We talked to Owen Newport, CEO at Felix, a flexible cloud platform that enables the most secure forms of payment to be integrated anywhere, in an instant and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Owen Newport: We are doing well, and optimistic life will return to normal in the not too distant future.
Tell us about how you founded Felix.
Owen Newport: I had flown from Australia to New York (16 hours) and watched the taxi driver try to make a payment with Square– he couldn’t get the dongle to work. Frustrated, I thought there has to be a better way, where the whole transaction is done via software delivered on the smart device. And Felix was born.
I discussed the idea with like-minded technical, operational, and marketing friends of mine, and moving down the line, Felix is a now mobile application that transforms smartphones and tablets into payment terminals that accept customer payments from credit and debit cards and mobile wallets without additional hardware, a card-present EMV online checkout and cloud terminal.
How does Felix innovate?
Owen Newport: As a company, I believe we should always be pushing the boundaries challenging the status quo to develop new ideas and essentially better ways to do things.
Just because something has been done in a certain way in the past doesn’t mean it should continue to be done the same way in the future. Processes need to evolve, and only through challenging these existing methods or processes can we evolve and discover a better pathway.
Being a new company, we are not constrained by legacy technology and legacy thinking, which puts us in the ideal position to challenge and innovate.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business?
Owen Newport: Prior to Covid, there was some interest in what we were doing. However, due to the pandemic, the payments industry was forced to change and evolve to align with changes in consumer behavior and look towards a “digital-first” approach to payments.
With the rapid increase in digital payment methods globally, interest in our in Tap to Phone (Soft POS) and eCommerce payments products has skyrocketed. So much so that we have had to be carefully selective on which leads to give our attention to. This is a good problem to have.
The payments industry had to evolve, and we are perfectly placed to help many organizations within the payments industry facilitate this change.
I believe your business moved its operations from Melbourne, Australia, to Vancouver, Canada during the pandemic? Tell us about some of the difficulties you faced in doing this?
Owen Newport: We have a very tight-knit group of founders, and the most difficult part of this was telling friends I’d worked with on and off for many years that they had to pack up their lives, leave their friends and families and fly halfway across the world.
Other than that, there was also quite a lot of hoops to jump through during the heart of the pandemic to enable our team to move between countries and the challenge of finding legal expertise to ensure this ran smoothly. Thankfully we now have a team here in Vancouver, and we are all working in the same time zone.
Your final thoughts?
Owen Newport: Felix is a creative company that lives by the philosophy of inclusiveness and believes everyone has good ideas, and it’s up to our leaders to enable and facilitate growth for every member of our team.
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