Editor's Note: In our “3 Questions” column, we chat with a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech.

Name: Rod Ebrahimi
Title: Founder and CEO
Company: Upturn
Web Address:  https://upturncredit.com/

How did you personally become involved in fintech?

In the summer of 2010, I was given the opportunity to co-found my first fintech company as part of the Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator. That first fintech venture went on to help Americans pay down almost $400 million in personal debts. We did this by combining transactional and credit data as well as payment services together to pay down debt faster. We live in interesting times; there are still many opportunities at the intersection of financial services and technology worth getting excited about. Fintech is just getting started.

What does your firm do/offer within the fintech sector?

Upturn aims to become the easiest way to review your credit report and improve your credit health online, on your own. We do this in part by partnering with credit bureaus to surface actionable ways to improve and deliver relevant educational guidance. Upturn was incubated by and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBVA Group.

What area/s of fintech do you believe will grow the most in the coming five years?

There are three fintech themes that will be worth watching over the next five years:

  1. Personalized financial products and services. Competing on interest rates and basic commodity banking services alone is tough; I think we will start to see more products that support specific individual financial situations for businesses and consumers
  2. More informed, discerning customers. One of the many side effects of fintech products and services is that users are starting to get visibility into how the financial system works, customers today for example better understand their credit and the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards; this also means it will be tough to compete for attention when acquiring new customers
  3. New customer acquisition strategies. Historically financial services has relied on direct mail and other traditional marketing channels to drive growth, we’re already seeing some shift to social platforms and this trend combined with unique digital referral programs will drive future fintech customer acquisition strategies

Rod Ebrahimi is a successful entrepreneur and a proven leader in fintech. BBVA-backed Upturn was founded in 2017 by Ebrahimi, former co-founder and CEO of personal debt and credit management software company ReadyForZero.