I’m Kevin Doerr, Chief Product Officer at Marqeta and I’m excited to help kick off the community launch with an AMA!
On Thursday, August 12th, I'll be hosting real-time AMA to answer your questions. Start submitting questions now below. Here's how it works:
Add your questions below any time before or during the AMA. Be sure to take a look at other community member’s questions and up-vote those that you find interesting.
At 9am PT on Thursday you can expect to see a link to join the Zoom webinar where I'll start answering.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Hi Kevin! Would love to hear a bit about your product vision - what does the future of Marqeta's product look like? What are your top priorities you have right now to help the team get there and how will that impact us? Developers building on the marqeta platform. Thanks!
Good question @jay. You should expect us to continue to round out our core products and APIs in issuing processing and settlement. We've been really fortunate and worked hard to take that hill of modern card issuing and processing, and we have no intention of losing it. That means burnishing those API's, those transactions and all the functionality around that.
In terms of growth, it's both what we offer ( the flexibility of API's and the customization of features) and also how we offer what we offer. What we offer is more APIs, more richness, good docs. The how we offer it is: how we're supporting that, how we're surrounding the functionality that we provide to the developer community, with all of these sort of accoutrements. So not just Docs but shared libraries, objects, SDKs, and now with community more of a forum, the ability to get into a knowledge base, the ability to have more interaction with our developers.
The things that we have a pretty high priority on, we've launched into the credit business, we have a beta program, and a couple of programs that are coming online right now in the credit space that's new for us, we're super excited about that. We're treating it the way that we've treated our other API's and components, and again, high level of flexibility customization, really, really well supported developer platform to be able to build use cases and scenarios in credit.
We're also prioritizing our growth into the digital banking area. So as we build out more banking as a service capabilities, we go far beyond ACH direct deposit and some of the conventional methods of moving money, into some of the more sophisticated global and extensible matters in terms of money movement or money movement modalities. I think the thing for us is how quickly can we continue to iterate on the set of functionality that we have in a given area? How well can we package it and then how strongly can we support it for the developer community?
Another area of focus for us is around developer experience, adding more sophistication to the dev dashboard, making it easier and more seamless to transition from sandbox all the way through to production as an existing customer at Marqeta. Those are a few of the priorities and we'll talk a bit more about some of the other areas of investment and things that you can expect from our product team over time.
What is the product direction when it comes to services for Neo-banks or Digital Banks? There are some tables takes features (ACH Origination, Check Deposit, Check Issuance, Statements, Settlement systems, etc.) that Digital Banks need, but also curious to hear how Marqeta's product roadmap can help Digital Banks innovate beyond table stakes features.
It's a great question, @siddiquiahmed and it's a great follow on to the broader question of our product roadmap.
The way that we think about banking as a service, it's not banking as a service in a box. Part of the reason is that every customer we're working with has a different use case scenario in mind, they have different set of requirements, their go to market is going to play out differently, the things that they want to focus on and differentiate around are quite different from the next person that we might work with.
So building the broadest possible platform, to the point of your question is the answer. Which is, let's make sure that we've got the core account and money movement types that we need. General Purpose Reloadable and prepaid cards, Demand Deposit Accounts and debit cards, ACH and Direct Deposit. We're already progressed on many of those, and a few more. And now what we need to do is continue to flush out all the other money movement modalities. Some of them mentioned in the question, like check deposit or check issuance. They go to being able to get your paycheck early through direct deposit, they go to the ability for mobile check deposit or even wire transfer some things that are a bit more conventional. Marqeta is on path to be able to build out that stack to allow our customer to be able to pick and choose the capabilities that they want to create. Our goal is to build these features in a way that does not just check the box but that gives Neo banks and digital banks the highest level of control and flexibility so that they can design and build a differentiated experience for their end users. That is very much part of our roadmap.
We'll do that in a couple of ways. One, there are components we believe our core competency for us and we're going to become world class in, and then two there are periods where we might partner with other other Fintechs in the space, who offer terrific opportunity, or help accelerate our roadmap so that we can get that functionality to the developer community.
We think a combination of build and partnering is a critical way for us to be able to get to market faster and allow our customers to build their applications more quickly.
The other thing that comes to mind when we talk about the future is, when you get past many of the conventional sort of money movement modalities. We love seeing the progress in some of the areas around defi and some of the non-card rails that we've seen start to accelerate. We can go way out there and talk about things like the Lightning Network, we can be a little closer and start to talk about some of the payment modalities that exist in different regions around the world. We think those all become part of our roadmap over time, as we move through this stack and continually iterate and provide capabilities to our developer community.
Enjoyed last week's AMA on this topic so curious to hear from you: How did you approach scaling your product team during hyper growth?
Really good question. It's always super challenging when every one of your metric objectives are scaling very, very quickly ahead of you. A couple things come to mind in terms of scaling the team:
Organizationally, one of the things that we want to do, and we've done a little bit in the past is create a very modular organization. When you know you're going through a period of monotonic growth, you want to have the opportunity to create modular sets, so you can change organizations, you can bring in new leadership, you can elevate existing employees into places of leadership and get more leverage. And so the more modular your organization can be the more flexible it can be, the more you can adjust your flying formation to be able to meet the current need. And whether the current need is simply transaction volume scaling dramatically, or the number of services you're offering and the complexity is going up (usually those things happen in tandem) or you've got other scaling issues where suddenly you've got a rush of customers in the front door you need to onboard and get into production and transacting as quickly as possible. All of those things become a bit easier if you've got some of the preparatory work done in terms of scale.
There's lots more conversation around sort of hyper scaling in there, but those are a few things that I think about specifically with respect to the organization. And some of the things that you can do to get yourself set up to be able to take on those scaling challenges.
In which countries do you work?
What will the KYC process look like for different types of cards and different countries?
Can a partner company earn money by withdrawing funds by cardholders, by converting currencies, by transferring from card to card?
@chirpavel So today we transact natively in the US, in Europe and a bit in Asia. But we take transactions from probably close to 40 countries at this point and we intend for that number to grow dramatically over the next few quarters. Every year we're launching into new regions with new profiles.
I think as it relates to KYC, the complexity of understanding the requirements in each one of those countries, each one of those regions, what's specifically required from a regulatory or compliance or governance point of view, and then what specifically required to be able to integrate into maybe local systems that can help you do some of the authentication and identification that's necessary. What you'll see from us, typically, is we'll build a core platform first. And that platform will contain 75 to 80% of the functionality that we need to be able to plug into local systems to be able to effectuate the KYC. It'll also include all the systemic tracking, logging, status updates notifications and alerts that are required and its environments. And then as we go through the process of getting a better understanding of how to move to KYC in a particular region, let's say Canada, which is different from the US. We'll start to factor in all the unique characteristics, different elements and also the sort of oversight of compliance and regulatory, to be able to build a product that will meet the needs of that particular country. We could get into all sorts of pieces about, government issue ID versus local ID, the availability of those, the background checks and distributed system nature of being able to validate, oh I've got a passport photo now, let me go validate that with the regulatory body that governs that. Each one of these countries can pose a significant amount of work, and what we're trying to do is build a platform that gets us most of the way there, and then that last mile of, specific product characteristics or features will relate directly to what's happening on the ground in that particular country or that particular region.
We've been super successful with KYC in the US and we've been ramping the volume of some of our large customers over the past couple of quarters. We're really excited about that. The last thing I'd say on KYC is, I think this leads us down the path where we start to talk more persistently about identity, how we can use KYC as a stepping stone to establishing the true identity of a customer. What we really want to be able to do is be tightly coupled with our customers' programs, and therefore tightly coupled with their customers to get a really great understanding of where those consumers are, or where those businesses are relative to risk profile, activity or opportunity. We've seen a lot of this happen in the BNPL category, which has grown substantially for us, is our ability to provide risk information about a particular transaction or a particular customer has a tremendous amount of value for our own customers. And so you see us continue to invest in KYC both here, domestically, but also internationally.
To answer your last questions, what I can say is, our partner companies let's say programs or commercial or technical partners are going to be governed by the same oversight, in terms of both the regulatory environment, compliance, rules around FinCEN and things like that. So I can't speak specifically to the use case scenarios of moving money from card to card, and whether that could yield maybe let's say Forex arbitrage. I think that's the question again, it's hard to tell. I think that's a better question for either one of our program partners or one of our customers, to discern with their compliance folks, their legal folks, we're happy to weigh in on the conversation on what's possible, but I think that one's a little bit more challenging for us to sort of think about as a use case scenario.
Hi all, we will start at 9am PST!
Two questions for you:
1. What is the biggest challenge that Marqeta's products can solve for me?
2. What is that one quality that you look for in all prospective employees?
Speed and the ability to start prototyping very, very quickly for different use cases and scenarios, to see how that comes out. The ability to move quickly and seamlessly from sandbox into testing into production. And then the flexibility, the customization, those are the three things that I think about in terms of what Marqeta's products solve for me.
We also find ourselves regularly in these really terrific product conversations with our customers, and this is one of the fun parts of the job. We're thinking about the next thing that they want to do. So our ability to participate creatively with them in the process and say, 'Oh, that's a really interesting use case scenario, we either hadn't thought about that or hadn't built to that, but maybe we should, because there's a lot of opportunity there to solve a problem that customers have.' The ability to be at a whiteboard with your customer and be problem solving creatively in real time. But I think the flexibility in the customization that we bring with our API's is so central to being able to have that creative conversation. That's the biggest solve that we have for our program partners and customers.
To answer your second question:
This is like asking you to choose a favorite child. I would probably say curiosity is the number one characteristic that I look for in people. We could talk about energy, absolutely. We can talk about technical proficiency, yes. We can talk about execution capability and propensity...all those things are critically important.
But if I've got a candidate, who is super curious and who's whose own roadmap, has this sort of evidentiary proof of, 'I've done this, I've done that.' 'I've done something different.' 'I'm a little bit off piece here, maybe unconventional.' You can start to see the curiosity the individual brings to their lives and their pursuits. And that part, for me, is super compelling from a product management or a design perspective, because the implication for someone in the role is that they're going to go hard at problems.
They're going to take a hypothesis, they're going to go, unpack that, they're going to tear it down. They're going to look into the dark corners, and they're gonna ask themselves very presently, how could I be wrong about this? Who else should I talk to who might have the answer? And that's all driven through a curiosity to both solve a particular problem, but also build a great solution to it that you can be proud of that's sustainable and scalable. And so for me being forced into sort of picking my favorite I'd say really an innate and sort of insatiable curiosity is the characteristic I look for with any prospective employee.
Loving the AMA! Another question:
Wow, this is a great question. I have been really fortunate to work with just outstanding teams in very different areas, over the past 15 to 20 years. Marqeta is no different than that. Amazing people who are incredibly talented.
I actually feel more blessed in this environment because I don't come from a Fintech background, per se. So the opportunity curve for me, which is you how much you can learn how fast, has never been steeper. Learning about financial infrastructure, payments, and all the regulatory compliance, I actually find that kind of fun because I like to compare and contrast between countries and regions. I also like to tie up to some of the macro trends that are happening, a bit of nationalism that's happening in different countries or regions around the world. How will that affect infrastructure payments and then consumer behavior?
But I think the biggest thing here for me has been being able to learn from the people on the team, and the people that are coming on the team. I'm learning way more from them than they probably are for me. I find that super valuable.
The thing that I want to go deeper is on understanding global payments. I believe cross border payments will play a particularly important role over the next coming years. How will we efficiently build solutions for our customers that can easily move money cross-border? And handle all the ForEx? Handle all the timing issues? Handle all the timeouts that happen when you're trying to move money cross-border and deal with a complex interdependent set of regulatory requirements and compliance requirements. Also just how the existing infrastructure works in one country versus another. I think that's an area that I really want to go deep, and I want to see Marqeta start to execute against more aggressively.
How do you measure the impact of your Product Management Team?
That one actually is a pretty easy one. Outcomes. Outcomes only.
The only thing that matters, really, and in particular talking to the developer community is, did we deliver the thing that you needed? Did we deliver it in a fast enough churn that you were able to do what you wanted to do? And does it have sufficient quality, scale, and thoughtfulness (in terms of whether it's instrumentation, logging, alerts, notifications, the full surrounding support for a particular feature or a component)? So I think the outcome is the thing that I really focus on with our product management team.
In order to get there we go through the entire process of, why are we building something, what is it, what does a PRD look like, what's the return for our customers, where's the value point? We go through the execution process, measuring our own velocity, measuring our estimation skills, measuring our ability to deliver things on time or meeting the time frame that's been desired.
But ultimately what I want to focus on is the outcome, what was the value that we delivered to a customer, what was the value that was created for Marqeta. Was it a differentiation, was it a revenue opportunity, was it opening up a new geographic region? That outcome is where I push to get our product management teams focused as maniacally as possible. A full understanding of what that outcome is supposed to be, a full understanding of the measurement to ensure we know when we're getting there and how we're progressing on the way to that point. Those are all the measures that I really care about.
One of the things I've learned from product people way smarter than me earlier in my career is, you don't celebrate releases, you celebrate success. And there are two different definitions for that. We all know, we all talk about, what's the definition of done? It's done. What's the definition of a release? A release. But by focusing on the outcomes and having some very key objectives and goals that lets you know when you've met that outcome, and whether the outcome is delivered to a customer or 100 customers on a particular program or a particular transaction scale you want to get to...by having a really clear view of what those three, four, five things are, that tells you when you're successful. Then, you can raise the banner and celebrate.