Marwan Forzley is an innovator and visionary who is passionate about building companies through disruptive technologies and global strategies. After founding and selling eBillme to Western Union, Forzley became the GM of eCommerce and Strategic Partnerships with Western Union.
1. Can you briefly introduce yourself?
As co-founder and CEO of Veem, I am passionate about revolutionizing global payments with innovative technologies to help businesses grow at home and abroad.
Whether it is a supplier payment, a labor payment, collecting money from your buyers or transferring money between your own bank accounts, global payments should really be as simple as paying for coffee.
I am also the author of “Small Business in a Big World: A Comprehensive Guide to Doing International Business,” which helps small businesses with everything they need to know about taking their operations to the international level, from business culture to negotiation tactics.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this industry?
Prior to co-founding Veem, I founded and served as CEO of eBillme, an online payments solution that extended online banking to the merchant’s checkout process.
After selling eBillme to Western Union, I joined the Western Union’s digital team as General Manager, eCommerce and Strategic Partnerships.
With extensive experience and expertise in eCommerce infrastructure, and alternative payments, I have always been passionate about building better payment systems that leverages technology and delights the customer.
3. How do you think multi-rail technology is upgrading the payments industry? How does your payment experience bridge together blockchain technology and fiat currency transactions?
Multi-rail tech optimizes for price and speed for payments of all sizes. At Veem, multi-rail democratizes payments for users by providing a level of access that is nearly impossible to achieve otherwise — as this higher access is typically reserved for larger companies by banks.
The multi-rail payment experience can easily be compared to travel. For example, there are several ways to travel at our disposal, such as road, rail or plane. However, there are a few factors that determine how you will get to your destination, such as where you want to go, the time you want to spend and perhaps most importantly, your budget.
Most of the time, the amount you’re able to spend will directly influence the level of quality you can expect from your travel experience. With multi-rail, Veem is able to bring that same flexibility to payments for small-to-midsize businesses that larger companies have come to expect. We optimize for quickest speed, at the best cost, in the most secure way.
Within our multi-rail module, Veem leverages five different methods to transfer funds — including our own international bank account infrastructure, cards and blockchain. Bridging blockchain and fiat currency together extends this seamless and invisible experience to the customer.
4. Veem had recently launched an automated, Self-Service SBA Payroll Protection Program Loan Application. Can you lead us into that?
Absolutely. We created an online process that routes submitted applications to our lending partners for processing. Many banks were overwhelmed with demand, so our existing partnership structures greatly helped to connect business owners to lending partners who had capacity for applicants .
Along the way, we also provided 24/7 online support to any business that needed help with the online application process, free of charge.
This was possible because of overlap between Veem’s day-to-day payment processes and the verification data banks required from small businesses who were applying for the Paycheck Protection Program loan through the US Small Business Administration under the CARES Act.
5. What impact do you think this program is having on the fintech sector?
I think our industry’s response to alleviate the challenges associated with the PPP loan program is a testament to how flexible and agile fintech companies are.
It was rewarding to see the fintech sector mobilize to make the PPP loan process a little easier and less painful for small businesses. Veem was one of several fintechs that worked with lending partners and banks to pump out $349 billion in government funds to small businesses when PPP loans were first announced.
6. What digital innovation in the tech space do you think will make its mark in 2020?
Over the past six months, the obvious innovation that we have seen in the tech space are focused on empowering a seamless transition to a longer-term distributed work environment.
We are also seeing innovations in digital identity and security which are very relevant to the fintech and payments space and beyond. Digital identity allows for remote and seamless access to systems and services.
More recently, Bill Gates announced he supported the use of digital identity to further COVID-19 lockdown exit strategies using digital certificates that provide verified insight to who has been tested and recovered.
7. How do you pace up with the rapidly developing tech world?
At Veem, we’ve built an internal culture that empowers the entrepreneurial spirit which is a constant source of inspiration and innovation. We encourage ideas to be funnelled by members from all departments at Veem.
The most important action entrepreneurs should prioritize to keep pace, is lasering in on solving problems for the customer.
Tracking feedback and introducing features and products that people actually want and will provide near immediate ROI are integral to overall growth. If you want to keep up, it’s important to continue building valuable products that change the way people do business.
8. What book are you currently reading?
“What to do is who you are” by Ben Horowitz.
9. What is that one quote that you swear by?
Enjoy the journey as much as the destination.