In the fast-paced world of fintech, there are leaders who not only make a positive impact but also leave an indelible mark in trulydisrupting the space. Marilyn Schaffer, the CEO of XTM Inc., is undeniably one of these remarkable leaders. Her journey from the world of public relations todigital advertising and fintech has made her a standout CEO across multiple brands, including Today Payments (www.paidtoday.io),XTM (www.xtminc.com) , and the acquiredQRails Inc. (https://qrails.com/). Let’s dive into Marilyn's career path and look at the latest innovations that CEO MarilynSchaffer has been able to bring to market.
Journey of A VisionaryEntrepreneur
Marilyn Schaffer's entrepreneurial journey began in the late1990s, marked by her founding of NEO Communications. Her brilliance in the realm of public relations quickly garnered recognition, and NEO Communications was eventually acquired by the industry giant Omnicom (NYSE: OMC). This pivotal acquisition paved the way for Marilyn to assume the role of Vice President of the Global Technology Practice. In this capacity, she and her team achieved remarkable milestones, securing business with notable brands such as BellCanada, Bell Mobility, Rogers, Tangerine, Canada Post, and AT&T.
Marilyn's relentless pursuit of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit led her to launch XTM Inc. in 2006. XTM initially began as a full-service digital advertising and marketing agency, rapidly gaining recognition and awards for its outstanding work. One standout project involved representing the First Nations and Mississaugas of the New Credit at the PanAmGames in 2015. Notably, this multi-million-dollar account was completed within an astonishing four-month timeframe, showcasing Marilyn's visionary leadership.
In March 2018, XTM Inc. made a strategic move by acquiring the assets of Zoompass, a significant step that positioned the company squarely within the fintech payment space. Following this acquisition, XTM went public, trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE: PAID), and embarked on a journey to become a fintech innovator, particularly in the neo-banking sector.XTM's core mission revolves around providing technology solutions to businesses, automating worker payouts, eliminating cash transactions, andcreating an integrated payment ecosystem. This ecosystem includes a free mobile app and Visa or Mastercard debit cards, complete with free banking features. Marilyn proudly states, "XTM became public (CSE: PAID) and has evolved as a Miamiand Toronto-based fintech innovator in the cloud-banking space, further helping businesses inspire their workforce in the hospitality, personal care, andservices staffing industries." (Learn more here & watch the interview)
Building a World-ClassTeam
Marilyn Schaffer considers one of her greatestaccomplishments as a business owner to be the creation of a world-class team of fearless innovators. Over the past two years, this team has been instrumentalin helping the hospitality industry bounce back from pandemic shutdowns byembracing digital transformation through on-demand payment efficiencies.
"Our success is driven by our collaborative team,"Marilyn affirms. The start-up mentality of the team at XTM allows for rapid innovation and the ability to pivot proactively to overcome market challenges.With a dynamic team of engineers, marketing and sales thought leaders, and technology product experts, Marilyn and her team are passionate about helpingbusinesses inspire their workers and develop strategies to foster motivation.
Challenges on the Road to Success
Undoubtedly, the path to success is often accompanied bychallenges. Marilyn Schaffer discusses one significant challenge faced by XTMInc. as a publicly traded micro-cap company. She compares it to a teenager being critiqued at every step. The decision to go public early in XTM's journeys driven by a group of interested investors who wanted liquidity options.Marilyn elaborates, "We acquiesced and were able to quickly go to a marketwith a solution we thought the industry needed fast. We were right." (Read more here.)
In just a year, XTM signed foundational clients that allowed the company to dominate the market within about 18 months. This rapid growth and transition to a publicly traded company came with heightened scrutiny from share holders, regulators, and institutional investors. Yet, XTM's ability toadapt and innovate has been pivotal in overcoming these challenges.
About XTM, QRails, and Today
XTM Inc. is a fintech innovator with operations inMiami and Toronto. The company specializes in cloud-banking and is dedicated toinspiring the workforce in the hospitality, personal care, and servicesstaffing industries. (Learn more at www.xtminc.com)
QRails, a fully owned subsidiary of XTM, operates asa cloud-based issuer-processor. QRails empowers payroll providers, financialinstitutions, and global fintech companies to modernize their operations andoffer innovative digital payment solutions to employees. The flagship solution,AnyDay™, is the first to own a full tech stack that powers earned wage access.(Learn more at www.qrails.com )
In an exciting development, XTM Inc. successfully completedits acquisition of QRails, Inc. This strategic move positions XTM as the firstvertically integrated provider of fully certified Earned Wage Access (EWA)solutions, white-labeled by leading Human Capital Management and Payrollorganizations. QRails' expertise in EWA empowers Fortune 100 companies andtheir employees with innovative payment solutions.
Today, (www.paidtoday.io)another member of the XTM family, was initially designed to provide instant access to staff's gratuities. Over time, it expanded its scope to offer instant access to various earnings and wages, including incentives, mileage, expenses, and more. Money is directly deposited into users' mobile wallets, and they can spend their funds immediately using the provided card. Today has been instrumental in the hospitality industry's recovery, offering its platform for free to support restaurants and operators during the pandemic. As the industry rebounds, Today is transitioning to a subscription-based model to further support service businesses facing unique challenges in 2023. Today is recognized as a leader in on-demand pay and continually innovates to support businesses in motivating their workers. Some of its prominent clients includeEarls, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Cactus Club, Marriott Hotels, andLive Nation.
Top Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Marilyn Schaffer shares her top tips for anyone looking tostart, run, and grow a business today:
Embrace Agility: Be prepared both mentally andfiscally for agility and the ability to pivot. When you launch a product orservice, seek feedback from the market and be willing to adjust accordingly.
Build a Strong Team: Your team is your greatestasset. In the start-up world, it's essential to build a team that shares yourvision and is passionate about achieving long-term growth. As the owner, yourrole includes cheerleading for your team and providing clear direction.
Listen to Your Customers: Constantly engage with yourcustomers. Some of the most vocal customers can become your biggest advocates, helping to elevate your start-up to the next level. Access to continuous feedback ensures that you consistently improve your value proposition. (Learn more here)
Marilyn Schaffer's journey from NEO Communications to XTMInc. is a testament to her visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to innovation. Her dedication to building world-class teams and her ability to overcome challenges have positioned her as a CEO of influence across multiple brands. Marilyn Schaffer, along with her companies XTM, QRails, and Today, is shaping the future of fintech and inspiring industries to adapt to the changingl and scape of payment solutions. The days of payday loans as a life-emergency option are fading, and a future where millions can access their earnings instantly is on the horizon, thanks to the visionary leadership of MarilynSchaffer.