“Our thesis at Bond is that every brand can become a fintech.” - Roy Ng, CEO at Bond
One specific shopping trip still sticks out in Roy’s memory. He was just ten years old, and his family had recently immigrated from Hong Kong to Southern California. Roy and his family's experience with this massive nation-wide, name brand store would mark what Roy sees as the start of every brand becoming a fintech.
And while he may not have grasped the future he was getting a glimpse of, he still knew something important was happening. Looking back on that trip all these years later, Roy can remember it clearly and tie it to the future of fintech today.
Roy Ng, Bond’s CEO and co-founder, joined us on Interchange to discuss the future of embedded finance, how Bond is leveling the financial playing field in the US and the impact of that trip.
Roy recalled his Sears trip in a Medium post after raising Bond’s first funding round.
“I remember walking with my mother into Sears, where we found all the big ticket items we’d need — the basics, a refrigerator and the washer-dryer, plus what we never had in Hong Kong, a lawn mower and a barbecue grill! When the cashier asked if we had a Sears card, we shook our heads. No, we did not. And did we want to open an account? I nudged my mother and she nodded. Yes, we certainly did.
“The cashier did not ask us any of the typical banking questions. Sears understood their customer and their financing partner trusted them to start us small. In return, our family rewarded them with years of repeat business and a perfect repayment record, which opened the door for us to apply for credit cards, lease a car and finance my college education.”
Here are a few of the key takeaways from our conversation with Roy.
1. Brands Increasing Access to the Financial Ecosystem
Brands adding financial services for their customers is no longer limited to the Sears and Macy’s of the world. Soon, financial services will finally meet people where they are when they need it.
“The future of financial services is seamless and integrated into the services people use every day,” Roy shared. “The future will benefit the consumer immensely in that financial services are everywhere and that allows for financial inclusion. We will be able to reach corners of the population that were not well served by traditional financial services.”
“We (Bond) enable any digital brand that wants to better engage and serve their customers with financial products,” Roy continued. “We allow you to innovate on us, to try new things and see if you’re actually helping your customers or not, instead of spending years planning every detail and building something only to find that it wasn’t a good fit with your customers in the first place.”
2. Getting From One to Two Is As Hard As Zero to One
Going from Zero to One in fintech isn’t easy, especially if you’re building by yourself. Finding a bank and doing integrations into processors and networks is a multivariate problem, to say it nicely.
It turns out that the second and third products generally don’t get any easier if you’re building your technology stack from scratch.
“Launching that second product is still incredibly hard,” said Roy. “Potentially it is a whole new set of capabilities, vendors, and tech stack you need to build out.”
3. The SuperAppification of the US
Companies across the East have built financial juggernauts around their “superapps.” Not just one or two products, but an aggregated view of your entire life — financial and otherwise.
“More and more digital brands are going to want to become a super app,” Roy claimed. “Having a platform like Bond where we can grow with you and have a myriad of products on one platform so you aren’t rebuilding the same building blocks that are common, that’s a huge value proposition for brands that are looking to embark on this financial services journey.”
If Roy’s story resonates with you and you’re energized by solving gigantic problems at the root, Bond is hiring!
If it sounds like the Bond platform could help you achieve your goals as a brand or fintech taking the next step, we’d love to hear from you.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our careers page and let’s chat!