Interview with Bottomline's General Manager and Director of Payments, Ed Adshead-Grant
Bottomline's General Manager and Director of Payments, Ed Adshead-Grant, talks to Fintech Connect and shares the latest from Bottomline and what we can expect from 2021. Don't miss him speaking at FinTech Connect 2020.
How are things with you and Bottomline this year?
It’s certainly been a very challenging and colourful year with the mix of dynamics from a global pandemic, UK and US elections, Brexit preparations, mothballing offices as we set up remote working from home and much more. I’m incredibly proud of how the team have pulled together and adjusted this year on both a deeply personal and business level, and as a result, we continue to grow well and get involved in some great projects at Bottomline.
Many merchants and businesses are currently having challenges with liquidity; how can your technology help?
Cash has always been king in business but even more so in the new Covid world, where trading patterns have been severely disrupted globally. Bottomline’s mission in the Fintech community is to help businesses pay and get paid. Our technology focuses on how we can give more control, efficiency and security to the financial decision makers around their receivables, payables and treasury functions which ultimately helps the tight liquidity management many need currently.
2020 has seen the role of the treasurer come front and centre – how do you see that role evolving?
One thing is for sure, no-one had a global pandemic plan in their budget 12 months ago! If you were sitting in the Boardroom of an Airline or Hospitality business saying that revenues would drop 80-90% next year, no-one would have believed you. Restructuring the balance sheet has been an existential urgency for many businesses in the last few months, where every CEO will have lent heavily on the professionalism and domain expertise of their Treasurer.
How do you think this age of accelerated digital transformation will impact the payments industry?
Our most recent experience is that organisations have actually become more focused on making the right decisions on their payment operations. Initially, we thought many firms would suffer some paralysis as the change in trading conditions has been so obvious. In reality, I think many are taking this time to get the transformational projects done which in turn moves the whole industry forward along plans that we were probably expecting at some point but now can be scheduled with confidence.
What can you tell us about your recent partnership with Dow Jones, Visa and Microsoft?
We have accelerated our work with global partners in the last 18 months. We recognise that the world is so much faster, more connected and digital today, where new services are only one API away. Anyone who thinks they can go alone in the ecosystem of payments does not have a sustainable model. Dow Jones is a great partner in our Fraud & Financial Crime portfolio for sanctions and watchlists, Visa is a new initiative on cross border business payments which is creating a lot of excitement and Microsoft is a wonderful partner helping us roll out our risk and compliance solutions to any bank around the world.
What are you most excited about in 2021?
I’m most excited specifically about Cross-border payments. The time has come for reinvention in 2021. The G20 are all over this with their FSB review and roadmap to improve some very outdated and expensive practices. We kicked off a “make a million dollars PLUS” campaign with Visa B2B Connect recently, where we can show banks how much cost can be unlocked from the outdated correspondent banking model – this is an area where new technology and some innovative thinking can make a real difference in the customer journey across the world.
Lastly, you have been long term supporters of FinTech Connect; what are you looking to learn this year at the virtual event?
I’ve enjoyed the content that Fintech Connect brings to the industry as well as the various get togethers throughout the year which sadly we have been unable to do so much of recently. My team is always scanning the 12 month+ horizon to see what new themes are appearing, so we get the strategic investment cycles right at Bottomline – this is what we’ll be looking to pick up again over the course of the event.
In the meantime, why not listen to Bottomline’s podcast: Payments Modernization – Are we nearly there yet? This podcast looks at how well the implementation of cross border payments & Open Banking has lived up to expectations and what the future looks like.
View when Ed Adshead-Grant is speaking at Fintech Connect 2020 here.