When I was a kid growing up in India, I witnessed firsthand the impact accessible financial systems can have on underserved communities. My father ran a small co-op bank where the community pooled money together every month to provide the less fortunate who didn't have access to more traditional financial services.
This was what you could call a more analog version of fintech; it was pre-API, pre-SDK and pre-app. Still, the mission of fintech was the same then as it is now. Fintech strives to make financial services understandable, accessible and easy for everyone, especially underserved communities.
That childhood experience I had growing up helped guide my career path, and ended up defining the arc of my career thus far.
Following the Path of Financial Inclusion
After the 2008 financial crisis, I joined Oportun as a Principal Software engineer where I helped people gain access to affordable loans they could use to recover financially or rebuild their credit.
Credit is a tricky thing. It's a golden ticket to quality financial resources for those who have it and it can be a tremendous hurdle for those who don't. It's incredibly hard to plot the intersection of the various economic, societal and environmental forces that make it difficult for underserved communities to get access to credit. But, after working at Oportun, I knew I wanted to work on solving the problem of access using my engineering skills.
At Aura, I focused on crafting financial systems that help low and middle-income communities at risk of being left behind by the financial industry. As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), our primary goal was financial inclusion. In my nearly seven years there, I used the power of code and the ubiquity of APIs to give nearly half a billion of dollars in loans to those underserved communities so they could build their credit and build a better life.
Scaling to Serve Communities at Bond
Bond takes that same sense of scale, speed and inclusion to new heights. At a time when income equality is rapidly accelerating, Bond sees the need for streamlined financial systems that can give banks the ability to work flexibly with brands and reach where they couldn't before.
There is one big blocker that's prevented large and small banks from reaching those communities and bringing their ideal financial products to life — compliance.
Compliance is absolutely necessary, as it should be. It helps keep users' financial data secure and ensure that their finances are safe. But, compliance can also be more taxing than it should be on a bank or brand's resources.
Anytime a bank wants to build a new product or offer a new card, for example, they have to start again, building the proverbial scaffolding for compliance. That takes tremendous developer effort and slows down their time to market. With Bond, banks can build on top of a readymade secure, streamlined, compliant platform and save monumental amounts of time and resources.
Now, banks and brands can invest those resources in designing an incredible customer experience, instead of sifting through arduous compliance requirements.
As an Engineering Leader at Bond, my role is to help build the best technology platform to serve financial services to millions of customers. I'm confident we can provide the best technology platform to serve as a conduit between banks and brands and offer the next generation of embedded finance products.
I can't wait to see what you build!