Transfers and Remittances: Startup Stories Live in Toronto and NYC
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Consulate General of Canada
466 Lexington Avenue, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10017
The DMZ at Ryerson University
10 Dundas Street East, 6th Floor
Building on last year’s successful “Two Cities” event, startups and incubators in Toronto and New York will discuss the challenges and rewards of starting up a firm in each location, with a special focus on developers and fintechs in the payments transfers and remittances space. NYPAY, a leader in payments events, is taking the discussion to the next level with speakers and audiences in both cities, linked by live videoconference, permitting interaction by all participants.
Startups in transfers and remittances face unique challenges: regulatory issues can trip up a great fintech solution, the market is crowded with new companies and products, and a number of crypto-based solutions bring volatility to the market. Add to this the normal concerns of any startup: How easy is it to get talent? What support does the government offer? What’s local networking like? How hard is it to find space? What are the opportunities for funding?
In this market, especially, location matters. Hear from startups and incubators in Toronto and NYC about the challenges and rewards in each location, where we are today and what the future looks like.
Moderated in NYC by
Rich Arundel, EVP, General Manager, North America, Currencycloud
As one of Currencycloud’s founders, Richard has played an important role in the company’s rapid growth. Having started his career at HiFX – one of the largest foreign exchange market brokers in the UK – Richard has a deep understanding of the finance and payments sector. Prior to becoming GM of Currencycloud’s North America business, Richard has held successive positions as Sales Director, Client Relationship Director and VP Client Services at Currencycloud, helping the company increase revenue, size and scope.
Having left London for New York in 2017, Richard is now responsible for performance across the US, including directing sales development programmes and go-to market strategies. His experience in creating high performing teams, as well as building and maintaining partnerships in the world of fintech, is the driving force behind Currencycloud’s US strategy.
Moderated in Toronto by
Michael McCarthy, Executive In Residence, The DMZ
David Lighton is the Founder and CEO of SendFriend, a FinTech startup reinventing remittances with blockchain technology, creating better prices, faster payments, and putting the customer first. Spun out of MIT, SendFriend is backed by Techstars, Ripple, 2020 Ventures, 8 Decimal Capital, Barclays, MIT Media Lab, MasterCard Foundation, the TaiYou Fund, Mahindra Finance and others.
Previously, he served as Special Assistant in the World Bank, covering Haiti and financial inclusion after the devastating earthquake of 2010. He completed an MBA degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management, where he was an MIT Legatum Fellow. He also holds an MA with honors from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in International Economics and Development, and a BA with honors from the Johns Hopkins University in International Relations and Music.
Yamandou is an experienced voice, satellite, and mobile telecommunications executive with a keen eye for emerging markets. He founded ASG Telecommunications in 1996 and oversaw its expansion from a mobile device wholesaler to a key voice and satellite network integrator and supplier for both mobile operators and NGO’s. As co-founder of T+, the second mobile operator in the Cape Verde Islands, he oversaw a significant development impact by modernizing and expanding the telecommunications services in the region, by promoting competition in the market and contributing to the increase of reliable and affordable communications services.
In 2006, he crossed into the transportation industry, to integrate his technology background with a newfound consciousness of sustainable transportation. GoGreenRide was born out of a commitment to develop green transportation, cutting edge technology with outstanding customer service, to create a truly unique alternative and has recently been acquired by a larger transportation group in New York.
In 2016, Yamandou founded Makeba, whose goal is to create low-cost and easy to use mobile apps for monetary transactions – from sending international remittances to making local payments. Makeba is the catalyst of 20 years of experience in African telecommunications that has yielded intelligence via call patterns that isolate the relationships between the African diasporas and their communities back home. This cultural affinity and very targeted consumer segment give a sharp and optimized distribution strategy for outreach at the launch of the Makeba service. In addition to Makeba, Yamandou is currently a director in Kipay, a hydropower initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Co-founder, Remitware Payments Inc. (Remitr)
Head of Sales, Buckzy Payments
Register Today For Either Location
Networking & Drinks
Your Money’s No Good Here: Progress and Pitfalls in Cashless Commerce
Monday, March 11, 2019
at the offices of Ernst & Young
841 Broadway NY, 8th floor, New York, NY 10003
There is a strong push on the part of card companies and some merchants to eliminate cash in retail. In New York City a growing number of restaurants no longer accept cash. Consumers who have only cash cannot buy food at Tender Greens, Dig Inn, Two Forks, Van Leeuwen, Bluestone Lane, Pokee or Daily Provisions. Merchants cite speeded payment, less vulnerability to robbery, hygiene and need for fewer workers as pros. Visa and MasterCard are promoting the move to eliminate cash.
But 360,000 unbanked families and 780,000 underbanked face loss of access to food and other goods and services. In response, NYC Council Member Ritchie Torres’ (Bronx, District 15) proposed legislation to prohibit businesses from only accepting credit and debit cards—and require they accept US legal tender.
Discussion will include:
* What’s the state of the move to cashless in the NYC Metro area?
* Why has Council Member Torres introduced his bill and what are its prospects for passage?
* If passed what will be its impact, and how will it be enforced?
* What are the pros and cons of going cashless for the different groups of players?
-Merchants and service providers
-Consumers in general; consumers who are “unbanked”
* What are the obstacles? How can you answer the “cons”?
* What are the remedies?
* Can Fintech solve the problem?
With special thanks to annual sponsor:
Transaction Advisory Board Principal, Ernst & Young
Prior to joining EY in 2017, Louise was an Executive Vice President and the Global Retail Practice Leader at Nielsen, with responsibility for Nielsen’s global retail strategy and thought leadership on consumers in the FMCG retail industry. She worked with other executives to define and address the most significant opportunities to better measure and understand consumer behavior, and to serve clients more effectively.
Strategic decisions were made based on an understanding of client demand, and using financial modeling and analytics to determine business priorities.
Before that, Louise was a co-founder, President and Board Member of The Demand Institute, a non-profit think tank that is jointly operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. She was also the Intellectual Capital Director at The Cambridge Group, a strategy consulting firm that delivers growth strategies to consumer-facing clients. She previously was an assistant professor of Economics at The University of
Wisconsin, a research fellow at Oxford University, and an associate consultant at Bain & Company.
Louise has worked with senior executives across consumer industries regarding demand shifts and the implications for their strategic growth goals. As an industry subject matter expert and accomplished public speaker, Louise has regularly delivered presentations and led discussions with executive audiences, as well as appearing in television and radio broadcasts including those of Bloomberg and NPR, cited in publications including the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, and her perspectives have been published in periodicals including the Harvard Business Review. She was named as a retail industry Woman to Watch in 2017 by Retail Leader.
Ritchie J. Torres
Council Member, New York City Council, District 15
Council Member Ritchie Torres was first elected in November 2013 to represent the 15th Council District in the Central Bronx. As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing, Council Member Torres oversaw the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) which is the largest provider of affordable housing in the country. In this capacity, he introduced and enacted legislation to improve safety and quality of life for thousands of NYCHA residents.
In November 2017, Council Member Torres was elected to his second term and became Chair of the new Oversight and Investigations Committee of the City Council. In this role, he is tasked with investigating matters within the Council’s jurisdiction concerning property, affairs, or government of New York City.
Council Member Torres’ legislative victories include legislation protecting the City’s affordable housing stock; improving mental health resources for the LGBT community; tackling the city’s opioid epidemic; and reforming the NYPD’s daily interactions with New Yorkers.
Council Member Torres became active in politics at an early age, first as a fellow in the inaugural class of the Coro NY Exploring Leadership Program, and then going on to work as the Housing Director for Council Member Jimmy Vacca before running for office in 2013. The youngest member of the City Council, Council Member Torres is a rising star in City politics and has been profiled by numerous media outlets including New Yorker Magazine, New York Times, Newsweek, Observer, Daily News and others.
Networking & Drinks
TRANSACT is the one show focused solely on the business of payments technology. Powered by Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), the world’s largest payments industry trade group, TRANSACT is the place where financial institutions, networks, payments companies, FinTech and technology innovators gather to make the deals that shape the industry.
Join financial industry leaders, innovators and challengers at Canada’s largest payments conference. The 2019 Payments Canada SUMMIT explores a broad spectrum of issues and topics that influence the future of payments policy, products, services, and processing, with a focus on the innovations and challenges emerging in the payments ecosystem including within the risk management space. The SUMMIT is the ideal meeting point for the payments community to come together to understand the future-state of payments, and how this transformation will impact us as an industry and as individuals. Learn more: thesummit.ca