Our Zero Data Hero Customer Spotlight series highlights the stories of VGS customers who have joined our Zero Data mission to protect the world’s information.
SteadiPay optimizes cash management with data security from VGS. Learn more about how VGS helped SteadiPay seamlessly integrate their apps to be PCI compliant.
Today’s Zero Data Hero is Anthony Strike, Founder of SteadiPay.
Q - Tell us about Steadipay?
Anthony - Steadipay is all about helping small business operators not waste time and resources managing their cash. Cash management is critical to the success of any small business, but it is currently a major chore. Small business operators, whether it be VP of Finance or Controllers, are typically
logging into multiple different accounts and manually entering balance information into spreadsheets just to figure out how much to move from one account to another or when to pay a certain bill. This is just a painfully manual and time-consuming process.
The cash management tools that are out there for small businesses are nowhere close to all the amazing personal finance apps out there for consumers, or what enterprise customers have with treasury management services.
SteadiPay provides a bank agnostic platform for small businesses to optimize their cash management, so they can earn more on the cash they have, improve their cash flow, and ultimately survive longer.
Q - How did Steadipay approach the challenge of data security?
Anthony - We knew data security was going to be critical for us because we’d have to store sensitive info like users’ credit card numbers so we could remit payments to their accounts when the time called for it. We knew it was going to be important for us to be PCI compliant. But, like a typical startup, we were focused on the product first. We spent most of our time building our product, talking to customers, and generally focusing on our core business. As we were looking toward launch, we realized that we had to totally secure the data.
We were looking for the right solutions. We were thinking “is this something we can handle and do ourselves? Is it worth it?” The short answer is no. Luckily, we got introduced to VGS, and you guys were able to officially take that off our plates.
Q - What does Zero Data mean to you?
Zero Data means focus. Every dollar and every minute matter a lot for an early-stage startup, and spending those dollars and minutes managing data security is not what’s going to drive our business.
Anthony - Data security is obviously essential, but having to spend time and resources building and managing these data security solutions ourselves means we would never get off the ground. By not handling the sensitive data ourselves, we are freed up to focus on our core business.
Zero Data also means minimizing risk. If we managed data ourselves and had a problem, like a data security breach, that could be really damaging. The average data security breach costs a small business $120,000 or more, and that can sink a company in the early days.
Focus and risk-mitigation go hand-in-hand. Zero Data means limiting our exposure, which means we’re able to have that focus: Putting our dollars and resources where they are needed to grow the business, and not worrying about data security in the ways that we don’t want to be focused on it, like fighting off data breaches. Instead, all of that can go toward making our customer experience and product significantly better.
Q - How has VGS helped Steadipay?
Anthony - VGS made it possible for us to launch fully PCI-compliant with “Zero Data” a reality, and to get there with minimal cost and development time. Integration was really simple and easy.
We probably saved dozens or hundreds of man hours and tens of thousands of dollars by not having to integrate with some of the other solutions out there or worse, build some of these security systems ourselves.
Q - How do you see the relationship evolving over time?
Anthony - As we expand our product set to include other financial tools, there will be additional data that we are going to access but don’t want to touch or ingest – all of which is going to need to be secure and remain under the Zero Data umbrella. Ideally, we just see that being something we pass off to VGS as we expand.
Q - How do you quantify the benefit of VGS?
Anthony - Like I said, VGS saved us dozens or hundreds of man-hours and tens of thousands of dollars. But, even more than that, they allowed us to focus. We don’t spend too much time thinking about our PCI exposure and the things that go along with that because we know it’s all securely handled. It’s just one less thing that our team has to spend time thinking about that isn’t our core business, so it’s an ongoing value-add to us every day.
Q - Any advice for other startups who are beginning security and compliance journey?
Data security is not a linear relationship - it’s an exponential one. If the company grows 2x, or your product features and functionality grow 2x, your data security exposure grows by a multiplier of that.
Anthony - Big banks have such an enormous amount of resources devoted to data security not only because they’re big targets, but because the data and regulatory complexity is so high. All of us in the fintech space are here because we see opportunity. Opportunity (assuming you execute well) means growth, growth means complexity, and complexity means exposure. So it’s critical to get access to enterprise-level security without incurring enterprise-level costs, and to have a partner that can scale at a multiplier rate based on how much you’re hoping to grow your business.
Q - Who is your favorite superhero and why?
Anthony - I always loved Spiderman as a kid. I always identified with the nerdiness, and certainly daydreamed about having the superpowers. I liked that he was a good kid who wasn’t perfect, despite the great powers he had, which felt more relatable to me.
I think, especially in startup land, we have a tendency to lionize and deify certain individuals who accomplish great things. I think it’s really important to remember that nobody, not even those heroes, pulls it off without some missteps. They had some pretty remarkable skills, but they were still navigating complex things with the imperfections they – as humans – had.
As a startup founder, it’s easy to get focused on your (or your company’s) imperfections. Spiderman is a good reminder that even if you’re not perfect, even if you don’t know what you’re doing all the time, you can still do good.
Q - How can people sign up with Steadipay?
Anthony - Right now, we are a mobile-first product, so you can download the Steadipay app from App Store. All you have to do is link your existing checking and credit card accounts, and we’ll start optimizing the timing and amount of payments that you’re making on your business credit cards. So you just maximize rewards and never have to worry about credit limits, statement balances, or any of that stuff again.
In the next couple months, we’re adding a high-yield banking product for small businesses that will be completely bank agnostic. That will coincide with the launch of our web portal, so people can keep an eye out for that too.