Founder & CEO, Volt
Nobody can achieve success in any field, let alone financial technology, without possessing a flair for innovation. This is how Tom Greenwood, Founder and CEO at Volt was able to cultivate a career in fintech leadership which has stretched for over 20 years.
Greenwood: Following the path of finance
Completing his higher education in Melbourne, at Swinburne University, Greenwood studied business with a major in marketing. Not enough to fill his boots alone, Greenwood was at that time also working at ANZ Bank – one of the largest banks in Australia with a presence across APAC – in a telesales role.
“This was my first exposure to financial services,” says Greenwood. While admitting he found it interesting, his life-long career working in finance thereafter was something he feels he “fell into”, becoming General Manager of Europe for AFEX. “This was a couple of years after ANZ Bank, and I had moved to London,” adds Greenwood.
IFX: Innovating new financial products
Only planning to stay in Europe for “one or two years”, Greenwood still finds himself living in London 22 years after first arriving.
Leaving AFEX in 2005, Greenwood went on to found IFX Payments. A Co-founder alongside IFX CEO Nick Williams, Greenwood – as COO – oversaw product strategy, regulatory compliance, operations, legal and HR; significant departments of the business.
Greenwood notes that at the time of its founding, IFX Payments pre-dated fintech. “It functioned as a foreign exchange, hedging, risk management and treasury platform.”
It was in 2013 when Greenwood took an interest in “the early signs” of embedded finance, before going on to build a product at IFX called ibanq.
This banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform was one of the first innovations to flirt with embedded finance. Greenwood oversaw the architectural construction of the product, which has become one of the flagship products at IFX today, processing over US$10bn annually.
Founding Volt: harnessing an entrepreneurial spirit
With ibanq flying high and a well-established product by 2018, although most might have been – Greenwood was not settled.
Possessing a drive to continue innovating, Greenwood had been studying the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) – which, back in 2018, established open banking as a regulatory requirement for financial institutions. This marked the dawn of third-party data sharing between banking and other financial corporations.
“After reading about open banking in PSD2, I knew that real-time account-to-account payments could be hugely disruptive to the Visa and Mastercard duopoly,” Greenwood says.“It gave me an idea that, ultimately, I couldn’t let go of.”
In the end, following his calling for further innovation, Greenwood parted ways with IFX so he could establish Volt, which he had already started doing preliminary planning work on, including feasibility and prospect analysis.
Now five years on from its founding in 2018, Volt has just closed US$60m in Series B funding led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), setting it on a path to further growth.
Read the full story HERE.
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