We live in a time when the incumbent companies are huge and have a lot of power to guide the market. In some cases, this means they kill your business through the creation of a rule or regulation, in other cases, it may mean they can simply copy your product, hire your people, or otherwise invalidate your business model. Finding a way to navigate through the cracks and ultimately create the space to grow is the challenge for most companies. Levvel, levels the playing field by taking advantage of its agility, and the ability to focus on solving customer problems more directly. Thereby helping companies both big and small Step Up by creating new rules of competition through IT.
'We believe the world needs technology to improve'
Levvel is led by a team of industry and technology experts who have worked first-hand inside both large organizations and startups. They have seen the challenges of implementing new technology. Levvel has decided to combine the innovative culture of a startup with the security and scalability of the enterprise in delivering solutions for its clients. "I love technology and believe it is becoming the fabric of our lives. Having a role where I get to shape how it is used and applied to solve problems brings me a lot of gratification", says Scott Harkey, Head of Strategy & Payments and Financial Services at Levvel who is always excited to elevate others and is turning strategies into real world differentiators.
Scott Harkey, Head of Strategy & Payments and Financial Services, Levvel
Since 2013, Levvel's trajectory has been upwards - that is it is growing fast- with hubs in Charlotte, New York, San Francisco, Richmond, Atlanta, Raleigh, Melbourne Australia, and Singapore. The IT consulting firm combines the innovative DNA of a start-up with the wisdom, scalability, and process rigor of a Fortune 100 company. Levvel assists companies create great technology through human-centered problem-solving that is rooted in deep industry expertise. The company provides both technical implementation services as well as strategic advisory services. Offering its clients an 'unfair advantage' over their competition with comprehensive services including Payment Strategy, DevOps, Cloud, Mobile, UI/UX, Big Data, Analytics, Capital Markets, Publishing, Innovation, and more.
Leading from Front
Having spent 15 years working inside two of the top five banks in the country Scott still wanted more out of his FinTech adventure. "While I learned a lot in those roles, it wasn’t until I left and joined the leadership team of Levvel that I realized how passionate I was about shaping people and culture and not just delivering cool work", reminisces Scott. Today at Levvel, he brings a unique "insider" point of view combined with a proven track record of delivery to banks, technology providers, and merchants exploring the digital payments space. "Levvel has opened my eyes to the ability to impact people in a much more meaningful way by helping shape a company they are proud to call home and solving some really big challenges", he says. Scott also holds a number of payment related patents, is a frequent speaker on digital wallets and payments, and is playing an active role in creating a FinTech culture in the Charlotte payments community. He holds an MIS degree from UNC Charlotte and an MBA from NC State University and lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, daughter, and twin boys. Together they love going to parks and enjoy exploring the beautiful city.
Scott gives his key insights about the dynamic FinTech environment, "I believe the data shows that millennials still trust banks and use them. There is a fundamental difference in where you keep your money and how you want to interact with your money. Millennials want to keep their money where it is secure (i.e. the bank), but they want to be able to access it wherever they spend their time. That means that the tech companies, gaming companies, social media, etc. all have a valid role in providing these services and access to these services, but they need to do it partnered with a bank that is ultimately keeping the money safe", elaborates Scott.
This recent shift of people for managing their wealth using technology has been crucial to the rise of several FinTech companies. And the high level of disruption triggered by FinTech’s has reshaped the payment industry. Even banks have moved towards non-physical channels to pursue renewed digital customer experience. Subsequently, we are now beginning to see these Fintech companies add in additional products and services that are starting to looking more and more like the suite of products a bank may have initially offered. One difference though: Digital identities of these users. "Digital identity is critical for our modern world and will only become more so over time. As our systems become more open and data is shared between them with more regularity, it becomes imperative that you can maintain a secure identify to access those services. This has yet to be solved across industries and geographies, but it is being worked on and will be critical to solve", highlights Scott.
Clearly compared to other forms of technology, FinTech has much more to overcome. Yet, there is still so much to be explored in the world of FinTech. Scott suggests, "I think Real Time Payments will drive a huge wave of innovation in the industry, especially in the B2B and Corporate space. The ability to send real-time payment and include remittance and other data will allow a lot more automation to be created in the invoicing, receivables and general corporate finance areas..... I think we will see more partnerships between banks and large tech companies for specific product launches (like the Apple Card announcement). I also think we will see more mergers on both banks and service provider side as companies look to achieve high growth targets and don’t know how to do it organically".
Having had five straight years of record-breaking growth Levvel plans to continue to grow into new verticals and capabilities. Taking a more strategic lens to the work, focussing on the right opportunities and maximizing their efforts would ensure the best chance of long-term success."We have created something that is making an impact on the world and I take great pride in being a part of that", concludes Scott. They are just getting started...