Looking back, Looking Ahead: XUP’s 2022 Review & 2023 Predictions

Our interview series is continuing with our Tech Team. We asked a series of questions to Kyle Bridges, our Head of Engineering, and Drew Rosedale, our Head of Strategic Engineering, to gather their current thoughts on the payments industry, including trends, opportunities, and challenges, as well as trends in the fintech space they predict will change in 2023.

Kyle Bridges
Drew Rosedale

Can you tell us about your experience in the payments industry and how it has evolved over the years? 

  • Kyle BridgesI got involved in payments in 2017 while consulting for Bank of America Merchant Services. It’s hard to believe the evolution payments have undergone in only six years. When I started in payments, even the largest corporations were immature in their payment strategies by today’s standards, which made payments ripe for disruption. Over the years, we’ve witnessed countless fintech start-ups emerge and thrive. While these start-ups were introducing new concepts, such as payment facilitation, partnering capabilities, payment modality savings, and buy-now-pay-later, larger corporations were following these concepts and starting to recognize the value and the need to adopt them. Fast forward six years and many fintech acquisitions later, and you see the larger corporations adopting advanced payment strategies. A perfect example of this is KeyBank’s Embedded Banking strategy, which leverages many of the start-up innovations to allow clients to choose which strategy they would like to implement and even select other embedded banking products they’d like to offer their customers.
  • Drew Rosedale The last ten years of my career have been spent in the financial services space on the periphery of the payments ecosystem. During that time, though, I have witnessed the explosion of fintechs across all aspects of payments. In addition to what Kyle called out, we will see new opportunities and market entrants arise from the continued expansion of open banking. While much of the expansion has been consumer-focused, I want to see how it can serve the small/medium business and merchant space. Whether facilitating the onboarding process or enabling more rapid access to capital, the data necessary to make those decisions are more readily available than ever!

How do you stay current with the latest payment technology advancements? 

  • Kyle Bridges – I mostly stay engaged with payment innovation through my connections in the fintech start-up community, conferences (Money 20/20), and website news (https://www.pymnts.com/).

What excites you most about the opportunities and the direction of the payments industry?

  • Kyle BridgesTough question! If I had to pick one, I’d say Embedded Banking is the most exciting. I picked Embedded Banking because while we’ve seen so many great products and features that enable payments, I don’t think anyone has fully unlocked all of the value these individual products offer by connecting them in a suite, bundle, or à la carte of offerings. With these integrated offerings, small businesses to Fortune 500 companies will be able to “right size” what best fits their business and easily integrate them into their customer experience. 
  • Drew RosedaleI’ll answer this one more from a general technology standpoint. While many fintechs already leverage cloud technology, many institutions in the payments industry are just starting or still amidst their technology transformation. What this means is that many systems that exist today were built around limitations presented by on-premise tech. However, without these limitations, many systems are being redesigned to provide better experiences and more rapid access to information while remaining secure and compliant. 

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing the payments industry currently?

  • Kyle Bridges – As a leader in engineering, security, and compliance are paramount. We are lucky to work for an organization like KeyBank that has in-house industry experts to ensure our security and compliance are up to their standards. Outside of having large teams that provide we are both secure and compliant, we also have implemented processes and products that give us great confidence that by the time the KeyBank teams are assessing us, we’ll be well within their thresholds. 
  • Drew Rosedale – In addition to Kyle’s points, we are building technology/applications with Key Bank’s public cloud provider, Google. This gives us access to world-class security and compliance solutions and professionals. 

We recently Interviewed Jose Rivera, our Chief Customer Officer, and Hanson Hodges, our Head of Product, for our Product Interview. How does the tech team interact/work with the Product team?

  • Kyle BridgesSomething unique to XUP is that we don’t logically separate product and engineering like other organizations I’ve been a part of. A core pillar of XUP is that we value teamwork above all else; We believe that we all win or lose. These attributes are assessed upon interviewing with XUP and consistently reinforced. We work together as one team; we separate into development pods divided up by products and feature sets that the pod is familiar with/has been working on.
  • Drew Rosedale – The collaboration between product and technology at XUP is extremely refreshing. I say that because I came from a larger organization where teams could become siloed or on an island. This often created a tense environment full of finger-pointing. Here at XUP, we all help each other. Between product and tech, we always find a way to achieve our goals and, most importantly, provide an environment where individuals can learn and try new things!