This interview is part of our Future of Fintech series, where we interview disrupters in fintech.
Greg Lisiewski is the CEO and founder of Blispay.com. They’ve raised over $12MM to allow any merchant, regardless of size, offer competitive financing to their consumers. Greg began his career at MBNA in the 90’s and later helped lead the charge with Bill Me Later, which was acquired by Paypal for $1B. He also helped PayPal lead their distribution of the Bill Me Later product.
Leveraging his 20+ years of experience in banking and technology, he set out to create a product to fill in the gaps that other financing options ignored. He claims he was just “a guy and a Powerpoint deck,” ready to raise funding for his next big idea, which soon became Blispay.
The future of fintech is all about using the latest technology to build financial products previously unavailable to the masses, and help accelerate the adoption rate.
I sat down with the Greg to learn more about Blispay and also the future of fintech.
What is your 30-second pitch for Blispay? What is it and why is it important?
Blispay is an omnichannel point-of-sale financing solution enabling businesses to offer financing to customers easily and enabling customers to pay for large purchases over time. Extending credit with flexible terms is not a new concept.
The unique aspect with Blispay is that all businesses, regardless of their size, industry, or whether they are brick and mortar, online, or a mixture of both, can offer financing to their customers for the first time. The best part is that it takes minimal effort to implement and costs businesses nothing to promote.
How did you come up with this idea?
During my 20+ years in the space, I’ve found three things to be consistently true:
- Partnership marketing is a powerful and efficient way to grow a credit business.
- U.S. consumers are very credit-savvy.
- Financing is an amazing tool for partners and a rich value proposition for consumers.
I thought there was a way to put all three of these together in a way that was a win for merchants and a win for consumers, while enabling us to build a big business that would attract investors. Blispay evolved from there.
As big as online retail seems, it’s a tiny fraction of U.S. consumer spend. I created Blispay as a better option for online retailers, and to help the merchants that make up the other 90% of US consumer spend. I wanted to create a flexible financing option that businesses could take anywhere they do business.
How does Blispay simplify shopping for customers and merchants?
We designed Blispay to be as frictionless as possible for both parties. Mobile allows us to instantly connect with the customer and extend credit right at the point of a purchase. Our application process is completed by consumers from the privacy of their own device, moving all of the complexity onto our systems.
This is significantly simpler for merchants than traditional in-store financing options. All a merchant has to do is communicate the availability of financing by displaying signs in their store or messaging on their website. They no longer have to be involved in the financing process or make any back-office operational changes to support it.
In regard to the future of fintech, what technologies do you think will be dominant five years from now?
Any technology that helps business owners run their companies more simply and profitably has a shot at success. Business owners have so many things to deal with on a day-to-day basis. They shouldn’t have to worry about complex fee structures, technical integrations, or programs that require intensive training.
Square is doing an amazing job making something as old and convoluted as credit card processing seem easy and comprehensible. Anyone that can become the Square of “x” in merchant services could have a bright future.
Shopping platforms like Shopify and Magento are great enablers. Mobile will continue to change things as we know it today. Companies who take a partnership approach, as opposed to a traditional sales approach to pricing, and technology will make a big dent in merchant services and consumer finance.
What opportunities would you like to explore with updated versions of the product?
We’re uniquely positioning ourselves to leverage our relationships and data in a way that will enable us to provide valuable merchant services and consumer experiences. We plan to introduce more value add-on tools such as longer financing terms and loyalty programs.
We enjoy challenging ourselves to produce design solutions that work for merchants of all sizes and across various industries. There’s still a lot of opportunity out there to create value for small, midmarket and large enterprise businesses.
Greg Lisiewski is the founder and CEO of Blispay. Having held various operating and leadership roles during 10 years at consumer credit pioneer MBNA, and 8 years at Bill Me Later (acquired for ~$1B by PayPal in 2008), Greg has accumulated over 20 years of experience in innovating consumer credit. Greg founded Blispay in 2014 with the strong belief that everyday financing should be easy and accessible for both merchants and consumers. Greg holds a B.B.A. in Management Information Systems from Loyola University and an M.B.A. in Management from the New York University Stern School of Business. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife, two daughters, and dog (also a girl).