Payments Vets Launch ‘Innovation’ Platform for Issuers
The multibillion-dollar fintech boom often garners headlines for consumer-facing innovation. Three payments veterans—John Mitchell, Futeh Kao and Chermaine Hu—decided it was time to create some issuer-facing innovation. With their new company Episode Six, the team has launched a payments software platform that integrates with issuers’ existing processing infrastructure to enable customized new products, Mitchell tells Paybefore. Built with open source code, the software is available via license or a cloud-based, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) subscription.
“Technology calcifies quickly and becomes hardened and resistant to change because you’re dealing with hard code and large customer bases,” Mitchell explains. “We used technology to create a platform that will actually help our clients innovate and build better payments products for their own customers (the consumers).”
Mitchell most recently served as CEO of prepaid program manager and processor Rȇv Worldwide and prior to that spent seven years at NetSpend. He and former Rȇv Chief Technology Officer and NetSpend Software Architect Kao joined with former Rêv Chief Financial Officer Hu, who spent 14 years at Morgan Stanley as an M&A banker, to launch the company.
Mitchell says the platform is live in the market, but it’s not meant to replace existing processing. “It works in conjunction with existing infrastructure while upgrading it,” he notes. The technology allows for simple integration with no disruption to existing infrastructure. “In other words, there’s no massive resource drain and time for integration,” he explains. “Instead, customers can pick and choose from a broad selection of features and functionalities to include in their own products, from the most basic to the most advanced—for example, a real-time exchange mechanism for anything from loyalty points to bitcoins—with no risk to existing operations.”
Episode Six is not the first provider to claim unparalleled customization capabilities, but Mitchell says it’s the advanced software architecture’s ability to convert messaging from legacy code to an extensive API set that makes the company unique. The reception so far has been “overwhelmingly positive,” although the Austin, Texas-based company has yet to reveal any of its partners. Mitchell says additional clients, including several banks and large global companies will be in market soon and Episode Six will be accelerating its global growth over the next several quarters.
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