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MOBILEMONEY: We Enter a Self-Service Cashless Society

Larry Dunnwald | WealthTech Club

MOBILEMONEY is one of the largest privately held ATM companies in the US, with 20+ years of historical success and integrity. They design, install, and support ATMs with financial service kiosks for convenience store chains, hospitality organizations, gaming properties, special events, and financial institutions. MOBILEMONEY was built on the principles of “Client First” and providing exceptional “Customer Service”. Cash, payments, and reliable transport are the fundamental needs of any business. For over 20 years, they have provided reliable cash access and payment solutions to businesses throughout the United States.

Larry Dunnwald, President & CEO of MOBILEMONEY, revealed some details about how the company was founded, what is its secret sauce and what trends one should keep in mind while planning to disrupt the payment processing market.

What was the history of MOBILEMONEY’s creation? Why did the company decide to focus on processing?

Larry Dunnwald: MOBILEMONEY was founded in 1996 to provide mobile ATMs to fairs, festivals and special events. We started with one ATM and grew to be the largest provider of temporary ATMs in the country.  

In 1999, we founded MOBILETRANSIT, to provide armored car services to our growing fleet, allowing us to control the entire life-cycle of our managed financial services. 

During the slower winter months, we converted the ATMs to full-service placements primarily in retail convenience stores. In 2003, we obtained an agreement to service the entire Casey’s General Store chain throughout 16 Midwest States.

In 2008, we founded CASINOMONEY, to provide cash access services to casinos and cardrooms providing ticket redemption, ATMs, credit card cash advance and check cashing.  

In 2013, we founded EVENTMONEY, to provide RFID cashless services to special events throughout the country.  

Today, we are working on a number of initiatives including gateway ATM processing, merchant POS processing, cashless RFID applications, prepaid debit kiosks, ticket redemption kiosks, and bitcoin kiosks. We provide a full-suite of processing, software, and hardware which enables hardware and software as a service.  This new revenue model eliminates the upfront capital expenditure for our clients.

How has your company evolved and what are the biggest achievements that you’ve already accomplished?

Larry Dunnwald: We have evolved from an ATM company to a fintech company offering hardware and software as a service. We continue to refine our fintech managed services, especially as technology is rapidly changing and consumer preference is moving toward a cashless society. Our biggest achievements are yet to come.

The advantage we have over our competitors is our experience and understanding of the markets we serve. We have a software development team building a robust software platform integrated with our specialized hardware to provide a suite of financial services within a single kiosk or point-of sale terminal. Our middleware allows us to process transactions with multiple ATM and merchant processors, and aggregate the data to a single, cohesive online, portal that provide rich data and comprehensive reporting.  Our pay as you go software and hardware as a service provides our clients with hardware and software for a monthly fee, rather than a large one-time investment. At the end of their term, they can order new equipment without with latest and greatest technology enhancements.

We are expanding our partnerships in many ways. Due to the consolidation of the payments industry, we have chosen key partnerships to advance our long-term objectives. These partners include First Data, Fiserv, Telecheck, Certegy, Vantiv, Cole Keypro, GenMega, and many more.

What is your team? Who are the key personas for your product and how do they affect the business?

Larry Dunnwald: Our team are ATM veterans who understand special event and retail industries. Due to Covid and a decline in revenue, our company has downsized to a much smaller team. Over the past 7 years, we have been morphing into a hardware and software company to provide a SAAS model to operators who manage ATM, POS, and slot machine routes. We are currently expanding our software development team and sales team to support the operators we serve.

Our engineering team is broken into 5 core roles. 

Hardware design team handles all hardware architecture including 3D CAD design.

  • 3D CAD and 3D Printing
  • Embedded Linux or Arduino based boards.

Hardware engineering handles the software integration of hardware components.

  • Most often we prefer to implement our own drivers directly to the hardware. These are written in C++ or Python.
  • All hardware gets abstracted into a async messaging system.
  • This is done on Android, IOS, Linux, and Windows.

UI/UX developers build our applications.

  • They use HTML5, Javascript, and Scss inside a automated build system that uses backbone.js, mustache.js, and sass.
  • The apps are run on the native machines in electron (chrome based).

Backend engineers build and maintain our cloud solutions. This includes our various libraries like processor integration.

  • REST driven APIs and Asynch Messaging built on Python/Django.
  • Uses Amazon EC2, Aurora DB Cluster, and Redis Cluster.

QA engineers build and run test processes and scripts. They also working with our Operations team to verify incoming issues and improve the quality of our products.

  • Manual test scripts are built using monday.com
  • Bug/Feature tracking uses monday.com
  • Automated testing and continuous integration runs from our self hosted gitlabs environment.
  • Deployments automatically happen from “merge requests” that are then auto “released” to the correct systems.

Our process is referred to as Continuous delivery. Our team works in short “weekly” cycles to produce new features that then go through a release process. This approach helps us easily pivot our team to new priorities as they come in and at the same time ensures the impact of the release is minimal. 

Do you exchange knowledge and experiences within your team?

Larry Dunnwald: Our team meets every Monday to discuss in detail the weeks goals and we go into detail of the problem and the proposed solution. The team also meets once a month to discuss new technology or other relevant information that maybe useful. Most often this is centered around cyber security.

The need for a solid understanding of finance is limited to a few core members of the team. This impacts the UI/UX design and the backend financial libraries. The rest of the team can perform their tasks by solving micro problems in their core areas.

We continue to recruit new talent and engineers to expand our depth and knowledge of payments. It is extremely difficult to find talent with experience in payments that work within our framework.  Many of the payment processors today deal in legacy old-school methodologies, so finding talented experienced engineers in payments has been somewhat difficult.  

In what way do insights you gain from your clients help you enhance the service? What features did you implement after clients’ requests, if any?

Larry Dunnwald: Customization, loyalty and payment integrations are the most common requests. Our goal is to provide hardware and software that is integrated with KYC (know your customer) to understand their spending habits that deliver better products and services to them. We utilize an ID scanner to enroll new customers and create a new account or wallet. We recall a customer by payment card, email or cell phone. We identify our customers when they return. We bundle all this valuable data into an online portal to provide are partners with valuable insight about their business and their customers.

What are the challenges your company faces the most?

Larry Dunnwald: Our primary challenge is sorting through the opportunities to focus on products and services that will have the greatest impact on the future of the company. It is too easy to get distracted with new potential opportunities to lose focus on the current projects that are nearing completion. Many of our fintech solutions overlap in scope and service, so we will engage in a project that is low-hanging fruit or has a significant portion of the technology already built within our current platform.

Are there any trends you can see in Fintech?

Larry Dunnwald: The biggest trend we see is the movement toward a self-service cashless society. We believe that self-service financial applications is the new path of payments in the future, which integrate kiosks, payments, apps, loyalty and KYC. Our fintech platform provides a combination of these elements that provides convenience to customers and an easy monthly payment for the business owner or independent operator.

 

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About INSART

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