By @SimonCocking

Great interview with Lisa Kuhn Phillips Allied Payment , ceo~founder @inavisionGO charter member @FinTechMafia,   gal

Your background, how did you end up doing what do you now?

I started my financial services career doing bank reconciliations and balancing the books [yawn]. I switched from accounting to finance track, because I wanted to learn how to make the numbers, not balance them.  Moved into retail, lending and human resource areas, challenging 20th c management beliefs along the way. It worked, immersed in all aspects of a business, became an Operations SVP (knowing e-services + tech + culture would be critical to my growth).

My first project? To turn around a reactive IT area, increase maturity model level from 1 to 4+, COBIT standards in place, and a digital enterprise culture in place…and so it began.  21st Century Business model creation and enterprise-wide adoption goals within 1 ½ years during TBTF years. Took a few years off, jumped back into to banking, and now in FinTech with Allied Payment Network. Financial anything is in my blood, always purpose plus reasonable profit. The ability to impact and change someone’s financial life and perspective on money and its management is a high for me. I’m a reformed math geek, digital Gen C’er and all about people person (how can you make change if you can’t connect with people?).

For those that don’t know, what is the FintechMafia, what does it do? Does it meet up often or do you mostly communicate digitally?

Ha. FTM. A group of wonderful chaps, chums and chicks who have financial service or tech backgrounds and love to talk shop, challenge thoughts.   A built-in sounding board or a soulful friend when we need it. Goodfellas and femmes who came together via Mike King and Dave Gerbino. We keep in touch digitally, across many channels, sometimes conversing daily, and various conferences throughout the year.

What problem does AlliedPayment solve?

Allied solves the age-old payment chore and task of paying bills. We’re not a point of sale payments shop, but one who truly understands that bill paying can be made simple and processed quickly. Mobile 1st, use your phone, take a picture, pay your bill. Everyone pays bills, so why not make is simple and quick in a time-sensitive world. PicturePay™ is our flagship product and it’s been live since 2013. Financial companies and money remitters can have a very cost-effective solution and move clients to mobile banking usage quickly. Every one loves taking pictures with their phone, don’t they? So why not get people comfortable paying bills that way, across all generations.

How is it getting on ?

Very well. Success read rates at 99% speak to our service differentiator and we are progressively gaining new business with financial institutes across the country. Market timing is fickle in the states, yet financial institutions are now understanding being behind on financial technology is no longer viable. We’re contracting nationwide, utilizing both a reseller model and direct as well. Our founder, Ralph Marcuccilli is a visionary. He received the patent/trademark and our CMO, Kelli Schultz, is a Power FemTech female, hailing from the school of iPay as President before acquisition. Recently we’ve built some great partnerships with other FinTech firms, so collaboration is definitely alive and well.

How well are conventional banks responding to the changing Fintech developments?

I don’t like to speak in generalities on “conventional banks”. To me, each one is unique and could be progressive  or traditional, as it truly depends on the culture and its leadership. That being said, if the banks don’t have a digital mindset and a risk management enterprise approach, they are not responding well and bleeding out sloooowly. For those that are ready and capable with project prioritization of FinTech solutions based on their consumers needs, they’re taking command, names and (creating) numbers. They understand governance, compliance and the regulatory environment, working through issues with smart, calculated risk and appropriate control.

What should they be doing better?

Understanding the global marketplace, read more, listen more, question more, and get outside the four walls of their shop. The evolution continues. Get with the program or find a really good M & A firm to seek bids ;).

How often do you find yourself having to talk about #femtech?

I am finding it more and more, and I never used to as it was always a “taboo” subject in my corporate world growing up. It’s time. Sam Maule and Christine DuHaime, Innotribe and several quite accomplished companies  and startups (Ellevate, Project Eve, etc) are bringing the issue to light.

Is some / much of what you do gender neutral?

Everything should be gender neutral, shouldn’t it? Unfortunately, we all know that’s not the way 20th century workforce and cultural roles were established. I’ll say it again -It’s time.

How has the last 12 months been?

Networking, questioning, and learning the FinTech world. FinTech’s constant change has been invigorating. It’s funny, I was told in my FinServ days that I moved too fast and people weren’t ready. I guess it’s just figuring out what pace works with the team you’re with and how passionate we are about achieving something greater than before.

Anything you’d do differently?

Professionally, Nope.

What Fintech trends are you excited by?

Machine Learning – anything that can contextually assimilate information in real time, influence my behavior and potentially change my habits for the better – blows my mind.  The evolution of blockchain. Real time Payments. People/communities in developing countries who are positively impacted by the power of Fintech.

Do you think bitcoin (or something similar) will achieve wide adoption?

No.

We have a lot of fintech innovation happening in Ireland and in Europe in general –  how does the US banking sector look from your perspective in comparison?

Regulatory stunted, culturally more backward….and hungry to prove itself again. Hopefully for the better, with a sense of urgency.

Your plans for the future?

Always in Financial world. Funny, I can no longer say Financial institution. I’d rather say, in Financial Inclusion, whatever that means.

The intersection of Tech + People + Finance.

Blogging, who do you follow / like?

I follow many – in and outside fintech. Too numerous. (Brad Leimer, @jack , Dan Pontefract, Krawcheck, @umairh

Research insights: Gartner, Anthemis Group, Capgemini, Accenture, BI, The Economist, Wired.

Yet my go-to authors/books/papers will always be John Kotter, Ram Charan, Jim Collins, Brian Solis, and Warren Buffett’s Annual Report to shareholders, WSJ, NYT, WashingtonPost, Atlantic, MITSloan, HBR,  Books provided me business fundamentals that I could use and put test pilot programs in place while I worked at fi ;).

Anxiously waiting for Augmented and ValueWeb from those two FinTech futurists.

How do you manage life / work, and online / offline balance?

Not well. Yet I work on finding my blend on a daily basis.  Offline – Is that possible for FinTech? 

Anything else to add / we should have asked you?

I created a business model in 2009 that fits any 21st c business. It helped our $700M fi evolve, simplify a strategic plan, and recreate performance measures that matter. A model that can adapt, yet the core remains the same –  reasonable profit, greater purpose and continual change. It’s 3D and continuously moves based on communication loop, external changes and internal collaboration. 341 model.


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or @SimonCocking

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