Episode 8: The Evolution of Electronic Payments
Ernest Rolfson 00:00
So today I'm with my friend and collaborator investor Gary Staub. Gary has had a 30 year career in banking and E payments working at companies like US Bank, Chase Paymentech, Genpass Sterling payment technologies amongst others. Gary's working with us here at Finexio. And we'll look forward to chatting with Gary and getting more about his background and what's going on in the world of payables and E payments and payment processing more broadly. So, Gary, great to be with you.
Gary Staub 00:34
It's great to be with you Ernest.
Ernest Rolfson 00:37
So Gary, I mentioned you've had a long career developing and launching payments related businesses, why don't you share with me and the audience, your start story here and some of the some of the journeys you've been on over the years.
Gary Staub 00:52
I'd love to. So after finishing business school, Ernest, I had the opportunity to start my career at Mellon bank in Pittsburgh. And I was fortunate that Mellon had a vision to use their computer power and investment in technology to create fee income businesses. So over a 12 year span, I got exposed to traditional banking products, as well as cash management business lines, and then really found my passion with their network services group that really focused on the electronic banking from the perspective of ATMs debit and credit cards, merchant acquiring, but that created a great foundation for me with a passion to really further expand electronic banking, I had the opportunity to leave and start my own company with a group of executives backed by private equity. And at that time, private equity was just getting started to look at and invest in opportunities to get involved in payments. So that foundation of Mellon and then getting going on my own led to really a career path of either working with larger banks or private equity, to build some of the biggest payment companies in the United States. And that includes, like you said, Chase, and what they did with Paymentech US banks investment in Elon and Elavon, both domestically and internationally. I worked with a company called Mineros was the you know, the largest organization in Canada, and then came full circle back to working with some of the larger private equity firms who had a passion to want to get in. So a fun career, but very much focused on the latter part of electronic banking.
Ernest Rolfson 02:41
How would you say that the ways that payments have really evolved over the past 30 years or even the payments industry? What are some of the kind of touch points you would kind of remark on around the illusion because it's, it's which now is like, going at the speed of light, really, in terms of rapid changes, but you've seen so many,
Gary Staub 03:00
When I look back, you know, thinking of your question there, the explosion of electronic transactions, credit cards, and then a version of you know, purchasing cards and commercial cards that came out of that. Then debit cards, whether it's pin or signature, and the impact that it had in the b2c world, you know, looking back, I can remember being involved in acquiring a couple companies to be able to be a leader in mail order processing, not knowing that the internet was going to evolve right away. And then when it did, all of a sudden, we became a leader in E commerce and how e Commerce has grown into be very much part of consumers purchasing part, you know, patterns today. And then over the last 10 years, really software integrations and the ability to see companies build solutions for vertical segments and how that is really changed with ISVs and VARs, taking over a large chunk of payments. And currently, it's really changing even again, with FinTech organizations, taking a role in helping either banks or competing with banks to bring new solutions to the market. So but very much payment integrations and fintechs now I think the tune that I think you'll see more and more about those are
Ernest Rolfson 04:22
A few great examples you know, you've been involved in so many successful and now to your point some of the largest payments processing businesses actually in the world that you've had a hand in growing developing starting what is it that makes a successful you know, what in the past would be called a payments business now it's it's fintech.
Gary Staub 04:43
For any successful company it starts with the management team, and understanding who's, you know, at the top of the organization and the team that he is surrounded or she surrounded themselves with the business plan they've created and whether They are focused on accomplishing specific goals. And do they have the infrastructure in place? To do that, you know, I often refer to things as building blocks, right? Don't have certain building blocks in place, and you can't scale. If you're evaluating a payments company today or a FinTech company, you have to look also at their partners and their technology. And do they have the right partners to complement scaling a business and supporting it, and then coming full circle, you can't ignore how they handle and support the clients from the beginning of when they enroll client or implement them into a new solution to how they address ongoing relationship management and customer service? And how that ties back into their KPIs. And what they want a successful payments company or FinTech, it really does start at the top. And do they have the right team? And are they in an industry segment, that there is opportunities to grow some some organizations shoot to small and some shoot to big. If you know what I mean by that.
Ernest Rolfson 06:02
Anything along the way you've learned or you've come across, it really stood out, or was surprising to you, or something perhaps you didn't expect to see happening in the space are a bit some of the successful companies?
Gary Staub 06:15
Well a couple things. Currently, I'm kind of surprised that the adoption of digital or electronic banking solutions hasn't gone faster. I just think the business case that can be made for a business leader or CFO, it makes sense to look at this because of the improvements that they can make to their bottom line in their operations. I think some fintechs lose sight of the importance of you know, when you're moving money for people, you have to make sure you invest in the solutions to do it right the first time. It has to be right and you have to take it very serious. So you have to invest in the infrastructure to make it work. But I do think it's going to even continue to grow faster because of the business case. Too much paper in the world.
Ernest Rolfson 06:58
Sure, sure. Still nearly 12 trillion of checks in b2b payments. It's just mind blowing. Now you've worked with pure fintechs, you were a senior executive leadership at Sterling, which of course was acquired by EVO payments. You're an advisor here at Finexio, investor, you've worked at large banks, and it didn't the tech divisions of these banks are what became the tech divisions of these banks free payments. Is there a big difference between how banks approach payments you've seen verse now software FinTech companies approaching payments?
Gary Staub 07:31
there is part of it is the speed in which fintechs can move versus all banks, whether large or mid size and the ability to innovate quicker. You know, banks, because of regulations and compliance, often find themselves in silos, and those silos put up walls that prevent things from occurring. And then service levels, the ability to attract talent, and fintech sometimes, I think is easier than bank's ability to do that. So combination of speed, and delivery, coupled with service levels are part of the reasons fintechs are being embraced by banks. As you look to the future.
Ernest Rolfson 08:10
Are there more pain points or challenges using bank products and services versus FinTech solutions that you've observed?
Gary Staub 08:18
When you talk about the the whole payment industry, you have to look back at the whole concept of a value chain. And in today's world, in payments, there's an off, you capture that transaction, you settle it in, you report it, understanding the front end systems in the back-end systems there are a pain points associated with both, and you have to make sure that your foundation is strong, and you can address those. So when you talk about pain points, you really look to the value chain of how a transaction is flowing, where things could go awry. Access to information and a portal, and how portals have evolved for people to run their business, I think is a big focus now as well, so that you can be on the spot immediately to see how a transaction is evolving and corrected. So that those are common pain points, I think.
Ernest Rolfson 09:10
Sounds like what you're saying too, is that as much as the back-end infrastructure, the off to settlement, you know, kind of capture process. The front end reporting, the stuff around consumer customer experience has been lacking. I guess maybe what you're saying is that these fintechs or software companies can help banks deliver a better customer experience.
Gary Staub 09:33
Absolutely. You summarized it well, let's just take the b2c world and that's going to be a microcosm of what's current in b2b, where omni channel has evolved where brick and mortar and the solutions that go into a storefront are different than what you need for processing an E commerce transaction. And as you know, the whole mobile world is taken off and it continues to grow and what you're on a phone and how that transaction is processed is different than the systems that go into the retail storefront, the ability to do those things and do it well all tie into, you know, delivering a quality service. And that's where banks and fintechs need to work together, or banks can lean on fintechs to help them deliver a better product to their client base.
Ernest Rolfson 10:24
One of the things I'd say a lot, and it seems to really be resonating with banks, because they're investing in Finexio and partnering with Finexio is that these fintechs, we're not actually looking to disrupt or compete against these banks were just another path of helping the banks and get more distribution with their products, but providing a better overall experience, I guess, for lack of another word, easier ease of use for the customers.
Gary Staub 10:51
Banks who are committed to supporting both b2c or a b2b business segment need to be thinking that way Ernest, or they're going to be left behind. The market is moving that fast, they already to bring solutions quickly to their client base is what keeps the client happy. You know, once you have a happy client, you can offer them other things, provide a revenue stream back to your organization.
Ernest Rolfson 11:13
Can you help maybe the listener understand? Or do you agree? I mean, why is it so hard? If I'm a bank, and I'm trying to release or come out with some new payment ideas or products or services? Why is it so hard to get that done that's led to all this FinTech explosiveness that's been happening? Is there a way to describe this in some succinct way that's maybe easy to understand? Or do you have a couple of maybe, war stories that you've observed over your career on what the difficulties are?
Gary Staub 11:39
Part of it is the fear of disruption in your organization, if you have something that's working, what you would call a legacy system, pulling that out and putting something new and causes trepidation for people in general. And then there's your worry, worry about the team. And what's this going to mean to your team? And am I going to have to add more people? Or am I going to lose people? And do I have the time to train them on systems that are going to help them in the long run, and still get my day to day job done? Those are normal hesitancies that exist when implementing new solutions. Once they're implemented, the whole reconciliation process and how I go about doing my day to day? Is that going to change? And does it tie into an ERP system that I already have in place? And do I have to integrate? And what forms of integration does that occur? And the whole idea of an API and a robust API? Or can I maybe do this without doing an integration? These are the things that I see all the time, when I'm working with organizations or consulting that slow them down, and they get lost in the forest if you will.
Ernest Rolfson 12:52
Absolutely. Well, since you've touched on it. Well, could you explain perhaps how the software integration into payments has changed the way businesses pay and get paid? And what are the benefits? And then where do you think it's headed. And I know that I mean, you built the b2b Sterling business off of the backbone of the software integration, partnerships and model so you, you're considered one of the experts in that country in this area. So you've got a long history here, you probably can talk to the history as well as where it's going.
Gary Staub 13:18
As a relates to options, maybe it's the best way to say it for today, replacing cash and checks with more forms of way to pay your organization's or receive payments is I think, the thing that's most exciting, you know, the idea of ACH exploding, and then right behind that are virtual cards, and then how wires are conducted today, when it makes sense based on the size and looking across borders, all those are really replacing checks. And I think that's only going to continue to grow, because it provides, in some cases, an operating return on investment that lowers your cost. And then when you're introducing new products, like you know what Finexio does, with virtual cards, it creates a revenue stream, but it's really looking at from a whole business line, can i improve how I work with the most important contingents of my organization, which are my customers, and my suppliers, you know, suppliers, in turn, want to be acknowledged for what they deliver in the value chain and maybe get paid faster. So that leads to new products that I think will evolve with digital transactions, again, all around the premise of replacing checks and cash with a new way to pay quicker, faster, and maybe more efficient. Down the road. I see b2c and b2b becoming more common in the omni channel that I described earlier, where businesses are using the knowledge and the data that they capture from electronics to figure out how they do their inventory management, price their product, how they go and deliver solutions and where they want to go to deliver their solutions and who the best suppliers are, in turn, negotiate better terms with those suppliers. If that makes sense to you.
Gary Staub 14:44
It absolutely makes sense. You're basically getting into what my old CEO Ajay Bonga would say at MasterCard around how do you add more value in every single transaction and to be non commoditized is really leveraging the data around that transaction and making the next transaction be better, smarter, faster, more profitable by I don't know, predicting where and how that next payment is going to go.
Gary Staub 15:40
I read not too long ago that someone made an analogy that data is the new oil that's going to drive the future. And if you think about it from the examples that I just gave you, that makes a lot of sense.
Ernest Rolfson 15:51
Absolutely. Yeah. And that mirrors what we're doing at Finexio, right? If you think about we're taking recurring supplier payment data, due dates, actual payment, dates, settlement dates, and marrying that up with access to capital and supply chain financing to get smart offers to suppliers. So identify that Hey, Mr. You know, supplier over at ACME Corp, we've noticed that your last four months of payments were delivered after the due date, how would you like to get your next payment within 10 days of invoice approval. And now we set it charging 50 cents, we can charge 2% of transaction. But we're actually solving a problem for the buyer and the supplier suppliers are getting their money faster, and the buyer didn't have to manage something where they're obviously struggling to manage it. And probably with a lot of manual steps along the way that are eliminated and the data is the oil. And that in that example, that grease is the greases the gear, certainly.
Gary Staub 16:50
But if you're running a business, the ability to have these systems in place, leveraging the software that you are investing in to run your business more efficiently. That's the way you need to be thinking, yeah, look to the future.
Ernest Rolfson 17:02
So now let's, I'm the CFO, I'm the end user, I'm the guy or gal that is at these businesses trying to pay or get paid. And maybe I work with a bank, or maybe some fintechs calling me but you know, I've got this tech stack already in place. Right? I've got the ERP, maybe I have accounts payable, I mean, what would you say, you know, have been some of the considerations that they've been need to or have been taking into account. And if I'm, you know, if I'm running a business and you've run these businesses, what, what do you need to think about in terms of how to take advantage of some of these new payment things that are coming? And maybe if we want to mention what you've seen during COVID? If that's relevant, I think that's been a super accelerator for a payable, certainly.
Gary Staub 17:49
COVID has addressed people not going into the office. Yeah, looks like that's maybe you're going to come back and raise its ugly head.
Ernest Rolfson 17:58
Oh, I see what you're saying. You're saying you think that with more COVID coming? You think it might--ah I see. Okay, interesting view,
Gary Staub 18:05
The whole pandemic opened up another layer of how do I run my business more efficiently? What can I do to streamline processes? Where are there opportunities to re engineer what I'm doing quickly, to solve the fact that people may not be in the office as often or I need to redeploy resources accordingly. But again, looking back on the approach that CFOs need to do is, again starts with what is the solution I'm trying to implement? Does it impact my current operations? And the ERP? Can I move to implement some of these without a formal integration? Or do I need to do an integration? Once I've gone on that path? Is the partner that I've picked, able to deliver a training program seamlessly? Am I going to be able to have, you know, quicker updates, and have access to data? Or am I going to have to re wire what I'm doing currently? And then what's the experience on the back end with my client and my, my suppliers? Are they going to be happier? And all that is back into how it's presented. And I know that the presenting of a new solution to a supplier can be scary. Yeah. Particularly if you're asking them to get paid a different ways. So it has to be well documented and presented in a way that's well received. And I think, again, just looking on the b2b front, these are opportunities for businesses to improve immensely enhance their operations with their suppliers. If they do it the right way.
Ernest Rolfson 19:43
It can be a win win. Right? I think in the old day, the credit card world it was that we screw over the other guy and pass the savings to you. Yeah, and now the whole world is moved to digital first and multi rail, where it's not about the fee as much as the best fit, solving the problem. And you said it first is rate streamlining and minimizing integrations and manual work.
Gary Staub 20:12
That's the future Ernest. That's where it's going. And it's going to go quickly, then the people who don't respond, whether it's the banks, or the manufacturers and b2b or the business service companies, we're going to lose, you know, the whole pandemic, going back to what you said, was an eye opener for a lot of people because they weren't set up to handle people not either coming into their organization or how they were going to receive their products. And that's changed. And that's going to tie in to, really some of the crisis we have now with supply chain, and orders that are being done and managing how you're going to run your business. All gets back to do I have the right systems in place, and do I have the data to make good business decisions?
Ernest Rolfson 20:53
Yeah, that's right. That's right. Let's switch gears a bit and talk more on the, you know, funding and investment side and talk about what's happening in VC and private equity investment in FinTech. You're an expert, obviously, in b2b payments. So your views I think, are valuable here. Let's start off, you know, with Finexio. I mentioned already, you're an investor, you've been close close advisor to me and the rest of the team at Finexio given your track record and building and scaling selling b2b payment businesses. What was the most compelling reason for you to get involved here?
Gary Staub 21:29
When I think about first time I met you and discussions we had, it really did trigger core belief that I have that the b2b world is going to grow at a much faster pace than b2c and, you know, the love of payments and the desire to do more in payments. If I was going to spend time in payments, I wanted to do it in b2b, not b2c. I just think the opportunity based on looking at statistics of what's occurring, you had mentioned $12 trillion worth. Yeah, I just think the opportunity to do more faster and b2b. Not to say that private equity isn't still looking at b2c. But, you know, over the last four years, there have been major transactions with Fiserv and FTC, and WorldPay, and Fidelity and all those, I think, are still being digested. Whereas those same organizations aren't really as strong in the b2b front, and eventually they will be. So a combination of looking at the industry and my own personal experiences led me to want to do more in b2b and, you know, help Finexio accordingly.
Ernest Rolfson 22:42
But when it comes to the investments, and the differentiation around Finexio, what can you share, and I want to see if you touch on something I know you tell people a lot about and what you think is really critical for success in in b2b payments. But what are some of the differentiators you saw or what's making this special?
Gary Staub 23:03
That whole idea of just focusing on the last mile, that has resonated well with me, because you can then apply your own approach philosophy and investments to make that last mile even more efficient, to get immediate results. So I think that that's important. It's repeatable processes that can be scaled, and use technology to, you know, bring on new clients in an efficient manner. When I look further at Finexio, the whole channel strategy of getting involved with software companies and integrating with them to create some stickiness, and then having access to a much bigger base of clients. It makes sense, and it's a way to scale business in electronic industry quickly. And in turn, I'll go back to service, you know, service. From my perspective, High Tech High touch revolves around not only doing repeatable processes right the first time, but it's then what are you doing to make it easier for the clients, I know that the value chain of Finexio has a lot of investment in supplier enablement, how you set people up, how you make sure the data you're collecting is secure, how you're making sure that when you do process a payment, whether it's paper, or ACH or even virtual cards, it's being done in a way that can be accounted for tracked. And then if there is an issue can be easily fingertip away on a portal for people to see. Those things are the reason service, I think Finexio continues to get high ratings, because it is a combination of High Tech High touch.
Ernest Rolfson 23:09
Can you describe why it's hard to do what we're doing here from what you've seen? Or why are there not so many other b2b payment things out there that have addressed this problem? Could you could you share maybe why it's hard?
Gary Staub 24:57
Funny that you have asked that question, you know, coming from In the b2c world, and some of the integrations that occurred with ISVs, and vars, I remember Sterling was competing heavily with a company called Mercury. And what we had was a combination of knowledge about the transaction flow coupled with people who got up every day and lived it. And I saw, I think the last RSPA, I went to there were 20 organizations who were trying to say, they did payments for integrated solutions, and it was all smoke and mirrors because they didn't have a: the knowledge b: they didn't have the relationships and c: they didn't set themselves up for success. And that gets back to things like supplier enablement, coupled with an integrated solution on service, starting with how you implement that how you track issues that occur on a relationship management, to how you solve problems, and what you have in place in the way of metrics to see are you doing it right? And are you doing it consistent, and your whole dashboards and your whole portals that you share internally and externally, are all built around that concept? Companies just can't make that overnight? Yeah. And that's why I think Finexio will continue to succeed, because they're very focused on what they do well, and they're trying to stay within that and continue to add buffers that prevent people from doing it the same. Yeah, thought as well. And when you talked earlier about financing products, I think that's a second wave, you know, that's a value add, that will be added. But it's really the traditional AP processing, that creates the foundation from which you can build upon. And there aren't other people in the in the sector that are doing it now, to the way that I think it needs to be done.
Ernest Rolfson 26:50
I mean, I think it goes to we've what we've really built here is a platform. Yeah, right. It's a service and infrastructure platform that is not easily replicable.
Gary Staub 27:01
If you're an investor in the PE side, if you're looking to get into b2b payments, that whole idea of finding a team that understands the industry and what they're doing, and a platform is unique. And if you can do that, and then they have some differentiators based on value adds that they build plus customer segments that they understand and they're going after. That's clearly a formula for Win win.
Ernest Rolfson 27:27
How would you advise and you actually have you mentioned, you have been an advisor to some of the top PE funds in the space firms like silverlake, like Warburg, and others, but how would you advise today, investors looking to approach the b2b payment sector? I mean, you just kind of mentioned a few things to look out for that you think we've got really right here. But what I don't know anything about b2b payments, what should I be thinking about or looking for?
Gary Staub 27:52
In some ways that goes back to what we talked about earlier. It starts at the top. Is there a management team in place that has relevant experience in the b2b processing world? Do they get up every day and live that? And have they shown a track record of creating successful organizations? And then it is really peeling back? What is the expression the onion and looking at the various layers of who their partners are? What technology they built themselves? Or who are they dependent upon? To get technology to deliver a solution that creates the foundation of whether it's a viable enterprise or not? And then you take it one step further on? What is their mission? What are they trying to accomplish? What are they trying to focus? Is it a certain sector is that a certain vertical is that trying to deliver select solutions like virtual cards in conjunction with ACH domestically, not internationally, the both of the things that a PE firm definitely will be looking at as part of their evaluation of an investment or an organization that there's no quick way to success you have to earn it. And cutting corners is a disaster in the payments world because of what I said earlier, your moving people's money. And if you make mistakes, that comes back quickly, to cause you unnecessary headaches, so PE firms, banks are going to take their time to look at those things that I call part of the value chain for investing in b2b.
Ernest Rolfson 27:53
What is the greatest area of opportunity for investors in b2b payments, some of the themes you touched on earlier, there are a few things you'd say I really like this aspect of b2b, it could be something we're doing or some other things we're not doing?
Gary Staub 29:38
When you think of FinTech, you know, they're they're involved, you know, four or five major areas, whether it's payments or crypto or figuring out ways to improve lending digital peer to peer, the payments front you have the ability to digitize things and move it and build scale and repeatable processes. So that's where I think the money should be invested if you're involved in b2b over b2c. Because the room for opportunity is that much greater.
Ernest Rolfson 30:08
Yeah a lot less competition.
Gary Staub 30:10
A lot less competition.
Ernest Rolfson 30:12
There's almost nothing there.
Gary Staub 30:13
Well, it's a combination of less competition. The competition that is there may not have all the answers, right? Yeah. And then the people we're trying to get in need to find partners to get them into the chair. Okay, is one of the reasons I'm excited about the b2b world.
Ernest Rolfson 30:30
Any other trends happening in FinTech, that you're excited about outside of b2b? Are you involved? Or will you? Are you planning on getting involved in any of these other trends and in FinTech that you think are relevant?
Gary Staub 30:43
Well, you know, I have the benefit, as you know, having four children. So I watch what they do and how they run their lives and see how payments are occurred in their life and what gets them excited. I also believe you should stay in your lane. And what you know. And I think the opportunity for FinTech payments is where I can have the most fun and get the most reward for my time, which is obviously your most precious asset. So more in payments. More in that space is where I think I want to spend my time and have fun drilling into a whole idea of niches and vertical segments, the riches are in the niches I like to say, that firmly makes sense in b2b. But if you're going to be involved in FinTech, right now, I think putting your chips more into the b2b Front makes a lot more sense.
Ernest Rolfson 31:35
In terms of like a prediction or what's next, you can remark or think about where you see the future of Finexio going, but certainly, I don't even know but on a five year lens about where do you think b2b payments will be you're at some of the early stages of some innovations we're developing here, have developed, but I'm curious what else you've seen or thought about or how you think about where the future is going?
Gary Staub 31:58
Well, first of all, let's address Finexio. But my perspective on Finexio is, the foundation is very strong. It's a foundation that can be built upon the opportunities with the channel strategy, I think sets it up to have dramatic growth over the next couple years. So I'll be excited to watch that evolve, as it gets into more verticalization and vertical segments on top of it. And then introducing some new solutions. But I expect the whole trend of CFOs, looking at their business, addressing things like the pandemic, addressing things like integrating with my ERP to have access to data, addressing the need of suppliers, to want to get paid quicker or find better terms under which they're conducting business with you is all going to lead to movement away from checks and the explosion of electronic transactions. So I think Finexio will be one of the beneficiaries of that. As far as the future, more integrations, more commitment to moving data over API's that you understand what exactly that can mean for you to go further into the marketing side of my business. So not just handling payments, but have having data replication decisions on how I run my business more.
Ernest Rolfson 33:23
The benefit of API is the real time, nature of that, right. It's not file based, it's not batch based, it's real time. And as we see the emergence of real time and Faster Payments, and certainly the lending opportunity of getting folks their money faster. I would agree with you that the API-ization of this space is only just beginning.
Gary Staub 33:43
I see the customer supplier experience continuing to evolve, you had mentioned some end products, the data and the seamlessness of immediately having access to data will only continue to grow. The ability to update other systems internally with that data to make business decisions will then evolve. And all that will lead to further expansion adopting electronics and digital payments in b2b, big organizations, 1 billion in greater in annual revenue, if somewhat address some of this. Yeah, I mean, one on the payment terms. But there's still that middle market and even smaller organizations that have a long, long way to go, before they've improved their business. And if they don't do it, they won't be able to compete.
Ernest Rolfson 34:27
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And they need to compete and with consolidation happening, and see, you've always got to do that there's probably $8 trillion of the 12. They're in the kinds of businesses you just described. They don't have the awareness, they don't have the abilities and they we've spent a lot of time talking about the these banks and their challenges, but these banks don't have the solutions available for these smaller companies. So if I'm $100 million business and I'm working with my community bank, and I'm competing with someone else that's working with the top 5-10 Banks, some of the capabilities they have around managing your business are just going to be different, just substantially different, right?
Gary Staub 35:04
You had mentioned earlier my time with Sterling, and Sterling was really a leader in b2c integrating software. But the vision to get into b2b, I think, really set that organization up to differentiate. But it's funny, they became a trusted partner, for a lot of the b2b organizations because of the things they could do. That word trusted partner is not thrown around lightly by me. It means something the table was set for that to occur in the b2b space for for next year for sure.
Ernest Rolfson 35:36
Yeah. And that's our approach. And you have to approach and we have more knowledge, right? We've got the experience team and combined, our team probably has 100 years of experience in b2b payments, but it's the these businesses don't so you have to approach it in a very consultative advisor partner way.
Gary Staub 35:53
Consultative sale approach.
Ernest Rolfson 35:55
Gary this has been a great conversation. super interesting. We talked about the some of the history of electronic payments and banking, early developments to current day of b2b payment processing software integrations modes to market platform businesses, and growth and developments and fintech and b2b payments, specifically software channel distribution in just almost 45 minutes, we've covered a tremendous amount of ground here from someone that's clearly a very deep expert, given your many years of experience in the space. So thank you for joining. It's not always we can get the insights from somebody that you know, built companies like Chase Paymentech, right. I mean, it's, it's awesome. So, thanks.
Gary Staub 36:39
It's been a lot of fun. I enjoyed the time today. Happy holidays to you and your family. I look forward to your next visit in person.
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