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article imageQ&A: How women can get ahead in fintech Special

By Tim Sandle     Oct 16, 2018 in Business
October is Women’s Small Business Month, a series of events dedicated to celebrating the contributions and successes of our nation’s women small business owners. To mark this, Digital Journal spoke with a leading female CEO working in fintech SaaS.
The number of women in important roles in business continues to grow, especially with small-to-medium sized enterprises. In the U.S., for instance, there are more than 11 million woman-owned businesses, representing 38 percent of all businesses. These ventures support around nine million jobs and generate annual of $1.6 trillion.
There are challenges that face women in the business world, however, ranging from social expectations, bias, lack of a support network and more limited access to funding. These challenges can become more acute within large corporations.
To discuss the role of women in business plus how the world of fintech is shaping up in terms of business-to-business offerings, Digital Journal spoke with a leading CEO in fintech- Karla Friede, of Nvoicepay.com.
Digital Journal: Why are there too few women in business?
Karla Friede: This is a good question and you’ll probably receive a different answer from every person you ask. I think it’s tough to attract women in fields where there are few women leaders and role models. I hope this is changing as equal numbers of women and men are graduating from business programs today.
DJ: Did you experience any obstacles in your own career path?
Friede: I never thought of anything as an obstacle. I just expected to be the only woman in the room and never considered it strange.
DJ: Why did you enter the fintech sector?
Friede: It was where the opportunity was and the size of that opportunity made it very appealing. I always wanted to start a company and this opportunity in the fintech sector presented itself at the time. My background in finance and marketing in technology companies made starting a fintech company a natural fit.
DJ: How important has the fintech sector become?
Friede: The fintech sector has become incredibly important as it positively impacts almost every company. Using my company Nvoicepay as an example, we eliminate back office costs for all US companies and dramatically increase efficiencies lost in previously paper bound processes. Because the efficiency impact is great it provides an advantage for first movers across an array of industries.
DJ: Which fintech products have had the greatest impact?
Friede: To-date the greatest impact has been on electronic payments for consumers. In Peer-to-Peer systems like Venmo, in Business-to-Consumer payment solutions like PayPal and in online commerce payment acceptance like Stripe. The next great frontier in Fintech is in Business-to-Business payments where the market is still in the early stage of development and the size is 10x that of consumer payments.
DJ: How was Nvoicepay developed?
Friede: It’s a story of three founders coming together to attack a very big opportunity. Three people with different skill sets and backgrounds who all added a unique perspective and ability to the success of Nvoicepay. Shaun McAravey our brilliant CFO, Tana Law our incredible SVP with amazing instincts and myself Karla Friede the CEO.
DJ: What is Nvoicepay’s functionality?
Friede: Intelligent payment automation for enterprises. Nvoicepay's SaaS solution is purpose-built to handle the most complex payment needs for organizations paying across multiple locations, hierarchies, or accounts and for all supplier payments even domestic and international suppliers in a simple automated workflow.
DJ: Friede: How do you see Nvoicepay reshaping the finance arena?
Friede: Nvoicepay is solving the complexity of paying suppliers through cloud technology and bringing a more consumer like process to business, so accounting and finance teams no longer have put up with the manual touch points around managing supplier payment data. Accounting and finance teams have the opportunity to focus on more strategic tasks like planning, cash management, and discount negotiation.
DJ: What else are you working on?
Friede: We spend a lot of time at Nvoicepay thinking about the evolution of payments and creating new products for customers. Our sole focus is payments and making them more efficient. So you might think of us as payment geeks, but we love it. There is so much more we can do. I also enjoy the time we spend creating a company culture where everyone feels welcome and really cares about the customers we serve and the solutions we are building. It’s challenging but so much fun.
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