November 12, 2015
Hyperwallet, a San Francisco-based company is the industry-leading payout platform for collaborative economy and marketplace companies. The company provides collaborative economy companies and their workers with a wide range of payments capabilities, integrated financial tools, tax reporting solutions and small-business support services which solve recurring issues, reduce costs and improve the efficiency of global workforce payments distribution. The LTP team had the pleasure of interviewing Brent Warrington, CEO of Hyperwallet. Brent Warrington was the former CEO of SecureNet Payment Systems and joined Hyperwallet as its new CEO in May 2015. As CEO, Warrington’s top priority is the company’s expansion into new global markets, such as the emerging collaborative economy segment.
LTP: What is the story behind the company? Could you give a brief overview of the solution(s) Hyperwallet offers?
Brent Warrington: Hyperwallet is a payments platform that empowers businesses to easily and cost-effectively pay and support their global independent workers. We offer a dynamic platform that bridges the technology gap which exists in the payouts process by offering an end-to-end payment rail, allowing businesses to pay their earners anywhere in the world, at any time and for any amount. But Hyperwallet does not merely offer the best payout methods, we power the new economy by providing the financial tools, expert guidance, innovation and partnerships necessary for businesses to build community loyalty and create successful earners.
LTP: Each of Hyperwallet’s solutions is tailored to a particular goal, such as either to reduce costs or reach delivery efficiency, etc. Which solution is the most in demand?
BW: We’ve actually started moving away from the idea of prebuilt payout solutions. We’ve offered them in the past, but our clients all have differing payout needs. Some clients might be interested in increasing the speed of their payout delivery by introducing digital payout options, but they also may want to offer branded mailed checks as a payout option. It’s tough to build set solutions that anticipate those unique payout needs.
Today, we prefer a platform approach. When we’re in talks with prospective clients, we’re only talking about what they actually need. We say, Look, we’ve got all of this payout functionality. If you only want prepaid cards or direct deposit, that’s fine, but we’ve got all of these other features if and when you want them. Rather than trying to impose arbitrary guidelines on what payout features they can and can’t have, we offer a payout platform that gives businesses much more flexibility.
LTP: Who is your target client? What segment are you focused on, if any, and why? Could you give an example of a use case you have with one of your clients?
BW: Hyperwallet has grown up in the direct selling industry. That’s important because it’s an industry with pretty complex payout needs. You’ve got these companies that need to send a high volume of low-value commission payments to a wide range of independent sales representatives around the world. Beyond that, a lot of these people rely on their commission payments, whether it’s to reinvest in inventory and build their independent business or just to pay their bills. They need their money as soon as possible. When Hyperwallet was getting started, an effective and efficient way to pay these people just didn’t exist. We built it and we refined it. Now, we’re clearly the leading payout provider in that industry.
Recently, we’ve all seen this huge growth in on-demand companies like Lyft, Airbnb and TaskRabbit. They’re powered by this growing collection of independent workers—the drivers, the hosts, the taskers. These companies are expanding around the world at an incredible pace, but they’ve suddenly found themselves with this global independent workforce that they need to pay and many are having trouble doing it. We’ve already done it many times over—we’ve proven that we can do it. So those are the kinds of companies that we’re talking with right now.
LTP: What are the benefits you offer to the workers receiving payments with Hyperwallet? What issues does Hyperwallet address that are not addressed in the market?
BW: There are lots of advantages to getting paid on our platform. First of all, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world—you’re getting paid in one business day or less. We have this huge network of financial institutions and channels that not only lets us make cross-border payouts quickly, but also much more affordably than a lot of our competitors.
The other big one is choice. When someone gets paid through Hyperwallet, they have the freedom to choose how they receive their payment method, whether it’s on a prepaid card, to one of their existing debit or credit cards, ACH to their bank account, have a check mailed out to them, or even cash pickup through one of our money agent affiliates.
LTP: What are some milestones you have for Hyperwallet? Are you planning to expand or add new services?
BW: Some forecasts predict that the independent workforce will grow to 40% of the total US workforce by 2020. This is a trend we’re going to see all over the world—the shift away from traditional work to independent careers. The trouble is that there’s not a lot of support for these workers in terms of expense tracking, tax support, ancillary services and things like that. Right now, we’re working to integrate a lot of these features into our platform to empower independent workers to be able to manage their own careers.
On the corporate side, we’ve recently launched a new suite of REST APIs. This gives our clients more control of their payout process than ever before. They can integrate our payout functionality directly into their websites and mobile apps, which lets them maintain a uniform brand and user experience. It also gives companies greater insight into the payouts themselves. With Hyperwallet, they can track payouts from end-to-end, which lets them pinpoint delivery dates and have transparency into the funds movement process which they have never had before.
LTP: Tell us more about your participation at Money 20/20. What are you announcing and what is it that you want attendees to know about Hyperwallet?
BW: As a sponsor of Money 20/20, we unveiled our latest milestone of having 5 million independent earners being paid on our platform. We didn’t announce it through a formal press release, but we started telling people at our booth with some new marketing materials. We’re extremely proud of the milestone since we are the leading payouts provider of independent workers; no other payouts company active in this space comes close to our number of payees.
Overall, we had a lot of great conversations and meetings all throughout Money 20/20 with potential financial institution partners, prospective clients and with various other businesses we may want to work with in the future.