One of the best parts of starting a business is all the incredible, interesting and talented people you come across on your journey. Shortly after we raised our first round of funding in May of 2022 we were introduced to a fellow named Adrian Rosario. Adrian, was an early team member at Payrix who ended up climbing the ranks to become their first Product Leader responsible over some of their most innovative and strategic products. Fast forward to July 2022 and he was spearheading the embedded payments product and strategy for KeyBank. We were evaluating different Payfac back-bone providers at the time, and were recommended by a mutual friend to talk to Adrian about Key Bank’s Payfac program.
When Will and I hopped on Zoom with Adrian, we hit it off immediately. Not only was Adrian a true payments expert with deep technical chops, he was extremely personable and likable. He also was originally from Miami like Will, and Cuban-American like me. After Will and Adrian traded some Payments war stories from their pasts, Adrian shared a bit about what he was building at the Bank, and we took the opportunity to demo for him the Payabli platform. If I could sum up that first meeting in one sentence it would be “real recognize real”. I remember texting Will about half way through our demo saying “We need an ‘Adrian’ on our Team”. Funny enough later that day we got a text from our mutual friend about how impressed Adrian was with the Payabli platform.
Over the last year and a half since that fateful day, we’ve been building a great friendship with Adrian. From hanging out at Money2020 to impromptu Ramen dinners when we visit Atlanta, we always enjoy breaking bread, talking payments, and getting to know each other. Adrian’s as smart and talented as he is kind and fun, which is why we’re thrilled to welcome him to the Payabli Team as a Product Architect overseeing our Payment Operations suite and broader embedded finance product strategy. Keep an eye out for Adrian, he’s a shining star in Payments and, we’re pumped to see what we build together!
Check out the below interview with Adrian to learn a bit more about him.
- Give us the spark notes on your Payments Career?
- Started in an ISO called Benchmark that was sitting above a Pizza shop in Brooklyn.
I worked in customer service for the first year shipping terminals, answering phones, setting up merchant accounts, and fixing general problems. Eventually started supporting the risk team and was taught to do underwriting and transaction monitoring for our EVO portfolio.Then I moved to work on a new Payment Facilitator project in the same company called Splash Payments. We built a reconciliation management system and added a payments gateway on top of it. We were growing fast; I had a day where I manually reviewed 300 accounts by hand (running a credit check, checked if their website existed, checked state government for a registry, etc) and told myself I never want anyone to suffer through that again. So I ultimately joined the product team and started designing and building my first system. I’m sorry for the engineers who had to help me learn how to write tickets, understand AWS and make reasonable acceptance criteria. Luckily, we are all still friends. This company eventually became Payrix which is now WorldPay for Platforms. My last couple years, I went to Key Bank where I was a founding member of the Embedded Banking team. We started a sponsorship program with Fiserv and helped them build their Exchange platform. I managed part of Key’s risk engine rebuild and supported the technical builds of the BaaS platforms.
- What do you love about the Payments Industry?
- How there are so many problems to solve and so many ways to solve them. It’s like playing with mental legos and trying to design the best castle with what you have. Everyone has different pieces at their disposal so it’s always exciting to see the end results.
- What’s your craziest Payments Story?
- Blocking a transaction on Elton John’s credit card for $50k in cakes and pastries. Then having to get a voice and paper confirmation from his assistant that he was actually buying the sweets. It was not disputed.
- What motivated you to come build at Payabli?
- Honestly, everytime I met with Will, we would just discuss things going on in the industry or ideas and he’d get this crazy little twinkle in his eyes as the gears started turning. I thought to myself that’s definitely someone I would enjoy working with.
- What are you most excited to be working on at Payabli?
- There are a lot of companies who do similar things to us but very few who can string it all together seamlessly, not even Stripe has succeeded under the hood. I am excited to try to piece together all our systems into an experience that our software partners and their clients truly love.