Listen Money Matters Podcast Interview

By: Matt Rothstein on 21 November 2014

Hosts Matt and Andrew of the Listen Money Matters podcast were kind enough to feature Final three weeks ago and discuss the future of credit and payments with CEO Matt Rothstein.

LMM: You’re company is called Final. I checked out the video on the home page and it’s a credit card, that’s what it is? Are you guys a credit company?

MR: Yes and no. We are a credit card company, so when you get a Final card you are getting a new credit card, which is holistically a new line of credit and all of the product aspects associated with what Final is. You’re also getting a consumer ally in payments and a different relationship than you’ve probably ever had with a credit card company.

LMM: So explain a little bit about what you get…is this something you can sign up for now, or is still in beta?

MR: We are a little ways away from a card in market. We will be letting people in on a rolling beta basis. We have a waitlist right now. We launched publicly with our website and video introducing the world to our concept about three weeks ago, and we’ve got thirty thousand people on the waitlist so far. So if you want to be one of the first, jump onboard.

With Final, you’re getting a new line of credit. You’re interacting with Final with a physical card and number of digital touch points: a web application, browser extension, mobile application, and some other apps under development.

The core concept is credit cards typically have this one static number, and that provides this inherent limitation. With Final, you’re not limited to one number. You can give a different number to every merchant you transact with and levy controls on each one of those numbers individually.

LMM: So that begs the question, as far as online payments are concerned. How do you give a number to say, Amazon?

MR: Through any one of the three access points that I mentioned: your mobile application, browser extension, or your web application. You can generate a card number specifically for that merchant and we will fill the form in for you. We make it as easy possible for you to generate a number and establish a new relationship that you have more control over.

LMM: Is it still using the magnetic reader on that back when you have the physical card?

MR: Yeah, it’s chip-and-PIN. There’s a transition to the technology that’s been around Europe for the last 10-15 years, and we work in both modalities – the typical swipe experience but also the chip-and-PIN you’ll start to see in the next twelve months.

LMM: Is it fair to say you are a physical version of Apple Pay?

MR: We are in a lot of ways some of what Apple Pay does and a lot of what they don’t do. We provide that same security for any in-person experience and for any online experience. Apple Pay is a fantastic in-person product and it’s a perfect vector for what Final is, which is a way to levy controls over every merchant relationship you establish. You could look at us as being a credit card that has the features of Apple Pay, but everywhere.

LMM: So I saw your video and it’s awesome. And I understand what you mean when you say, “levy controls”. But I’m pretty sure no one listening knows about you yet. So could you elaborate on that?

MR: Sure. So when I sign up for Netflix, and Amazon, and my health insurance company and my gym, with Final I give a different number to each one of those merchants and I can put a dollar amount per month restriction on my Netflix subscription.

Final also locks that number to the merchant so that, let’s say a merchant breach happens, someone gets ahold of that number, they can’t use it anywhere else because any transaction from another merchant are automatically declined.

The user is able to set a dollar amount or an expiration date that distinct from their account and distinct from any other relationship. They can also cancel that number at any time.

LMM: So if sign up with my gym and they tell me I can only cancel after ten months, I can just say, “screw you” and just disable it.

MR: I can’t advocate breaking contracts, but yes. 100%.

Listen to the podcast for the rest of the interview and to hear more about Final’s plans to give back control to the consumer.