Viola FinTech Adds Former Payoneer CEO Scott Galit as Advisor, Release Contextual Finance Report

Viola FinTech, an operator-led global Fintech venture fund, announced this past week that Scott Galit has joined its advisory board. Galit is the former CEO of Payoneer, an international payments platform that partners with freelancers, SMBs, marketplaces, and enterprises, especially in emerging markets.

Previously, Galit served as global head of prepaid for MasterCard and developed MasterCard’s global prepaid strategy.

“The opportunity to transform the financial industry through technology is bigger than ever. I’m excited to partner with the Viola FinTech team to harness our decades of operational expertise to empower talented entrepreneurs to build large companies that reshape financial services,” Galit said.

“We are honored to welcome such an esteemed leader to our advisory board,” Viola FinTech partner Noam Inbar said. “Scott will play a crucial role in supporting our mission by advising us while investing as well as by providing invaluable support to our portfolio companies as they scale their businesses.”

Viola FinTech is a cross-stage global fintech-focused VC fund led by experienced operators with decades of combined experience in fintech and financial services. The fund brings together financial institutions and startups to accelerate the modernization and digitization of financial services and support the growth of fintech companies. Viola FinTech’s portfolio includes Cowbell, Easyknock, Grover, Inshur, Insurify and ZayZoon.

This spring, Viola FinTech released It Depends on the Context: From Embedded to Contextual Finance. It describes why companies must think beyond embedded finance and instead consider contextual finance if they hope to be competitive in a market expected to reach $588 billion within a decade.

Inbar said true personalization is more achievable thanks to Generative AI and model commoditization. The challenge becomes affordable distribution.

Many people seek to embed one product within another, but this is unnecessarily limiting. Inbar stressed keeping the customer’s needs at the forefront. Too many create a solution in search of a problem.

“When venture capitalists talk about embedded finance, (it’s) about this person getting very low distribution,” Inbar said. ”If you look at the value chain, it’s never about the customer.”

Inbar said data can be leveraged to understand context. That makes for a relevant UX, and that is a clear differentiator.

Begin by understanding intent. Detail the entire customer journey and look for points where you can add value. Because financial products are often a secondary concern to, say, buying a car, consider how to bundle insurance within the car-buying process.

“When you choose to leverage your distribution power, you need to be thoughtful about the interactions you offer your customers within that,” Inbar said. “We can do this; we can choose the experiences we tailor. It’s about how we adopt the perspective of looking at the customer’s intent and the journey.”

“Scale is often addressed from a technology perspective. I think technology’s great; it is constantly maturing and enabling many things that weren’t possible in the past. Still, it doesn’t exempt anyone using the technology from needing to be more thoughtful about leveraging it.”

One interesting contextual finance use case is earned wage access (EWA), which Inbar believes can be part of a more extensive employee wellness offering. That impacts relationship building, intent and employee performance.

Viola FinTech recently invested in ZayZoon, an EWA and financial wellness platform. Inbar said ZayZoon serves as the connective tissue between employers and employees by leveraging data to help the employer better serve and educate the employee as a consumer. Used by companies like Mazda, Doubletree and McDonald’s, ZayZoon offers perks at stores and restaurants.

Boring old insurance has potential. Viola FinTech works with Inshur, which offers driver insurance embedded inside Uber’s app. Parafin supports food delivery app activity and payouts.

The CFO stack, banking and wealth management are other areas.

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