EWise, an online and mobile payments solution provider, today announced that Alexandre Gonthier has been named Chief Executive Officer of the company.
The company also named Phillip Riese chairman of the board and appointed Eric Archambeau as director of the company. Together, these executives bring a wealth of expertise and proven success in the payments industry.
The eWise platform provides consumers an alternative way to pay their bills or buy online through PCs or mobile devices, offering simplicity, security and low cost to consumers and merchants alike. Offered through financial institutions, the eWise solution is simple for banks to deploy, for their consumers to use, and for their billers and merchants to accept. Consumers make payments on a biller or merchant website directly from their bank account, using their existing online banking credentials to authorize the payment. The consumer confirms payment and returns to the biller or merchant site for their receipt.
Merchant, and subsequently consumer costs are dramatically reduced as the consumer's secure bank authorization virtually eliminates identity theft, fraud-related costs and charge-backs, payment cancellation risks, and payment-related customer service requests. Billers and merchants get a real-time guarantee of good funds from the consumer's bank.
The eWise platform powers the Secure Vault Payments® network in the U.S. in an exclusive partnership with NACHA. Secure Vault Payments has grown dramatically since its commercial introduction in late 2010, with participating banks representing over 20 million consumers in the U.S. The eWise platform is also gaining traction in the U.K., with the recently introduced Payo® payments solution offered in partnership with Vocalink.
Alex Gonthier comes to eWise with a strong track record as founder and executive of several successful companies in the online and mobile payment sector. Gonthier was CEO of iPIN, which he co-founded in 1997 and has since become the payments division of Aepona, and was CTO of Paymo/BOKU, which he co-founded in 2007. He subsequently joined venture capital firm Wellington Partners to focus on the payments sector.
"I led the Wellington investment in eWise because I recognized that eWise offered a break-through alternative payment method: cheaper, faster, more secure and simpler than anything else I had seen; and bank friendly," said Gonthier. "eWise provides our partner banks a unique solution that offers real and necessary cost savings to merchants and billers, peace of mind to their consumers, and gives banks a rightful role in the alternative payments industry. After years in the payments industry, the opportunity to lead this innovative company and its great team was simply too much to pass over."
Phillip Riese, eWise's new chairman, brings over 30 years of financial services industry expertise to the board and corporate leadership. He spent 18 years at American Express in a variety of leadership positions, and retired in 1998 as President of the Consumer Card Services Group. Since leaving American Express, Riese has invested in a number of successful, disruptive companies in the financial services arena globally.
Eric Archambeau, newly appointed director, has extensive high-tech management experience in Silicon Valley and Europe and is widely known for his deep insights and experience in social networking, data mining and electronic marketplaces. He has served as a General Partner with Wellington Partners since early 2005, with a focus on Digital Media, Software, Cleantech and Electronics. Prior to joining Wellington, Archambeau led and co-led a number of successful investments at both Benchmark Capital and Atlas Ventures.
Alex Grinberg, eWise founder, will remain a director of the company and as EVP and General Manager, Global Account Aggregation and Personal Financial Management, will be responsible for driving the company's growth in that business which operates in Europe and Australasia today.