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money management podcasts Nov 24, 2022

Tristan Pelloux joins Tiffany this week to talk all things FinTech! Tristan shares his journey starting out in financial services and how his interest in FinTech came to be.

About Our Guest

Tristan is a Director at Strategwhy, a management consulting firm which provides independent guidance and advice to business leaders and founders across the world. Truly passionate about innovation in financial services around the world, Tristan is also the founder and Chief Pencil Officer of Fintech Review, an online media platform on the Fintech industry.

Connect with Tristan Pelloux


Connect with Tiffany on Social Media

Facebook: Money Talk With Tiff
Twitter: @moneytalkwitht
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LinkedIn: Tiffany Grant 



Episode 164

Intro/Outro: [00:00:00] You know what it is. That's right. It's time to talk money with your money nerd and financial coach. Now tighten those purse strings and open those ears. It's the Money Talk with Tiff podcast.

Tiffany Grant: Hey everyone. I am. So excited because I have Tristan Pelloux on the line. Now. Tristan is all about FinTech, as am I, I'm sure we're about to nerd out tremendously when it comes to FinTech companies and what's going on in that industry.

Hey Tristan, how are you today?

Trsitan Pelloux: I'm very well. Thank you for having me.

Tiffany Grant: Yes. It took for this interview to come to fruition, . So I'm glad that we're finally connected. So let's hop right in for the audience. And I just wanted to ask you, when it comes to FinTech, how are you involved? What does that look like? Do you have a business around FinTech? What made you interested in this field?

Trsitan Pelloux: I I started working in financial services and in banking before FinTech was trendy but it [00:01:00] was just the beginning. So it was the end of 2014. I just moved moved to London to work in finance and. In the summer to 15, I started working in corporate strategy for large UK bank. And and then I got super interested in innovation in financial services, what was going on and new technologies, which was changing slowly but surely the word. And and yeah, so I started. Very, let's say organically.

And it picked my interest. I started reading a lot, writing about it like writing research paper for, as part of my job working with FinTech companies to develop partnerships and this kind of stuff. And then in January, 2020, I started FinTech review to. How would I say that To channel a bit my interest in FinTech, having a platform where I could write, but also interview people in the [00:02:00] industry.

Yeah, like a way to, to channel my enthusiasm about FinTech and. It's a small media platform and I have a newsletter as well. And also work with a couple of fintechs as a strategic.

Tiffany Grant: Nice. Nice. That is awesome. So just so the audience understands, so you inched your way in, like you were like, Ooh, I really like this industry.

This is awesome. And so you just engrossed yourself in the FinTech industry and then you were like, you know what? I'm gonna create a website around this because I have all the knowledge and all of the information about the companies and things like that. I might as well put it out to the worldwide web.

And so you created FinTech Now I wanna stay there for a moment because I want people to understand. So what is FinTech Is it just a place where you put research or are you reviewing all of these different FinTech companies?

Trsitan Pelloux: So [00:03:00] it's I like to say that it's a bit like it's intersection of various things.

On FinTech reviews, there might be articles, but More, let's call it business, like the effect of interest rates on FinTech businesses. Then sometimes it can be a review of a company saying oh, what's going on with this company in particular? And then there are lots of interviews of various people working in the industry, their point of views.

On stuff. So it tends to be opinionated. It's there's strong opinions on, on, on various things on FinTech review. It's not, tends not to be neutral which is how I like to do things. I call the cat. And yeah. So there are various things and it goes from explaining very basic stuff around finance to better understand FinTech all the way to more complex topics that that I cover.

Tiffany Grant: Awesome. Awesome. Now , I know I didn't preface any questions, but I'm curious to know your answer. What do you think, like what is your favorite FinTech company [00:04:00] right now? If you had to choose one?

Who do you think is doing some awesome things and you feel like, oh, like this is one that's really on the come up.

Trsitan Pelloux: So there is a company I, I really like. There is, it's in Europe. It's expanded elsewhere and it's actually also in the US called Wise. It was formerly known as transfer wise.

And they started as a money transmission business. So that I used, like a while ago, I started using it I think in 2014 or something that and I was finding it super useful and much cheaper than banks. And now they've evolved and they're providing bank accounts and to like individuals with also businesses.

So I use it for business and I see they have a great set of products. They're beating the competition on price, but but the service is still like super good. And I can see them, they've developed a solid business model and they're presenting in so many countries

they managed to do the expansion [00:05:00] in the US from Europe, which a lot of fintechs fail there. They go to the us, they under, they don't understand that it's really expensive to expand there and they fail but wise managed to do that. And they're, as far as I know, they have a strong business in the US So I really like this company.

Tiffany Grant: Yes. Yes. And I, it's funny because I was like, I wonder if I'm gonna know the company that he says, and of course I do. I'm actually use wise, so I'm here in the US and I use WISE to send money to contractors that I have overseas and. It's so easy, it's so simple. And like you said, it's cheap. And actually the contractor that I hired, one of them, she was like, oh, you should use wise.

And so that's how I became aware of it. So now I'm letting my audience know if you have contractors, you have two FinTech nerds here telling you that Wise is an awesome platform. And I use it every single week and it has not failed me at all. The contractor, she [00:06:00] gets her money every week. I think I've been using it for about a year now.

So it's an awesome platform. I completely agree with that. So I was like, I'm so glad you brought up one that I actually know and use .

Trsitan Pelloux: Yeah. I must admit that I was thinking, okay, I need to find one that is is not gonna be, oh, it's only known in the UK but actually no, I do these guys. So it's, and I knew they were in the US so there was a strong probabilities that you would know them .

Tiffany Grant: Awesome. Awesome. Now it, as far as the industry in general, cuz you have a lot, I'm on your website now. You have a lot of industry stuff here. As far as industry in general, what kind of trends and stuff are you seeing in the FinTech?

Trsitan Pelloux: Obviously the current business environment is impacting. Fintechs, like it's impacting like most other businesses. But especially because a lot of investment has gone into FinTech startups over the past few years. It has really gone up a lot over the past let's say 2, to 3 [00:07:00] years.

So now we're seeing a massive slowdown, which means that it's not as easy to raise funds as a startup. So we'll see less businesses emerge. But I think it's a good thing because it means only the strong one, the one where they have actually a decent small and they'll still be able to raise funds anyway.

And it also means that the established ones that are not profitable and don't have a clear path to some kind of profitability. We'll also find it harder to raise money to keep on going. So all that means that we'll see. We'll probably see some consolidation, or at least also some businesses just going into liquidation because they can't sustain themselves.

And also because you have so many businesses that popped up out of nowhere for the past 5, 7 years that there's not enough food for everybody. So some of them are gonna starve and.[00:08:00] That's just normal there. In some spaces it's just too crowded. And, but there's still plenty of things to do.

But it's still things are happening, but it's just gonna be a bit, we're gonna enter a period where, It's gonna be a reckoning for a number of businesses.

Tiffany Grant: Yes. And that's so unfortunate, but like you said, it's normal in any industry really. But I imagine especially for tech companies where there's so many new on starts and then you're constantly fighting for position and then of course not everybody can survive.

And it's unfortunate because I'm sure like each. Company and tech does something a little different and something that could be revolutionary, but you need capital. So at the end of the day, if you don't establish your competitive advantage and stuff early enough, then unfortunately, you know it's not gonna work out.

I had the pleasure of being a judge for the FinTech competition at FinCon that was back in. 2021, I think FinCon. And it was awesome [00:09:00] seeing what type of new technology and things that are coming through the pipeline from helping nonprofits to more on the financial education side things of that nature.

Now, let me ask you what, where do you see too many people, too many competitors, and where do you see not enough as far as spaces in FinTech?

Trsitan Pelloux: So where difficult. Yeah. Yeah. But where I see too many is in the retail space, like new banks, like challenger banks, is that every two days there is someone who says, oh yeah, I'm launching a challenger bank and it's gonna be super niche.

And they go even more into a niche of a niche. So I'm like, okay guys, We're gonna do, like only is this part of the population in this neighborhood of San Francisco. Okay, yeah, this is a tiny market. Why don't you go a bit wider? So challenge banks, I see too many and I see too [00:10:00] many that don't have anything that differentiate them.

So they don't have a strong selling point. So I don't understand. They think that they're gonna gain customers. So that's where I think it's the most crowded space. And when, where there is not enough is in the business space there, in, I mean there are a few, but it's still it's still pretty crap, like business banking and running a business and the link between business and accounting.

All there, there have been lots of improvements, but I think that it could be better and also on the financing side of of businesses because no, no one has really looked at how we could. Do better business lending, how we could support like businesses without having this whole Hey, do you have three years of activity?

No. I don't give you any money, so this kind of, but it's a tough problem. And that's the issue with fintech's past few [00:11:00] years, that the low hanging fruits, okay, everybody has picked them and it was easy, like when you transfer, challenge your banks. The tough problems are a bit higher and you need to work more and you need to go and get it.

And it's tough, but you need to go after them. And so all these tough problems, no one has looked at it because, okay, fine, I don't want to do it. So it's same in the personal finance space. No one is really like looking at ways to solve the personal finance problem, which is that people tend to have too much personal finance, personal debt.

And it's an issue in many countries, and no one is really some companies are trying to solve it, but not a big one is trying to look at it and solve this problem.

Tiffany Grant: Yes, absolutely. I completely agree. Just to backtrack a little bit as far as banks, I completely agree there's a lot of them out there.

I just came across a new one cuz one of my clients was like, oh, I'm gonna switch to, I think it was called a s. Aspire, was it [00:12:00] Aspire? I can't remember. But their premise is they helped the environment and stuff like that. And so one of my clients is very into the environment, so it was like a niche bank for people that are very into the environment and earth and stuff like that, which I was like, oh, that's cool.

But like you said, it's if you niche down too much how are you gonna survive? And then going to the ones where you say there's not enough. Completely agree there because if you look at business accounting, for instance, QuickBooks is like dominating and then there's like fresh books. And then hardly anybody getting into, allowing small business owners to get loans when they're in those early stages.

I know. For instance, in my situation I'm a full-time entrepreneur and it is so hard to get a loan versus somebody that just works at w2. So it's very interesting with that. And so I just wanted to hit on those two points because, I completely agree where it's [00:13:00] overpopulated and then underpopulated.

This was a very interesting conversation and of course I could nerd out. I'm sure we could both nerd out all day on this but we wanna leave something for the people to go look you up. So if people were interested in learning more about you or your website, how could they find you?

Trsitan Pelloux: So they can find me?

As you were saying on FinTech And subscribe to my newsletter where I ran about what's going on in FinTech every week. Cause I do love that. They can also, find me on LinkedIn. I'm quite active out there. And on Twitter FinTech review or I tweet about interesting stuff that I, I see through throughout the week

Tiffany Grant: awesome, awesome. And yes, I did see that Twitter feed on your website, so that was pretty cool where you can see exactly what Tristan is thinking about in that moment on his website as well. So thank you so much [00:14:00] for coming on the show today, and if you didn't catch all of that, I will have all of that in the show notes.

So don't worry if you are a tech head like me or like Tristan please definitely check out the show notes and get more involved with his website and what he has going on. So thank you so much, Tristan, for coming on the show today.

Intro/Outro: Thank you for listening, joining and being a part of the Money Talk with Tiff podcast this week.

You can check Tiff out every Thursday for a New Money Talk podcast, but if you just can't wait until next week, you can listen to previous. Podcast episodes at Money Talk with or follow TIFF on all social media platforms at Money Talk with T until next time. Spend wise, by spending less than you make a word to the money wise is always sufficient.

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