June 15, 2022
Actual Agency is continuously monitoring the latest fintech trends to keep abreast of new developments and changes. We’ve compiled the below list of 50 fintech influencers, the thought leaders who are delivering sharp insights. These changemakers are clearing the way for future generations of men and women, while working toward the development of a more inclusive and diverse industry.
In alphabetical order, here are the 50 Fintech Influencers of 2022. We hope that you will get to know these individuals and continue to follow their ideas and work.
Beatriz Acevedo is co-founder and CEO at SUMA Wealth. Increasing prosperity, opportunity, and financial inclusion for young Latinos in the United States is her driving mission. Through SUMA Wealth, Beatriz empowers Latinos via in-culture financial content, fintech products, and experiences so they can gain control of their economic power and build wealth. Highly regarded as one of the leading, inspirational Latina entrepreneurs, Beatriz seeks to create authentic and positive depictions of Latinos in society through her work.
Abeera Aguiar is SVP and Head of U.S. Payments Delivery at TD Bank. Abeera spearheads best-in-class product strategies and payment innovations across the U.S. market. She fearlessly leads a team of digital product owners working to drive payment innovations into the 21st century, most notably with the migration to contactless payments. Raised by immigrants, she was recently named one of American Banker’s 2022’s “Most Influential Women in Payments.”
Lyn Alden is founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy. Lyn is one of the most original thinkers working in finance today. Lyn’s investment research and strategy newsletter takes the chaotic, cluttered, financial noise and filters it down into a concise, actionable set of information to help investors to make the most informed moves. Lyn’s work is regularly featured in the global financial media, including the Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Marketwatch, Time’s Money Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Street, CNBC, US News and World Report, Kiplinger, the Asia Times, the Huffington Post, and other media. Lyn serves as an advisor to start-up companies, hedge funds, and executive committees of large institutions.
Peggy Alford is the executive vice president of global sales for PayPal. She uses her 25+ years of finance, general management and product development experience to oversee the global sales and distribution of PayPal’s products and services in tandem to leading the strategic customer success and go-to-market teams. Because she has so much to offer to the world of finance with her extensive background and experience, she also serves as a member of the board of directors for Facebook and the board of directors and chair of the audit committee at Macerich Company, a publicly traded real estate investment trust.
Nora Apsel is co-founder and CEO of Morty. She spent the past ten years as a software and front-end engineer and is now on a mission to revolutionize the outdated mortgage industry. Her thoughtfully built company lets people shop, compare, and close any mortgage option from any lender, completely online. She is one to watch as her solution has opened the door to provide first-time homebuyers a better way to secure and finance their home purchases.
Mary Ann Azevedo is a Senior Reporter at TechCrunch. A trusted industry authority and force of nature in business and technology journalism for over two decades, Mary Ann has published in FinLedger, Crunchbase News, Crain, Forbes and Silicon Valley Business Journal. She has earned numerous awards including the New York Times Chairman’s Award, and the top place awards for “Business Coverage” and “Best Online Breaking News Coverage” from the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
Natasha Bansgopaul is co-founder and COO of VegaX. Her passions lie at the heart of tech for change and strategies that break down gender and race barriers throughout the financial services industry. VegaX creates investment products for sophisticated investors and Natasha’s one-stop-shop of investment products helps customers unlock enhanced returns in one convenient location.
Brock Blake is the CEO and co-founder of Lendio. He is currently leading the charge when it comes to finance solutions for small businesses. This is reflected in his accolades which include being recognized as an Inc. 500 CEO and the distinguished honor of being awarded Utah’s “Emerging Executive of the Year.” You can catch Brock delivering keynote addresses at numerous industry events throughout the year or read his Forbes columns insights. His biggest passion in life is to give back and every loan facilitated on the company’s marketplace platform, Lendio Gives (an employee-contribution and employer-matching program), the company provides a microloan to a low-income entrepreneur around the world through Kiva.
Asya Bradley is founder of Kinly. In addition to helping Black America build generational wealth with her financial services company, she is also the founder of #HowSheWorks, an inclusive grassroots community of underrepresented founders and allies. As a champion of diversity and gender balance in the workplace, Asya works tirelessly to promote women, minorities, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented communities by showing them diverse paths to professional and personal success.
Chris Britt is co-founder and CEO of Chime. If there was a playbook for growing a company, you’d see Chris’ name on every page…and his face on the back cover under “author”. The proof is in the numbers: after only five years of leadership Chime reached one million customer accounts, and in his sixth year, that number skyrocketed to four million. In September 2020, at the height of the pandemic, he raised an astounding $485 million in funding at a $14.5 billion valuation, which nearly tripled Chime’s value in six months.
Dr. David Castillo, PhD, is Managing Director of Firmwide Head of AI/ML Technology and Global Product Line Leader for AI/ML Technology at JPMorgan Chase & Co. A research pioneer, and adjunct professor teaching artificial intelligence and machine learning at the University of Maryland, David describes himself as a strong believer in “automated model training” and in “models building models (even in regulated industries).” David is a strong advocate of Responsible AI and has a keen interest in Automated Machine Learning and Timeseries ML.
Sarah Clark is the SVP of Digital Identity at Mastercard. She describes her appetite for fintech as resting on the “bleeding edge of innovation.” A global leader in the digital identity sector, Sarah anchors her work around the idea that trust and identity (specifically decentralized identity) are the future of secure and empowered digital user experiences. She seeks to bring privacy back into a consent-based economy and is currently laying down a global interoperable re-usable Digital Identity network at Mastercard.
Wole Coaxum is founder and CEO at Mobility Capital Finance, Inc. (MoCaFi). Wole founded this start-up because he saw a systemic problem – entire communities are underbanked and don’t have access to essential financial tools. As an innovator with a heart of gold, he founded a solution that leverages mobile technologies, data analytics and digital strategies so those underrepresented communities have access to the resources they need to significantly improve their financial behaviors.
Vanessa Colella is Head of Innovation and Digital Partnerships at Visa. Vanessa is a true champion of transformation and has received many accolades honoring her dedicated work. She has been named a “Standout” in American Banker’s “Most Powerful Women” list, was recognized by Innovation Leader as one of the “Most Influential Innovators,” and received a Silver Stevie Award, just to name a few. Not only is she a published author and lecturer with a Ph.D. from MIT, but she also sits on several boards including the National Capital Association, Corporation’s Visiting Committee for the MIT Media Lab and the La Scuola International School in San Francisco.
Penny Crosman is the Executive Editor, Technology at American Banker at Arizent. A highly respected thought leader committed to technology, innovation and justice, Penny’s influence positions the publication as the go-to for all things related to the U.S. banking and finance industries. American Banker’s award-winning analysis and in-depth reporting convey trends, news and future forecasts. Penny’s own informative articles and interviews continually raise the bar.
Eugene Danilkis is co-founder and CEO of Mambu. Eugene’s background in technology has taken him to astronomical heights – literally. Before founding his current company, he developed a software that lives on the International Space Station. Fast forward and after a decade of hard work, his SaaS banking platform became one of Europe’s fastest-growing enterprise SaaS companies.
Edrizio De La Cruz is co-founder and Co-CEO of Arcus. Edrizio understands the fundamentals of being a great leader which is why we recommend taking a page from his book, or in this case the blog that he started to share his advice to help founders thrive and succeed. As a Dominican immigrant that grew up in Harlem, he realized at a young age that he wanted to be a self-made man. After finding his own personal success, he set out to help fellow immigrants realize their dreams as well.
Misha Esipov is co-founder and CEO of Nova Credit. His philosophy is to “build bridges, not walls,” which is why he helped build a global network of credit bureaus so consumers can take their financial identity anywhere they move. His cross-border consumer reporting agency ignited excitement in Silicon Valley and landed on Forbes “Top 50 Fintech.”
Prashant Fuloria is CEO of Fundbox. Prashant is no stranger to the world of payments and monetization. Although he views himself as a product manager at heart, his decades of leadership experience makes him a force to be reckoned with and he genuinely enjoys being on the front lines of the small business industry where he works tirelessly to facilitate stability, growth and amplification.
Gilles Gade is Founder, President and CEO of Cross River Bank. When the history of fintech innovation is written Gilles will be noted as a true innovator and thought leader in banking. In 2008, when the financial markets froze, Gilles set out to reimagine what a bank should be and Cross River became the go-to standard for all of the major players in fintech.
Jason Gardner is Founder, Chairman and CEO of Marqeta. He holds the payments world on his shoulders as the company has set the global standard for modern card issuing. You’ve probably seen his name before in the pages of Forbes’ “Fintech 50” or on CNBC’s “Disruptor 50” list. His achievements don’t stop there, in 2020, he was named “Entrepreneur Of The Year” by E&Y and was also one of the “Most Admired CEOs” by the San Francisco Business Times. More recently, he was just named one of the “Top 50 Financial Technology CEOs of 2022” by the Financial Technology Report.
James Gary is founder and CEO of Virtual Incentives. His goal is simple: to architect the future of global payments. To achieve this, he created a global ecosystem for issuing fully customizable physical and virtual payments. Today, the Virtual Incentives platform is available in over 50 countries and inspires action and engagement with a straightforward process that lets the recipient choose how, when, and what type of reward payment they’d like to receive.
Alex Gonikman, co-founder and CEO of TrueNorth, is a veteran software architect and visionary leader in fintech with over two decades of experience in both software development and building fintech platforms. He leads a staff of more than 170 employees from the company’s headquarters in New York City, with development centers across the globe. An avid researcher of industry and technology trends, his future cast focus areas center around disruptive technologies, software development, fintech, blockchain, p2p MarketPlaces, health, IoT and Cloud.
Brady Harris is CEO of Dwolla. His track record includes 20+ years of leadership in the fintech, payments and SaaS industries. The key to his success? His ability to quickly understand the primary drivers of business, diagnose problems, and creatively think to develop innovative solutions. His current role is a prime example of his expertise as he leads a team that works tirelessly to improve open banking with sophisticated A2A payment solutions for innovators.
Andrew Harrison is Head of U.S. Digital Partnerships at BMO Financial Group. He has worked to advance inclusion models, such as “Uncovering Talent” and “Intersectionality,” which led him to his current position where he supports fintechs, incubators and the venture capital community to identify partnerships that improve customer experiences.
Charlene Hill Fadirepo, a former regulator, is the founder of Guidefi and Guidefi Academy. A true visionary at heart, her financial wellness platform provides communities of color access to culturally competent financial professionals and wealth education. She also helps small businesses and nonprofit organizations integrate Bitcoin and cryptocurrency into their business strategies and is co-author of the Bitcoin policy book, Bitcoin and the American Dream.
Charlie Javice is Managing Director and Head of Student Solutions at JPMorgan Chase and Founder & CEO of Frank (acquired by JPMorgan Chase). She launched Frank to help students afford the college of their dreams without being crushed by debt. In 2017, she raised $15.7 million in funding – the largest venture round for a female founder that year. She used those funds to launch the company and develop a simplified, fast, and easy FAFSA® that helps students and their families file for financial aid. Four successful years later, Frank was acquired by JPMorgan Chase. In 2019, she was recognized for her accomplishments in the Crain’s New York “40 Under 40” list.
Shamir Karkal is co-founder and CEO of Sila. Shamir is considered a true fintech pioneer and legend, having played a crucial part in building the infrastructure that would pave the way for online banking. Over a decade ago, he co-founded Simple, the first neo digital bank of its kind in the U.S. Shamir was then drawn to serving smaller companies, so he co-founded Sila with the goal of empowering financial institutions.
Brett King is founder and Executive Chairman of Moven. He is a world-renowned fintech futurist and speaker, an international bestselling author, media personality, and even hall-of-famer. Yes, that’s right, CB Insights inducted the fintech guru into the “Fintech Hall of Fame” in 2020. If you’re looking for an inspiring read, he has the most #1 bestselling titles in banking and fintech globally of any author in the last decade. Prefer audio content? You’re in luck as he hosts the “Breaking Banks” radio show and podcast that reaches a global audience of 7 million in 180 countries.
Sarah Kirshbaum Levy is CEO at Betterment. Sarah brings a “big company” pedigree to the helm of Betterment, a leading American financial advisory company which provides digital investment and cash management services. Sarah has launched and grown businesses, purchased and sold businesses and leveled them up with groundbreaking scale strategies. She is widely known for driving some of the globe’s most respected consumer brands to win big.
Jason Lee is CEO and co-founder of DailyPay. His mission is to change pay, for good, by allowing employees to access their earned income before payday. The company works with large enterprises to offer its technology solution and currently manages over $2 billion in earnings. His work to support millions of employees when they need it the most led to him being named one of “Top 20 Digital Innovators in Benefits” by Employee Benefit News.
Lily Liu is CEO and co-founder of Piñata. A true innovator, she built the very first national rent rewards and financial program. Her organization creates smarter ways for renters to save for, pay for, and get rewarded for paying rent. Piñata also partners with property management companies to make its services available to renters for free. We are not the only ones keeping an eye on her groundbreaking work – she was named to Forbes “30 under 30” top entrepreneurs as well as Business Insider‘s “People to Watch.”
Caitlin Long is founder and CEO of Custodia Bank. A Wall Street veteran, Caitlin has seen the potential in Bitcoin and blockchain since its early days. She led the charge to make her home state of Wyoming an oasis for blockchain companies and helped enact 20 blockchain-enabling laws. Her current company serves as a bridge for businesses to transact across digital assets and the traditional financial system.
Rita Martins is the Global Head of FinTech Partnerships for Global Functions at HSBC. As a celebrated fintech expert, she builds and manages relationships with high-potential startups and drives collaboration between both fintechs and traditional financial services. Rita frequently publishes articles on innovation and often participates in financial industry panels. Her contributions to the industry has landed her on multiple renowned lists including the “Women in FinTech’s Powerlist 2020“ and Re*Work’s “Top 30 Women in FinTech.”
Anthony Noto is CEO of SoFi. Under Noto’s leadership, SoFi achieves its mission of helping people reach financial independence to realize their ambitions. Noto seeks to help people get to a point where their money works for the life they want to live. In 2022, Finance Monthly’s FinTech Awards featured Anthony in the publication for which Sofi was named “Lending Service of the Year.”
Eddie Oistacher is co-founder and CEO of Peach. Eddie’s sweet spot is digital lending products and operations and his expertise is highly visible in the company’s cloud-native lending technology platform which helps companies quickly launch and confidently scale new lending products. He is dedicated to creating the most configurable, robust, compliance-forward and future-proof lending platform in the market.
Tristan Pelloux is director at Strategwhy and founder and “Chief Pencil Officer” of the Fintech Review. With a background in corporate strategy, Tristan launched his company to provide independent guidance and advice to business leaders and founders around the world. To further amplify his message, he founded and is a regular contributor for Fintech Review. Tristan interviews fintech’s brightest stars and influencers and covers the most pressing issues facing the industry today.
Derrius Quarles is co-founder and CEO of BREAUX Capital and DQ and Partners. After spending 13 years in foster-care and becoming his own guardian at age 16, Derrius knew from a young age that he wanted to use his unique perspective to build a more equitable world. His dedicated work has positively impacted the lives of over 55,000 youth and millennials by creating pathways for higher education, career advancement, and financial wellness.
Everett K. Sands is founder and CEO at Lendistry. Everett saw the accelerating trend of capital becoming less accessible and more expensive for small businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and rural dwellers, so he recruited an experienced team of fellow banking professionals and founded a solution.
Mike Sha is co-founder and CEO at SigFig. Passionate about building innovative technology and teams to advance it, Mike co-built the company to focus on putting the customer at the center of the financial experience. Using a combination of design, data science, and technology, SigFig’s best-in-class technology empowers people with the information and guidance they need to achieve their personal financial goals.
Bertrand Sosa is co-founder and President of Rêv. After immigrating to the U.S. from Mexico at age 11, Bertrand found his path to the “American Dream” in entrepreneurship. Every aspect of entrepreneurship intrigues him, especially those that involve giving back to the community of future enterprise builders. Compelled to help others who dream as big as he does, he actively supports and invests in entrepreneurs across various fields including education, fintech, and social commerce.
Mike Tuchen is CEO of Onfido. As a successful growth-oriented software and cloud CEO, Mike made a name for himself scaling technology and software businesses globally. He credits his success to his keen ability to attract and build elite teams, create winning strategies, remain focused, and crisp execution. At Onfido, he is on a mission to set the new standard for digital access with the end-to-end identity verification platform.
Tanya Van Court is founder and CEO of GoalSetter. Tanya drives successful change, solves business problems, and identifies solutions that delight both internal and external customers. A true go-getter at heart, she founded her goal-based fintech to inspire families and younger generations to save, spend wisely and become financially literate. She also serves as President of the board at Institute of Play and is a President’s Advisory Council Member for the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Kahina Van Dyke is the Global Head of Digital Channels and Data Analytics in Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking for Standard Chartered. As one of the leading women in fintech, she believes in the power of purpose-driven teams to drive transformational outcomes in service to clients, communities and businesses. In addition to making our coveted list, Kahina was also named “#1 Global Woman in Fintech” in 2019 by the Financial Technology Report and Fintech Futures’ “Top 10 Women in Fintech Power List 2020.”
Nate Washington is co-founder and CTO of Qoins. His quest is focused on creating a new way to conquer debt. Nate’s automated micro-payment platform utilizes spare change to quickly payoff student loans and credit card debt. He is a brilliant developer whose human-centered approach facilitates innovative solutions and this is reflected in his other venture, Codeless Academy. The online platform teaches users how to build web and mobile apps without code.
Karen Webster is CEO of PYMNTS.com and CEO of Market Platform Dynamics. Her roles as a prominent media influencer and highly respected consultant result in a double whammy for the globe’s most innovative players in the payments, financial services, mobile, B2B, digital media and technology sectors. She has successfully founded and launched several new ventures in the loyalty, on-line media, and social networking sectors.
Michael Weisz is founder and President of Yieldstreet. His mission is to create equalizing investment opportunities previously reserved for the ultra wealthy. He created a curated platform of alternative investment opportunities for individual investors that were once exclusive for private institutions and the top one percent. Since launch, he’s helped fund over $2 billion worth of deals and acquired a membership of 300,000 and growing.
Rodney Williams is co-founder and Chairman of SoLo Funds. Rodney wears his heart on his sleeve and set out to create an “access for all” solution for underserved communities who face regular financial challenges. His leading fintech borrowing and lending solutions create a safe space for community members to increase their economic health and financial literacy through easy and effective means.
Teri Williams is President, COO and serves on the Board of Directors of OneUnited Bank. She saw a disconnect between the financial services industry and urban communities and wanted to create a platform to fully support economic development and wealth building. Her work has earned her numerous notations and awards for her contribution to urban communities including from the Urban League, NAACP and the National Black MBA Association.
Eva Wong is co-founder & COO of Borrowell. Her company’s free credit score, report monitoring, automated credit coaching tools, and AI-driven financial product recommendations help people make great decisions about their credit. Eva was named one of the “Standout 35” on the global Women in FinTech Powerlist, a “20 Tech Start-up Founders to Follow by Twitter Canada,” and received Canada’s “EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2019” award.
That’s a wrap on the 50 Fintech Influencers for 2022. To meet more technology leaders of today, check out the blog at Actual Insights.