Entrepreneurs

Transforming Banking And E-Commerce Technology: An Interview With Brim Financial CEO Rasha Katabi

Did you know that more than 10 years’ worth of e-commerce growth happened in just 90 days last year? According to Shopify, the Covid-19 pandemic propelled the industry forward at a rapid rate.

People are turning to e-commerce platforms more frequently to provide them with even basic, everyday items like toilet paper. Retail websites generated almost 22 billion in June 2020, up from 16 billion in January 2020.

E-commerce technology isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon and the last year has totally transformed the way that people shop.

As consumer habits have shifted as part of the digital transformation, so have expectations around customer experience. Brim Financial is a fintech company leading the next frontier of e-commerce and banking.

Brim has just launched their Platform-as-a-Service for banks, credit unions, large entities, merchants, and large-scale conglomerates, bridging together banking, loyalty, rewards, and ecommerce in a single platform. They are bringing groundbreaking innovation to the fintech space with a full product suite of consumer and business credit cards, digital banking services, the world’s largest globally open rewards and loyalty ecosystem, and innovative financial products with integrated ecommerce. As a certified Mastercard credit card issuer, their proprietary technology is built directly on the payment rails, making Brim’s a first-to-market solution with the first truly open, globally live ecosystem.  

The Canadian fintech company is spearheaded by CEO and Founder Rasha Katabi. It’s rare to find a female leader in the fintech field. In fact, Deloitte reported that women make up only 7% of fintech founders globally.

I had the chance to interview Rasha about her experiences as a female fintech innovator, her vision behind Brim, why it’s disrupting banking and e-commerce, and the market trends driving its success. Here’s what she had to say.

Shama Hyder: Brim was able to raise $ 25 million in Series B funding, the largest equity round of funding led by a female CEO in Canada. How has being a female leader in a male-dominated industry impacted your fundraising efforts?

Rasha Katabi: The thresholds are higher and you have to demonstrate more concretely the strength of

what you’re building – but we’re a strong, agile and innovative team and we’re up to the challenge. What

has made Brim successful (and is its defining DNA) is not gender-based – it’s hard work, passion and grit.

In terms of fundraising, you have to be prepared. It’s not enough to just pitch your vision. You have to demonstrate you have built it. You have to demonstrate demand. We have both. Brim is uniquely

differentiated. It’s a game-changing technology that is market-ready with a strong pipeline of commercial interest and momentum. That’s what drove interest in our Series B.

Hyder: You’ve reimagined the banking and e-commerce experience with Brim’s technology and structure. What was the initial driving force behind this change?

Katabi:  The vision behind Brim was to build a future-proof platform to deliver an end-to-end financial ecosystem with a strong customer experience and value proposition at the heart of it. 

Brim’s platform merges banking, loyalty, commerce, and offers a full suite of smart and highly innovative financial products. We deliver a fully integrated end-to-end smart ecosystem that is convenient, highly engaging, and super customer-centric. 

It’s why our partners choose Brim – we are focused on driving growth with our partners by enabling them to exceed their customer’s needs and expectations 

Hyder: Your rewards and loyalty ecosystem is the first of its kind. What does its success reveal about consumer habits and expectations now, and for the future?

Katabi: Today, consumers are more value-conscious than ever before. Consumers are driving demand for better, more personalized, flexible, convenient solutions, and they want more rewarding experiences. 

As a result, businesses and merchants must innovate and adapt to stay relevant and promote loyalty. 

With its robust and globally open loyalty and rewards ecosystems Brim enables merchants and brands to rise above their competitors. They bring businesses closer to their customers and build brand equity. Businesses need a turn-key solution for loyalty and rewards so they can innovate quickly.

As an example, Brim includes buy-now-pay-later capabilities, which are seamlessly integrated into all business and consumer revolving credit card products. This benefit meets consumers’ demand for more flexible payment options and enables a no-friction solution available for every merchant to still “activate” on the Brim ecosystem.  Remember, Brim’s platform currently lives at every merchant and point of sale worldwide, so there are no costly rollouts or integrations required. 

The success of Brim’s platform addresses a largely unmet need—consumers, partners, and merchants want customized experiences that are easily accessible. They want to have access to the latest technology, but in a way that is seamless. Brim delivers that seamless experience with banking, loyalty, and integrated e-commerce on a single platform.

Rasha’s success with Brim demonstrates how the combination of true innovation, strong market demand and an unflagging determination to see a vision realized,  is the value equation required to pave the way for other women (and men)  to lead.

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Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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