B2B payments using blockchain is one of the coolest area in FinTech and Anson Zeall, founder of CoinPip – a company that is innovating business payments – is ready for it.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am chairman of ACCESS, Singapore’s Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry Association and a committee member of the Singapore FinTech Association. I co-founded and is now CEO of CoinPip, a payout service leveraging on blockchain technologies. CoinPip is backed by 500 Startups, one of the most prominent venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. Prior to CoinPip, I managed a private family office in Singapore handling various asset classes, equities, derivatives and real estate. I studied and graduated from the University of New South Wales and Columbia Business School. Aside from running CoinPip, I also conduct Blockchain 101 classes at General Assembly Singapore and INSEAD.
What is your business venture about?
We help businesses send money to partners, contractors, remote workers, and to anybody internationally. We also help make business payments easier, cheaper and faster. We can also process mass payments where clients just send in transactions in CSV or Excel spreadsheet, and we process it in one go. Quick and easy, especially helpful for payrolls and other small repetitive remittances.
What is your mission at the outset?
A lot of the businesses in FinTech are focusing on the consumer side of FinTech, not many are focusing on the infrastructure or on improving, changing, and making the SWIFT network easier, especially for the business side. Most business payments today are done through the SWIFT network, executed through the banks and can be very tedious. We’re here to make a positive change that will make all business payments as easy as consumer payments.
What is unique about your business?
We leverage on the blockchain technology to make the payments. That gives us the edge to make payments a lot faster and cheaper for the businesses. We are service driven and client focused. We consult with our clients to know their business needs and requirements. From there, we then customize our service to best fit their business model and needs or even create a side product that will address the needs.
Who is your biggest inspiration or drive to do what you are doing?
My biggest inspiration or what has driven me to create CoinPip is the Paypal mafia. They were the first ones to really changes to the payment system – how people send money, pay or get paid. The change helped merchants accept payments from consumers more easily. They are the FinTech 1.0. I saw the wave of changes coming too. But, for me, Paypal served as my biggest inspiration.
What’s next for you and for CoinPip?
Right now, we are helping blockchain technology by simply processing payments on it. Because we are leveraging on the blockchain, processing the payment transactions is helping the blockchain ecosystem grow bigger and much more liquid. Our partners in the blockchain ecosystem are very happy with us. We are not stopping there. We are also looking into helping businesses and the entire financial technology ecosystem grow faster, improve productivity and enhance business efficiencies.
If you have one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
As in any type of business, always know and understand the industry you are about to enter, especially the applicable regulations. FinTech deals with the most heavily regulated industry in the world, which is money. If you want to join the FinTech industry, understand that you would need to deal with and comply with various regulators and a lot of regulations. There is no going around that, so know what you are dealing with.
Do you have any final thoughts?
If your startup is bound to have some degree of success, know that you will also be creating a disruption in the industry ecosystem. You will be taking a piece of the pie. When Ford started the revolution of cheaper cars, the auto cartels were not pleased. This is the same to all industry. Just be prepared. If you plan to grow big and successful, be prepared to deal with some form of opposition and challenges, especially from the incumbents.
Hock Lai has 18 years of experience in the financial industry, having performed roles in both business and technology. He graduated from the National University of Singapore (Real Estate), Nanyang Technological University (Infocomm Technology) and Nanyang Polytechnic (Fund Management & Administration).
He is also a Fellow of the Singapore University of Social Science, advisor to FinTech Startups and mentor to student FinTech projects.
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