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From Manny to FinTech CEO: Joe Keeley Shares Justifi's Unique Approach to Monetizing FinTech for SaaS Platforms
Episode 3315th March 2023 • Fintech Confidential • DD3, Media
00:00:00 00:33:35

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Joe Keeley is the CEO & Co-Founder of the embedded Fintech company Justifi.ai . He shares how went from being a hockey-playing nanny to leading a fintech orchestration platform that helps software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms add value and accelerate potential revenue streams.

According to Joe, the fintech market is enormous and diverse, with thousands of vertical SaaS platforms, and there can be thousands of winners because there are many different ways to slice and dice the market.

Joe Keeley's entrepreneurial journey started with founding College Nannies and Sitters and Tutors, a large in-home childcare and tutoring company, before moving into Fintech. Justifi simplifies the complex and fragmented Fintech industry for SaaS platforms by providing a payment and fintech orchestration platform and an engaged fintech team. SaaS platforms often lack expertise in fintech, and Justifi fills that gap by providing an extension of their team, including a chief payment officer, to help them execute on fintech solutions.

To successfully monetize FinTech, software companies must start the journey today and look to the future when making integration decisions. They must also focus on the user experience and not just on monetizing funds flow. Justifi believes that by partnering with providers, companies can take full advantage of FinTech while still focusing on their core vertical SaaS platform. Justifi sees exciting opportunities in stored payment values and a focus on the user experience, and they want to help platforms capture more value from their FinTech transactions.

In conclusion, Justifi's unique approach to helping vertical SaaS platforms add value to their company is worth exploring. Joe Keeley's experience transitioning from a different company to a fintech company provides valuable insights. Don't make the mistake of waiting to begin monetizing with FinTech or trying to build everything yourself. Instead, contact Justifi.ai to understand your business and build a strategic FinTech map. Remember, there's a tailwind behind you, and Justifi can help accelerate your potential for success.

Things that we dive into on in this episode .

👨‍💼 From hockey-playing nanny to CEO and Co-Founder of Justifi, Joe Keeley knows what it takes to become a successful FinTech company. Justifi helps vertical SaaS platforms add value and accelerate potential revenue streams with their payment and FinTech orchestration platform and engaged FinTech team.

🌐 The fintech market is enormous and diverse, with thousands of vertical SaaS platforms, but there can be thousands of winners because there are many different ways to slice and dice the market.

💳 Payments are the most commonly sold and purchased FinTech product, but Justifi believes that vertical SaaS platforms should keep the lion's share of the value of funds flow within their ecosystem. By monetizing payments based on the payment's cost rather than the transaction's size, SaaS platforms can increase revenue potential.

Also, watch the entire episode on youtube.

https://youtu.be/wzhvACVd3Uw


Links:

Justifi

Website: justifi.ai

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/justifi-payments

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_JustiFi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justifi.ai/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@justifi4326

Joe Keeley

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joekeeley/

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ABOUT:

Joe Keeley: Joe Keeley is a dynamic yet thoughtful entrepreneur and conscious leader. As such, Keeley is the CEO and Co-founder of JustiFi Technologies, a venture-backed fintech business providing payments and fintech infrastructure and strategy for vertical SaaS platforms. JustiFi exists to accelerate the potential of vertical SaaS platforms by bringing optimized embedded payments and beyond payments fintech solutions to bear resulting in increased value for the platform of 3-5X with remarkably lower cost of ownership.

Keeley also founded and grew College Nannies, Sitters & Tutors (CNST), the nation’s largest in-home childcare and tutoring company. CNST disrupted the fragmented in-home childcare market through Keeley’s people leadership, technological innovation and indomitable spirit. Keeley led CNST to over 200 franchises in the USA and United Kingdom (a milestone less than 5% of franchisors achieve) and over 13,000 employees. In 2016, College Nannies, Sitters & Tutors was acquired by Bright Horizons Family Solutions (NYSE: BFAM), the largest corporate-sponsored childcare operator globally.

JustiFi : JustiFi is the embedded fintech platform built for vertical SaaS platforms. The company’s ​AI and machine-learning engine manages and optimizes payment transactions to help platforms reduce fees and maximize profits. JustiFi leverages 50+ years of industry experience and expertise to add customer value by generating payments revenue, saving money, ensuring compliance and turning payment processing into a strategic advantage.

Tedd Huff: President & Founder of Diamond D3, a professional services consulting firm focused on global payments and marketing. He is also a video podcast host and producer of Fintech Confidential and Head of Corporate Strategy at Corvia. 

Over the past 24 years, he has contributed to FinTech startups as an Advisory Board Member, Co-Founder, and Chief Experience Officer, providing strategic and tactical direction for Global Payments OpenEdge, Heartland Payments, Nuvei, and TSYS, among others, focusing on growth while delivering innovation, process improvements and user experience-driven value to simplify the complexity of payments.

Diamond D3, Media: A media creation, management, and production company delivering engaging content globally

Transcripts

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

you don't have to invest,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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millions and millions of dollars and, you know, wait to really harness the power of,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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embedded FinTech tools.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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I think technology in so many areas, including in especially

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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this area, has accelerated to a point where it really can favor

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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Not just the large companies being able to have big teams, but even

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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the, the vertical SaaS startup,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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and so there's a tailwind behind you.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

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Joe, welcome to the show.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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Thank you, Tedd.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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Great to be here.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

So embedded payments is one of my favorite

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

topics, and I've led a number of companies to create ISV ISO PayFac programs over

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

the years, and Justifi has a unique approach to helping vertical software

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

as a service platforms accelerates our potential and add value to their company.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

But before we dive into just how Justifi is activating these additional

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

revenue streams with payments and other FinTech solutions, I wanna kind of dive

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

into a little bit of your background.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

Uh, I find it interesting because you founded College Nannies and Sitters

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

and Tutors, which was a, a large in-home childcare and tutoring company.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

Tell me, how did you fall into this FinTech journey?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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Yeah, I, you know, so said, said more

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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realistically, Tedd, I'm remarkably unqualified to run a FinTech

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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company is, is probably the reality.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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But,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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everyone's entrepreneurial journey is, is different.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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And, um, I did, I started a.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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uh, a childcare company that then when, when I was in undergrad university and

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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it was, uh, I was a college hockey player and I answered an ad that perhaps only

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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exists in Minnesota that said, looking for a hockey player to watch our two boys.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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So I was a, I was a Manny, but I was, I was interested in business and starting

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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things, and I, it, it, I think it's, it's.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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It's related to, you know, everyone, everyone has a

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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entrepreneurial journey that's in entrepreneurship and, and platforms

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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and others have a FinTech journey.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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But it started as a staff, small staffing company.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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Then it moved into, well, let's franchise that.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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And then we built our own vertical SaaS platform for all

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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of our franchises that, and then ultimately a mobile booking system.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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So when, when the journey ended we had 200 locations in two countries

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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with 10,000 employees, and we were helping build stronger families.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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So that was a, that was a great journey and, um, and a hard one.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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It took me a decade and a half with the team and we sold to a

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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public company out of Boston.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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But then when I took a sabbatical year and some change, I decided,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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well, what do I wanna do next?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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Like, what, what am I, what were some of the things I was uh, good

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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at that helped grow that company?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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What are some things I was less good at and what are some of the

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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things I just were terrible at?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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So, um, ultimately how we got, I got into running Justifi and having that

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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privilege was, uh, friends of mine who built a vertical SaaS company to

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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be, uh, in the sports tech space that got to be sort of industry leaders.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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They were processing 4 billion dollars a year and they, they

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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too sold to a public company.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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So they're head of payments, their ceo, their cto and I got together

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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and said, you know, there has to be a better way than they had.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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They too had a 15 year journey of, you know, stabbing at apples

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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and oranges in the dark, trying to figure all this out, and they needed

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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someone, uh, to, to lead the team.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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And those fortunately just happened to be in the category of some things that I

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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was, you know, maybe not so terrible at.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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So we got together and I have a, a wonderful group of technical

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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co-founders that are, you know, far better at math than I am.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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But, uh, but that, that's how I went from being a, you know, hockey

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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playing nanny to leader of a, you know, FinTech orchestration platform.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

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So what has been like the biggest

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

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lesson you've learned about payments and FinTech so far in this journey?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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Well, I think it's, it's sort of the

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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obvious statement, but it, you know, when I was looking for how do I go

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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make an impact, how do I continue on with my entrepreneurial journey?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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One of the things that, that I said is I want to be in sort of

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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a place of greatest potential.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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And one way to do that is to just simply be involved and in the middle of one

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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of the biggest markets on the planet.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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So I just continue to be surprised in how not only large this is,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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large, an opportunity, large of an opportunity is for a platform,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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but also, the great diversity in which falls under the term FinTech.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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Like what, you know,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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when we think about financial technology, it's a buzzword we like to throw around.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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It's, but it can mean so many different things.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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And I also like, you know, when I was growing a company in franchising,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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you could talk to all kinds of different folks that were franchising

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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restaurants to nanny agencies, and they all had some shared experiences.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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And I think FinTech is similar.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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Because it's not a zero sum game, meaning there isn't gonna be one winner.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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There hasn't been just one winner in this.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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There can be thousands of winners because there's thousands of different ways to

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

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slice and dice that very large market.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

Well, you bring me to the next question,

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

which is, you know, software seems to be eating everything and every

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

vertical SaaS platform seems, seems to have become a FinTech company.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

You know, as you were talking about that, how big of a market are you

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

seeing out there for the embedded FinTech for for SaaS platforms?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

I, I mean, it, it feels to me, you know,

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

that it, it's flirting with the tr like into the trillions because when you

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

start magnifying if, if, If all small and medium sized businesses we can

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

envision in future in which they are using a system or systems of record to

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

manage their businesses and all funds flow, could find their way into that.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Not only money in, but money within a platform and then money out in

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

other words, like how they're paying vendors and that sort of thing.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

It, it starts to be a pretty, uh, amazing number, you know, in terms of the market.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And now we could get into, you know, how many thousands of vertical SaaS

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

platforms exist today and how many new are gonna be coming into the market.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And I think that's all a good exercise to do.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

But I think when we pull back and say, you know, yeah, it's pretty, you

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

know, this software's eating the world and you know, all companies are, a

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

FinTech company is not that far off.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

Wow.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

And, and what's interesting is as, as each one of those software companies

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

makes their way into becoming a FinTech company, the current, current state of

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

the ecosystem around payments, around finance, uh, the reg, regulatory side of

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

the house, it's all severely disjointed, disconnected and fragmented from how

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

people want to engage with their, their finances, and whether it's they want

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

to get paid or how they want to pay.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

What is Justifi doing to enable these, enable better experiences

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

for the software as a service platform as well as their customers?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Sure.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Um, well, I think for the software as a platform, I mean, it, it,

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

I've been in a lot of these, these meetings where, um, you know, let's

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

say that a software entrepreneur who's passionate about, you know, a vertical,

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

could be sports tech.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

It, I talk, it could be.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

I talked to a great group of software, uh, entrepreneurs that were building

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

software for the funeral home industry.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Okay, like that makes sense.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

We, we, I talked to folks in venue management, just every vertical.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Someone's passionate about that.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And they're passionate and knowledgeable about the vertical.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

They're also passionate oftentimes about solving real problems with

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

soft software for that vertical.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So what they often lack though, is how to respond and execute on things that

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

they read where they say, well, every company should be a FinTech company.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Or sometimes even more pointed, they're in a board meeting cuz

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

they've chosen to raise money from venture capital or something and

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

they say, what you need to do is X.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And it's like, okay.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And you know, so their investors said so, so they go out and say,

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

well who do we have at the on the team that knows how to do that?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And because it's so fragmented being the industry and there's alot of old

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

ways of thinking that still haven't flushed through the, you know,

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

they're on, all of a sudden you have a software platform that's starting

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

to be a payment facilitator and they only have Fifty million dollars

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

flowing through the system, or even only Five-Hundred million dollars.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And it's like, whoa, they should not be doing that.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So I think that what we do at Justifi is try to simplify and be a, a, you

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

know, a humble expert and a partner for them to get on how to do this.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

You know, because if you're an expert on barbershop software, that doesn't

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

mean that you're an expert on FinTech.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So like challenging and thinking about what is core.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And so we help them with the tech.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

We have, you know, the payment and the FinTech orchestration platform

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

to process the payments, to bring insurance live, to bring lending

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

live, to bring all of these things.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

But we also have what we call our engaged FinTech team.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So we have a team where we can be an extension of their team, and

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

if they don't have a chief payment officer, we have one for them.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Because I found in business, whether it's high tech or low tech, it

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

takes, it takes tools, which is often tech, and it takes a team.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

It can't just be done sometimes with an API.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

So, as you just mentioned, Justifi has gone

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

beyond just embedded payments and there are so many options, you hit on a few, uh,

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

for SaaS companies to monetize FinTech.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

Can you walk us through a little bit more detail of the different models that

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

are currently out there in the market?

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

And you, you touched on a few items were Justifi's different, but let's

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

go a little bit more deep into

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Sure.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So we think that vertical SaaS should keep the lion share of, or at least

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

participate in the lion share of the value of the funds flow within their ecosystem.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So that's a very broad statement cuz we want them to bring some of the, the

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

transactions that are happening outside of their platform, inside of their platform.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So things like lending and others.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So, but today, what most folks are out there selling and what most folks are

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

out there shopping for is payments.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

I wanna make more money on embedded payments.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And I agree they should, platforms should make more money on embedded payments.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

I think I, we fundamentally, you know, Justifi, we've chosen our

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

name as you know, is a somewhat of a provocative name to say like, we think

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

there's something wrong out there.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

We, we think that things could be a little bit more right.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So this notion that, you have to, you know, your payment at a billion

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

dollars should be less than the same payment at a at a million.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

We don't agree with.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

We think that it should be based on the cost of a payment.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So we think that others that are out there that are saying, you should

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

monetize more of the payment, you should be making more as a platform.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

We agree.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And we think that that should, that probably lands somewhere in

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

the 80 to 110 basis points that someone should be capturing.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

But that is only about a third of the story actually.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So our partner, my partners, um, started and grew, you know,

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

a large, large vertical SaaS company in the sports tech space.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And they started off on a journey a little bit by accident.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And this was sort of before embedded payments and FinTech was

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

cool and then very deliberate.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

They were able to achieve 300, 400 basis points of keep.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

I'm like, wow.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Like this is like apples and socket wrenches.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

We're not even talking about different kinds of fruit here.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So it's with, it starts oftentimes with payments, and then you think

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

about how can you go on this FinTech journey where it's maybe there's

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

insurance, lending, card issuing.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

They, they launched background screens, spend management, vendor management.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So it's a little crazy for some, but like for every dollar that's out in the, in the

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

world, it's up to 10, you know, a thousand basis points or ten percent of that dollar

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

is oftentimes leaked out in transaction fees, in vendor discounts in, you know.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So it's about building a strategy and having subsequent products that, and

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

a team that can help a platform best monetize all of the different funds flow

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

in, within and out of their platform.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

Wow.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

I, I guess I wasn't even thinking of it as payments only being a third.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

In my mind it was half.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

But now that you've broken down all the other pieces, yeah, it does

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

really feel like it's, it's a third.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

And, you know, you mentioned all these moving parts.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

You talk about all the different areas, uh, that Justifi's helping bring together.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

There are so many places that could go wrong and it jeopardizes the

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

profitability of the embedded FinTech.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

If you were to boil it down, we, we have a third and third and a third.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

What are the top three mistakes that software companies are making

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

when they decide to move forward with monetizing with FinTech?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

I would say the first mistake

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

would be waiting to begin.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

You know, the, the, the, the second best time to start this journey is today.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

The first, best time was yesterday.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

So I would say just starting and you, and it's not about

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

boiling the ocean right away.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

It's about starting on this journey.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Um, number two I would say is that not looking into the future around

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

and trying to see around the corner, which is really, really hard if you

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

don't have wisdom in that experience.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

But that's hopefully one things that our FinTech team is trying to bring to

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

platforms is that because if you single thread with one provider, if you, if you,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

you know, infrastructure today may not be what's going to, uh, be the optimal

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

infrastructure set up five years from now.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

So really looking into the future, you know, at my, uh, my co-founders,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

um, SaaS company, they switched infrastructure providers five different

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

times, searching for the right situation, which ultimately led us to

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

say, there, there's a better way and let's build it cuz we couldn't find it.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

So I would say, you know, waiting to start two, you know, making you know,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

integration decisions today that don't contemplate, you know, the future.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Right?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And then three, thinking that they need to build it and build it all themselves.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

I think we in inside of a company, that used to be the case.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

You used to have to go and be a payment facilitator and you used

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

to have to build all these things.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And today that's about as logical as you know, I'm gonna go build out my

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

own server farm to host all my data.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Like we would all, but that's what companies used to do.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

You know, have servers in the closet and now we have, you know, AWS and

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Azure and Google and all the rest.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

So I think really looking at what's core and that's their vertical SaaS platform

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

and that yes, they should take full advantage of the power of FinTech, but

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

they don't need to be building all that.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

That that doesn't make a lot of sense.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

Well, you mentioned, uh, one big

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

piece in that is, is look around the corner, look, be a little bit more

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

forward facing and forward thinking.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

And when you look at the way your clients are approaching their FinTech

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

problems, what are some of the opportunities you're seeing ahead in

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

the next 3, 5, 10 years for not only Justifi, but for the clients as well?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Yeah.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So I, I think that, um, we look at the different ways that folks

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

are going to want to transact.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And I think the, the stored payment values, you know, in some

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

of the payment methods today are, are really exciting because they

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

start to be a lower cost payment.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So I think that's a really big part of like, what are the different ways

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

that their customers, the vertical SaaS platforms customer's, customers

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

are gonna wanna collect money?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And then how to get that larger share of, you know, different

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

dollars that are out there?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Now

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

it's really a mindset shift, so, you know, it's very easy and I, I, you

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

know, really pound on strategy and stay focused, and that's important.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

But if your focus is having a maniacal collection of every basis point,

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

then you're looking at it through the monetization of funds flow rather and

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

then, then, you know, this insurance offering that you could provide or

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

this, you know, customer lending, which really also should be viewed

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

through a, you know, user experience.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

How can you benefit you know, your customers or your customer's customers?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

But always not just doing it, it's not an either or, it's an and how

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

can you monetize and participate in that and also add value while also

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

adding value in the user experience?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So, um, it, it starts to open up the aperture quite a lot when you start

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

thinking not only what is being transacted in our platform today, but what is

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

being transacted by the players on our platform outside or around our platform.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And, and it starts to be pretty specific for each vertical, but you know it, once

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

you shift that focus, that perspective, the right answers keep coming.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

It seems like.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

You, you've mentioned a couple things

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

in there and, and it has me curious.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

At what point you, you said get start.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

I'm gonna go back, uh uh, a little bit earlier where you said the

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

first thing is to get started today.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

How As a software, as a service platform do I know that it's the right time for

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

me to start getting involved in this?

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

Uh, what is the right, like, do I need to be a certain size?

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

Do I need to have a certain skillset?

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

Do I need to have so many customers?

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

Like what is, what are like the determining factors for me to, to

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

know it's time for me to, to start getting into embedded FinTech?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Well, I think that's what's kind

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

of very exciting about this is that it, it used to be a gating factor.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

It used to be, well, if you really wanna monetize payments and monetize it well,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

which is a very big difference between, you know, if we just start there.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

You know, you had to pay your dues, you had to get to, first it was

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

250 million of volume, then it was 500 million, then it's a billion.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And okay, now we'll go through the year's worth of work and hire the, you know, all

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

the team to do underwriting and risk and we're gonna become a payment facilitator.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Today I don't know if that ever makes sense for a platform.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

So if you could monetize at a world class level, from dollar

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

one, I would say do that.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Because it's going to help with, let's say a, a vertical SaaS platform is

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

choosing to go a typical fundraising route of, you know, you know, bootstrapped

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

and then series seed, and then A, and they go on through the alphabet.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

You get some credit for the vision that you're gonna go on, certainly.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

But what if you could get full credit for it because you're already doing it?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

So I would say, you know, from dollar one if possible.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And then you know, going on that FinTech journey, because it's actually

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

gonna reduce the amount of money that you'll have to raise because

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

you'll raise at higher valuations and you'll also be, it's producing real

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

cash flow inside of the platform.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

So how do you, how do you make the

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

argument for a software company that says, Hey, you know what?

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

Payments is important, but I wanna do it fast.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

So I'm gonna go and leverage a company like Stripe, for example,

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

and that'll get that embedded in there and that'll be in there.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

I may not be able to monetize it now, but I'll eventually get to it.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

What do you say to a company that that decides that they, that

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

they think that's the best route?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Um, I would say I get it.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

We all have to prioritize and if it's, if it's, um, If it's not today, because I

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

mean, look, I've ran very small companies.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

I understand that you are ceo and chief garbage taker outer guy and

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

gal, and so, you know, let's not be, you know, flippant about it.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

But I think that if, if you're talking about like, if, if it's a very simple

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Stripe integration, you're probably talking about less than a week

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

worth of work to, if it's a young company to integrate and migrate.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

So, um, I think then like it's really more about stepping back

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

and saying, do we fully understand what is your economic engine?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Because if you think that the SaaS fees is your potential and just getting more and

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

more SaaS fees, then I would say you're about five x off because that's great.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

You should get as much of that and get value for what you've created.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

But the embedded payments and embedded FinTech is going to increase

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

your potential and increase your revenue and increase, you know, the

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

stickiness of your platform five x.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

So I would really go back and say, you know, maybe we're not fully understanding

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

the, the magnitude of the value creation that this strategy has on their platform.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

So that, that's how I would, how I would look at and then, and you know, once you

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

really understand it, it, it very quickly moves up to the top of the priority list.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

So you've been a lot been through.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

Yeah.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

You've learned a lot through your entrepreneurial journey.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

What would you want to share with the audience to change their

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

perspective on business and or personal perspective on monetizing the software?

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

What would that be?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Well, I think that, you know, as a leader, as,

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

uh, you know, a specific vertical or, or whatever business we're in, I think it's

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

really important to sort of be self-aware.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

You know, so let's make sure that the leader is self-aware, that

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

the team members are self-aware as best we can, and the company

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

is self-aware, so know thyself.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

You know, and be that well is what I would say.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And um, so that's how I feel like I was able to successfully transition from what

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

on the surface looks like a remarkably different company to something else.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

But I'm not trying to be our chief payments officer.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

I'm not trying to write code.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

I'm trying to lead a team that is very, very passionate about accelerating

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

potential, which is why we exist.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

We exist to accelerate potential.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Now, quite specifically, it's to accelerate the FinTech potential

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

of vertical SaaS platforms.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So I would say like, know thyself.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

What are you, what is core?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

What are you really, really good at?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

What is the economic engine in your business?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And then how can you surround yourself with partners, with employees, with

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

uh, you know, customers that are that are, when you, when you get alignment,

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

the the right answers keep coming.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

You know, when you're aligned with your purpose and your values and

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

you have partners and vendors and customers that are more aligned than

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

they're not, it's a lot of fun, right?

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Regardless of whatever business you're in.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So, um, you know, it's, it's interesting like how remarkably similar the purpose

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

statements of the largest babysitting employer in my last job was, and

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

you know, our FinTech company today.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

Our first purpose was to build stronger families.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And as a parent that I'm passionate about that.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And our purpose today is to accelerate potential.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And in some regards, those are different flavors of the same thing.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

We want to accelerate the potential, whatever passion, you know, in, in the

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

vertical that platforms, we want to help them do more and about that, cuz

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

building a great product, adding new customers, you know, isn't, isn't cheap.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

So we gotta figure out a way to fund that.

eley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

And I think, you know, embedded payments and FinTech is a great answer to that.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

So we always use the phrase

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

hindsight is always 2020.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

If you were to, to look back at the journey with Justifi, what would you

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

potentially have done differently to accelerate your own potential at Justifi?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Yeah, you know, it's early days, so

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

I think my answer will will change with time and wisdom probably.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

But I would say an an aha for me.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And so whenever there's an aha, I think the hindsight would suggest that like,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Ooh, if I could have got that sooner, we would've been a little bit better off.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And the aha for me is, I wasn't coming at this through a lens of like decades

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

of analyzing, you know, interchange and, and, and, and being that payments brain.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

But when I'm talking to entrepreneurs and, and co-founders and leaders in

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

these co vertical SaaS companies, the aha for me was we should, our job is

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

to not make them experts of interchange and infrastructure and payments.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Our, our job is to help them understand how they make their company more valuable.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Because these are just business people trying to be better at

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

business to solve business problems, to attract and retain and add

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

value every day to their customers.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Because sometimes I felt like when you're talking about this space, you,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

you, you can sometimes feel like a mad scientist jumping up and down, waving

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

your hands, saying you don't understand.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And if someone doesn't understand, that's not their problem.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

It's your problem.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

So when we sort of stopped trying to, you know, explain how all the sausage

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

was made and instead went to this sausage is delicious, don't you agree?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And you know then, then like conversations got a lot easier

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

and they got a lot more fun.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

I would say, especially in FinTech,

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

we, we always want to explain, how we're making it different.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

not why, but, but how we're making it different and what we did

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

to make it different versus why it matters that it's different.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

a, That's a big piece and I'm, I'm grateful that you,

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

you brought that piece up.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

we're coming to an end today and

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

I just wanna ask you, what parting message do you want to give to us?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Well, I would say, um, you know, it.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

As we talked about earlier, you know, you don't have to invest,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

millions and millions of dollars and, you know, wait to really harness the power of,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

embedded FinTech tools.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

I think technology in so many areas, including in especially

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

this area, has accelerated to a point where it really can favor

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Not just the large companies being able to have big teams, but even

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

the, the vertical SaaS startup,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

and so there's a tailwind behind you and that there's a lot of different

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

ways to accelerate your potential.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And, and that's what we're trying to do each and every day when

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

we, we come into the office.

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

So for those who are listening or watching that

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

want to figure out how Justifi can help them accelerate their potential, what's

d Huff - FinTech Confidential:

the best way to, to reach out to you or the Justifi team as well to learn more?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Joe Keeley, you can find me on LinkedIn.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

I'm happy.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

to to chat.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Um, we have a, a great team of people you can contact through, uh, Justifi.ai.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And what we typically like to do, I mean, is sit down and understand someone's

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

business, and then we'll build what we call, you know, a, a lighter version,

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

a, a free version of what our engaged team does every day, which is build

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

what we call a strategic FinTech map.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Which essentially says, where are you today?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And what, what's possible?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And then those are really the two of three most important questions in strategy.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Where am I today?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Where do I want to be?

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

And then the third is what needs to happen for that to happen?

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

Fantastic.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

What I'll go ahead and do is I'll put all the links to, to Joe's Social as well

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

as the company, in addition to how to get ahold of them directly in the show

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

notes as well as in the description.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

So you guys just go ahead and click on that and go over and find

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

out what Justifi is doing and how they might be able to help you.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

And or, people you know.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

And Joe, thank you again for all of this time.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

I always love learning about what companies are doing to

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

enable FinTech in the ecosystem.

Tedd Huff - FinTech Confidential:

:

And this has been a fantastic conversation.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Thanks so much.

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

Pleasure being

Joe Keeley CEO & Co-Founder Justifi:

:

here.

:

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