Pay Theory, a Cincinnati-based family tech company that provides payment solutions for school districts, childcare, and families, is proud to announce that Brad Hoeweler, its CEO, has been tapped as an advisor to Fintech Frontier, an innovation partnership of Cincinnati-based financial services corporations and fintech entrepreneurs. Led by Cintrifuse, a Cincinnati-area startup hub and incubator, Fintech Frontier aims to make the Queen City a nexus for next-gen financial technology startups and firms.
In addition, Pay Theory is excited to bring on board local business leader Ed Rigaud as an advisor. The first Black line vice president in the history of Procter & Gamble, Rigaud is known as a trailblazer in and a pillar of Cincinnati business.
“We are grateful and excited to bring Ed onboard to the Pay Theory team,” says Hoeweler. “Given his vast experience in business and devotion to the Cincinnati community, he will be an indispensable voice in guiding Pay Theory.”
Beyond his new role with Pay Theory, Rigaud was the first executive director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and has served on the boards of such foremost organizations as the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Xavier University, the Cincinnati Zoo, the Ohio Board of Regents, and Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati.
“Pay Theory is an important step in closing the gap for the unbankable and underbanked population, who are doing their best to succeed in this time of economic and family health stress,” says Rigaud. “This is the type of innovation that our country needs to put all of our families on a firm footing. I am proud to be a part of this important bridge to economic empowerment for all of our families.”
These partnerships between Pay Theory and the Cincinnati business community will help the family tech startup further its goal of leveraging financial technology to help schools and families reach their goals — a mission that dovetails well with that of Fintech Frontier. As part of the industry organization’s efforts to advance Cincinnati as a financial technology hub, Fintech Frontier hosts an annual pitch competition for local startups, with a total of $60,000 awarded to three rising firms.
One of the themes of the 2020 competition was “Closing the Gap: Enabling financial security for consumers at every life stage and from every walk of life by expanding access and/or affordability of financial tools.” Given Pay Theory’s product and platform, this messaging goes hand-in-hand with Fintech Frontier’s efforts to leverage fintech to benefit the greater good. Given Brad’s role as a fintech entrepreneur, he will shape and inform the group’s efforts to foster fintech as an innovator in the area of social responsibility and economic inclusion.
Some one-third of families with students in K-12 public education are under- or unbanked, making school-related payments difficult and at times uncomfortable for children. Students are left having to bring cash to school, which sparks concerns about bullying and theft. As for schools and school systems, keeping track of cash payments can be burdensome. Yet upgrades to school districts’ incumbent administrative payment software might isolate underbanked families even more, as they are unable to use credit cards and other digital payments online. Amid COVID-19 and virtual learning, this situation has only been exacerbated, as students are left unable to pay school-related expenses in person.
Pay Theory gives underbanked families an option to access digital systems for schools using cash. At one of nearly 45,000 retailers across the US, including leading chains such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens, a parent can receive a barcode to pay for school expenses to be scanned by the cashier upon receipt of the cash payment. The Pay Theory system keeps a digital record of the transaction, meaning an immediate reconciliation for the school, and eliminating the need to send a student to school with cash. Some 90 percent of homes in the US are located within a mile of participating retailers. The platform comes free to schools, vendors, and families, unlike other platforms that charge for use.
“Pay Theory and Fintech Frontier have a shared vision for the fintech sector and Cincinnati’s role as a hub for innovation in payment platforms,” says Hoeweler. “Cincinnati has an amazing group of large fintech companies and a growing group of startups looking to make their mark in the space. We look forward to being a part of this great story of growth and collaboration.”
Interested in partnering with Pay Theory? Visit https://www.paytheory.com/home/orgs/ to learn more.
About Pay Theory
Pay Theory is a family tech company that breaks down barriers between vital service providers and the families they serve through a platform of simple, responsive and impactful financial solutions. For schools and other family service providers, we build tools to help them save time by integrating with their systems and processes. For parents, we offer cash access, ease of use, and simple ways to see and manage balances. We envision a world where cashless schools and underbanked families coexist, saving everyone time. To help build our vision, our team has a background in edtech and payments. Our goal is to make the difficult conversations around school fees simple and painless. Learn more at PayTheory.com.