InterviewFinTech Interview with the President and COO, Dwolla – Dave Glaser

FTB News DeskAugust 17, 202121 min

Dave Glaser from Dwolla talks about the changing fintech landscape and how digital payments are empowering businesses amidst this pandemic.
Dave Glaser,President and COO, Dwolla

Dave Glaser is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Dwolla. With more than 20 years of experience in the enterprise payments space, Dave is growing Dwolla’s position in the market as a modern payments platform. Prior to Dwolla, Dave was the Senior Vice President of Global Acceptance Solutions at Mastercard, where he spearheaded new point-of-sale initiatives, acceptance products and solutions for acquirers and merchants, including the industry’s first CloudPOS acceptance technology.

1. Tell us about yourself and your role at the company?
I serve as President and COO at Dwolla, a modern payments platform. In my role, I lead the company’s enterprise growth strategies while developing world-class customer onboarding, implementation and service processes. I’m also focused on helping build a team with diverse experiences, ideas and people, further contributing to Dwolla’s culture of employee-led growth and thought creativity, and growing relationships with FinTechs, merchants and acquirers to fuel the rapid adoption of Dwolla’s ACH, Push-to-Debit and Real-time Payments technology in the B2B space.
Growing up in the Midwest, I was excited to join a fast-growing Fintech startup in the heart of the Heartland. Having been in the payments space for more than 20 years, I was already aware of the company’s successes — Dwolla’s leadership position in modern payments and plans to scale up to enterprise-level businesses were ultimately what enticed me to join the company.

2. Can you venture your journey into the market for our Audience?
I began my career in FinTech at CyberSource, helping build the company’s professional and managed services operations. In 2010, Visa acquired CyberSource for $2 billion. Following the acquisition, I led the growth of its global services division into a $40 million annual revenue department with 200 employees globally.
In 2014, I joined Worldpay in London as Chief Customer Experience Officer, overseeing more than 300 people in five regions. At Worldpay, I bolstered my enterprise leadership and helped build scalable and automated customer processes that contributed to a successful IPO and $10.4 billion merger with Vantiv.
Before joining Dwolla, I served as Senior Vice President of Global Acceptance Solutions at Mastercard, spearheading new point-of-sales initiatives, acceptance products and solutions for acquirers and merchants, including the industry’s first CloudPOS acceptance technology.

3. What according to you are the top Fintech Trends ruling the Market?
Some of the trends we’re seeing in the FinTech industry include the rise of digital banking and wallets, the use of AI to streamline financial processes and the growing adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Additionally, COVID-19 accelerated a global shift from cash to contactless digital payments. Now, governments, financial institutions and technology providers are seeking fast, secure and simple solutions to move money digitally.

4. In which ways do you think the Fintech market is adapting technology in their day-to-day routine?

Every day, technology changes the way Fintechs do business, enhancing workflows, improving how we interact with customers, and fueling the development of products and services, among other benefits.

At Dwolla, we leverage technology, in the form of a simplified payment API, to help companies rapidly implement payment functionality into an application, website or core offering and start transacting in seven days or less.

5. What is one unique benefit that Dwolla’s Modern Payments Platform provides to its customers?
○ By integrating Dwolla’s payment API, businesses have the flexibility to offer multiple payment options to their vendors and customers for an ideal experience, providing various pricing options, transfer speeds and levels of support. Customers are able to change a small line of code to initiate an RTP® transaction—which challenges the status quo in payments. Moreover, unlike non-configurable payment providers, our white-labeled product gives customers the ability to control the payment experience, keeping users submerged within their own unique brand.

6. How has the recent addition of real-time payments tech helped in serving your clients better?
With real-time payments, our customers have the ability to transfer funds faster than ever before. Processing funds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, gives them the flexibility to optimize cash flow, improve relationships with their users and reduce the time spent on payment processing. The company’s API also provides businesses with accessibility, availability and management of their payment data in real time. The flexibility of multiple payment options, including Same-Day ACH, Push-to-Debit and Real-Time Payments, allows our customers to scale their payments as the business scales.

7. How, according to you, technology is bringing change in the Payments Sector?
Since the onset of the pandemic, the Fintech industry has grown and adapted to the changing landscape, with digital payments quickly emerging as the preferred payment method for businesses. In fact, 77% of business leaders agree that digital currency will play a vital role in the future.
Technology enabled this massive shift in the payments sector—the impact is likely to be long-term with the market continuing to grow. Companies will continue to innovate their payments and enhance their go-to-market strategies to continue making payments faster, smarter and securer for consumers and businesses.

8. As an Evolution Curve, can you take us through the journey of Change that Dwolla was able to bring to the Fintech Sector over the years?
Founded by Ben Milne, Dwolla launched on the simple idea that moving money should be affordable, easy and fast. In 2012, the company developed FiSync, one of the earliest methods for moving money in real time. While the innovation was ahead of its time, the payments landscape didn’t have the motivation to adopt real-time payments, which since gained momentum initiated by The Clearing House (TCH), The Federal Reserve, and higher consumer expectations.
After choosing to stop selling FiSync in 2015, Dwolla shared what the company had learned from launching the technology with the Federal Reserve Faster Payment Task Force, which helped to develop the modern payments system as it stands today in the U.S. The same year, Dwolla pivoted its business model from a digital payments platform for individuals to selling its modern payment technology directly to businesses to embed into their software applications, streamlining money transfers on the ACH Network, on debit cards, and on the RTP® Network.
Today, businesses use Dwolla to facilitate the movement of more than $20 billion annually with a flexible, reliable and easy-to-use payments platform, increasing nearly 80% in 2020. With the addition of real-time payments, Dwolla expects to increase its transaction volume by more than $1 billion this year alone.

9. How do you think Dwolla has contributed to the revolutionizing of the Payments sector?
Dwolla transformed the way businesses move money, streamlining access for businesses to various payment rails through its payment API. Businesses of all sizes — without the technical expertise — can copy and paste minimal lines of code and start moving money on the ACH Network or RTP® Network via Dwolla’s API. By partnering with financial institutions, Dwolla also created a way for customers to program payments without having to switch banks. Dwolla’s API and bank-agnostic technology, along with our continued approach to innovating ACH and real-time payments, will make a lasting impact on the payments space.

10. Can you share one story through which Dwolla was able to solve a complex problem with its customized approach for one of its clients?
Dwolla works with an innovative company that has revolutionized payments for creators and influencers. Their platform integrated Dwolla’s payment technology to access reliable bank transfers through the ACH Network and give their creators a more modern payment experience. After Dwolla released its Real-Time Payments product, this influencer platform integrated the new technology in less than 3 business days. The result? Creators and brands are empowered to facilitate near instant payments directly to creators’ bank accounts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They are eliminating the struggles creators face when it comes to getting paid, as well as maximizing the profit potential for creators.

11. Which movie inspires you the most?
One of my all-time favorite movies is Field of Dreams. This movie has always inspired me in two ways: to set big crazy goals and to make the very best of shared time with my dad. Now that I’ve moved to Iowa, I’m excited to visit the real field of dreams soon.

12. Would you like to share your all-time favorite motivational quote with us?
I’m a wannabe triathlete and like to listen to the Tim Ferriss podcast on my long training rides and runs. I pick up all sorts of insights from industry & thought leaders. One piece of advice that I consider often:
“You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.” – Tim Ferriss

FTB News Desk

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