Founder & CEO at Boost Payment Solutions
When Dean Leavitt talks to us from his office in New York City, we’re afforded a view right down East 48th Street in Midtown Manhattan. These streets are lined by some of the largest and most prestigious companies in the world, with more than one in 10 S&P 500 firms based in the city.
These large and complex organisations are the companies that Boost Payment Solutions, which Leavitt founded in 2009, are targeting. Boost is active in 47 different regions globally and has been focused since day one on enterprise-level B2B spending, building financial tools that help companies to bridge the gap between accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP).
Leavitt, himself a veteran of the finance industry, started a company in 1989 that was focused on the consumer card acceptance industry before running a public company, also in the credit card processing space. He then founded Boost 13 years ago after seeing many failed attempts, by companies big and small, at pursuing B2B finance.
For the first five or six years, they were, by his own admission, an exclusively service-led operation that drew upon third-party technology to help clients. It wasn’t until six or seven years ago that Boost Payment Solutions began to hear from customers who had specific requirements, and so Boost brought on board developers to help build bespoke software solutions internally. Today, the fintech is laser-focused on creating custom solutions that enable large enterprises to overcome whatever challenges they may face within B2B payments.
“Our buyers tend to be very large organisations”, Leavitt says. “We have more than 50% of the Fortune 100 that either make payments through us or receive payments from us. So the entities that we work with tend to be very large. Our focus is on optimising the way in which enterprise-level businesses pay their vendors and suppliers by utilising proprietary technology and procedures that we've developed over a 14-year period.”
The company is active in telecommunications, healthcare, freight and logistics, manufacturing and media. All of their clients have pain points that are unique to their industry – even unique within their industry, in some cases – as well as specific requirements for their local market. It’s this diversity of need that prompts Boost to work collaboratively with each client to understand their market and their situation before recommending a solution.
“Our ears are our most powerful asset,” Leavitt says when he sums up the initial conversation that happens with a prospective buyer. “The first thing we do is listen. We listen, we ask questions, we pay attention very carefully to those answers and we dig deeper to make sure that, before we're in a position to make any recommendations, we understand what's truly going on in that organisation.”
There’s no shortage of challenges that enterprises face. Incumbent payment methods and FX-related costs turn cross-border payments into a headache, while B2B remittances can frequently run into the tens of millions and cover thousands of invoices at once. But Leavitt is effervescent about the potential of financial technology: “If you fast forward a couple of years, you're going to see a very different landscape in terms of how companies are making payments across borders. I suspect that some of the existing payment modalities are not going to go away, but they're going to no longer be the primary ways to move money. So I think you're going to see increased efficiency, increased speed and reduced cost – because that's what the market is demanding right now – as well as reliability and more reporting capabilities.”
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