Navigating fintech's future with Gregor Dobbie

In an exclusive interview with Startups Magazine, Gregor Dobbie, CEO of The Fintech and Payments Advisory Network (TFPA), shares insights from his illustrious career in the payments industry in a story that highlights his passion for innovation and dedication to shaping the future of fintech.

Gregor's entry into the world of payments was somewhat fortuitous. “I fell into payments,” he recalls, enthralled by the sector's relentless innovation and the thrill of introducing new products to the market.

This zeal has propelled his career forward, taking him from pivotal roles at major corporations like Mastercard to his current position at the helm of TFPA. His shift to TFPA was spurred by a desire to fill a void in the fintech sector — the pressing need for pragmatic, actionable advice to launch exciting innovations successfully.

This enthusiasm has been the driving force behind his career, leading him from significant roles at major companies like Mastercard to his current position at TFPA. His move to TFPA was motivated by a desire to address a gap he identified in the fintech sector: the need for practical, actionable advice to bring exciting innovations to the market.

“I felt that the fintech community was being underserved in terms of effective advice being provided. Meaning, exciting innovations wouldn’t necessarily reach the market. I felt that The Fintech and Payments Advisory Network (TFPA) was well positioned to make a difference with that.”

The magic of TFPA

At TFPA, Gregor has been instrumental in crafting a distinct approach to fintech advisory.

“Our key differentiators are the fact that TFPA team have operated in senior positions within fintech/payments companies. We are not consultant lead,” he emphasises, underscoring the team's real-world experience in senior fintech and payments roles.

The blend of practical expertise and a strong enterprise sales background sets TFPA apart, offering advice that is not only theoretically sound but also executable in the modern working environment.

Speaking on his mix of energy, commercial hunger, and experience in global payment projects to his role at TFPA, Gregor comments: “I think I bring a certain level of energy and commercial aggression. I have also been involved in some of the most innovative payments project around the world. Through my experience I’ve seen what good looks like, but I’ve also seen what failure looks like. I like to think I’ve now got a clear understanding of what it takes to succeed in the market.”

Under his leadership, TFPA is embarking on a significant growth journey, focusing on expanding its global Associate network, productising services, and scaling business development. These initiatives are crucial as TFPA expands its expertise and geographic reach, delving into areas like Open Banking and Regulatory and Compliance.

Gregor also holds roles at Loyalzoo and Onebanx, both in their scaleup phases, which complement his work at TFPA. The skills required in these roles align closely with the needs of TFPA's client base, allowing for a synergy that benefits all involved.

The Age of Fundamentals

Reflecting on the fintech sector's evolution, Gregor addresses the "Age of fundamentals," a principle from Money 2020, with a sense of validation for his approach. He criticises the industry’s previous overemphasis on customer adoption and top-line growth, advocating instead for a return to prudent business management.

“One thing that has frustrated me in this industry sector for the last number of years is that the principles of good business management seem to have been forgotten about. It is talked about that customer adoption and top line growth being the most critical factors and I’m not sure I agree. I’m absolutely delighted seeing people having to go back to prudently managing their businesses. I think it will continue, I think the days of inflated evaluations and business just going back the well for more money are gone, and I think it is a good thing.”

Gregor's career change is a reflection of his deep-seated desire to influence the fintech and payments space positively.

His commitment to providing practical advice and executable strategies marks a return to fundamental business principles in an evolving fintech landscape. With his balanced perspective and seasoned experience, Gregor is guiding TFPA to play a pivotal role in shaping the sector's future.