Embedded finance, finance business partnering, and collaboration between CFOs and product teams - a trio every business must fully grasp and master to succeed in the complex financial landscape of the 21st century. To learn more about them, we spoke to Daniel Yubi, the CEO of Payable.
Daniel holds the prestigious Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, a distinction conferred upon only 200 global tech innovators by TechNation in collaboration with the UK Home Office. Before Payable, Daniel's career trajectory included his participation in the On Deck Fintech Fellowship, a tenure as Senior Product Manager at Checkout.com, and a role as Product Manager at Curve.
Megan - 00:00:18: Today my guest is Daniel Yubi. Daniel is a fintech entrepreneur from Cancún, Mexico, and the founder and CEO of Payable, which is a treasury operations platform based in the UK. Daniel, thank you very much for being my guest on today's episode of CFO Weekly.
Daniel - 00:01:07: Hi Megan, really happy to be here.
Megan - 00:01:09: Yeah, I'm excited. Today's discussion is going to center around three main topics, embedded finance, finance business partnering, and collaboration between CFOs and product teams. We've got a lot to learn from you, so let's get started.
Daniel - 00:01:24: Yeah, well, Megan, thank you so much for having me here. I'm Daniel. I maybe hear a little bit of an accent. This accent is a Cancunian accent. I'm from Cancún. I would say probably there are not a lot of fintech founders from Cancún. My career has been mostly in product. I used to lead product at Checkout.com. That's when I realized that we had to build this kind of payable company or payable product. And yeah, we'd love to hear more about everything I've done from payable to checkout and how you can partner with finance teams.
Megan - 00:01:57: Yeah, absolutely. So like you said, let's start with your career journey and how it is that you got to leading your own company.
Daniel - 00:02:07: Yeah, so just for background, for many of you to the listeners here, I used to be a lawyer back in the old days, and even though I have nothing against lawyers, I prefer being behind the scenes in a laptop just doing a little bit more like programming or some people might say nerdy things rather than being in front of the judge presenting lawsuits, which I used to do before. I joined a company called Clip ages ago. This is like mobile POS. Think about how Tacos can accept card payments that is back in Mexico City. And I find it fascinating how suddenly a business has the opportunity or a way for them to get card payments. And that was my first time I ever run into FinTech. So I was like, “oh, wow, this is great, this is so interesting”. This is so cool how software now enables a company just to have a better way for them to just increase their revenue through product. Then I moved to the UK and I joined Checkout.com where I had a task to build payment products for marketplaces and platforms. So normally the way card payments work traditionally is if you're a SaaS company or you're selling, let's use an example of Netflix. When you go to Netflix to buy something, the payment is really simple. It's Megan, put in the card, and then they get streaming videos from Netflix and happy days. That's just basically how it is. But let's say there was a company called Cheflix, which is a marketplace to bring chefs around the world so they can teach Megan how to do the amazing tacos. And this chef is in maybe Mexico City, but Megan is in Boston or in the Netherlands. That changes the whole thing of how money needs to be moved because money in Megan is on Europe. Maybe Cheflix is based in Ireland, but the Mexican chef is in Mexico City. So how do you make sure that all money can move in the right place so the finance team, the CFO in this company can track cash really easily between their merchant's money, their money and their customer's money. So I was tasked to do this at Checkout.com. And as I started going more into the details, I realized that the more Fintech products you're building, the harder sometimes it is to track money. And now that we see that many SaaS companies are adding more revenue through payments, it becomes really, really hard to understand the cash. So I had a chat with a good friend of mine. His name is Ross, he's our CTO. He was Director of Engineering as well at Checkout.com. And we started Payable, which is treasury operations solution. But that's how the journey ended up coming to, becoming a founder. Many people think, “hey, just someone has one idea and then because of that idea, you do the jump and then everything works out”. That's not the way it works. We, for myself, had many bad ideas and just by iterating a lot, that's how you ended up with making the jump to say, “I need to solve this”. Because if I don't do this, somebody else will want to do it.
Megan - 00:05:02: So how is Payable’s differentiated from the competition? What was the need that you guys were filling?
Daniel - 00:05:10: Yeah, I think the problem with the CFO back office tool right now is that you get different products that are maybe verticalized. Maybe you have an accounts payable product, maybe you have an accounts receivable product, maybe you have NetSuite or any of the big ERPs and you have bank accounts and you're using a bunch of PSPs. Like you have a lot of this data, financial data that is not really talking to each other. The current competition is mostly incumbents, big old traditional software where they have no APIs, they don't have great tech. Sometimes they don't even are in the cloud, which is crazy. Whereas we come all from a FinTech software background where we can just build really quickly with new modern tech that just makes the life of the CFO and the financial controlling and treasury team just way easier. Also, because we are tackling the problem through our, how do we aggregate these sources, which could be your bank account, your invoices, your ERP data, we make your finance function, everything around the finance tooling to talk to each other. And if the finance data talks to each other, then it's easier for you to take control of your cash, understand where to cut corners in terms of money span, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But to be very simple is not a lot of companies or not companies are not really targeting midsize. They go either very enterprise or very small. There's this amazing market of companies where they would love to have a treasury management solution, but they don't want to pay a lot of money for these really old incumbents.
Megan - 00:06:41: So let's switch gears for a bit and talk about the role of CEO. How have you seen this role evolve over, let's say the last 10 to 15 years, and what does the profile of a modern CEO look like?
Daniel - 00:06:56: Yes, I would say we had the luck that in the last 10 years, we had a bull market. This means you have a product that is increasing revenue, you have all the companies and consumers that have a lot of buying intent and they have spare money to do many experiments. So the CEO will be very focused on building maybe a horizontal product or trying to deepen top of new products that will maybe add more revenue, but it was very experimental. In startup world, sometimes they call this Peacetime CEO. Peacetime CEO is things are working, you are growing, you don't really are worrying about many things just to think creatively on maybe building new products and new revenue lines in the company. I will say that in the last year or so, two years, things changed massively and the focus has been mostly on how do you go back to basics and really think in principle, where's the revenue really coming from so you don't put, well, you don't diversify that much. You just focus on trying to maximize revenue from where it's coming from. I was chatting with some people at segment.com. Segment.com is a very fascinating data analytics platform, very big. And we're discussing about how the whole finance CEO operations has changed in the last, let's say before 2021 to now in the last year. And the biggest difference would be that before 2022, let's say it was acquisition of new customers, new product lines, just grow, grow, grow, and just be creative from new things you can go and sell and try to acquire as many companies you can, sorry, customers or merchants or users, regardless of the cost. From 2021 to now, it's been upselling. This means we already have a cohort of people that love our product. They just work with them to make sure we can maximize revenue from where we know where we have companies paying us. And that's a massive shift. I will also add to this, there's this aspect of a wartime CEO that has been more the reflection of what we've seen in tech, at least in the last year and a half. And this wartime, which sounds very dramatic, right, is the world now is not the best spot, right? We need to cut corners, we need to cut costs, we need to just go back to basics, but you cannot afford waiting. And that's why it's like you have to go to work because you're going against the market and you need to make sure you have to go and survive. What is a modern CEO? I think a modern CEO is a very interesting question because I think the goal of a CEO ultimately, right, if you think about principles, is the CEO should have or make sure that the company has money in the pocket. That's because they are increasing revenue or there's investment and there's a direction of the company. So they're going in the right way. In the next market, next product line, whatever that is. I think in the last, I would say 20, 30 years, that's just been the default of the CEO. And that's the core business. Like that's the core focus for the CEO. I think now people working in certain companies, the employees not only care about if the company is risky or not risky, they want a mission, they want impact. They care about world-life balance. They care about how do you have a culture where you make sure that it's equal to everybody, that you support many other maybe philosophical things that before the business was very focused only on capitalism and increasing revenue. But now many of the modern CEOs, I would say, not only think about this aspect of making sure that you have money in the bank and have direction, but as well making sure that the culture that you are building is the right culture. And I think this definition of culture has changed or improved or modernized for the last 15 years. I would say 15 years ago, the questions that happened in all hands were not the same questions that are being talked about right now. We've seen examples of companies out there where even inside the organization, they're talking about political things or things are happening in the news. We people were still small, we were able to stay small to discuss many of these things internally. But if you have 2,000, 3,000, 5,000, 10,000 employees, you will definitely have to make sure that the modern CEO is also taking care of the modern thinking of everybody that's working with you.
Megan - 00:11:30: And what do you think the ideal relationship between a CFO and a CEO is? How best can the CFO help a wartime CEO?
Daniel - 00:11:40: I'll answer this in two aspects. So the function of the CEO, right, is I have a vision and a mission of the world and this is how the future would look like. And it will work with operations, the product team, to make sure from a product perspective, these can exist in this world. The CFO is the rails of how money-wise that can happen. There are many dimensions to this, right? If it's a public company, how do you make sure that you get the right level of trust and confidence in every quarter, so you get the right level of trust and confidence, so you can continue building that future? An example challenging of this is when Mark Zuckerberg had a very strong vision around not AI, but the multiverse. So ultimately the CFO and the product team, they now need to allocate money for that vision. So they know they have revenue coming from the core. But on the other side, they are now using this money to think about their next big bet, which was a multiverse. So the CFO with the CEO that working together to represent trust of the future of the company on one side is from the CEO is the vision, which is that abstract thinking, but the CFO is the analytical part of it, which represents the cash position of the company. So you can say, “okay, that's great how they're diversifying the current income, we're using that to reinvest for future outcomes of the company”. When you move to wartime CEO, it's the same way, but instead of thinking about future creative thinking for using or allocating some of that money for new products is more, okay, if we go now in the P&L balance sheet, where is the revenue coming from? Where's pricing coming from? What is the unit economics coming from? What's happening at the lower level detail all the way up to strategy from a finance perspective to maximize returns? An example of this, at which end of one of our podcasts, it was with Drouf, he was an early finance leader at Wise and was there all the way when they were listed in the stock exchange, the finance team had the task to really understand the economics of every product line. And by really understanding, let's say how expensive it is to do a card payment or mooting a customer, that the product team can use that to make changes in the product to improve revenue or reduce costs. But as myself as a product person, I don't really know that, right? I don't know the model for the unit economics. I could have an idea, but how do you divide those services across all these product functions? This will come from a finance perspective. And then with a CFO saying, our biggest goal right now should be, let's say in war times, point of view is either maximize revenue in the core products or reduce costs, or maybe these both. But from that objective between the CEO and the CFO, you need to be able to bring all the way down to maybe pricing when you're understanding your unit economics as how the product team is building everything down to the level of detail. And that is a balancing act between the CEO thinking we need to make corners, we need to cut corners, the CFO bringing the model and the strategy financially, all the way down to the product team understanding the unit economics model to reduce costs if the objective is to reduce costs.
Megan - 00:15:07: And you talk about how all businesses will be involved in fintech at some point, otherwise known as embedded financing. So can you explain why this is an evolving trend?
Daniel - 00:15:18: Yeah, 100%. I found it very fascinating how the first wave of businesses were SaaS businesses. An example of this change would be with Mindbody. So Mindbody SaaS for, think about a gym trainer, a yoga teacher, anybody that is in the health. World that they want to make sure they have the right software for running their little business that could be their yoga school or gym class or another health class. And Mindbody started with that, just being very focused for someone to sell their classes or whatever that is. And they realized, “why don't we become a payments company?” What if, let's say Daniel wants to not only work with Megan, let's say Megan in this case, sorry, Megan, I keep using that as my example. That's all right. But let's say Megan is a yoga teacher and you have a very successful yoga school. You want to have a software for your appointments and for your classes. You go to Mindbody and I pay, I don't know, 20 pounds, $20 who cares a month, but all payments are being done on cash or you may be using something else to accept those payments. But Mindbody says, “well, why don't we allow Megan to charge Daniel a subscription fee?” So instead of maybe selling class by class, sells a subscription, which is a bundle. And that's what they did. Mindbody became a payments company in payments terms, it became a pay fact, which is a pain facilitator company. Uber is a pain facilitator as well. Deliveroo, many of these companies are payment companies, but we just don't see that because we think about payments is that it's like you ordering something on Amazon. You don't care if the package has been delivered by FedEx, UPS or probably a mail. You don't care. You will have a decision, a function of two things, price and speed. If you want to maybe not pay a lot of money, maybe it's going to take long or maybe you want to pay fast so you can get that package faster to you. And that's payments, right? Do you want as a consumer and a merchant to make sure you can charge and get the money in the fastest way? So SaaS companies are thinking about it in this way because by adding this finance as a service, this embedded financing, it gives the option to the SaaS company to have another revenue line and take a bigger piece of the pie. That's on the payment side. I think another aspect as well that I've seen is think about like lending as a service or invoice factoring. Let's think about you are a marketplace where you want to hire, let's say the marketplace allows someone to hire someone like a freelancer or a designer, somebody somewhere else in the world, right? So let's say you're Adidas, Adidas wants to hire a creator, Adidas wants to hire a designer. So you use this platform to make sure you can find all of these people. But the problem is you have a cash flow problem. Adidas will pay the freelancer in 30, 60, 90 days. The freelancer wants to make sure it gets paid faster because they have a cash flow problem. Then the marketplace, which basically what they do is help connect brands, the creators of brands with freelancers, thinks about, okay, why do we add a lending angle of this? So we get paid by the brand. We pay faster to the freelancer. We wait for the brand to pay us. So these are the things that are happening inside these SaaS or marketplaces companies to add this fintech angle to the business model.
Megan - 00:18:47: And you call for better collaboration between CFOs and product teams. Why do you think this is necessary?
Daniel - 00:18:55: Yeah, look, when we think about these new kind of like FinTech angle, FinTech product, if you are the product manager, you will only build things the way you want it because sometimes product managers don't really think about the balance sheet and the P&L and unit economics. If you think about the finance function building everything on like if there were the ones who were building the products, they will be thinking about maybe the cheapest way for them to build something, even though maybe they have no idea how to build things. When you bring the finance team and the product team together, you have this intersection of the unit economics, the cost, how feasible viable it is to build this, and then what is the potential outcome of this? If you leave just one part of it, then either you build something that's very expensive or very costly, not even good product because the finance won't be able to build this. This other example that I mentioned before with WISE, it was a really interesting example where the product team will have access to the unit economics to really know what are the levels that they can go and use and move around to improve the product experience. Also, if you are now going to tackle a new payment process or for adding, let's say, payments as a feature, you also have to think all the aspects of it, which is, okay, let's say we use a new provider to, in this example before that Megan is the yoga teacher that wants to accept payments. Do we need to be regulated? If not, okay, where's the money going to be sent? Okay, what's my money versus the merchant's customer's money? If we are closing the books at the end of the month or the quarter, how do we easily track and reconcile all the cash? The program is not thinking about it, it's just thinking about, “okay, how do I make sure I get money from A to B as fast as possible to improve conversion or acquisition, whatever that is”. And the finance function is not only thinking about the unit economics, but as well as saying, “okay, we have a new revenue line, we have more settlement, bulk payments from the processors, how do I make sense of these?” Because I don't have all the context. And these were products that need to work together so everything can be in sync and they can really understand the cash position.
Megan - 00:21:05: And can you offer any practical guidance to product teams and finance teams to bridge skill and knowledge gaps and improve cross-collaboration?
Daniel - 00:21:15: Yeah, 100%. So I believe everything, one of the things I keep saying to the company is we have to lead with context, right? Context is that piece of information that two groups, in this case, the finance domain and the product team require to really come online and make decisions. But for them to be in the same page, there needs to be a common objective. So let's think about you are legal SaaS company, they create software for law firms, so they can manage their contracts, manage their bills, manage how they're billing their companies. If the company suddenly wants to add a Fintech angle, they need to make sure they have as an objective, we want to increase revenue by X by adding payments as a strategy. And when you define that, the finance team and product team needs to go deeper. What does it mean to accept payments? Is payments a bank transfer? So it's cheaper, but recon is not that great. Why? Because you will get all of these random bank transfers being sent into the bank account so you can easily track them. Or do we use a PSP, a payment service provider, like a payment processor? Okay, what should we do there? What is the cost? So this is where the finance team and the product team definitely have to understand what the success really looks like. And they work backwards and say, “okay, what is the minimal thing we can build so we can validate this with current customers in a segment that maybe won't affect a lot of revenue or customer base”, and then bring it to market. Normally, product teams were very used to moving fast and building really quickly. I will say finance teams are more risk averse. They prefer to, yeah, just that's why they love spreadsheets. Hey, they have control because they can run the formulas and be lookups to really understand what's happening. When the CFO brings the objective, we the CEO, to say, “hey, we believe we can increase revenue by adding these new product line that is from payments”, then the finance team and the product team needs to balance in a way to say, “okay, what can we build fast without making the feel that they are in a black box that don't understand anything for them to close the books and just either get audited, they can really understand their accounting”.
Megan - 00:23:34: And let's talk about risks and regulatory frameworks for a second. You're moving money in a global marketplace. I'm sure there's a lot to think about. So do you have any advice for managing these constraints?
Daniel - 00:23:47: Yeah, so one of the things that happens is that in the US, you have a more flexible law or regulatory scrutiny compared to UK and Europe. Here in the UK and in Europe, we have something called PSE2. And there are many nuances of that. It basically says, okay, if you are accepting payments because you have a fintech angle marketplace, as a really good example, that means that you are not allowed to hold money that belongs to your customers. And if you do want to hold money that belongs to your customers, then you need to be regulated or you use a regulated entity. Let's use an example of this. Let's say you are Airbnb. So to keep it simple, you as a consumer, as a person, I want you to stay here in London in a beautiful flat. And Megan, in this case, is renting her flat to me. After payment goes through, the money is going to stay in an escrow account. It's going to stay somewhere. So then if I'm happy, money needs to be sent to Megan minus Airbnb's fees. So what happens in the UK, though, is the marketplace, which will be an Airbnb equivalent, they are required to use a regulated entity so they know what money is Megan's money, and what's their fees, and the rest of the money. Normally, the way this is called is Corporate Cash, which is for your bills, your invoices, everything that is for you to run the business, and then your client's money, which is in the UK, is called Safeguarding, which are protecting your savings. You're making sure this money is protected for Megan. What happens then is that these marketplaces grows and realize, “oh my god, we can make so much money, and we should be fully regulated. We should become a payments company, which we've already discussed before”. Then they teach these payment processor, and they take over to be a licensed payments company, so they can hold money for in these days Megan. So the key thing here, and my advice, is you really need to understand the law, because there are certain business models that look like a marketplace, that appear like a marketplace, that makes you think that you need to be regulated where you don't have to be regulated. You can still store customer funds. Of course, you need to make sure you track them, but you can just make sure that it's reconciled to send them to your customers. This is called an agent exception in the whole world, but if you are regulated, you need to make sure you track money very, very, very well. We've seen companies in the last couple of years, like FTX and many others, where they found loopholes on, not, well, they did not track customer funds, and they move money in the wrong way. But the key thing here is, you should understand your business model. You should understand how money moves through your system. What is the business model you have, not for the investors, because for the investors, you're a marketplace, but for the authority, if you are for the actual complex authority here in the UK, who are you? What are you really trying to do? And same in the US, right? And then last point is, if you're in the US, yeah, use an FBO for the benefit account, right? So just use separate accounts to managing customer cash, all their accounts, so everything's easier to reconcile. But just really, you have to double down on understanding what is your business model, so it's easy for you to reconcile and avoiding being into regulatory stripping.
Megan - 00:27:04: And can you share your experience of how the use of data-driven decisions has impacted financial planning strategy and overall financial performance for you?
Daniel - 00:27:14: Yeah, a hundred percent. So I think if you're not able to track your performance right now, or you're never to track where money's coming from, then it becomes really, really hard. So one of the things that we're building right now, payable is you have your, your normal accounts, your P&L, your balance sheet, then you have your bank account as well, which is all the bank money that's going into your account. One of the interesting things that we're seeing from customers is how do you forecast your P&L in a way so you can easily use all the common bills against any model that you want to go and make sure you want to make changes to. That's one example of this is I think we've seen forecasting tools that they use everything that left the bank account. And then you say, “Hey, please increase my model by 10%, 50%”. And then you run that very linearly. What we're trying to do now here payable is leverage the bills and invoices, everything that is in the ERP. It's a data point to improve forecasting and improve all financial performance. I think normally financial performance is just done separated from the bank and the ERP, the ERP is what the reality of what it is like the accounting for the business, how your actual performer is, but it's always the lay of what's happening in the bank data. So we're trying to mix these two to help companies have a better understanding of financial performance and just make sure that they can make better decisions.
Megan - 00:28:40: And how do you think finance business partnering is going to change in the future?
Daniel - 00:28:44: Yeah, I was thinking about this question. It's an interesting thing though. I think one of the things that we are noticing very strong is when you think about the finance function, you have the CFO, which is strategic, making sure that the vision of CEO is applicable from a financial perspective. And that requires many things from what we discussed. Then if you think about the FP&A team, that will be maybe the function, which is very more planning strategic. Then you have the treasury team, which is thinking operationally as well as strategic, do we need to maybe put money in a market fund so we can increase revenue? But treasury has a bit of a mix between the increase in revenue, but as well as understanding cost. And then when you do financial controlling or the more general finance managers, this is where it gets a little bit tricky because this function could be, “hey, let's make sure we're getting paid on time because we have a lot of unpaid invoices”. “Hey, well, let's make sure we pay all our bills on time because we have X number of bills to do for AP”. But a lot of these functions, the financial controlling function, as the word states, is control. But the time is spent on the control side is making sure that every record and line item is matching, tracked and recorded. So then the rest of the teams can set up the right controls and the right models to be more strategic. My assumption is that this has to change in the coming years because just as we have chime in the US or months in the UK where consumer banking data has improved by 10X, the billing descriptor, the transactional data has improved so much in the consumer side. That is normal that this has to go into the enterprise bank side of things. So if the bank data gets improved and then the other aspects of sources, the ERPs, whatever that is, all of it raises their quality of data, then the financial controlling and finance team should be moving away from counting records to make sure that they're really making better decision in the future. That's one part of it, which is we have these bank connectivity data normalization problem. And then there's other aspect, which is new technologies such as ChatGPT or AI or Machine Learning models that are enabling, allowing the customer, the merchant in this case, to use the data in a smarter way. Because as we mentioned before, everything's contextual, right? So when you're making a decision to maybe reduce costs or do a financial modeling or reconcile a payment, he's the financial controller that is using different data points to make the right judgment call with the context that it has. And if these context can be scaled by X-fold due to a model such as ChatGPT or AI, then it means that the finance function should also be improving and changing. That also, last but not least, it means that when the product teams and the other aspects of the function is building new products, then partnering with the finance domain will be way more strategic rather than sometimes going at these record line item side of things, which is a little bit more operational, more tactical.
Megan - 00:32:03: And what advice would you give to other companies looking to break into Fintech or maybe just diversify revenue streams and start dabbling in Fintech?
Daniel - 00:32:13: Well, I think Fintech is now is the best time to, as a SaaS company, to start a Fintech company. There are so many products out there in the world that allows you to start things really, really quickly. And of course, if you ended up using some of these companies, then Payable can bring it together for you to make sure you can make better cash controls, better decisions. I will say that the risk of starting a FinTech angle inside your SaaS or your company has been the risk by a lot. You can e-trade and get a FinTech product in a couple of weeks or months, depending on the size of your business. And that's something you couldn't do before. And maybe yes, maybe you have them won't be the best because you're seeing third-party providers, but you will be able to validate and make sure you have an extra revenue line and then do the whole budgeting and put more money to allocate this. So my biggest advice is yes, give it a try, go for it. There are many companies that can help you add that FinTech angle as a SaaS company. I also encourage CFOs to think outside of the box and think about how you work with the product teams to increase revenue and add product lines such as payments in this case or e-commerce factoring or embedded finance. So you can add more revenue. And last but not least, if you do take that angle of FinTech and you want to add more payments and more investing and all of these things, just make sure you reconcile everything and you have an understanding of if your model requires you to be under the law, try to remove as much risk as possible. But my biggest advice is yeah, go for it, which is a really fun experience. And what I've talked with many SaaS companies and marketplaces, yes, it is hard to track FinTech because I think the problem with FinTech is that if you come from a SaaS company, you need to understand what good looks like in all of these FinTech options. Hire a FinTech PM, bring it over. These person can give you a lot of advice to navigate all these FinTech options. But the reality is that the time for you, it takes you to build and launch a FinTech company is way less than 10 years ago.
Megan- 00:34:19: And last question, but as a business leader, what's keeping you up at night?
Daniel - 00:34:23: Yeah, so I think two things. One is how do we make sure we Payable in this case continue to grow and continue to sales, continue to just basically grow. That's one of the key things. I think this is more of a short medium term. That's where most of my time is thinking. And then second is, what is the future of Payable looks like? What is this $10 billion company will look like? And don't get me wrong, I think if I ask a CSB founder, or even a CSC, and even an IPO, a listed company as the founder, probably will say the same is you're solving your short-medium time problems, and then you're thinking about the long term problems. And as the CEO, my job is to make sure we have money in the bank, keep making sales, and have a direction. And that's basically what keeps me awake at night is how do we continue making sure our customers are happy, can you building great things, and then how these features and products come together to platform that can bring bigger customers that they can go and change the finance industry, the finance domain. If I can build a product that it can be truly the back office tool of a CFO, and the finance team can just fully collaborate across all the functions in 15 years, I'll be extremely happy. And now is the journey that we're trying to figure out everything so we can get there.
Megan - 00:35:48: Daniel, thank you so much for being my guest today.
Daniel - 00:35:51: Thank you, Megan. It was so much fun. It was really lovely. Thank you so much.
Megan - 00:35:54: Yeah, I really enjoyed speaking with you and thanks for finding the time to be here with us today to share your experience and knowledge for listeners that want to find out more about Payable. Is it just payable.com?
Daniel - 00:36:05: No, so it's payable.co. We're still fighting for that M, but yeah, you can find us in, yeah, you know how domains are Megan. So I think when you asked me what else are you thinking about, I was like, “hey, how do I build a big business so we can get that M from .co.” But you can find us in payable.co and you can find me @DanielYubi and you can find us everywhere as PayableHQ as well in social media.
Megan - 00:36:29: Thank you. And to all of our listeners, please tune in next week and until then, take care.
Daniel - 00:36:34: Thank you, everybody.
In this episode, we discuss:
The role of embedded finance
The potential of finance business partnering
Collaboration between CFOs and product teams
Key compliance strategies for marketplace financial operations
Modern CEO Dynamics
In the past two years, the CEO role has evolved from a growth-centric "peacetime" focus to a more conservative "wartime" approach due to market shifts. Modern CEOs must ensure financial health and set the company's direction but also nurture a culture that aligns with modern workforce values, including mission impact and work-life balance. At the same time, the CFO plays a vital role by providing financial guidance to support the CEO's vision, ensuring strategic resource allocation and operational cost-effectiveness.
“I think now people working in certain companies, the employees not only care about if the company is risky or not risky, they want a mission, they want impact. They care about world-life balance. Now, many of the modern CEOs not only think about this aspect of making sure that you have money in the bank and have direction but also making sure that the culture you are building is the right culture.” Yubi said. - 06:41 - 15:07
Unlocking New Revenue Streams with Embedded Finance
Businesses are increasingly integrating fintech to diversify revenue and enhance user experience. SaaS companies, like Mindbody, are evolving into payment facilitators to allow for seamless financial transactions within their platforms. Embedded finance is a growing trend as it adds value for both service providers and their customers, solving issues like cash flow constraints in the marketplace.
“By adding this finance as a service, this embedded financing, it gives the option to the SaaS company to have another revenue line and take a bigger piece of the pie.” Yubi said. - 15:07 - 18:47
The Critical Partnership of CFOs and Product Teams
Optimal product development in fintech goes down to a fruitful collaboration between CFOs and product teams. This ensures a balance between innovative product design and good financial management. Working as a team enables the development of cost-effective, viable products while maintaining clear financial tracking and understanding of the overall cash situation.
“Context is that piece of information that two groups, in this case, the finance domain and the product team, require to come online and make decisions. But for them to be on the same page, there needs to be a common objective.” Yubi said. - 18:47 - 21:05
Key Compliance Strategies for Marketplace Financial Operations
For businesses operating in financial markets, it's essential to understand the specific regulatory requirements in your region, such as the PSE2 in the UK and Europe, which dictates how to handle customer funds. However, regardless of the location, the fundamental advice is to thoroughly understand your business model and the flow of money within your system to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and to avoid legal and financial pitfalls.
“The key thing is you should understand your business model; you should understand how money moves through your system.” Yubi said. - 23:34 - 27:04
Enhancing Embedded Finance Strategy with Data-Driven Decision-Making
Implementing data-driven decision-making in financial planning significantly enhances financial performance by enabling precise tracking of cash flow and revenue sources; improving financial forecasts by integrating data from different financial documents; and allowing for scalable and flexible financial modeling to anticipate and adapt to changes efficiently.
Also, the evolving role of finance business partnering will most likely shift away from transactional control to strategic decision-making, driven by improved data quality from ERP and banking systems and the integration of advanced technologies like AI and machine learning.
“New technologies such as ChatGPT, AI, or Machine Learning models are allowing the customer to use the data in a smarter way.” Yubi said. - 27:04 - 32:03
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