11. Bradley Leimer, Vice President, Online/Mobile Strategy, Mechanics Bank, publisher of Discerning Technologist
Dubbed the Bieber of Fintech by his 5,400+ Twitter followers, Bradley Leimer is the go-to guy for the latest in financial technology. A passionate advocate of the community bank (some aspects of community banking are simply not scalable up to the megabank level, he says) and the consumer experience, Leimer hovers on the bleeding edge of fintech, which he writes about on his blog The Discerning Technologist. Hmm. With all the the bad press he’s gotten for his prepaid card, Justin Bieber might want to be known as the Leimer of … well, whatever it is Bieber does.
12. Tracey Weber, managing director of internet and mobile, Citibank
Weber has been out in front of her big-bank colleagues in several areas. Citibank has won awards for its security — concern over which is a huge impediment to mobile banking adoption — and Weber has led the way in integrating PFM, social media, and user-tested improvements to Citibank’s online banking site. (A secret Webber discovered: More clicks might mean “more activity,” but it doesn’t necessarily mean customers are getting the best experience.) Weber has pushed Citibank to intensively poll users on what would improve their experience, and then implement those improvements. Whether those changes are big or small, this is the way to improve a bank’s experience for consumers, whether your bank is small or, well, Citibank.
13. Dan Schatt, GM Financial Innovations, PayPal
A veteran of the financial services industry, cutting his teeth at Yodlee and Celent, Dan Schatt now heads up strategy for PayPal, the 800-pound gorilla in the payments space. Under Schatt, PayPal, as well as parent company eBay, is making strides in the retail arena, to own transactions in the card-present, brick-and-mortar space. It’s also rolling up its sleeves and taking on new kids on the block Square and Dwolla. PayPal has been around so long even it is in danger of being disintermediated, just like the banks. Schatt’s job is to keep ahead of the rising tide of startups. He seems to be up to the challenge.
14. Chuck Davidson, head of product, Cardfree Chuck Davidson was a key planner in arguably the most successful of all mobile wallets, the Starbucks app, which now processes some 4.5 million transactions a week. Davidson also worked at POS provider GoPago. Cardfree, his new startup, will provide a platform for merchants to create mobile wallets that make sense for them. No one’s sure what the winning mobile wallet recipe is — but we bet Davidson has a pretty good idea.
15. Josh Reich, CEO, co-founder of Simple
Everyone loves Simple. So many people love it that there’s a perpetual waiting list to get the service and some of us have been waiting for what feels like forever, recalling the Kafka parable “Before the Law.” Those on the outside want the clean interface, the safe-to-spend function, the Zen-like beauty of it all. And Simple owes it (or half of it, Shamir) to Josh Reich, whose history in slicing and dicing financial data led him to determine that there must be a better way to bank, and launched a revolution of sorts. Behold Simple’s children: Moven, Bluebird, GoBank — all deploying clean, simple, user-friendly financial platforms. Is this the future of banking? Thank you, Josh.