The importance of embedded finance is growing rapidly. Companies around the world are understanding that without a seamless service, they will not be able to hold on to customers.
Daniel Greiller, chief commercial officer at Weavr, a plug-and-play fintech that enables any business to integrate any financial service anywhere their customers need it, sat down with The Fintech Times to explain how his career has evolved.
Beginning with his father’s advice, Greiller now has 19 years of exceeding targets as an individual contributor and sales leader and is now a three times sales leader at innovative and disruptive fintechs with experience helping businesses scale.
Greiller describes his journey and how working for Weavr has impacted him.
Tell us more about your company and its purpose
Weavr is a plug-and-play finance company that enables other innovative businesses to go beyond the limitations of banking as a service (BaaS) systems and traditional embedded finance solutions by facilitating rapid, efficient integration of financial services into digital products.
At its core, the mission and purpose of Weavr is to enable any business to offer any financial service to any of their customers, anywhere in the world, wherever they need it.
Ultimately, we want to make the world a better place by embedding financial services within some of the most innovative digital solutions to generate more wealth and revenue by creating great customer experiences where money moves without friction.
In the same vein, we want every innovator to be able to become a fintech without the hassle or burden associated with setting one up. That’s why, as well as offering the financial service element, we also fulfill the requirements for compliance, regulation, and data security.
What are some of your recent achievements you’d like to highlight?
The most important measure of success for Weavr is the success of our innovators. Our innovators are growing at a spectacular rate, and the innovators we are working with have cumulatively raised hundreds of million dollars. It’s exciting to see their growth.
As a business, Weavr has seen huge recognition from external players within the space, driving wins at many prestigious awards ceremonies. The most recent achievements to note include winning the Leading Emerging Payments Organisation at Pay360 Awards and ‘Platinum’ in the Financing Platform category at the Fintech and Payments Awards.
And never forget, the core of every successful business are it’s people.
Seeing a business grow is a much more significant achievement than an award that sits on the shelf. We’ve recently surpassed the 100-people mark within the team, and are continuing to expand following our $40million Series A raise in the Spring. The momentum we have built over such a short period is certainly encouraging, and fortunately this trajectory is showing no signs of slowing.
How did you get into the fintech industry?
Once I’d finished my degree, I was unsure as to which path I should take when considering my career options. As many young people do, I turned to my father for advice, who told me to choose a career in an industry which people were always going to rely upon in daily life. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what his ‘purposeful’ career choice was: he was a civil engineer who designed roads. After much deliberation, I realised that people would always need money, so I opted for a career in banking and payments.
So, that’s how I got into the finance sector, but how I got into fintech is much simpler. After a stint in banking at HSBC and payments with American Express, I became bored of the corporate lifestyle and wanted to work for a business which could make a real difference to the world, and which I would have an impactful role in driving the business forward. I was attracted to fintech and startups so I joined Ethoca, then Feedzai, and most recently moved on to Weavr.
What’s the best thing about working in the fintech industry?
The best thing about working in the fintech industry is reach and impact. Fintech is an abridgement of “financial technology”. Both finance and technology are force multipliers, in that you add them to good ideas and you get a significantly increased return.
The reason that Angela Strange of Andreessen Horowitz said that every company would be a fintech is, in my opinion, because fintechs are probably the most influential companies in the world. If you look at the top 10 most valuable companies in the world, about half of them are fintechs, or have strongly developed fintech arms/strategies or enablement plays (Visa, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc). So if you want to make a difference in the world, fintech is the place to be.
What frustrates you most about the fintech industry?
I find it particularly frustrating when solutions which have been years in the making are labelled as an ‘overnight success’. Unfortunately for many fintechs, it is unclear how much effort and dedication has gone into building the business and its solution in the background, and this is often forgotten once the product is successful within the market.
Sadly, there’s a huge conflation between the ‘overnight successes’ which have been ten years or more in the making, and those which actually have succeeded in being a true ‘overnight success’. This can sometimes lead to unrealistic expectations from the likes of investors, who may be hoping their investment will reach milestones at an unachievable rate.
How have your previous roles influenced your career?
My previous roles have certainly helped me to build my network and given me a broader understanding of payments and compliance, but most importantly it influenced a desire to build a positive workplace culture. Ultimately, you can teach skills and knowledge, but you can’t teach personality and workplace culture. Where culture is done right, general output is better as everything is easier when everyone works together.
There’s a few sayings which I often relate to, the best one being that culture eats strategy for breakfast. It really doesn’t matter how good a plan is, as it simply won’t work unless everyone is rowing the boat in the same direction. Over everything, I always hire for culture and work ethic, and as chief commercial officer (CCO) I take pride in setting this tone for the business as a whole.
What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
This story is a little cheesy, but I’ll share it anyway. On the first date with my now wife, I opted for a white shirt and the typical smart casual outfit; afterall, I wanted to make a good first impression. When we reached the restaurant, I stupidly chose to order spaghetti and meatballs, a combination not compatible with eating whilst chatting. I’m sure you’ll have guessed this by now, but whilst engrossed in conversation, the spaghetti, meatballs, and marinara sauce ended up all down my pristine white shirt.
Instead of panicking and thinking the worst, I made light of the situation and asked my date if there was ‘any chance she didn’t see that’, i.e. me spilling food all down my shirt. After many happy years together, she always refers to this point as the time she knew I was the one for her. So it just goes to show, even the most disastrous mistakes can have happy outcomes if you take positive next steps.
What has the future got in store for your company?
The simple answer to this has to be global domination.
Although this may seem an obvious answer for a CCO to give, it really is true. We’re looking forward to our upcoming launches into the US and Singapore markets, all progressing our mission to enable businesses to offer financial services in any country, wherever our innovators and their customers need it. Though many things are uncertain right now, I’m sure the future for Weavr is looking bright.
What are the next key talking points or challenges for your industry as a whole?
Historically, entry to the financial services market has been protected by extremely high barriers, making it almost impossible to innovate and offer new solutions. Now, fintechs are trying to bring these barriers within reach, but in doing so are compromising the efficiency of regulations and compliance.
Sadly, BaaS has reached a point where it is constantly under scrutiny for not meeting obligations, making it difficult to progress further than the initial progress already achieved.
Of course, protecting end customers when the fintech provider isn’t the brand experience provider is hugely important, so navigating this space to make it both safe and efficient is the biggest challenge our industry faces right now. Important regulations are in place to protect all actors but enforcement of them has been lacking. As soon as we see effective enforcement, I’m sure we will see an improvement on this front.