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The Front Page of Global Fintech

The the largest fintech community in the world. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest in news opinions, and all things financial technology.

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🎧 Podcast: Hey Fintech Friends ft James Mirfin (Visa) & Parilee Wang (Alloy)

"We always talk about fraud, and we talk about financial crime. But I always come back to the fact that there's a human impact to this. So at the end of the day, people are getting taken advantage of, and it's typically the most vulnerable."

🎧 Podcast: Hey Fintech Friends ft James Mirfin (Visa) & Parilee Wang (Alloy)

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‎Hey Fintech Friends!: Hey Fintech Friends ft James Mirfin (Visa) & Parilee Wang (Alloy) on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Hey Fintech Friends!, Ep Hey Fintech Friends ft James Mirfin (Visa) & Parilee Wang (Alloy) - 1 May 2023

Listen to the full episode on Spotify or Apple


0.55 - Fintechionary DAO

2.13 - News

6.00 Guest Interviews ft James Mirfin (Visa) & Parilee Wang (Alloy)

41.10 - Signals Fintech joins the frontlines of the war in Ukraine

43.00 - Events


Helen 0:00
Hey FinTech friends.

Hey FinTech friends. My name is Helen Femi Williams and I'm your host of Hey FinTech friends. I hope you're doing well. I know I am.

So let's talk about the structure of this podcast. We're gonna go through the FinTechionary, the news. And if you subscribe to The this week in FinTech newsletter, you're in luck because this is the audio version. Then we're going to have chat with this week's friends James and Parilee, and then we'll go through signals and events. So hope you enjoy this episode.

This week's fintechionary is DAOs this isn't actually something we discuss in this episode with my guests. But this morning, I was explaining to my sister what a DAO was. And it kind of put me in the position of the question that I asked my guests which is if, if you were talking to your mom, and you're trying to explain this or your non-FinTech friend, how'd you explain what you do or these terminologies? So I had to do it too!

Fintechtionary: DAOs

According to Investopedia, A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is an emerging form of legal structure with no central governing body and whose members share a common goal to act in the entity's best interest. Popularized through cryptocurrency enthusiasts and blockchain technology, DAOs are used to make decisions in a bottom-up management approach.


Interview with James and Parilee

James is the Global Head of Risk and Identity Solutions for Visa, a role that he was asked to take on in April, stepping up from previously leading strategy and operations, where he was redefining the strategy and operating model for one of Visa’s fastest growth businesses. Partnering with an amazingly talented team, and an incredible portfolio of customers to redefine the role Visa plays, helping to make more payments simple and safe, however, wherever and whoever you pay.

Parilee Edison Wang is the Chief Product Officer at Alloy, the identity platform for fraud and risk decisions. She has spent the last 15 years working in product and fintech, driven by the opportunity to help solve interesting problems without obvious answers. Parilee received her bachelor's degree in international relations from Stanford University in 2008 and a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School in 2013.

Summary of Interview:

Thank you so much for joining me. So glad we've managed to talk. Where are you guys signing in from?

Parilee 7:16
We were just discussing that I'm based in Park City, Utah. Alloy is headquartered in New York. So I spend a fair bit of time in both places.

James 7:24
I know I'm, I'm in the northern suburbs of Dallas. So I spend a little bit of time here at the moment. I'm on the road a lot. But yeah, here this week,

Helen 7:32
okay. That's great. I mean, obviously, James, because you have a British accent. I was like, oh, maybe he's also in the UK. And it's 8 pm for him too. But that's nice.. So it'll be good to kind of start from like, just knowing a bit about you guys. knowing a bit about Alloy knowing a bit about Visa Do you want to tell me a little bit about you and how you started working at Alloy like your story? .

Parilee 8:01
Yeah, absolutely. So I'm the Chief Product Officer at Alloy an identity risk platform that focuses on fraud, credit and compliance risk solutions for folks building financial products. And I've been at Alloy for about a year.

Helen 8:37
I guess, if I was speaking to your non-FinTech friends, or if you were speaking to your mom, or just someone who's not working every day in the sort of like ecosystem, how would you explain Alloy? And, like what you're doing?

Parilee 8:53
Yeah, it's a great question. And it's actually one we think a lot about, because it's easy to get, you know, pretty jargony pretty fast and risk identity-type spaces. I talk about it because if you think about what makes it harder to build really good financial products than it is to build lots of other really good products, it's risk. So if you think about building, for example, a new note taking app, creating a new note, writing some things in your note, letting people see your note, there's not a lot of risk in that there's not a lot that's going to go wrong.

But when you think about building financial products, everything you do in a financial product has a lot of risk behind it. It has compliance risks, you might be interacting with a criminal, and then you're on the hook for fines. If you get that wrong. You might be enabling a fraudster that's there to steal your money or that's there to steal the money of your customers.

You know that that is also very risky. If you're building credit products, you are giving away money that is very easy to give away and a lot harder to get back. So on all of those fronts. really anything you do in a financial product has, you know, pretty high risk of going wrong. And what Alloy does it sits behind the scenes and make decisions about how risky everything is, how risky making a payment is, how risky letting a new person onto your platform is.

And you know, by looking at that fraud risk, that credit risk and that compliance risk in the background, we let creators of financial products build really good front-end experiences that don't feel clunky and like you have to jump through 1000 hoops to access the financial products you want. And on the back end, you're you know, every bit as safe if not safer than you would be if you were creating a lot more friction. So that's how I think about and talk about the Alloy products to friends and family

Helen 10:48
know, there's so much to unpack there because you're kind of, you're kind of part of every element of the kind of transaction from the onboarding, to the monitoring to the underwriting to I guess, the consumer as well.

I have so many questions about that. But before I kind of continue. James, I'm curious, what do you do? And how does Visa come into this?

James 11:35
Yeah, so I lead the risk and identity solutions business for Visa. So, my 11-year-old asked me the other week, actually, what do you really do that and so I said it, my team, basically look after the products that help us or help our customers to move money safely.

So whenever someone uses a Visa card, or, you know, does a transaction using Visa, we are building the products and the data models. You know, using technology to try and keep those safe, and to make sure that the bad guys don't get their hands on, you know, money that they shouldn't be able to touch.

So that's it very simply. And prior to this, I was with London Stock Exchange and Refinitiv, leading their risk intelligence, digital identity, and fraud products. And then prior to that I was with AmEx and PayPal.

So coming to Visa and getting to look at risk and identity gave me a chance to bring together the experience I've had previously in payments, which I've always loved, and the risk and identity and fraud space. And it was like the dream opportunity and been here about six or seven months now and haven't looked back ever since. Because it's it's a problem that's just getting more and more complex. And the criminals are getting access to the same technology that we all have access to except they don't have to sit in boardrooms and you know, write business cases, they just get their hands on it. So yeah, it's a really interesting space. And one that that keeps all of us, I think, Alloy and Visa and many other companies very, very busy at the moment.

Helen 13:01
Yeah, that's really interesting. And I think you're right there is like, I remember, I used to be in kind of credit risk underwriting, and you do spend a lot of time like, I remember, you know, as a graduate spending a lot of time googling these things, trying to work it out.

And I remember even back then thinking like, this feels like it should be automated, like it's not because I'm doing the work. But in your head, you think that there's like a system where where all these things can be automated, but at the same time, like you said, with all these elements being automated, a lot of people do have access to it. And so how do you make sure that it doesn't sit in that the wrong hands? And how does Visa and Alloy like intersect with each other? Like, how do you guys work with each other?

Parilee 13:45
Yeah, sure, I think that we work on a lot of interesting kind of complementary aspects of, of this broad risk space, which, you know, makes chatting with each other and potentially working together really exciting. I think about, you know, Alloy really sitting on the back end across kind of full identity risk management for a wide variety of financial products. And, you know, many, many of our clients work with Visa as well for a lot of their, you know, transactions and processing. And so, you know, lots of interesting overlaps in the space for

James 14:25
sure. Yeah, I just add to that, I mean, Visa, we have quite a structured FinTech partners programme, of which Alloy is part of that. And so for us, working with partners like Alloy for our joint customers, and trying to help them solve challenges that they're dealing with every day, I think I love the example you gave apparently, which is you know, when you talked about people building these new products, and everyone's trying to solve for these frictionless experiences, and embedded finance is a big theme. And so, for us, when I think about the opportunity for Visa, it is working with partners to make sure that we're helping protect our customers and the customers of our customers when you think about the banks as well. So there's just so much opportunity for partnership in this area.

Parilee 15:24
Yeah, we talk a lot about safe and seamless. How do you make sure that you know, account openings, transacting, updatin a new user to your account? How do you make sure that that is a seamless experience with the quality of, you know, front-end ease that customers now expect?

Because that's what they are used to in their digital products? But how do you do that and enable that seamless customer experience without risking the safety of the customer on the other side, and you know, the bar for that is high and getting higher?

And I love your point, there's no one solution, its not, you know, oh, well, if I only had one particular model, all of a sudden risk goes away, you solve it with a very broad, open amalgamation of different data sources, different models, different training sets, different step up interactions, different insights, different lengths of relationship with end customers, and there is so much interesting signal around any particular identity around that risk, but we only get it and really get at that whole picture when we work together around identity.

And then when we do that, when we work together really effectively. That's how we ultimately can unlock those seamless front end digital experiences that everybody wants to be delivering. We don't want to do it at the expense of our customers.

Helen 16:51
I have a question actually on identity and fraud. I don't I don't know what you guys think about this. But, you know, equally, there's such a massive movement, and I guess, like within the sort of, like decentralised space, where you know, there's a movement, you know, with crypto not to have people's identity and for people to be able to have transactions without necessarily having to go through all these leaps and jumps to move money. How do you strike the right balance between, you know, identity and making sure there's no fraud and all these things that need to happen? But also respecting? Or, or going with that same movement of like decentralisation? Or do you think the industry is like pushing back from that?

James 17:34
I think that's a, I'd say, that's a huge topic. I mean, you could talk; we could talk for hours about that alone. I mean, when I think about it, identities core to solving mitigate fraud. And you know, you're never going to eliminate fraud, but ability to resolve identity and to be confident about who you're transacting with, particularly when you think about digital transactions.

And that could be anything that could be somebody opening a bank account, that can be someone opening a crypto account, that could be somebody making them account change on a, you know, relationship they've had for 10 years, all of those I think covers transactions, and all of those involve doing a good job of being able to resolve identity.

And what I mean by that is just having the the necessary level of confidence that it is the person that's doing that transaction that should be doing it. So I think, you know, that's fundamentally number one, I think, in the FinTech space, we work in a heavily regulated industry, where many of the participants particularly on the banking side, and on the on the payment side, have obligations to regulators and to really know who they're dealing with.

So whether that comes down to KYC, whether that comes down to having a level of of step up around them doing a transaction, I think those are all important and enforced. I think there's lots of different ways you can solve for that when you think about identity, we've been spending a lot of time internally talking about the difference between what we're thinking of as probabilistic identity versus true deterministic, which means really, can you get to a set of signals that give you a high degree of confidence that this is actually James on his iPad, at home, performing that transaction, as opposed to the somebody else.

So we think about that as probabilistic and that can be good enough for, you know, a payment transaction to eliminate fraud. But when you think about opening an account, you know, that's where you need to be much more deterministic. And so there's obviously been a lot of investment in technologies in that space, you know, Alloy has built a great business, helping their clients to onboard successfully and to allow them to avail whether it's document authentication or using data sources.

So I think identity is a really hot topic. I think it's; it's very clear that if you think about it in the right way you can, you can use those services and you can protect customers and consumers, and you can build those in a privacy-preserving way, and that doesn't necessarily need to be, you know, a decentralised, self-sovereign identity that somebody uses or that sits on blockchain. I think there's other ways, many other ways to do it where you can do it in a privacy-preserving way, but still get to the, to the right result. So it's a fascinating topic. And when we could, I'm sure spend a lot of time on it.

Parilee 20:20
Yeah, no, really well said. And I would agree with all the points you were making, James, I think what I would add is I do think there can be kind of this perception of a false dichotomy. Either you're going to verify your identity, and you're going to have this clunky antiquated experience where maybe you're, you know, answering an out-of-wallet question about who managed your student loans 15 years ago, which I don't know, but anybody can look up on the internet, you know, that being equated with?

Well, you know, if I have to have my real identity, then I'm going to have this clunky bad user experience. And I truly don't think that's the dichotomy that exists anymore. And I think that that's what companies like Alloy and Visa working together can prevent, as, as you were saying, James, you know, preserving privacy while creating these seamless experiences that invite people into the financial ecosystem.

And at the same time, meeting your compliance regulations around identity, but also deeply understanding identity in order to protect the people using your platform and using your products. I think those all can come together incredibly well, when companies like Alloy and Visa are working together to create, you know, great signal and great understanding.

Helen 21:33
Now that makes a lot of sense. I feel like you guys hit the nail on the head like what you're really trying to do is strike that right balance. I wanted to ask, if either of you had like a FinTech fact, or stat that you've seen recently that you thought was quite interesting. On this particular message,

James 22:02
I actually saw on identity, which just struck me last week, because we were talking a lot about synthetic identity. And there was a story late last week in one of the online newspapers, and they said, I think they've worked out or something like 2.5 million active accounts, which have been set up with synthetic identities. And that's their conservative estimate in the US.

You know, when I think about that, that's just, that's such a challenge for the banks to try and sift out. And to try and catch that before those accounts go bad. And you know, those criminals have a bust-out fraud or whatever they decide to do. And those can be very large, or they can be costly. And the very, very patient criminals when they when they set those up that just caught my attention, because and I think it was underestimated as well. And that was just in the US.

Parilee 22:46
Yeah, super interesting. And appropriately scary, I think, something that I've been thinking a lot about. So Allot recently conducted a fraud survey of risk leaders across the US.

And we were, I think a kind of a note on the identity question that really stuck out to me from our fraud survey was how unclear and how hard it is for fintechs for banks, to really understand the type of fraud that they're experiencing.

You know, when you speak to a lot of risk leaders, they often understand the payment vector where they're losing money, right. So, you know, they're seeing a lot of fraud through the ACH rails through real time payments, through, you know, app payments in the UK, you know, a lot of kind of vectors of money coming out, but not, it's a lot harder to understand the root identity risks that let somebody in in the first place.

You may think it's third-party fraud, but it's actually an account takeover scenario, or vice versa. So that, you know, that inability or that challenge in diagnosing kind of the root cause of, you know, the identity risks that got it in the first place that ultimately opened up a weakness down the chain for somebody to be able to extract money from your system, you know, through fraudulent activities.

You know, that's a really hard problem. And that's something that has really stuck with me since that survey and one we've been thinking a lot about as part of our product strategy at Alloy, how do we really help our clients understand, not just that money is being taken, but who is taking the money and how they, you know, created an identity that enabled that in the first place?

Helen 24:40
Yeah, I think that's such a massive question that you guys are solving. I I read somewhere that over, at least in England, but I can imagine, at least in the UK, but I can imagine it's global during the pandemic fraud like online fraud doubled. I mean, it was already bad, but you can imagine With everyone sitting at home, that these things became such a massive.

But also since then it never went down. So So when things opened up, it's only only increased because there's so many different ways to do it. Like you said, it's become so dynamic in how people do fraud or commit fraud, or even like the new types of innovation in fraud. So it's such a massive question that you guys are solving together. I want to get to move on to because I wanted to have time to ask you guys questions that the previous guest asked, because there's two of you, I'm gonna ask you separate questions.

James, I want to know, what's your spiciest take on FinTech today?

James 25:45
That's a really good question. I would say, I think we're in a, we're going through a period of time where I think the whole FinTech space is changing quite quickly, because I think if I just take what you mentioned about what we saw, through the pandemic, we did see fraud increased significantly, there was a lot more opportunity, I think, for the fraudsters to take advantage of the fact that lots of institutions and companies had to roll out different ways for their customers to interact with them, it just created a surface area, they could attack very quickly.

I think that resulted in a lot of new companies trying to get into the space to solve those challenges. There was other investment flows going into those businesses, you also had a crypto boom, and also so there's just this, actually, for the for this space, the FinTech space, it drove a lot of growth.

And I think we've come out of that, or, and you've started to see some of that normalise, you've seen some of the growth drop off. You've seen many venture and private equity money going into those companies. And I think it's creating some tension in the system. And I think because the market dynamics have shifted, it's also given the incumbents an opportunity to have a look at what they need to do. And you're starting to see them investing a lot more now into what I would describe as more FinTech solutions to make sure that they can service the, the changing demands of their customers.

So I think we're at a really interesting, what I think of as kind of a transition point, and I think the next six to 12 months in our FinTech defined broadly, in the FinTech space, I think it's just going to be really interesting to see what happens and the fallout of some of those changes that we're seeing in the marketplace.

Helen 27:24
I'm curious, probably, do you agree with that take like, because that's, that's a massive, like, looking into the future of what happens, like do you agree with James take on the future of this industry?

Parilee 27:38
absolutely do. You know, I think as you look at the stats around, you know, just how explosive the growth in fraud has been, you know, we talk a lot about fraud startups, and how, you know, the same way that you think about a venture-backed, you know, trying to do good, FinTech getting funded and investing in their own growth and getting better at their craft, you know, a lot of you know, fraudsters got a lot of money, during, you know, from different COVID programmes, etc.

And rather than take that money and move to a beach house somewhere, they reinvested it in getting better at fraud. And that is, you know, terrifying and means that we're seeing a faster rate of change than I think we've ever really seen in the fraud landscape, at the same time, exactly, as James was saying, that there were a lot of new kinds of vectors into financial products, new ways of accessing them, that created, you know, new risk points.

So that's certainly something you know, we think a lot about and, and really are thinking about, how do we solve for it, what I will say would be kind of my add on is, you know, we talk a lot about the cost of fraud, but I often think when we speak about the cost of fraud, we miss actually what the largest cost of fraud is, which is good customers who get turned down turned away, or don't get access to something, at the end of the day, we can all you know, end fraud by just not transacting, not opening new accounts, you know, shutting down growth in the financial sector.

And that's very, very bad for our customers, our customers need access to more and better financial products. And so, as you know, as expensive and as costly as fraud is in terms of, you know, ultimate impact to the bottom line of banks and fintechs in terms of fraud losses, it's even more expensive in terms of loss of good business. And when you think about what that does to our ability to invite and welcome people into the financial system that has has real ripple effects.

James 29:45
just gonna say I think that's such an important point as well. We, we talk a lot to customers about appropriate friction, and there was a stat that our risk team came up with and it was something it was somewhere between 80 and 90% of customers If they have a genuine transaction disrupted if it's been identified as potential fraud and they get impacted by that, they will not pull out that same product again for the next transaction So it's a really interesting balance, and it's very difficult to get, right.

Parilee 30:24
Absolutely. And think how embarrassing it is for that customer right there. You know, they're not, you know, not pulling the card out, again, in many cases, because they're mad at the card as much as it is because they're, you know, embarrassed and worried for themselves. And, you know, that's, that's a great way to you know, marginalise folks who, you know, might look risky or under certain measures, etc. So, it's, it is so, so important that we find a healthy balance there, that keeps everybody safe, but introduces appropriate friction to your point, not inappropriate.

Helen 31:00
was gonna say, actually, you both actually said it anyway. But I think when you take it to like the human element of fraud, a lot of the times frauds are not even reported, because people are so embarrassed about how big they are, or that they were scammed, or that they, they fell for it when you're not meant to fall for any of these things.

So like, I think, I think you've hit the nail on the head, that isolation that people have, when you start to think about the actual human being behind all these frauds, it becomes way more sensitive. And like you said, it stops people from really trusting those financial systems and stops financial inclusion, which I guess, to a lot of extent, is the mission of fintech.

So, yeah, great. I want to ask you both a narrower question just because I feel like you both answered that question, which is great. What market or thing? are you most excited about? From a FinTech perspective on or non FinTech perspective? Actually,

Parilee 32:04
I don't know that it's a market as much as an opportunity. But as I'm sure you know, everybody in in tech across the world is thinking about, you know, a lot of, you know, interests in engagement and things like chat GPT may play out in the financial sector. I think, you know, when you think about highly regulated industries, LLM that role do they actually have the training data they need? Will they ever get access to that? You know, what are the problems that might be more peripheral that can be well solved? What are the core problems that that may not be able to?

How do you think about the kind of privacy fitting into that? You know, I, I can't say that I have answers. But if I think about kind of trends, themes, you know, what is top of mind thinking through, really, you know, how that will play out in highly regulated spaces where, you know, consumer privacy is incredibly important, and training sets are limited, is very top of mind for me, and a question that, you know, we're asking as a product team.

Helen 33:15
Yeah, I think I think I think that's such a major issue right? Now. What about you, James, do you think that's kind of? Is that also what you're very excited about? Yeah,

James 33:24
I think there's a lot I mean, one of the things that I think about quite a lot at the moment is as more and more companies are coming up with slicker and slicker experiences for their customers.

So you can think about embedded finance from that perspective, or, you know, how these new startups are starting to use technology to come up with great consumer experiences.

With that, there's a lot of what I just, you know, think of as kind of payments disappearing into the background, you enrol a payment credentials somewhere in the signup, but then it becomes an almost non event. And commerce just happens. That's fantastic for the consumer.

And it's fantastic for those companies as well. But one of the things that I always think about is, when you've been using a credit card as an example, for a long time, you know, you don't leave your credit card lying around, you know that you don't give people a credit card number like there's things that are inherently in your head about protecting payments.

When the payment experience disappears into the background. consumers aren't necessarily thinking about what they have to do. So I think it puts a lot of pressure on us to make sure that you know a network or at a payment ecosystem level, we're thinking about that and we're keeping the consumer front to mind we're keeping the merchants front of mind and making sure that somehow we instil trust and safety and security as people build out those those new slick experiences.

So it keeps me awake, it makes me I'm very excited about what people are doing in this space, but definitely, something that we think about to try and make sure that people are protected when maybe consumers aren't necessarily thinking about it and they shouldn't be thinking about

Helen 34:52
I love that you took a problem which is like a massive problem and you're like excited about solving the issue. You But you're not like, Oh, you're not like, Oh, this is like, a relatively fun thing that's happening. You're like, this is an issue and I'm gonna solve it. That's great, isn't it?

James 35:09
I think I think it comes back to the point you made. I mean, we always talk about fraud, and we talk about financial crime. But I always, I always come back to the fact that this is there's a human impact to this. So at the end of the day, it's people that are getting taken advantage of, and it's typically the most vulnerable. And they need, they need people like us, and Alloy and all of these other companies thinking about this stuff so that they don't have to.

So there is a, there's an obligation to that, but it does get you fired up. And I know that our team of Visa get very fired up about this as well, because we just, we think about it all the time. It's what we do for morning tonight. And

Parilee 35:39
James, I'm sure you'd agree, but you don't really get into identity risk, because you don't like big hard, you know, fuzzy amorphous problems, you know, there's much easier problems out there.

And, you know, these are the gnarly hard ones that when we solve really can, you know, drive multiplicative impact, but also you're going to be solving them for the rest of your life. Because as soon as you come up with solutions, there's going to be, you know, new iterations on risk. So it keeps us on our toes and engaged.

Quick Fire

Helen 36:10
Now, that makes a lot of sense. . So I'm gonna ask you some questions and they don't have anything to do with fintech. Are you guys ready?

Who wants to start and go first? Describe yourself in five words.

Parilee 37:19
Curious, empathetic, and high ownership. mom of two. That's probably more than five words. But sure,

Helen 37:25
Um, James, what is your go to karaoke song?

James 37:32
I don't have one. That would be a really bad thing for everybody. I'm just trying to think well, it would be. It would be something cheesy and that my kids would cringe about if I say it, I'll think of a song. Yeah, definitely something a bit older. My kids would cringe about

Parilee 37:45
having just come back from a company retreat. I can say mine was skater boy.

Helen 37:49
Oh, that's a good one.

Helen 37:57
Would you rather be forced to dance all day every day until you get a perfect score on Dancing with the Stars will be forced to bake cakes until you get a perfect score on British Bake

Parilee 38:08
Off. Oh, definitely baking okay. Yeah.

Helen 38:11
James, what was your nickname growing up?

James 38:13
It was surfing murfing surfing. Yeah. Yeah, I did used to surf back in the day, so it was appropriate. But yeah, that was my that was my own school.

Helen 38:24
. Would you rather go without shampoo for the rest of your life? Or go without toothpaste?

Parilee 38:31
brutal. I guess without shampoo.

Helen 38:42
James, would you rather be able to control animals or be able to see into the future?

James 38:46
Oh, see in the future for sure.

Helen 38:48
Okay, probably if you were a fruit, what fruit would you be?

Parilee 38:54
like a perfectly ripe mango. I think it's just the best thing in the entire world. I don't think there's anything more delicious.

Helen 39:02
James, would you rather have to write everything you say out by hand? Or only be able to speak in rhymes?

James 39:24
I think I only be able to speak in rhymes my writing is terrible. It would take a long time.

Helen 39:31
would you rather have to always wear heavy boots or never be able to wear shoes.

Parilee 39:42
Probably always wear heavy boots. It's not too far off from that in winter in Utah. So I'd just be extending it a few months.

Helen 39:49
James would you rather be extremely allergic to your favourite food or forced to eat your least favourite food once a week?

James 39:59
I feel I'd have to say I'd rather be allergic to my favourite food, or find something else I could find something else that I'd like. I'm pretty sure,

Helen 40:07
yeah, okay. Yeah, you just have your Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. Thanks, guys. I'm just one last question you both can answer. What do you think I should ask the next friend on the show or friends,

James 40:26
I would ask them, what's the one FinTech story we haven't yet seen that we're gonna see within the next 12 months.

Helen 40:33
This has been awesome. I feel like I've learned a lot about fraud and identity and just how the sort of back end of all these things like how you intersect, but also, I guess, the human element of where it comes from. So it's been really, really interesting. So thank you so much.


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Signals: Fintech joins the frontlines of the war in Ukraine

Just before dawn on February 24th, 2022, Russian troops poured into the north, east, and south of Ukraine, unraveling a world order that had governed since the fall of the Soviet Union. As Western leaders squabbled over how to pick up the pieces of the capitalist and globalist society they had stitched together over the last thirty years, massive lines appeared at ATMs and bank branches across Ukraine, capital flooded out of the country, and bond prices and exchange rates plummeted. The alarm bells were ringing, and Ukraine’s banking system teetered on the brink of collapse.

This collapse wouldn’t have just stolen wealth; it would’ve handed Putin the keys to Ukraine, starved much of the country’s population, and denied Ukrainians the ability to flee to safety. Functioning payment rails, liquidity systems, and capital markets are fundamental not only to battlefield success, but also to a stable economy and to the very definition of a nation-state. And in this era of fintech and decentralization, upholding these key functions isn’t just a government mandate - it falls to the wide array of crypto exchanges, neobanks, payment apps, and other services that have sprung up in the last decade-plus. State actors, while still critical, are no longer the only show in town. Borderless, privatized financial services, when backed by inclusive regulation, are the biggest levers for democratization and economic stability.