We recently had a chance to interview Kate Bolseth, CEO of Jingit. It was a freewheeling discussion about the company’s priorities, the challenges and opportunities in the payments and commerce space, and why Kate is excited about the possibilities going forward. We are pleased to present excerpts of the conversation in our series of exclusive LTP Interviews.
LTP) You have been in the role for a few months now. What’s the big difference before and after you taking the helm?
KB) The founders and previous co-CEOs of Jingit, built a strong foundation for the company with a technology platform and a great vision for the future. My role is to build upon that strength and take the company to the next level in the payments and commerce space. Now it’s about a product, a platform and business execution among all the various stakeholders. It’s a logical evolution for the company as we enter a new phase in our priorities and approach.
LTP) For those of our readers who might not be familiar with Jingit, how would you describe the business?
KB) Jingit Exchange powers marketing incentives in the form of real currency online and in-store. Traditional payment rails power one currency with a fixed rule set but Jingit provides a complementary marketing currency rail that is multi party and multi rules so you can bring various marketing incentive dollars into the transaction in real-time as currency. This allows multiple marketing offers, promotions, loyalty and more to run at once providing ultimate value to the consumer at checkout. The parties behind the incentives - brands, merchants, payment networks, and other stakeholders - are able to reach the consumer and provide unmatched value where it matters most, at the point of sale, in the transaction. We do all this at unprecedented speed that enables us to meet transaction latency requirements. This is where our technology strength shines, allowing us to provide a differentiated solution.
LTP) Where is this complexity coming from? What is the problem that you are trying to solve?
KB) Think of all the “currencies” and payment options today – product/SKU-level offers, merchant offers, merchant loyalty, credit card loyalty, brand loyalty and so on. Now think of the permutations and combinations involving these currencies at the time of purchase. The current process becomes so complex that the different stakeholders – brands, merchants and payment networks to name a few – struggle mightily to make this system work quickly and efficiently. That’s the problem we solve. Jingit Exchange creates a seamless commerce experience for all of the stakeholders and does it in real-time.
LTP) You mentioned the various stakeholders. They are all different and have all adopted various approaches to the component capabilities so far. You want to bring them all on one platform. Is that a daunting task?
KB) It’s daunting and incredibly exciting. Millions of transactions enable billions of marketing transactions. Jingit sits at the intersection of billions in advertising and trillions in payments. It’s truly an exciting marketplace for us to play in. The opportunity is massive, and our product is ready to take on the challenge. Now the next step is to establish partnerships to execute on the vision.
LTP) So where will you start? Who will be your first partner? A bank, a merchant, a brand or someone else?
KB) That’s the big question. We are working on a channel strategy to reach out to all the appropriate prospects. We know we will not build a consumer brand. We are also aware of the difficulty in signing multiple partners at once, so we will prioritize and engage with all the stakeholders in due course. As far as who the first one is, we are not ready to share the name just yet. However, an announcement is coming soon.
LTP) And LTP readers will be the first to know?
KB) Of course! And we recently announced an exciting technology partnership between Jingit, Hewlett-Packard and SRC that will empower brands, merchants and payment networks to create unprecedented, next-generation payment and marketing capabilities for consumers.
LTP) There’s talk about big data everywhere in the payments world. You sure see a lot of data passing through systems? Do you have any plans with it?
KB) No plans to do anything with all that data right now. All the data is owned by our customers and managed with their rules. We do not intend to do anything with it for our own purposes – a position that we outlined very clearly in a recent white paper on privacy and data mining. We are a trusted partner to a number of stakeholders, and we believe in shared prosperity. We succeed when our customers succeed.
LTP) What keeps you up at night, Kate?
KB) Execution. We are at a critical juncture as a business. The technology is solid and the market opportunity is exciting. Now we need to take the right steps to connect the two with perfect execution. Our investors (private, not disclosed) believe in the vision, and now we are putting the strategy in place to turn that vision into a reality.
LTP) What else would you like to share with our readers that I might not have touched on?
KB) As much as we need to focus on execution and business development, we are very proud of our platform and the technology. Our solution is highly differentiated and is fully configurable. It enables us to bring product-level marketing dollars into merchant transactions in real time, online and in-store, and to do so at light speed. At a macro level, it positions Jingit as a first-mover in enabling new consumer incentive programs at the intersection of commerce and marketing. There isn’t anything else like it out there.
"What is Jingit Exchange"