How Does Fintech Scale?

Galileo's Scott Johnson Exposes the secret.

Accrued, is a Fintech Confidential Series on LendTech, with support provided by LoanPro.

This series will explore Fintech through the lens of Lending with conversations with those making decisions that shape the market.

Covering the impact of Compliance, Optimization, the need for modernization, and the growing demand for Personalization


In this episode of Accrued, hosts Tedd Huff and Colton Pond chat with Scott Johnson, the Senior VP of Business Development at Galileo Financial Technologies. Scott shares his experiences and insights from his 20 years at Galileo, a leading FinTech platform owned by SoFi Technologies. They discuss how Galileo powers major players like Chime and Monzo and the challenges and opportunities in the FinTech industry.

Scott tells a funny story about Galileo's early days when the company almost had a disaster during a visit from MasterCard due to a water leak. He also talks about the company's decision to publish APIs over a decade ago, which was a bold move at the time and helped it grow significantly.

The conversation covers Galileo's role in the FinTech landscape, focusing on their expansion into Latin America and the importance of modernizing banking infrastructure. Scott highlights how Galileo's technology supports over 151 million accounts and how their products help banks and FinTech companies offer better services.

They also discuss the impact of AI and machine learning in finance, particularly in personalization and fraud prevention. Scott mentions Galileo's AI chatbot, Connecta, and their payment risk platform, which helps reduce fraud and save costs for their clients.

Another key topic is the importance of long-term partnerships and a consultative approach in FinTech. Scott emphasizes how Galileo supports its clients in navigating challenges and achieving sustainable growth.

Finally, they touch on SoFi's acquisition of Galileo and how it has opened new opportunities for the company. Scott shares insights on international expansion, especially the unique challenges, and considerations when entering new markets like Latin America.

This episode is packed with valuable insights for anyone interested in the future of FinTech, the role of AI, and the importance of modern banking technology. Whether you're a FinTech enthusiast or just curious about how technology is changing finance, this conversation with Scott Johnson offers much to learn.

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Key Highlights:

  • The Secret to Galileo's Success: Early Challenges and Big Wins

    Discover how a tiny office with just four server racks faced a major water leak during a critical MasterCard tour and how quick thinking turned a potential disaster into a memorable moment in Galileo's early days.

  • APIs: The Game-Changer for FinTech

    Learn about the bold decision to publish APIs over a decade ago, a move that attracted a range of companies with unique use cases, helping shape the future of FinTech.

  • Navigating the 2008 Financial Crisis

    Find out how Galileo managed to survive the 2008 financial crisis by betting on long-term partnerships and supporting companies with great product offerings, even delaying invoicing to keep them afloat.

  • Expanding into Latin America: Key Considerations

    Understand the strategic move to expand into Latin America, the challenges faced, and the economic viability of entering different markets with tailored financial solutions.

  • Personalized Finance: AI and Machine Learning at Work

    Explore how AI and machine learning are used to deliver highly personalized financial experiences, from chatbots sensing frustration to advanced payment risk platforms reducing fraud.

  • The Power of Modern Banking Cores

    See why modernizing banking cores is crucial for offering innovative products and services and how legacy systems are holding back financial institutions from competing effectively.

  • Boots on the Ground: Successful International Expansion

    Learn why having employees in local markets is essential for successful international expansion and how Galileo ensures they are truly committed to new regions.

  • Unique Financial Products: Buy Now, Pay Later Options

    Discover Galileo's cool "buy now, pay later" feature allows users to turn past purchases into installment payments, offering flexibility and control over their finances.

  • Tailored Card Controls for Teens

    Check out how Galileo enables parents to set specific spending limits for their teens, such as allowing purchases only at certain stores, ensuring safety and control.

  • The Importance of Adaptability in Acquisitions

    Get insights into how Galileo's acquisition by SoFi provided new opportunities and the key role of adaptability in making acquisitions successful and beneficial for both parties.


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🚀 1️⃣ Learn How to Handle a Crisis with Quick Thinking!

Facing unexpected problems? Quick thinking can turn potential disasters into success stories. A fast response to challenges, like a sudden water leak, can save the day and impress important clients.

💡 2️⃣ API Publishing: A Bold Move That Pays Off Big!

Publishing APIs can attract a diverse range of clients with unique needs. This strategic decision opens up new opportunities and helps grow your business by meeting various market demands.

🌍 3️⃣ The Secret to Successful International Expansion!

Are you thinking of going global? Ensure you have a local presence and employees on the ground to truly commit to new markets. This strategy helps you understand and adapt to regional needs effectively.

🤖 4️⃣ Enhance Security with AI-Driven Fraud Prevention!

AI and machine learning can drastically reduce fraud. Implementing advanced risk platforms that analyze spending patterns and behaviors can protect your business and save costs by preventing fraudulent activities.

🔍 5️⃣ Customize Financial Products for Better User Control!

Customizable financial products, like post-purchase installment options, can give users more control over their spending. This flexibility meets customer needs and enhances their financial experience.


Fintech Confidential


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Time Stamps:

02:52 Welcome to Accrued: Unraveling the World of LendTech

07:25 Meet Scott Johnson: The Legend Behind Galileo's Success

07:54 The Day Galileo Almost Flooded

09:30 Decoding Galileo's Growth: From Start-Up to FinTech Powerhouse

13:26 The Evolution of FinTech: A 20-Year Journey with Scott Johnson

19:33 The Future of Banking: Modern Cores and Global Expansion

27:54 Latin America's FinTech Revolution: A Beacon for Global Banking

31:27 Hyper Growth in Cashless Transactions: A Global Perspective

32:25 The Strategic Move: Galileo's Expansion into Latin America

32:57 Navigating International Expansion: Insights and Challenges

36:03 Innovative Financial Solutions: From Credit Products to Payment Systems

38:11 Personalization in FinTech: How Galileo Powers Unique Customer Experiences

49:12 The Future of Banking: AI, Machine Learning, and Beyond

52:53 Acquisition Insights: Galileo's Journey with SoFi

55:19 Wrapping Up: The Future of FinTech and Personalization

55:45 Disclaimer and Final Thoughts

This is a Production of Diamond D3, Media

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About the Guest:

Scott Johnson: Scott Johnson is responsible for expanding Galileo’s client relationships and scaling partnerships and business development functions for additional growth. Johnson has led Galileo’s growth strategy and expanded its payments product offerings to include debit, credit, commercial, virtual, cryptocurrency, multicurrency, and several hybrid and custom solutions. Before joining Galileo, Johnson worked in product management at American Express and GE Consumer Finance and built internet software at Sybase, which SAP later acquired. Johnson graduated from the University of Utah School of Business.

Galileo Financial Technologies LLC: Galileo Financial Technologies LLC is a financial technology company that enables fintechs, banks, emerging, and established brands to build differentiated financial solutions that deliver exceptional customer-centric experiences. Galileo’s flexible, secure, scalable, and fully integrated platform drives progress across payments and financial services through modern open APIs. Trusted by digital banking heavyweights, early-stage innovators, and enterprise clients alike, Galileo supports issuing physical and virtual payment cards, mobile push provisioning, tailored and differentiated financial products, and more across industries and geographies.

About the Hosts:

Tedd Huff is the Co-Founder of Voalyre and the President & Founder of Diamond D3, a consultancy renowned for its expertise in global payments and marketing. With over two decades of experience in FinTech, Huff has played a pivotal role in shaping the industry through his contributions to various startups and established companies, focusing on growth, innovation, process improvements, and enhancing user experience in the complexity of payments.

Colton Pond: Colton Pond is a seasoned marketing executive with a strong fintech and financial services background. In his latest role, Colton is the CMO for LoanPro's API-first lending platform, aiming to meet the increasing market demands. His track record includes a significant tenure at Truv, where he led the marketing team to achieve a 300% growth in year-over-year revenue. Colton has also held key marketing and sales positions at MX, Lucid, and HealthEquity, demonstrating his ability to drive success and innovation within the fintech sector.

Diamond D3, Media: A media creation, management, and production company delivering engaging content globally

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