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The Continually Evolving Payment And Card Landscape

By: Tyrone Gant, Senior Vice President and Director of Treasury Management, Vectra Bank Colorado

Tyrone Gant, Senior Vice President and Director of Treasury Management, Vectra Bank Colorado

In the light of your experience, what are the trends and challenges you’ve witnessed happening with respect to the Payment & Card space?

There are a lot of trends emerging in the market. First and foremost among them, is around faster and efficient payments. This is the primary goal, but if we dig down deeper into it to add value, it is the additional source of working capital for our customers. It gives them the ability to extend payables and/or take advantage of discounts with their vendor partners. We’ve also seen the market trending toward cash back rebate earnings based off of their annual spend.

"We have our in-house products and offerings, which makes us unique, but we do partner with vendors for technology"

One of the major challenges is to get people out of their old school ways, from a cash flow cycle standpoint with regards to payables. As we specialize in the small to mid-market space, which is anywhere from 5 to 250 million in annual revenues, companies don’t manage their cash flow cycle at the granular level. So we have to educate them on the value of the payments, cards and automated payables to get them to understand how this could be effective for them. Another challenge is that the vendor partners won’t accept credit cards or will charge them a fee to accept a card, especially for those larger ticket purchases.

Could you talk about your approach to identifying the right partnership providers from the lot?

At Vectra Bank Colorado, we have our in-house products and offerings, which makes us unique, but we do partner with vendors for technology, specifically, Visa claims resolution program, and so on. We’re not like other community banks where we have to partner with a third party to provide a solution. We have an in-house offering that creates more profitability for us. So we rely on other vendor partners from a technology standpoint and also to identify the needs that customers are asking for.

Could you elaborate on some interesting and impactful project/initiatives that you’re currently overseeing?

As it relates to the payment and card space, we are unique as we are focusing on consortium cards programs for different industry verticals. We do one for the non-profit sector, and we do one for the health care sector. Meaning, a smaller business health care provider can take advantage of the card program without having a large spend by joining the health care consortium program. We group all of those spends from a payment and a rebate perspective and give back a rebate based on that overall spend. I have seen other banks do that in regards to the government space, but outside of that, I believe we are unique. This is our specialty focus on how we cast a wider net as far as an opportunity that we’re looking for.

What are some of the points of discussion that goes on in your leadership panel? What are the strategic points that you go by to steer the company forward?

It’s all about profitability and how do we create value for our shareholders from the bottom line. So it’s about being strategic; not only participating in the strategic goals from the top down but on how we can apply that strategy to the treasury management group and contribute to those strategic goals. We are responsible for about one-third of the bank’s overall fee income bucket, so we swing a big stick as it relates to generating fee income which is recurring revenue that hits the bank’s bottom line. So strategically, I am always focused on how to grow the business, add new customers, additional fee income, and using card payment and card type solutions to generate new customers is a key aspect to steer the company forward.

How do you see the evolution of the Payment & Card arena a few years from now with regard to some of its potential disruptions and transformations?

We’ve seen the card space evolve from carrying a plastic card to mobile wallets on your smartphone. I see a continued trajectory fueled by the ease of use. Especially in today’s generation, it is about the ease of use from not only a payment standpoint but how you reconcile and control from a far broader perspective. One has also to pay attention from a security risk standpoint.

What would be the single piece of advice that you could impart to a fellow or aspiring professional in your field who is looking to embark on a similar venture or professional journey along the lines of your service and area of expertise?

Learn as much as you can, build key relationships with your peers, leaders on so on. Also, it’s not only what you can get or can give me, but it’s about what can I turn around and give back to you just to keep the generation growing and keeping a team that’s pointed in the right direction.

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