The IPA recently held its first Fintech Elevator. The online event gave participants a chance to make industry connections and win a membership in the Innovation Payments Association.
In this episode, we talk with the founder of one of our winners, Invest Sou Sou, about how being more social with our household finances can lead to greater success. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Fonta Gilliam was a diplomat who have worked in a number of countries around the world. She saw a different approach to managing money than what is common in the United States. She believes that getting people to share more about their finances will help them achieve their goals.
To this end, she founded Invest Sou Sou, which offers financial institutions a platform that their customers can use to create social networks to help them reach goals. The use cases can range from individuals saving to buy a house to groups savings towards a common goal.
Rather than offer the product directly to consumers, Gilliam found that her reach would be increased by creating a product to help banks attract and retain customers by offering them this value added service.
You can learn more by visiting the company’s site at: https://investsousou.com/. If you want to create a Sou Sou wallet of your own, visit: https://investsousou.com/elementor-55/how-sou-sou-works/.
Member Spotlight: Kelley Knutson
What inspired you, and Netspend, to get involved with the Innovative Payments Association?
The IPA is an impactful organization with a solid track record of accomplishment. They are a vocal, and influential, advocate for the industry and prepaid customers, both at the state and federal levels. At Netspend, a part of the Global Payments family, we have an obligation and commitment, to help the IPA, lend our voice to industry-wide matters and be advocates for the broader payments industry, as well as our clients and customers. In today’s rapidly changing environment, it’s important now, more than ever, to stay proactively engaged and to be conscious, and respectful, of how the prepaid industry impacts Americans each and every day. I believe IPA’s mission, and vision, represents sensible rules, enthusiastic promotion of payments innovation, open communication and most importantly, high industry integrity.
How does your membership in the IPA assist your professional and organizational goals?
The IPA has provided the opportunity for me to talk with peers across the industry. Setting competition aside, we hold collective discussions on the challenges our businesses are facing and how we need to work together, in a unified manner, to address regulatory issues our industry faces. Proactive engagement is fundamental with the upcoming election, and we welcome IPA’s leadership representing the industry, with one voice, regarding the role of prepaid within the payments ecosystem; but, also on behalf of the end consumer.
What future accomplishments do you hope to achieve with the IPA?
My personal goal for the IPA is to assist them in growing, and diversifying their membership base by encouraging new payment organizations to join and encouraging them to bring their own perspectives and insights, to the table to help drive the industry forward. Now is the critical time to build on our solid foundation and establish new solutions in preparation for a post-pandemic world. We can only raise the bar in terms of expectations and success if we work together to learn, and share, from each other and our respective business models. I look forward to continuing to work with my peers and enhance the reputation of our industry with regulators across the payments landscape and with American consumers.
What’s one thing - either payments-related or not - you learned in the last month?
Despite all the challenges of the pandemic, I’m continually impressed by our team’s resilience, engagement and commitment to come together to address our new reality. Additionally, I’ve been encouraged with how active the IPA has been to ensure our customers are treated fairly, from both state and federal agencies, during the essential economic stimulus window. Amidst all the challenges and confusion, the IPA has stepped up their communication and lobbying efforts and have been a practical, vocal, and balanced advocate for our industry when it matters most to US households.
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