Based on a recommendation from our very own Evan Uchtman, I recently watched the documentary, 14 Peaks, on Netflix.  As I watched it, I could not help but feel that, in a way, it represented what Neural Payments has accomplished this year.  In 14 Peaks, Nirmal Purja, better known as Nims, set out to climb the highest peaks in the world in the shortest time ever – so short everyone said it was impossible!  The previous record for climbing each of the 14 peaks that are more than 8,000 meters in height was over 7 years, but Nims did it in less than 7 months!

While Nim’s accomplishments are an extraordinary physical and mental feat, we have overcome, what feels like, enormous peaks ourselves.  We started out 2021 by being live on one debit network, no partnerships, and zero certifications.  At the time, we didn’t know that we would need to climb some of the highest peaks for Fintech startups in such a short timeframe. Something that I’m convinced could only be done with our amazing, small, 9-person team.  We are now ending the year certified on a different debit network with connectivity to all other networks.  Peak.  We have implemented push-to-card support and 3rd party Fintech connectivity.  Peak.  We obtained our SOC and PCI certifications.  Peak.  All while still getting launched with our first mobile partner.  Peak!

It would also be easy for me to share about other peaks like uncovering a major bug in a third-party platform that we were using as the base for our admin portal and the team rewriting the entire thing internally in short order; contract negotiations with some of the largest players in payments; ongoing deals with mobile banking providers, bill payment providers, CUSOs, debit networks, etc.  Our team rallies around these various peaks that often seem insurmountable or take years to implement, yet we continue to prove that it is possible despite long odds and disparaging voices.  I could not be more proud of the team and what they have accomplished this year.

The moral of the story and the reason for this post is to reiterate that Fintech is hard, especially if you are really trying to change or impact the space.  Many of the core systems have been around so long that deviating from some of those well worn paths can be a challenge.  Building secure platforms that abide by strict SOC and PCI guidelines is a monumental task for a team of any size.  Even with the help of our great partners, having limited resources makes integrations an obstacle – but all of these things are a necessity.  I am so thankful for the partners we have, that have helped champion our solution and helped us build this engine from the ground up.  It is such a rewarding experience knowing that our platform is unique and brings a lot of power to the table.

I encourage you to pay close attention as we enter 2022 – we have great momentum to go with the amazing team and engine we have built!  We are also working on a future write-up detailing the complexities of the space and the challenges that legacy systems, often unintentionally, create.  In the meantime, check out the Cincinnati Business Courier’s spotlight on local startups and the great shout-out NP received – Startups To Watch in 2022!

Thank you and Happy Holidays to all!