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20 Fastest Growing Companies to work in 2021

Prepaid Ventures Ltd: Pioneering Innovation with Revolutionizing Payment Methods

Prepaid Ventures
The Executive Headlines

Prepaid Ventures Ltd has been recognized as one of the 20 Fastest Growing Companies to Work in 2021 by The Executive Headlines

 

Innovation is the key to success. Many times, it has been observed that innovation is one of the key elements to distinguish the business operations from the competition. Same is the case with the finance industry. Innovation in the finance sector has been creating buzz across various business domains and it has transformed the way businesses operate financially.

 Andrew Siden, Founder/CEO of Prepaid Venture Ltd The veteran leader started his career at Smith Barney in 1991, where he worked as a Guided Portfolio Manager and ultimately became an Equity Trader with Knight Capital Group. Then, in 2003, he left Wall St. to pursue the rapidly evolving Alternative Financial Services (AFS) market, where he joined a leading New York-based check-cashing business. Once there, Andrew implemented new corporate strategies, leveraged technology, and improved compliance & operational procedures. All the while gaining a broad understanding of the AFS landscape and ultimately launching Prepaid Ventures and developing its initial product, the NexsCard Prepaid Visa Card.

Below are the highlights of the interview between “Mr. Andrew Siden” and “The Executive Headlines”:-

 What inspired you to establish Prepaid Ventures Ltd?

As I started working in the check cashing industry I noticed each week at 11 pm, nurses from the local hospital had a shift change and they used to come to cash their paychecks leaving the store with cash in a dangerous neighborhood. This situation didn’t sit right with me (Andrew), and there I saw an opportunity to help check cashers and customers. At the same time, companies like EBAY were hitting the mainstream, and people who relied solely on cash could not participate in the online economy.

When I started PPV in 2007, I was unable to see how many people were unbanked and how big the industry was. Prepaid cards were not widely available at that time, nor was it common with check-cashing stores. To address this, I figured out a way to customize a prepaid card for check cashing stores and their customers. This motivated me to start Prepaid Ventures.

What is the most important key to your success? Share the experience.

The team is one of the core elements which define the success of any organization. I feel very fortunate to have trusted friends as the board members. The advice and guidance offered by them help me stay competitive. The board challenges me and has advised me of the “entrepreneur’s curse” at the start of my endeavors. This has always motivated me to become a better CEO and I’ve held this philosophy very closely. Therefore, I credit my recognition and performance to the board’s encouragement and advice. As for team members, I search for certain characteristics inside my teams that reflect the same entrepreneurial spirit that is instilled in me. Drive, willingness to learn and intellect are the characteristics that make a successful member of Prepaid Ventures. These fundamental skills are the building blocks needed to succeed at PPV.

How do your services and products differ from your competitors?

Prepaid Ventures specializes in custom white label payment solutions. We follow a consultative approach, which involves the understanding of a clients needs and affords them the ability to choose the payment solutions that best fits their business model. Since each of our clientele has a unique vision, Prepaid Ventures does not rely on a one-size-fits-all approach. Whether it’s creating mobile apps, point of sale systems, GPR, payroll or corporate prepaid cards, all of which can be fully customizable to the consumers needs. We also view our support services as products in their own right. Our full service approach to program management means that the client has at their disposal a full suite of compliance and technical support; not to mention a world class customer service department to fit their needs. The goal is to ultimately become a partner rather than be limited to a transactional relationship.

What are the biggest challenges you faced in the initial years?

In 2009, after two years of developing and fine-tuning the model, I launched NexsCard, a prepaid debit card in the market. Prepaid cards were not common with check-cashing stores at that time. To overcome this problem, I figured out a way to customize a prepaid card for check-cashing stores and their customers. Through tenacious effort, research, and with a few false starts, I persevered and designed a product to meet the needs of customers and bridged a gap in the check-cashing industry.

What do you feel are the reasons behind your company's reputation?

Prepaid Ventures empowers clients with its disbursement services and flexible payment management software with bank-level security. Prepaid Ventures provides a wide range of customizable financial products that includes multiple wallets, online bill pay, direct deposit, mobile apps, websites, IVR’s and more. As consumers continue to shift from cash to a more digital method of payment, Prepaid Ventures believes that it is important to meet this demand through offering products such as mobile wallets and program management as a service, while also delivering innovative solutions and financial management technologies to businesses looking to grow and evolve into the cloud-based payments network.

Can you tell me more about the Innovative ROVR system?

ROVR was created to provide our retail distribution network an intuitive user interface that lets them handle transaction processing and administration all in one convenient point-of-sale system.  Since its inception it has evolved to allow users to track in real-time their card inventory so that they can manage it when inventory is low, or they can run CIP/KYC in real time to open accounts while the customer is in their store with no need to wait for results. ROVR was designed with the client in mind and is a fully customizable application that can be easily integrated for any card program.

How was it working through the pandemic? How challenging was it for you?

When the outbreak of Covid-19 began, our business operations were completely transformed. This change led us to leverage our virtual platforms to propel the business during the pandemic. Our first major shift was to virtualize our call center, which had been done previously during times of inclimate weather however, never at such a large scale and in such a short period of time. As New York State continued to restrict the capacity of people allowed to work in the office, we continued to transition our IT, and Sales operations as well. Platforms, such as Slack and Zoom, were used on a large-scale. In the peak of the pandemic, only essential operations and infrastructure teams worked in the office.  The technology at Prepaid Ventures allowed us to quickly pivot into having employees working in a remote environment without any disruption in operations. This seamless transition further cemented our “can do” attitude among the teams of employees who helped make it a reality, one which we continue to use successfully today, long after the pandemic began.

According to you, what is the new approach to manage prepaid programs?

We approach each program management decision from the lens of the end user. Recognizing that one size does not fit all, along with a multi faceted approach and a clear strategy to achieve results is the path to success. This strategy plays a key role throughout the lifecycle of the program. To be successful in this area it's important to have useful metrics and leveraging data helps prioritize our approach and understanding cardholder behavior shapes future programs.

Tell us about your products and how they are playing a role in transforming the industry landscape?

Our current card programs include Nexscard, Avid Prepaid, Payentry and Nexscard for Business. We utilize cloud based computing in day-to-day business operations which allows us to be highly efficient, cost-effective, along with numerous other advantages that contribute to our company’s growth. As a leader in cloud-based payment processing and program management, Prepaid Ventures provides prepaid debit card solutions which are beneficial to businesses and users alike. Our advanced platform enables companies to grow their customer base and benefit from new technological trends.

What is your approach to the ever changing regulatory and compliance environment?

Prepaid Ventures has always maintained a focus on compliance as a foundational pillar of the company. As a board member of the Innovative Payments Association (IPA), advocating for regulatory change, I am keenly aware of ongoing regulatory shifts and regularly communicate that to our team. Our CAMS certified compliance department works with our issuing bank to keep our policies current and our annual PCI audit has achieved Level 1 PCI, the industry’s highest standard, which could not be achieved without the commitment from the entire team.

With the increase of online transactions, customers have raised their concerns over security. Prepaid Ventures recognizes this demand, and therefore, implements any safeguard changes swiftly, monitors its systems, and relies on stringent risk management approaches to ensure consumer protection. Having a solid organizational governance fosters a culture of integrity and leads to a positive performing and sustainable business.

Where do you see Prepaid Ventures Ltd in the next 3-5 years?

Prepaid Ventures has actively transformed the fintech industry. 2021 has brought the launch of additional features and products such as digital wallets and a companion card program. They will continue to build upon its existing suite of banking as a service offerings. Today, clients want more tailored white label solutions and PPV will be there to meet their needs. This foresight has been the foundation for much of its growth strategy for the past decade and will continue to be into the future. Bringing innovative new ideas, Prepaid Ventures plans to revolutionize the payment sector through offering more cloud-based processing and adding more dynamic functionality. Today, our clients and cardholders want more options available to them and PPV will be there to meet their needs.

What are the latest technologies leveraged by you to provide exceptional financial services?

Our Avid Prepaid program will offer Banking as a Service (BaaS) through a digital acquisition model which is what consumers are looking for. This technology will allow users to effortlessly open an account using the cardholder site or mobile app. Customers have all the support and tools necessary to manage their accounts without needing a retail environment.

Avid Prepaid includes many features including early access of direct deposits, card replacements, real time alerts and transaction history, enhanced security features including EMV chip technology, and mobile banking. Cardholders can easily add cash to their card at over a half million locations nationwide through Western Union, MoneyGram and Visa ReadyLink and shop anywhere Visa Debit is accepted.

Are there any new trends with your customers that you are seeing?

Digital methods of payment had been growing rapidly throughout the pandemic, there has been this notion that the use of cash is "dirty" with some customers uncomfortable with using cash, we have seen a shift in retailers not accepting it temporarily, and the increasing acceleration of mobile wallets or contactless payments.  Quickly recognizing this trend, we implemented Mobile Tap to Pay throughout our prepaid card platform which allows our customers to have peace of mind without having to touch anything.  They can still make purchases at millions of locations online or in person; wherever Visa Debit is accepted.