Helping people connect to their money has always been a passion for Galileo Financial Technologies, says CEO Derek White. In fact, it’s one of the reasons he took the helm of Galileo, the Salt Lake City-based payments processing platform and technology innovator in June 2021.
“My first real interaction with money was from the first business I started as a kid. My father was unemployed, and I handed over my paycheck as the only income for our family outside of unemployment,” White said. “That was a pretty sobering experience. It had a huge impact on me and has been a big driver in my career and why I’ve focused on how to better connect people with their money.”
As a long-time veteran of global banking and ex-head of Google Cloud’s financial services business, White brings an international perspective to his new role as well as an eagerness to help entrepreneurs and innovators build financial experiences that connect people and their money in unique and powerful new ways never before imagined.
Galileo’s financial technology platform and comprehensive, flexible APIs power some of the world’s most successful fintechs with combined valuations exceeding $111billion. Clients use the company’s modern open APIs for everything from digital onboarding of new customers to restricting spend down to the individual merchant location level.
Building the future of financial services
Making dreams into reality is Galileo’s speciality, with a platform that enables creators and, indeed, dreamers, to translate their ideas into sustainable businesses that solve problems and meet the evolving needs of consumers and businesses alike.
“Galileo is for innovators who want to expand the financial frontier and build a better financial future for underserved populations or people who identify with a specific cause, or who want to embed financial services into their broader customer experience,” White said.
The platform offers a single connection to more than 55 endpoints of the financial services ecosystem – to networks, issuing banks, KYC (know your customer) providers, mobile wallets and more. By removing the complexity and lowering barriers to entry, Galileo lets these financial innovators build businesses that fulfil their mission and engage their customers in meaningful ways.
“Having been an entrepreneur myself, part of the challenge is where to start once you have your big idea. Galileo has a proven playbook for helping emerging and established businesses transform their ideas into reality,” White added. “Whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur or seasoned veteran, the Galileo team can help guide you through the journey to launch, scale and grow your unique approach to connecting people and their money.”
The next wave of innovation
White has been in the driver’s seat for many transformational trends in banking throughout his career, from the early adoption of internet banking to the wave of mobile financial services.
The next generation of finance, he believes, will revolve around fintech as a service, open banking and embedded finance. “Whatever you want to call it, the next wave is focused on financial access and democratising financial services, which will be driven by technology and data.”
Technology innovation can be as simple as streamlining processes or leveraging automation tools to something as complex as migrating your platform to the cloud. Galileo recently completed a 15-month-long journey to migrate its platform to Amazon Web Services, which will provide resiliency, elasticity and futureproofing for Galileo and its clients, White explained.
“Critically important in a global, rapidly evolving fintech ecosystem, our AWS cloud environment enables Galileo to scale on demand and immediately meet the dynamic needs of our clients. No matter how fast or how unexpectedly our clients scale and grow, Galileo is ready.”
Achieving explosive growth is always top-of-mind for early stage and high-growth fintechs alike – but what about scale, profitability and longevity? This year at Money20/20 USA White is leading a discussion about fintech survival in which he and two other industry heavyweights will discuss how fintechs can not only survive but thrive and become profitable in the process.
One fundamental factor the session will explore is partnerships. Rather than the often hyped ‘us vs them’ narrative that pits innovative fintechs against established big banks and vice versa, White believes that the two can do much more together.
“Partnerships can accelerate the scaling of fintech businesses and startups in ways that they can’t on their own. For startups to recognise what their capabilities are is incredibly important, but they also need to understand what they can’t do or don’t want to invest time or capital in. That’s where partnerships come in.”
For Galileo, potential partners must have more than a big idea.
“First we ask: What is their mission and their big dream to build a better financial future? Then we ask: How can we help them accomplish that vision? The third factor is just trust,” he said. “The one thing I’ve learned in my career is that trust is more valuable than anything else.”