Podcast Conversation: The Embedded finance revolution in cards and payments, with Highnote founder John MacIlwaine
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In this conversation, we chat with John MacIlwaine, Founder and CEO at HighNote. The former general manager at Paypal Holdings Inc-owned Braintree. Highnote improves embedded payments experiences, reducing speed to market while supporting customer loyalty and engagement.
John is a senior business and technology professional with 25 years of experience in executive level GM/CEO and CTO/CPO roles, primarily within the financial services industry, with expertise in technology innovation, strategic vision, implementation execution, and operational excellence in both early stage and mature companies. He is a seasoned general manager with significant people leadership (1,500 staff) and P&L responsibility ($195 Million). He has a reputation for building high performing global teams (India, Singapore, Philippines, US) and operating effectively in diverse corporate cultures across industries and geographies.
More specifically, we touch on the journey of leadership through Morgan Stanely, Envestnet, SunGard, GreenDot, Visa, Lending Club, Braintree/PayPal and HighNote. Touching on the progress of technology influencing embedded finance through each of these entities, and so so much more!
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There's a lot of legacy players that were great at processing a gazillion transactions, but maybe less set up to help companies move quickly and be differentiating. And so, at that point I felt like this is an exciting opportunity. The market is massive. The more research I did, the more I felt like this is a wave. It's accelerating. There aren't a lot of competitors, and there are even fewer platforms that are modern.
And so, I connected with a former colleague of mine that I'd been working with for 10, 15 years in the technology area, and we said, "Look, I think there's a real opportunity here," and that sort of then is how we sort of hatched the concept. Our model for Highnote is clearly around embedded finance, real time issuance integration. But really thinking, kind of rethinking, processing it, and really moving processing from the back office into a product construct so that what we've designed and implemented is really around a platform geared specifically towards companies that want to move quickly and be differentiated. So, they don't want to just look like everybody else, and it's really about…