About Tom

Who Am I? Blessed with many friends and an array of experiences: payments geek, reformed banking exec, solutions architect, software integration specialist (think ERP/CRM), sales head, venture guy, Aerospace Engineer (just wrote the Wikipedia entry on Guidance Systems)….

Why do I do this? We have GOT TO stop falling on the same swords over and over again! Collective learning in payments needs improvement, quite surprising for the world’s second oldest profession. But perhaps lessons aren’t shared in the first either.

I’m just tired of seeing my friends lose money in mobile, payments and advertising. Particularly when  there was a lesson learned (or insight) I had that could benefit others. There are so few formal opportunities for “payment” education… think of this blog as a highly opinionated, somewhat informed, highly biased view of the world.   It’s also a great way to stay in touch w/ all my alumni friends, colleagues,  customers and former employees all around the world. This blog is written to people that know me.. the voice is casual with much attempted humor.  Turns out I have made many new friends because of this.. which makes me want to keep on writing. When it comes to structured thought, I may have been at the end of the line when gifts were being given. Very few friends have accused me of being a linear thinker.  Writing helps bring things together, compile and garbage collect in the old grey virtual machine (65 model).

What it my perspective?

We are all biased by our life experiences. I find it valuable to share thoughts with folks of different backgrounds. The dialog helps me question my assumptions, cut through the fog and “buzz” in the valley, and assess trends/models/companies….  Hard to believe that close 3,000-4,000 people a week read this thing. My perspective is shaped by running 2 of the world’s largest online banks, running a global SWAT and solutions architecture teams for Oracle, running/ investing in Start ups,  working with a few MCX retailers, Top Card Issuers, Regulators, Payment Networks, Mobile Operators and Advertisers/mobile platforms. In short, I know very little about a number of different industries… with deep knowledge of only a very few things. My main asset? I know who to ask when I have questions…

My Starpoint team is comprised of former CEOs and executives in payments, platform, banking, software, mobile, advertising, venture capital,  retail and sales.  Starpoint’s advisory services are focused in 4 areas:

  • Connecting Innovation to Strategic Capital
  • Strategic Advisory
  • Sales Referral
  • Platform Strategy

In short, we put our money where we can put our time (a great way to mitigate risk). Prior to Starpoint, I had a stint as Global Remote Channels Head for Citigroup’s Global Consumer Group (GCG)reporting to Ajay Banga. My focus was driving GCG’s international revenue growth through remote channels (Direct Banking, mobile, phone, …). GCG’s team of 97,000 across 47 countries continues to be the gem of Citi’s portfolio, attracting the best talent in every market. My teams’ launched (or acquired) direct banks in UK, Australia, Singapore, HK, Columbia, Portugal and Spain. My former colleagues have moved on to become executive leaders at other organizations. This strong network provides a unique “global” ability to connect companies with knowledgeable local resources.

Prior to Citigroup, I also led Wachovia’s online and payment services. My team was responsible for making Wachovia the #1 Online Retail Bank in the U.S (2005), managing over $30 Billion per year in payments. (2005 Keynote2005 ComScore2005 ACSI, 2006 ACSI). Wachovia’s  customer focus, and customer listening processes, provided a template for  how businesses can harness consumers to drive business success. Satisfied customers require a lower cost to serve, have higher balances, own more products and serve as a tremendous source of information for development of  new products.

I’m fortunate to have a few friends in Silicon Valley due to previous roles at Oracle and start-up 41st Parameter.  5 years at Oracle I learned not to confuse sales with delivery. After all Larry Ellison’s first customer was the CIA.. he won a relational database contract without having any software.  Its much easier to smile when your on the sales end of the transaction..

Make no mistake however.. I’m not just a pretty sales guy. I COULD still can write code in Ada, C, C+, Smalltalk, Java, … design enterprise integration hubs, real time transaction systems, payment networks, online banks, and wire heterogeneous systems together through multiple protocols.  My teams at Oracle were the premier hands on solutions architects, all around the globe. We cleaned up the “beta product” mess as we rolled out solutions to early adopter customers (Application Server, Fusion, RAC, CRM, B2B Exchanges, ERP, Bill Pay, Supply Chain Planning).  This more than ANYTHING was what helped form my view of change in technology. The breadth of Oracle’s portfolio (technology, applications, hosting),  and corresponding geographic footprint, provided tremendous base for my current activities connecting ISVs to Fortune 100 companies. At 41st Parameter, I owned the top line at a KBCP start up as my team led sales and marketing to grow revenue 16x in just 18 months to $13M run rate. 41st Parameter’s software is now used by the top US/EMEA banks both individually and in a new networked service to share intelligence.

I still touch space stuff acting as an analyst for CNN, Fox and ABC covering NASA and space policy. A long time ago I was fairly smart.. emphasis on fairly.. I was responsible for the space shuttle’s guidance & navigation during my 8yr stint at NASA. Given its hard to test software changes on the actual vehicle we had to build simulations.. some were man in the loop and thus training astronauts to fly the software. All great fun…. Lived right across from Neil and Ed White in El Lago Texas. http://www.tomnoyes.com/shuttle.

More about Tom on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/tcnoyes

7 thoughts on “About Tom

  1. I found both your blogsites very informative and insightful. I was just wondering if it would not be worth your while to get a good briefing of Fundamo, the company, the profile and the strategy? For instance, it is not well-known, but did you know that more than 25% of vendor mobile money deploymentsin emerging markets run Fundamo platforms (compared to less then 10% for their closest competitor)?

  2. Hi Tom, thanks for this incredibly insightful and informative blog. Was wondering if you might have recommendations for people whose work/blogs you like to read in the space?

  3. Subject Line: Ashe Pay is an online payment network that has no per transaction fees and no chargebacks.

    Hi Tom

    My name is Mark. That 17-word email subject line above concisely describes our Yale-based startup, Ashe Pay. We successfully invented a payment network that has no chargeback, no per swipe/per transaction fees, and is vastly faster and more secure. We launched http://www.ashepay.com last month with $0 in marketing budget and immediately gained 1000 users in the first two week via words of mouth and forum posts. Interestingly, many of our early subscribers are crypto-currency sellers because said no chargeback policy of Ashe prevent chargeback fraud for coin sellers. To be sure, online sellers at Etsy or Ebay are still the main driver of our growth

    We would love to share our story with your blog and ask your advices about our system Please let us know. Sincerely,

    Mark Pham, Co-Founder.

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