Hi, I'm Brian (known as BCJ to some) and I'm Bond's new VP of Marketing. Having spent nine years in fintech, most recently as CMO for SoFi’s Student Loan Refinance business, I've witnessed how fintech can change people's lives in a massive way — and how dang hard it is to do well.
The reasons I joined Bond are simple. First, I want to work alongside nice, smart people who value other team members. Second, I know firsthand how hard it is to build and launch new financial services. And last, embedded finance is the future of fintech.
Quality of the people
As a big believer in the Decency Quotient, I feel that life is too short to work with jerks, so I decided the most important criterion for my next role is the quality of the people. I only wanted to work with folks whom I genuinely liked, who clearly care about people as people (not just workers), who were incredibly smart and passionate, and whose professional backgrounds I admired.
Bond checked every single box with every single person I interacted with — from the recruiters to the founders to the board members to the Executive Business Partner. Throughout my interviews, and now inside the company, I have been thoroughly impressed. These are, quite simply, good human beings.
Launching new financial products shouldn’t be this hard
From the start of my career in Silicon Valley, I developed and launched new products and services. From Yahoo! to WebEx, I launched dozens of features and built a bunch of cool products — including the first online gay radio station. And for the past six years, I worked in lending at companies like LendingClub and SoFi.
Throughout that time, one thing has remained constant: creating new technologies is hard but so incredibly rewarding. One of my favorite memories is building a tool to help people make the once-in-a-lifetime decision of when to take Social Security. It took nine months but, along the way, I got to watch thousands of lightbulbs go off over people’s heads and helped a colleague’s mother get an additional $1,000 added to her monthly check. She went from working two jobs to only needing to work part-time, spending more time with her grandchildren as a result.
The challenge, of course, is that innovating financial products takes so long. Even working at established fintechs, we had to spend quarters and quarters of engineering work to ship simple features. At LendingClub, it took more than six months to integrate credit monitoring into our product — and that’s not even an interesting feature set! At companies with legacy technology, I’ve been told the timelines are even longer.
Building financial services shouldn’t be this hard. “Someone” ought to build a single platform that makes it faster and easier for companies to create innovative services for their customers.
That’s where Bond steps in. We make all that complexity vanish. Using our APIs, developers can get started with the basics, like creating a virtual debit card and using it at online stores, in just a few minutes. Tasks that would have taken weeks of development and test time are now faster than getting (or making!) your morning latte. That means companies can go to market faster, learn from their customers faster and iterate faster. What’s not to like?
Embedded finance is the future
Formerly a sleepy corner of the tech world, financial services is the hottest place to be nowadays. Aside from the eye-popping raises from companies, fintech is rewiring how we think about finance, from Affirm’s buy-now-pay-later business to Apple’s credit card.
The next step for finance is to become ambient — living in interactions with our favorite brands without us even knowing about it. Are you an active buyer and seller on a marketplace site like Etsy? In the near future, you could open a bank account on the platform so you can earn interest on your cash rather than letting it sit idle. Thinking about expanding your small business but don’t have years of tax documentation? Your bookkeeping service could give you a loan instantly.
Use cases abound, but companies hesitate to jump on the opportunities. The regulations and paperwork are daunting and the unknowns are numerous. Who wants to spend a year standing up a proof of concept when you aren’t even sure it will succeed?
That’s why I am so excited about Bond. It allows companies to offer innovative financial products to their customers while keeping them in the branded environment. Marketplaces can create a financial ecosystem that improves customer satisfaction and lowers costs. Retailers can offer more and better rewards with a fraction of the effort. B2B service providers can retain customers longer through branded financial products without fearing the regulatory complexities.
If any or all of this sounds good to you, reach out to me at brian (at) bond (dot) tech and join us on the next journey in finance. We would be thrilled to welcome you to the Bond team!