2014 Innovators to Watch: 16 to 22

  • Ian Kar
  • July 1, 2014
  • 1
joshua_reich_and_shamir_karkal16. Shamir Karkal, cofounder and CFO of Simple

Simple is — or was — one of fintech’s prized startups. A branchless bank, Simple has managed to attract users and get them spending, reporting 13 debit transactions per minute back in 2013. Simple’s rise in popularity has been largely through word of mouth — especially in the millennial community, who are drawn to the idea of having a mobile bank without needing to deal with branches. In 2014, Simple announced that it was being acquired by BBVA for $117 million, and has been working with BBVA to incorporate its technology into BBVA’s newer offering. Karkal started Simple with Josh Reich back in 2009. He was also the keynote speaker at NextBankUSA earlier this year, where he spoke about Simple’s rapid growth.

Bradley-Leimer17. Bradley Leimer, Vice President, Online/Mobile Strategy, Mechanics Bank, publisher of Discerning Technologist

Brad Leimer, or @leimer as he’s known on Twitter, is one of fintech’s most active advocates. He has attracted 8,300 followers by tweeting breaking financial technology news, engaging with his followers, and providing insightful analysis on his blog,  Discerning Technologist. A banker in his own right, Leimer is also an advisor at NextBank.


EBay To Buy Mobile-Pay Service Zong For $240 Million In Cash18. David Marcus, ex-CEO of PayPal/head of messaging at Facebook

David Marcus, the longtime head of PayPal, departed the mobile payments company a few weeks ago to lead Facebook’s messaging service. Marcus started out as a vice-president in 2011 when PayPal purchased Zong, a startup Marcus founded in 2008. In the future, we could be referring to this move as the moment Facebook entered the payments space — with Marcus’ expertise in monetization through mobile payments, we could see Facebook become a mobile payments player in the next few years. The move, wahtever its cause and ultimate effect, made major waves in the fintech space earlier this year.


dorian-nakamoto19. Dorian Nakamoto, Alleged founder of Bitcoin

While the general consensus is that Dorian Nakamoto is just an average guy, Newsweek disagreed earlier this year, saying that Dorian Nakamoto was in fact the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto — the creator of bitcoin. This catapulted the Nakamoto to unlikely stardom/martyrdom in the altcoin community. Most analysts said believe Nakamoto had nothing to do with bitcoin, but he now possesses a fair heap of the coins, donated by sympathizers in the wake of the Newsweek debacle.


HRx_t_JY_400x40020. James Wester, Research Director for Global Payments at IDC

Financial technology is the intersection of two complex worlds, and few understand this better than James Wester. Wester has been involved in payments for quite some time, working at tech companies like AOL and founding Mobile Payments Today. Wester focuses on mobile and alternative payment methods and understands the limitations tech companies face when they try and disrupt finance. Between his work for IDC and his Twitter feed — usually filled with his thoughts on the fintech — Wester loves to share his thoughts on the constantly-evolving world of financial technology.


IMG_887621. Will Graylin, LoopPay

LoopPay is one of the few fintech startups making waves as a hardware company. With LoopPay, you can pay with your mobile device using the LoopPay fob, which stores all your credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards. The company also offers the LoopPay ChargeCase, which is an external battery pack combined with the LoopPay fob. Both are available for customers now, and within the year, Graylin told Bank Innovation, Loop will be inside a major handset, making contactless payment a reality without the alphabet soup of NFC, HCE, or BLE.


miranda-hill-4x6v3-e138030576085522. Miranda Hill, VP, product management manager, Wells Fargo Labs

Miranda Hill heads up Wells Fargo’s innovation lab, which is an internal group (as opposed to a venture or investment arm) at the San Francisco-based bank. Wells Fargo is known for its methodical rollout of product innovation, and Hill described the bank’s development of an innovation agenda at Bank Innovation 2014 in Seattle. An innovation agenda is essential in the sea of options banks face today, both technological and organizational.


Innovators 9-15 | Innovators 23-30

  Like This Post

One thought on “2014 Innovators to Watch: 16 to 22

Leave a Reply