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Tate Hackert is the 24 year old brain-child of, a start-up looking to upend the payday lending industry. Tate proved himself as an entrepreneurial lender in the grittiest of sorts – lending out $250,000 of his own money between the ages of 16 and 23 – On Craigslist! Recently, ZayZoon was awarded the Payments Canada FinTech Cup and given an honorary placement in PayPal’s FinTech Five.


Key Takeaways

  • Entrepreneurship means working more for your passion instead of working for someone else’s passion.
  • Payday loans in Canada charge on average 600% APR or $23 per $100 every two weeks. ZayZoon charges $3.
  • ZayZoon integrates with employers HR and payroll systems to verify employment and keep costs low.
  • Payday loans are used by 1 in 10 working people and doing so 6-10 times a year.
    • It has more to do with cash flow limitations than income.
    • 20% of ZayZoon customers make over $100k per year.
    • The average ZayZoon loan is about $700 in the middle of the paycycle.
  • Financial literacy is just as important as short term cash flow fixes.
  • Integrations with payroll providers can take 2 weeks to 3 months.
  • Small businesses have the same cash flow problems as individuals do.


Resources Mentioned


Contact Guest




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Full Transcript with Tate Hackert —ZayZoon Wants to Destroy Payday Loan Sharks


hello tech pros episode 139 work hard and have some fun through it goes back
to what we said in the beginning it goes entrepreneurism and not working for
someone else and doing so so that you can work on your passion
welcome to the podcast where i chat with professionals who are getting the job
done using technology seven days a week each week we start with motivation
monday tuesday is about productivity Wednesday leadership Thursday technology
friday people in communication Saturday entrepreneurship and sunday being
alright let’s get started hello tech pros this is Chad Bostick and I’m excited
to introduce our featured guest today
Tate Hackertt happy saturday Tate have a better job man are you ready to hustle
here’s so already this is that cool experience
awesome let’s do it Tate Hackert is the 24 year-old brainchild of a
start-up looking to up in the payday lending industry tape proved himself as
an entrepreneur leader in the greediest of sorts lending out 250 thousand
dollars of his own money between the ages of 16 and 23 on craigslist what
recently season was awarded the payments canada FinTech cup and and given an
honorary replacement and paypal’s FinTech five do that’s pretty amazing so
you’ve been doing this for a long time
where does I gotta ask where does a sixteen-year-old get $250,000 you must
have mowed a lot of lawns there okay
yeah man so I it’s funny because you know that the answer that or the
question that most people ask is that and and it’s they automatically think
that I was some sort of involved in some sort of shady business but no not at all
haha i was actually i’m not from Calgary originally so i’m from vancouver island
and vancouver island is an amazing place and it also has an amazing fishing
industry so growing up I was fortunate
not to go on a fishing boat for four months on end and and you know you going
on a fishing boat for 30 some odd days and days and you come back to 16 year
old with 15 or 20 key in your pocket
yeah and and me being being cheap
I you know maybe that has something to do with the entrepreneurial trade as
well but but i was able to save and and started getting into the lending game
that way you know i have i already am falling in love with this conversation
because there’s there’s so many relationships between entrepreneurism
and fishing right I hear that all the time of you know look for the big fish
or go where the fish are or you know you do be quiet and listen to the market
listen to the fish you know so i love the fact that you actually got your
capital to start your business from literally literally from fishing that’s
yeah was it was again pretty box of lots of labor intensive work by no means am I
technology kid or or a silicon valley personal though I’m starting to to move
more towards that direction now but but definitely was was brought up in in that
fishing and construction industry and and I think that formed the work ethic I
to allow me to allow me to start start a start-up is obviously you know it’s it’s
it’s it’s hard work and international game just as much as the physical game
so I it definitely helped with my operating that with so let’s get clarity
about your vision or your definition of entrepreneurship I knew I i have my own
and every guess that I talked to kind of has their own definition of what
entrepreneurship means to you and you said that it’s gritty it’s hard work
there’s a it requires a ton of work ethic but what exactly just
entrepreneurship mean to you tape
oh not wanting to work for someone else if I want to be frank
you know it is what people say that lots of entrepreneurs say that and and it’s
true you know you might end up working more and you definitely do end up
working more it end up consuming
I your your working life as well as your personal life and your your brain
capacity of all times but there’s something about being in control of your
own destiny is as cliche and cheesy as that may sound but but I guess that’s
really what entrepreneurship means to me just something that allows me to work on
work on my passion that’s awesome so tell us about your passion what is ZayZoon
calm so invasion is a extremely exciting new way for people to i get advancement
of day before their next payday so we’ve all heard of payday loans terrible
predatory lenders that charge increase interest rates up here in canada average
payday loans sitting around six hundred percent APR that translates do 23
dollars per hundred dollars every two weeks
wow so is a zune charges three dollars four hundred dollars for about ninety
percent cheaper than a payday loan on average up here in canada and we do so
by way of a unique integration with payroll providers by integrating with
payroll providers we are able to act as an employee pace and issue employees
advances I before their next payday
it’s really unique solution and it’s it’s incredibly easy solution for an
employee to use in sure beats going to a money marked for for your for your pay
yeah if you’re in that situation where you like gosh we have man i just need
like a couple hundred bucks to get me to the end of the week until i get paid
because whatever life happens stuff gets in the way and if you have to go out if
you’ve ever had to go to one of these these sharks these loan sharks these
payday loan places i have had to do it in my past and my personal past and they
just rake you over the coals and God bless you if you are late on a payment
or something like that is just going to accrue more and more and more interest
and so the best thing that you can do stay away from it but the second best
thing is just whatever you need to do just paid off as quickly as possible but
that is a transaction with a company an individual
ola whatever behind it that has nothing to do with your actual organization your
pay right that the agreement that I signed at least was had nothing to do
with my employer it wasn’t really a payday loan it was just a loan to last
me until my payday but it sounds like the the organization that you put
together the the technology that you put together actually integrates with your
employer or with the individuals employer and allows them to get advanced
not from you not from you guys but from their actual employer did I get that
oh it’s so sort of chat so so desu does advance the money but because of her
tight integration with that employer and payroll company is it is a lot smoother
than that payday loan auction that you’re talking about before so a
putative on auction is is exactly that is a loan based on a paste of and and
hopes that indeed you are employed in your pay stub is in fraudulent and all
the rest I so it’s a zune has a lot more tighter integration that and we do
create that more of that relationship with the employer
however it’s not the employers money it is asians money that’s being that’s
being advanced i want it i want to take a step back there though to when you’re
talking about your own experience with payday loans because it it i think it’s
important to point out I not a lot of people know this or or if they do know
what you know the stigma behind payday loans they don’t they don’t want to say
it so payday loans are used Bible one can working people i it’s it’s a huge
industry and if you look around the business if you’re listening to this
podcast sitting sitting in your place of employment one intended employees there
are using a payday loan and they’re doing so six to 10 times per year I and
it is absolutely ridiculous but but there it’s a need for cash flow there in
a casual crunch it has nothing to do with arm i would i would argue that it
has nothing to do with our income as much as it does with the cash flow so
you know you . the statistics like sixty-three percent of millennials I
live paycheck to paycheck that’s a study
that was done by by the employee benefits newsmagazine and-and-and ok
will allow them to bridge themselves to that next payday so say soon is simply
an option that isn’t a payday loan but it essentially does the same thing and
it does so in a much easier and a mite shot less egregious way
yeah tape thank you for helping us get clarity on that and yeah absolutely
agree i mean– in my situation arm i was employed you know I had a good job arm
it was it was many years ago in and you know I was steadily employed and had a
regular paycheck coming in every two weeks and I could count on that but my
cost-of-living due to me not being very frugal meant that every time I got a
raise or every time I got a bonus i spin it right and so ice ice kept spending up
to the amount that i made which meant that any time an emergency happen like
oh my gosh we got flat tires and now we gotta buy new tires for the car and we
hadn’t had that in the budget or there’s a medical expense that we weren’t
counting for and now we need something just for this week until we can you know
pay it back we had to use payday loans and I think it’s very very common
actually talked to a friend of a friend who owns a payday loan company in
Oklahoma and he said the same things like everybody who comes in you you
think you know society thinks that it’s oh it’s it’s people that can’t hold a
job to get no it’s Doctors it’s lawyers its computer programmers it’s it’s
people who have jobs that work full time they just have this Catholic cash flow
yeah and-and-and to that . chat so we see about twenty percent of of our
customers being people that make over a hundred thousand dollars per year
ah twenty percent of the customers are people that make over a hundred thousand
dollars a year
yes cool so they’re coming to you with needs do that do you have statistics on
the types of loans that are taking like
in a hundred dollars a thousand dollars or you know
yeah so it’s closer thousand dollar range we’re seeing kind of seven hundred
dollars ish okay and they’re doing it maybe halfway through their pay cycle
just just to again I’ll allow them to avoid that overdraft fee for that NS Fe
that their bank may charge them so what it’s a nicer take out alone saves and
then being hit with a fifty-dollar NSF fee and and it may just be that battle
not having to make a payment on a nice vehicle that they own but their cash
flow doesn’t quite coincide with with their vehicle payments
yeah that’s a tough position to be and where you know you have the money you
have access to the money but like as han solo said I don’t have it with me right
have a break coming break here so you guys are helping kind of fill that gap
so we have professionals they’re 20 percentage of customers make over a
hundred thousand dollars they’re taking about seven hundred dollars and they’re
doing at six to ten times a year so it seems like every every month or every
couple months kinda need this need this leg up this help
yeah and it’s it’s by no means is in wanting to endorse that rebar owing
cycle so we’re actually working right now on financial literacy component both
of the community level here in Calgary with a couple different organizations
but we’re also wanted to do a a wider on I just software integrated financial
literacy component to really teach our customers about saving money and and you
know even those days an option for for a cash flow crunch is a is a great option
I you shouldn’t need that auction in the first place so we want to ensure our
customers can can move forward and get out of the the need further
ok so if you do a really really good job with this then you put yourself out of
business is that is that the opening goal
I you know I think the goal would be to maybe transfer those clients into it
into another role
nice nice yeah everybody’s got multiple needs right so once they once they get
rid of that problem then there’s probably another problem that you can
help them with
exactly yeah it’s that fine balance between you know obviously making money
from lending money but also being a responsible lender and in doing so I’m
definitely not falling under that predatory payday lending shark landscape
so again just building / software building under our business to emulate
yeah I like that because once you from the entrepreneur side you know you’re
you’re really just serving the needs of a market and you’re helping people solve
a problem in the in their life right whether it’s in their career or in their
business or in their personal life you’re helping them solve a problem and
in these in if you can help teach people that you know what there’s a TV people
to fish ready to go back to the fishing analogy teach people to fish rather than
serve the meal and they can get out of this habit of needing this then
dude you’re gonna be the one that they can trust because everybody else is
trying to prey on them is trying to take their money is trying to take advantage
of their situation and if you are the one company that they can trust that
they can say you know what they serve my needs and they helped me in a time of
need when it when I needed to take alone but they also help me get out of the
situation and build a more sustainable cash flow system in their life or in
their business then they’re going to come back to you with with more issues
and say you know what I’ve got this other challenge now and maybe it’s I
need a loan for my business to start a new company or maybe I need to i’m
looking to invest in I don’t know something or other and you can be there
for those individuals exactly right cool so tell us about maybe a little bit
about the technology behind season so you’re integrating with a lot of
different payment providers a lot of different payroll systems and I’ve
worked with a few elements they hurt vastly disparate on the IT side on the
technology side you know everybody seems like they’re there’s 3-4 like major like
super major pieces of software but then there’s hundreds of hundreds of other
smaller integration modules so how does a zune integrate on the technology side
with some of these other companies
yeah great question so it stop it’s costly and timely right now and that’s a
definitely a hurdle for our business which
is figuring out really how to make a beautiful plug-and-play model because as
you said right now the disparity between one payroll provider to the other is his
vast so there’s there’s some really nice cloud payroll providers that are ahead
on the technology side of things they already have an API sweet built though
we can plug our API into theirs and maybe a couple of weeks and we’re good
to go
and then on the other side of things is is these archaic dinosaur payroll
companies that are amazing
I with with just the people that they paying the businesses that they have
business with do business for but their software doesn’t doesn’t support hours
so really what it looks like for us our integration side of things with then is
a project plan color software to them we work with their dev team to implement a
project plan Rollo role of situation where we can go through each necessary
API endpoint that we need built we replaced software developer within
within there’s their side of things I tell them with with the build-out and
then it can take as an example 11 that we’ve done right now that we just
finished I was a three-month long process so compared to another that
another one that we’ve done which was a 33 week process so so again that’s that
disparity and and really just fine-tuning that technology to I I guess
better better achieve that plug-and-play model josh is so when you’re sending a
developer into the companies that have an older one of these older archaic
dinosaur pieces of software that is not cloud-ready it does not have an API it’s
it’s more what we call tightly coupled integration right where it was built for
a specific instance and everything that’s tied to it is very very tightly
coupled to it and it’s not necessarily designed for integrations with lots of
other things so when you send your developers into those situations are
they armed
are they building the api’s and putting a like cloud-based AP is on top of the
existing infrastructure that the company already
has our or are they building something that’s not really going to the cloud but
it’s more of creating another like tightly coupled integration to your
system does that doesn’t make any sense
yeah yeah when and I i guess i should mention that by no means am i that guy
Chad certain on the technology side of things so I make sure your listen sir
are picking apart some of this right now but I yeah the basis is we place that
they have on their side of things that helps on do it do tight integration with
hours whether that’s cloud-based or or not
gotcha awesome so what is like what has been the growth of of xasan when did you
launch and what has the the growth of that of that system been for that
product been since the day that you launched this room has been what we’ve
been working on the business for 22 years now two and a half years and a lot
of that was spent obviously protecting the technology and then just a beta so
we’re doing a six-month-long beta very manual process the technology wasn’t
completely big yet I was still underwriting some of the loans on the
backend and and we’ve got again that we were able to blend out in the tens of
thousands of dollars which was a great measure of our sensitivity models that
we presented to investors and what we were actually experiencing real life so
they soon is now partnered with payment evolution which is a payroll provider
out of Toronto Canada they do payroll for 12,000 13,000 businesses ish and
about 250,000 employees i am and where as simple as a a tab within their self
service portal that allows one in it that allows an employee when they’re
checking their pay stub or checking their vacation pay or their their time
schedule they can also access as a zoo in advance so how much money are you
going to be lending out to customers this year in 2016
so this year we expect to win over 2 million dollars Wow
and and again that’s just based on onto projections that we have I hopefully
that’s not too audacious and we hope that we can we looking at that so Tate
in just a few minutes I’m going to ask you about the future of season
specifically and the future of this whole this lending model right where the
the whole world seems to be shifting from a one-to-one model to to a 12 mini
model of cloud sourcing and and just all kinds of different options that are out
there but first we’re going to take a quick break and thank our sponsors this
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ok we’re back with Tate haxored the the brainchild and founder of which
is a start-up that’s up ending the payday lending industry we’ve been
talking to take about first of all the stigma behind payday loans it’s it’s not
it’s not a bad dirty thing for users for customers to do that’s really he sees a
lot of customers twenty percent of its customers make over a hundred thousand
dollars a year and they’re taken you know 6 700 800 dollar loans are six
times a year 10 times a year and it seems to be no this process where
unfortunately it’s people who work hard they have a good income but they’re just
living a means that’s that’s not not a really good cash flow situation that
they’re in and so they get in these cash flow problems they want they don’t want
to write a check that balances or get bad credit or something like that so you
know what you’re taking this loan they’re paying it back no problem they
move on and so was Asian is doing is is making it much much cheaper rights would
you say about three dollars a three-dollar feel of a hundred-dollar
exactly is exactly right . so so three dollars per hundred where the typical
payday loan up here in canada anyways is a very helpful for four hundred dollars
man yeah so much much cheaper to to operate in much cheaper to help people
out much cheaper for for people to get the help they need
uh but tape you know we we look at this this model this payday loan model and
its evolving quickly right so there are a number of options out there today
where I can crowdsource my funding right i can go out and say hey I need I need
five hundred dollars and I could have 500 different people each give me a
dollar and then instead of owning one person I Oh kind of 500 different people
this money so there’s like crowdsourcing option and then you’ve got a company
like yours that is more of the the traditional right lending service but
just maybe a little bit more
or financially responsible cheaper service because the integrations with
the the employers so where do you see this industry going as we look ahead
five years ten years from now what do you think is in the future force ya a
great question
you’re right on the peer-to-peer lending side of things that that’s that’s
obviously a great platform is proved to have a ton of customers on platforms
such as prosper and lending club I again it’s more i would say for the longer
term loan options and the bigger loan amounts as asians really focusing on
that small dollar short-term credit space and really we want to provide
employees with their pay before payday
we want to provide them with a way to access the hours they worked in essence
I before they actually get paid and and all that’s doing is we’re taking the
administrative hurdle off of the business and off of the payroll company
most people are getting paid bi-weekly maybe maybe every month and that’s just
due to a couple things which is administrative costs and also cash flow
I costs costs for business so if you know i’m sure many of your listeners to
have managed up into their own and cash flow is the most important thing so if
they have to pay their employees own each and every week while they’re still
waiting to get paid on on invoices that they’ve given I it’s not going to be a
very nice thing for the business so really where we’re taking away that
administrative portal and giving an amazing benefit employee at the same
time are we really see it evolving to a daily pay system there’s some great
companies already doing this I both in canada and the united states and and
we’re all getting some amazing publicity around it and we really just want to
continue that and and take as much business away from those payday lenders
as possible and give the employee and more responsible i boring
solution and a way to access their pay before payday so eat you mentioned that
you know they’re there may be a lot of listeners out there who are
entrepreneurs themselves they’re starting up their businesses their
starting smaller trying to bootstrap you’re trying to do their own thing arm
have you thought about moving your company or augmenting your company into
that b2b space we’re actually helping businesses with some of the same time
for problems i’ll give you one example of I’ve got a friend that lives here
right down the streets and he was over at the house the other day and we’re
having I was having a discussion with him healthy hey man how’s your business
he owns a a a cake a bakery supply company right so arm you know think of
he sends out all the fondant to all the bakeries right he sends out all of the
tools for for cutting and stuff like that but it’s still a small business
right he’s only got a handful of employees and the amount that the number
of customers that he has means that he’s still in this growing mode of trying to
grow his business and so forth and so he’s in his businesses in this cash flow
problem where his customers order stuff and and when he puts in order to the
distributor to the manufacturer right he’s got to kind of get it in bulk but
then store it and wait for the customers come in so he’s constantly like
reordering inventory ordering inventory and he wants to every time he reorders
inventory increase the amount of inventory he’s getting but sometimes you
can’t do that because just the way that the the invoice cycles work the invoice
cycles to this his customers versus the invoice cycles to the manufacturers and
distributors that he’s getting the product from so are you looking to kind
of expand into this space so you can help other businesses with the same sort
of problem
yeah absolutely so the factoring space or the bridging of small-business spaces
is a massive industry
I it’s something we would absolutely love to get into and obviously our
relationship with the payroll provider and the employers I give us a great
ability to do so we’re just were not is honestly the record competency at the
moment of all our brainpower really is being focused on the consumer space and
again it’s a boat no you using a rifle instead of a shock and we want to be
absolutely how laser focused on our mission right now I being a star but i
think that’s really important so I i would say I’m really that’s something
that work we have on our radar for the future but right now we’re not doing a
whole lot to move in that direction
cool that makes have a complete sentence you know focus on focus on the thing you
want to get really really good at before you branch out into another area you
know don’t don’t dilute yourself don’t dilute your business by trying to focus
on too many things i think that’s a good lesson that we can learn here speaking
of good lessons take do you have any final words of wisdom for our audience
and then the best way that we can connect with you and we’ll say goodbye
yeah just work hard but didn’t but what I have some fun to you know I think it
goes back to what we said in the beginning of votes entrepreneurism and
and not working for someone else and i doing so so that you can work on your
passion on each and every day working on the business is something that I enjoy
and I can work my eye I guess play schedule if you want to call it that
around my business as well it’s it’s it’s an amazing opportunity and i think
i would encourage everyone if you have an entrepreneur pursued that you want to
go after i do it it’s fun it’s hard work you will probably have less free time
then you currently have but your work time will be like free time if anyone
wants to chat further you find me on twitter it’s at
k packard I you can find me on linkedin at a soccer and as a zune is at a zune
transfer on Twitter and on Facebook and of course where you can find
out information on how to take alone if you need it
take thank you so much for joining me on hello tech pros today I really value you
startup story and your your your your honesty about hey man you started this
fishing and really just the integrity that that you’ve shown here about
wanting to help people and not put them into more and more debt and getting
deeper and deeper into into you know economic crisis economic problems for
individuals for families but to really kind of helped them through the the
times that they have when when they have them
yea four which other what was the conversation i always love talking
wondering and and yeah
be sure to check out this is in sight and through your email and on those days
and list as well on stay up-to-date with all the with all these days and goodies
and we never spam don’t worry haha awesome and tech pros man if you’re in a
situation where you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck don’t you know
don’t think that there’s something wrong with you like your if you feel dirty or
your feet you feel ashamed
it’s a common problem this cashville problem is is very very common lots of
people have liked it was saying that one in ten people I’ve struggled with it in
the past and I think Tate is hit the nail on the head when he said you know
what it’s not an income problem it’s a cash flow problem so really take a look
at your priorities and this is this is going back to you your personal accounts
as well as your business accounts take a look at the priorities and what are the
things that are absolutely critical for your life or for your business that you
have to have and whether those extraneous things that are not adding
that much value but they’re they’re costing right and they’re diluting or
taking away from your ability to have a good cash flow and take those things out
we this month’s just cut cable i mean we’ve been talking about it for years
and years but we finally did we’ve got netflix we’re not exactly exactly so
what are the things in your life or in your business that you can cut out a
hundred dollars a month sixty dollars a month thousand dollars a month whatever
it is to help you grow in life and grow in business man i gotta get off my
soapbox alright i’m stepping down haha soapbox you’ve been listening to hit
eight hack
good and I’m Chad Bostick and until next time take care the show notes page for
this episode can be found at hello took / 139 do you use slack for team
communication join the hello tech pros / channel at hello tech / slack
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this has been entrepreneurship saturday but tomorrow my featured guest and I
will not be talking about work because it’s sunday being unplugged on Monday
will get motivated once again to face the week with motivation Monday followed
by a Tuesday productivity Wednesday leadership Thursday technology friday
people communication and saturday back to our entrepreneurship and i’ll talk to
you tomorrow

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