Meet Jane McEvoy, VP of Platform Partnerships at BVNK
In this edition of Life at BVNK, Jane talks about building a bank from scratch, why fintechs want stablecoin wallets and hiking to Mount Everest.
Tell us what you do.
As VP of Platform Partnerships, my team and I collaborate with fintech and financial institutions to help them integrate distributed ledger technology and digital assets into their services.
We’re also bringing to market BVNK’s new Embedded Payments product, which allows businesses to use BVNK’s infrastructure to easily provide stablecoin and cryptocurrency services to customers, in their own brand.
A typical day for me always includes a partner or customer call. I try to join as many calls as I can – it’s so valuable to get direct feedback about our services and to hear firsthand the challenges that fintechs are facing in this space.
I also work closely with our product team, for example to pass on the feedback we get from the market so they can develop our products in the right way. At the moment I’m also thinking about how we can expand our team globally and we’re hiring for a new team member in Singapore.
Why did you decide to join BVNK?
I’ve seen lots of innovation in fintech in the last decade, but I’ve also seen the challenges created by legacy financial infrastructure – like slow settlement and opaque payment processes. Fintechs have found ways of getting around some of these issues, but legacy infrastructure is making it harder for them to innovate.
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain rails have a lot to offer fintechs, and so I was keen to be working for a business leading in that space. I believe that we’ll see more and more businesses using DLT alongside bank payment networks, as part of a multi-rail strategy.
Can you share a few career highlights?
I started my career as an analyst at AIB in Ireland, where I met a lady called Anne Boden, who went on to found Starling Bank. She wanted to do things differently and that really resonated with me, so I jumped at the chance to join her. Being part of the early team there at Starling Bank and building a bank from scratch was an incredible experience. I launched the bank’s B2B offering, enabling clients, including government departments and fintechs like N26, to access the UK Faster Payments scheme via API.
Another highlight was working at Wise, where I was head of Banks for the UK and Ireland and built partnerships with fintechs like Thought Machine and Yapeal.
Most recently I led fintech partnerships for cryptocurrency tax firm Koinly, where I took them from zero to 40 global partnerships in a few months, including collaborating with Revolut, Opera web browser and Trust wallet.
What are you most excited about at BVNK?
In the last two years, banks and neobank have recognised the importance of multi-currency accounts in retaining and growing their customer base. Stablecoin-enabled wallets are the next generation of multi-currency accounts and we’re already seeing enterprise businesses testing out this functionality.
BVNK’s Embedded Payments product is really exciting because it means businesses can get the benefits of this technology and functionality without the upfront investment or risks. They can innovate quickly, while relying on BVNK to manage the ongoing burden of compliance, maintenance and upgrades.
Where can we find you when you’re not at work?
Hiking. Just before joining BVNK I climbed Everest Base Camp. No one believes me when I say little thought went into my decision to do it, but it's true! What I enjoyed most about the experience was the simplicity – the main task every day was to get to the next camp site. There was no outside distraction, except putting one foot in front of another. I also strangely liked the discipline, for example I could only listen to one song per day as I had save battery on my phone.
Any books or podcasts you’d recommend?
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Hurari. Hurari pieces together unexpected ideas into thought provoking observations that you would never think of, and to be honest, sometimes slightly frightening! But definitely mind expanding.