This week we interviewed Ryan Yates, who was one of the founding partners of Apaylo in 2019; and was Apaylo’s first and current CEO.
- Give us a bit of your professional background; who is Ryan Yates?
Professionally I started my career with CIBC back in 1999-2000, and at the time was one of the youngest staff members – as a recent graduate of UNBC in the field of Marketing and Finance. As one of the few "tech-savvy" employees in Northern British Columbia, I was seconded to CIBC's largest technology project, at the time, to meet with the local retail and small business banking staff members throughout all of Northern BC, the Yukon, and Alberta to roll out Windows including email, internet, etc. The project finished in 2002, and CIBC asked if I would make the move out to Toronto. I said yes.
From 2002-2006 I worked under the retail and small business banking leadership team at CIBC as "jack of all trades" including financial analysis, compensation design, and project management.
In 2006, I left CIBC and joined a small credit union, Meridian, that was just wrapping up on an amalgamation. At the time Meridian was very local to Niagara and St. Catherines. During the next six years from 2006-2012, I led the Business Intelligence and Treasury Management team.
From 2012 to 2015 I held various leadership positions at organizations including a newly-launched fintech Zenbanx Canada, plus led the creation and regulatory approval for Motusbank, a Meridian subsidiary Bank, and launched a successful fintech called ASAPP Online Solutions.
Over the next two years with ASAPP we partnered with some of the biggest names in Canadian fintech (ie. Celero, CUMIS, Valeyo, Flinks, Equifax) and despite being a bit of a technology underdog - we acquired a large client base in financial institutions who understood that digital first is the future. In 2019, I stepped down from my day to day executive role in ASAPP - focused on board management and community engagement and founded Apaylo as "my gut" told me the future was now in payments and open banking.
In 2019, me and a few trusted advisors launched Apaylo - which while only being just over 1 year old, is on track to support over $1.0 billion (yup that is a "b") in payment software and technology for small to medium sized enterprises.
- How is Apaylo currently dealing with/combating the Covid-19 crisis?
We were a digital remote company before COVID-19, so for us this new normal feels pretty normal. We are doing really well - as many businesses are moving their business online, they are/have reached out for advice on e-commerce and we are growing, hiring, and expanding the business at an exponential pace. We have even increased our sponsorship and participation in associations like Paytechs of Canada, and the Cooperative Young Leaders.
- On the topic of Apaylo recently partnering with PayTechs Association of Canada, what can you tell us about this?
Yes, partnering with PayTechs Association of Canada, is probably one of the most informative relationships we have. Doug Kreviazuk and the team have done such a great job bringing together the brightest minds in Payments, Banking, and Regulation. I expect that this association will help to define and shape the paytech landscape in the years to come.
- Are there any new service or product offerings Apaylo plans to add in the near future?
Yes. We are currently working on a me-to-me payment solution for several credit unions - that has several innovative technologies included. We are also working closely to launch a completely API driven Interac solution for another large merchant - and have begun some interesting conversations about building payment software within the regulated Cannabis space. We will have more to share on these solutions soon.
- What are your long-term goals as CEO of Apaylo? Where do you see Apaylo in 5 years? In 10 years?
Great question. Long term is a long time. Right now I'm focused on today - being present for the changes that are happening in the market right now. I'm focused on what are we doing in the next 12 months to grow, be profitable, and scale. In 5 years Apaylo will be a significant player in the Canadian paytech landscape and we will be recognized by everyday Canadians as a trusted payment software provider -and as a Canadian fintech success.