With over 18+ years in startups and incumbents, Jovi Overo is managing director of UBC, Unlimint’s BaaS solution. Unlimint is an all-in-one fintech solution that provides fast-growing, innovative businesses with advanced payment capabilities through an evolving financial interface.
We sat down with Overo to further understand what the company is doing and why he is so passionate about Unlimint and the fintech industry in general.
Tell us more about your company and its purpose
Unlimint is a global fintech company that provides a vast range of financial solutions for our clients and partners. Everything from acquiring, alternative payment methods, multi-currency accounts, card issuing and banking as a services. We truly are the provider of choice when it comes to innovative payment solutions with a world-class technology stack supported by the brightest minds in our employees.
We are ready for tomorrow as our solutions are forward-looking and future-proof, enabling our partners to be ready for tomorrow.
What are some of your recent achievements you’d like to highlight?
Launching our banking as a service solution (UBC by Unlimint) in a year is an achievement that I would like to highlight. Our solution allows businesses, banks, fintechs, brands retailers to develop and launch white-label financial products (IBAN accounts and debit / credit or prepaid cards) quickly and efficiently to market, in the UK, EEA and LatAm. All without the long development lead time or the lengthy and often complex regulatory obstacles. All this was done in a year. What made it even more special is that it demonstrated that
Unlimint is a group. A team. All pulling together, sometimes in difficult and trying circumstances to deliver.
From the CEO on through, we’re a team.
We win together, we lose together; we celebrate and drown our sorrows together. Setbacks are softened and victories sweeter because we did them together. That is the real achievement.
How did you get into the fintech industry?
During my MBA (to switch careers), as part of an elective, I and three of my friends founded a startup called Keep-It. A fintech startup that automated charitable giving through the concept of virtual change by rounding up daily spend via credit and debit cards, reconnecting donors to their charities. The start-up did not go anywhere but my love for fintech and using technology to improve finance stayed and grew, and I knew then, fintech was the field for me.
What’s the best thing about working in the fintech industry?
The stress, the trials and tribulations, the uncertainty, the setbacks, the failures and successes and the insane hours, all to build a slightly better payment and banking system to enable other companies to create financial products where digital innovation is key. It is not glamorous, and some may say it is not exciting or hardly indicative of the ‘best thing’ but to me, providing solutions that should bring about more financial inclusivity, what could be better or fundamental than that.
What frustrates you most about the fintech industry?
The lack of diversity is a killer. Among leadership teams, fintech events, panels, and conferences. I see it so many times the lack of diversity and it is disappointing and frustrating. I strongly believe in having diverse views and seeking different perspectives. The fintech industry has made strides but we must work harder, together to narrow the diversity gap.
How have your previous roles influenced your career?
I have always worked in commercial and client-facing roles. I have been and will continue to be a big advocate and champion of my clients and their business. In previous roles, I have always had to choose between the lesser of delivering a cookie-cutter solution or a solution that was a workaround.
I always thought to myself that I would love to be given an opportunity to be in a role and an organisation that a) allowed me to implement what the clients, those on the front line, were seeing and wanted in terms of innovative solutions and b) an organisation that had high ambitions and aspirations to deliver value for clients and deliver leading-edge solutions. It seemed all my previous roles were leading to this.
I now have a CEO who is passionate about making Unlimint the best financial solutions provider on the market, delivering world-class solutions that the clients want most.
What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I am minded by a quote from my favourite TV show The Sopranos. The quote was ‘A dog you love has rabies, you put it down’. I worked with someone I used to think of as a friend and a business partner. Red flags were ever present, but you put them aside, at least I did, because I wanted to see the best in him. People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.
The red flags were there, and I chose to ignore them. It has proved to be the best mistake as I have now learnt from it. I now look at actions over words and am dispassionate about making decisions.
What has the future got in store for your company?
I can’t reveal too much but we have a whole host of new products that are being developed or released that enhances our product scope and provides additional to the payments value chain. Not just for web2 but for web3. Regarding BaaS, product expansion and geographic expansion. This really is an exciting period for the company as a whole and I am eagerly anticipating our future with bated breath.
What are the next key talking points or challenges for your industry as a whole?
There is nothing here that is new information. Regulation will continue to be front and centre with innovations like decentralised finance. Our industry is going to separate the wheat from the chaff as rising inflation and higher interest rates will let the faucet run less liberally as venture capital funding becomes more sensible.
This will in turn mean that our industry is going to have to continue to innovate to stay ahead of the competition. Another key challenge will be scant resources. The best talent will want to go to companies that pay not only top of the market but whose values align best with theirs. Competition for talent will be stiff and fierce.