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Interview with Silvio Tavares, CardLinx Association‘s CEO & President:
Where did you start your career and how did you gain the experience needed to run the tech side of your company?
An electrical and computer engineer by training, my first job was at AT&T Bell Labs where I worked on one of the earliest methods for web-based payments. Since then, I have authored over fifteen granted or pending patents in the fields of digital commerce, electronic payments and payments analytics. My work in the business side of payments informed the direction of the technologies I pursued. These leadership positions included my time at ABN AMRO Investment Bank in London, where I was Director and Head of Financial Technology Investment.
More recently, I was Global Head of Information Products, SVP at Visa, leading a business unit generating several hundred million dollars in annual sales and successfully launching key new products in the areas of payment fraud detection, digital marketing and merchant loyalty. I joined Visa from First Data, the leading payments processor, where I was Global Head of Information and Analytics, SVP. At First Data I created and launched SpendTrend™, First Data’s U.S. macro-economic spending indicator based on credit card transaction data.
My work at the intersection of payments and technology culminated in the founding of the CardLinx Association, where I am President and CEO. Working with our founding members including Mastercard, Discover, First Data, Facebook and Microsoft, we’ve become the leading voice for the card-linking and online-to-offline industries.
From a technologist’s perspective, what’s unique and game-changing about your technology?
Consumer spending makes up 70% of the US economy. 90% of that spending occurs in stores not online. Card-linking enables companies to link a consumer’s online data with their in-store shopping. We are excited to announce to the fintech industry the first open source card-linking software.
The underlying technology was developed by Microsoft and they have provided the codebase for its Earn card-linking platform on the CardLinx website. It is free and publicly available. The software demonstrates API access to the leading payment networks (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover) and is available for banks, digital publishers, messaging platforms and other tech companies to build on the code and bring their card-linking and loyalty programs more quickly to market.
Just as other platforms experienced explosive growth after APIs were made available, like Apple’s App Store and Facebook’s messaging API, an open source card-linking code is the next logical step in the development of card-linking and the overall growth of the online-to-offline industry.
Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution/technology.
We released the open source code at the beginning of January. At this time there are a number of companies using it as a foundation for their own card-linking and loyalty programs. I will be excited to share the names of the companies at my demo on March 21 at FinDEVr New York!
FinDEVr New York 2017 is partnered with American Banker, BayPay Forum, BiometricUpdate.com, Breaking Banks, Byte Academy, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Celent, CIOReview, Cointelegraph, Colloquy, Cooper Press, Distributed, Economic Journal, Empire Startups, Femtech Leaders, Finmaps, Fintech Finance, Harrington Starr, Level39, Mercator Advisory Group, The Paypers, SecuritySolutionsWatch.com, Swiss Finance + Technology Association, and Women Who Code.