are going to be varied by community. But if there’s ways to better fundamentally look at data in all of its elements, to me that is the form factor shift that needs to happen to be able to start solving some of the problems that I think Craig really well articulated.

Speaker 3 (37:59):

So lemme just quickly Dropp is based on distributed ledger blockchain defi. And I think the solution of it, you’re right, defi is not completely ready for mass consumption yet. And the way we solved it is we had to create a hybrid solution. We use banking solutions, we use Plat, as I mentioned before, we use Defi for all the ledger. It’s not ready. We use use a blockchain called Hadera hash graph, which is an enterprise based blockchain. So there are solutions that you can do so that if someone has a problem with that transaction, they call us. But there’s a lot of promise in Defi. It’s got a lot of potential. It is just that the crypto world hasn’t connected yet with the retail or with the common public yet, but all the ingredients are there. You can make a quick payment, you can do a peer-to-peer payment.

It’s built for that. The ability to hold an escrow and a collateral, that’s something known, talks about it. It’s the most efficient model out there, but it’s not there yet. And the regulation of course, and in terms of the ups and downs of the volatility of the crypto, there’s a concept of stable coin which Dropp has in it. So there are a lot of promises. I’m really bullish on define the next five, 10 years. We will definitely, I dunno about owning a bank on a defi, but I do think that when we talk about financial inclusion, let’s not talk about just having lending and borrowing and checking account. You could actually be able to even trade. I mean, how many people talk about financial inclusion and talk about I should be able to trade and make money off it. You should be able to do that defi. So there’s a lot of promise there.

Speaker 5 (39:33):

And I think all of that wraps really nicely into Robin. When you ask about what’s the future, I think it’s financial transparency and accessibility, like everything that we’re talking about leads to every single person having access to money when they need it, how they need it, whether it’s through any of these solutions, including organizations and companies. And then transparency, how much money do you have? How do you use it? Whether you’re a company or whether you are just a regular person on the street, or even if you’re Elon Musk, he needs to know or to build to his next patient.

Speaker 2 (40:05):

One thing, I totally agree with that and I’d add one last element, which is actually about control. And so from a consumer’s ability to, so accessibility to transparency, but then the ability to actually control and manage where their finances are and how they’re actually distributing their financial services across the spectrum. Because ultimately I think it is really about building out these spectrums that allow people to be met at each and every solution where they want to be. I think that’s going to complete the picture.

Speaker 5 (40:37):


Speaker 1 (40:38):

So with that, first of all, this is a terrifically optimistic panel and I terrifically started the timer four minutes late, so we are about to wrap up. But quickly to find out more about Daily page, Gina, just tell us where everybody can go

Speaker 5 (40:55):

Daily. or come visit us here at our booth in the central hall,

Speaker 1 (41:00):


Speaker 4 (41:01):

Yeah, gig or Google gig wages

Speaker 3 (41:07):, d r opp cc. We have a website. You can download our apps on Android and iPhone and we are on every browser out there.

Speaker 2 (41:16):

Yeah, or find us on Twitter or LinkedIn or wherever else you may find your

Speaker 4 (41:22):

News. I was going to say, I’ve never heard of this plaid company you speak of

Speaker 1 (41:28):

And so stick with us. There’s more on crypto later on today. There’s more on big banks in tech. This is important for everybody, the technology industry because of the yin yang between tech and banking. So thank you for being with us. Wherever you are, stay safe and just applause for our panelists who brave so many things together.

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Dropp listed in FedNow Service Provider Showcase

Dropp is listed in the Federal Reserve’s FedNow Service Provider Showcase, an online resource designed to connect financial institutions looking to adopt and innovate upon the FedNow Service with service providers offering instant payment solutions.

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