How Amazon Sellers Get Rewarded on Their Expenses | Pinny Ackerman

Episode Summary

In this Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – Pinny Ackerman Co-Founder of GetPeyd - talks about How Amazon Sellers Get Rewarded for Their Expenses, also more information about his life's journey. #PinnyAckerman #GetPeyd

About Pinny Ackerman of GetPeyd

We are a company founded in 2011 by four lifelong friends from New York. Our company name is ‘Get PEYD’ and our PEYD logo represents the first name of each of the partners, Pinny, Eli, Yaakov, and Dudi. Our mantra is to help our customers navigate the credit card industry by advising them on all credit card-related matters and providing our customers value through the redemption of rewards points associated with the various reward programs.

Find the Full Episode Below

Yoni Mazor 0:06
Everybody welcome to another episode of prime talk. Today I'm having a special guest I'm having Pinny Ackerman. Pinny is the co-founder of getting paid, which is a credit card reward consultancy for E-commerce sellers. So if you're selling on Amazon, for example, you should check out that there are a bunch of cool things you can do with credit cards, and we'll discuss this later on during the episode. But in the meantime, Pinny, welcome to the show.

Pinny Ackerman 0:29
Thank you very much, Yoni I appreciate you having me.

Yoni Mazor 0:31
Sure. It'll be a pleasure so today's episode is going to be all about you the story of Pinny Ackerman going to share with us like who are you? Where are you from? Where were you born? Where'd you grow up as you begin your professional career station to station until you're reached where you are today in the world of E-commerce. And especially with all the credit card rewards and everything, which I think is pretty cool. So without further ado, let's jump right into it. Alright. Okay, so let's start from the top. Where were you born?

Pinny Ackerman 0:56
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland. I grew up there and then moved to New York. Finish up so high school there. And so that's where I met some of my partners.

Yoni Mazor 1:05
Got it. Okay, so you moved to New York at what age of 16. And all along with the whole family.

Pinny Ackerman 1:13
So I'm the youngest of four boys. My brothers were already out of the house. I was the last one home anyway. But yeah, then we moved up to New York, and with

Yoni Mazor 1:21
The parents you moved out with the parents? Yeah. Parents. Yeah. Small, notable your parents work in industries were they involved in growing up?

Pinny Ackerman 1:28
My dad was a rabbi for 20 years in Baltimore. And then we moved to New York, he was involved in like, like social work, mental health type stuff. So personal, personal fitness. Also, my mom's a social worker, so very much involved with like people, helping people,

Yoni Mazor 1:43
Helping people helping communities. That's very good, but are you doing, you know, you are your earlier years, were you trying to make money on the side and all by yourself stuff, anything entrepreneurial?

Pinny Ackerman 1:53
Yeah, I used to have always had a couple of side hustles I remember, like trying to sell Matchbox cars when I was like seven or eight years old on the street, you know, put up like, a desk with like mascots first. And then, you know, when I was in school, I would shudder like, you know, so we're going to get the older kids to bite me about ordered pizza. And then I could sell them to the younger kids stuff like that. Like, you know, a couple of

Yoni Mazor 2:17
Feet I kid.

Pinny Ackerman 2:19
I remember the as you remember, good night before, there was a huge snowstorm when I was a kid in Baltimore, and I lived at the bottom of the hill. And some cars were getting stuck trying to get off the hill. And I remember me and my buddy, we made more money that day, trying to help cars push go up the hill. We were like, you know, 10 bucks here, five bucks here, like pushing them up the hill. I remember that. So yeah, anytime we could at the hospital.

Yoni Mazor 2:41
The money is the question. What do you do? I bought a Gameboy. There you go. Okay. Very cool. Alright, so 16 He moved to New York in graduate high school and what's your next station after high school? So

Pinny Ackerman 2:53
I was doing like a post-high school program, a learning program down in Miami, where Jaco Portnoy my partner, and I were there who were in camp together as well. That's how the four of us started. Hey, this penny le Jaco

Yoni Mazor 3:08
Willing to get paid. Right. So the acronym is p y. D, which is the acronym of the

Pinny Ackerman 3:14
The first letters of the founding partner's names.

Yoni Mazor 3:17
Nice words that perfectly get paid. I love that. Yeah, we

Pinny Ackerman 3:19
It took us but we had to figure out how to put it together. But yeah, it worked out well. So yeah, we've honored it. So when I was in high school, Yakov and I were in high school together is the why. And then we worked in a camp where for kids with special needs when I was 1718. Ellie was our division head. He was like our boss, and it led Bravo. So for devotees say, yeah, this for David, or so he was our brother. He's on his brother-in-law. So we all work together. We knew each other a little bit then. And Ellie Jakob and I were very close friends. And I mean, I'm skipping ahead a couple of years, but I'll tell you how the company started. But we'll

Yoni Mazor 3:59
Get to that. Well. I want to get to that soon. So you said after high school, you went for a special program down in Miami, and then what was the next station?

Pinny Ackerman 4:07
So we were down in Miami, I was doing a post-high school program. Then I came back off to New York, got married, and got my master's degree in special ed, and disability. And I was an administrator for a couple of nonprofits in Brooklyn, worked for a company called Desert desert for a couple of years.

Yoni Mazor 4:25
And what was the mission of that organization? How was it helping we ran

Pinny Ackerman 4:28
Day and after school and summer programs for kids with disabilities or special needs and then I ended up doing a full-time for an agency that had they have programs and therapy programs and stuff like that. So I was very much in the disability and social services like that type of space.

Yoni Mazor 4:48
So let's start trying to slap a year on this. So when you had to you know, start your professional career so what was your way that your master's 5005 you graduate you head into, you know, You know, the working world, the workforce, and your environment is helping others, you know, social wellbeing to come to us. So the first organization, you were there from 2005 until one.

Pinny Ackerman 5:12
So I was with them from 2005, after my son was born since 2004 2005, until about 2007, from Alta ovo, and then from there to 2009 2000 2005 2007. Then from 2007, I guess to 2010, I was with that other smaller company called Harmony services where I was an administrator there.

Yoni Mazor 5:34
And what did you do there? What was the mission of that organization is pretty much more or more specialty.

Pinny Ackerman 5:39
So there we had various programs, we had two full time, they have facilities for, for boys and for men and women for and then we had also a medic night program, as well as a full therapy offering. And I was there from 2007, I think till 2010 or 11. That's when we started paying

Yoni Mazor 6:00
God so first from 2005, or maybe it's let's say, 2010, or 11, you were in, you know, social well-being, and all of a sudden, you know, pathways and opportunities, strikes and tickets there. Well, what were those or what transpired?

Pinny Ackerman 6:14
Right. So that was very interesting. So here I am, I've been married for five, six years. It's still in touch with Ellie, we're good buddies. And Jaco was a good friend of mine. And I know duty a little bit because he was the eldest brother-in-law. And

Yoni Mazor 6:27
In other words, the co-founders, you were friendly with them, you know, for free, before you guys ever did it,

Pinny Ackerman 6:33
Because we knew each other from the camp when we were 1718 years old. So yeah, we've been friends for a while. And then. So Jaco was in something called colo, which is like a post-high school, postgraduate married learning program. So like advanced here at Tom unit study. And he just was just about 2010,

Pinny Ackerman 6:51
When Amex had started crazy promos after the market crash of Oh, eight. So then similar to what we're seeing now, where they're trying to build up consumer confidence again, and spend. So the credit card companies were throwing crazy bonuses out when you would sign up for a card. So you could get an Amex card, a platinum card and get 100,000 points, and a gold card and get 80,000 points. And if I would refer you to sign up for those cards, I would get 20 or 50,000 points from referring you.

Yoni Mazor 7:18
So unless I may get destroyed 2008 We have the global financial crisis, and things are melting down, to kind of revitalize the economy and get this federal, you know, the consumer spending confidence back on track their credit card companies, which were suffering because it fewer transactions, let's be fewer fees for them. So they're saying, well, let's dig into our pockets in terms of all these rewards, rewards offered to consumers. So there's going to be too good to be true. So they actually opted into these credit cards and start utilizing them and you know, kind of bounce back. And what all of a sudden, you guys noticed that that was like, oh,

Pinny Ackerman 7:51
so what happened was, they were given crazy bonuses and my partner Jaco Jaco, who had a tremendous network of friends and family, he has a big large family that's well connected and that you Shiva, he also just his father's very well connected, everyone connected. So he was getting,

Yoni Mazor 8:07
Let me help out here for the audience are not too familiar with the kind of the Jewish Orthodox world. So Shiva is usually an institution where, you know, Jewish Orthodox, people can come in the study, you know, Jewish Studies, you know, ancient texts, Talmud, or we also call it Gomorrah. So he was involved with that world. And as you know, it is very well connected with a civil war, they call it where the dollar institutions scattered all over. And, you know, it's kind of a network effect. And okay, so that was a foundational structure.

Pinny Ackerman 8:38
Exactly, that was a foundational structure. And what he was able to do was, he found people in China and Indonesia, who were willing to buy the points. So he found people that are willing to buy these points that he was able to sign up and get for free, essentially. And he would do as he would call me up and say, Penny, sign up for these two cards. And I'm going to give you $3,000 when you get the points, and he was taking the points and transferring to that client, you know, to his clients and

Yoni Mazor 9:03
Reselling. He buys it from me for 3000, maybe 3500 or 4000.

Pinny Ackerman 9:08
Exactly. So the actual the split, Eric, see

Yoni Mazor 9:11
If I can ask those people overseas. What do you think they were doing with that?

Pinny Ackerman 9:15
So they're using them for travel, the way it works is, and we could get into that, but the way it works with points is that the best value for points is when you use it for a business or first-class ticket. So let's say you want to fly from New York to China, and business class in the cash price can be $10,000 and might also be 500,000 miles Underhand. So I'll have the miles but you do, I would buy them from you for $6,000 so I can get myself a ticket. That's a $10,000 ticket only cost me six. So we're like, we're kind of like

Yoni Mazor 9:45
Say there's arbitrage between mileages is credit card points and there's an opportunity to kind of get these products and services at a discount.

Pinny Ackerman 9:56
Think of it as like the reverse costume. We go around and collect one Water bottle when people package them up into a case and sell them to people who need a case of water by these points, and then the travel agent will say, Okay, I need a million points in this airline account. And he's paying us for us to be going to collect them and then solving them and, and the person who has the points is getting a better value because we're stretching it for that use. Okay? That's the concept of the point business. So Jaco was doing well, he found these guys, he was calling us up as friends and saying, Hey, I'm going to give us three grands get a couple of cards. And he was doing this, you know, in, you know, kind of like, you know, during his breaks,

Yoni Mazor 10:36
Next week aside, yeah, I'm excited to be on

Pinny Ackerman 10:39
The side. And then he called us up the three of us and he said, guys, I want to, I'm going to give you a payment for the cards you signed up for, but I want you to make this into a business where I need to stop because I'm in, I'm in the school, I'm going to become a rabbi, like, I need to turn this into a business or I quit it and put it all together. So we laughed at him. Because we were like, Jaco, I love you. You're a good friend of mine. But you're in like a, you know, post-high school graduate program. And we're, I have a mortgage and I got a mortgage and kids, like, so. He's like, Come out to dinner.

Pinny Ackerman 11:13
I'll lay out the plan, trust me on this. And I've known Jaco for a very long time is one of the smartest people I know. So we went out to dinner, and he threw down four envelopes with cash on the table for our payment, and they said, here's how it's going to work. One guy is going to do the sales, we're going to open the site, someone's going to receive the information and deal with the clients won't have to deal with marketing, one guy's going to deal with the fulfilling of the orders. Now, that's going to do with like the back end.

Pinny Ackerman 11:38
And literally, we bought a couple of laptops. And I remember my old job having a little eight-inch laptop at the time, which was like, very cool back then. And every time I'd hear like, the thing of like an email coming in, it was like, super exciting. And whole Schreiber doesn't market yet a map of the United States with all the areas that he would start marketing like a hyperlocal, small market, Jewish community type marketing, hey, it's a penny, and Ellie, and documentary. The guys, you know, the company you trust them was like all network, but a little bit of marketing, like hyperlocal stuff. And he was like, pinging different areas.

Yoni Mazor 12:14
I think he jumped up to a few moments here from that dinner. You guys said that? Yeah, you gave us an envelope of cash, each one will have a role. That's it. We're putting our jobs, we have no mortgage. So what was that? Yeah, well,

Pinny Ackerman 12:25
We’ll go to that. So the evolution was, he laid it out. And we said we'll try it. By doing it on the side, everybody

Yoni Mazor 12:34
I will try to do

Pinny Ackerman 12:35
It’s on the side, right? Well, I'll do it on the side. So he laid out how we need to split it up so that we can do it on the side. It's not one person now doing everything. Take a specific role. And we'll do it while we're doing our other parts. So like I said, so for me, I have a laptop on my desk, Eliot, his job was to have something small, and then move into we're doing something small until after about six months, it was getting to the point where we're like, Alright, there's something here. I think if we, you know, we agree if we can focus a significant portion of our time and energy, we can grow it. So I believe Ellie was the first one who we said quit his job he came on,

Yoni Mazor 13:12
It has done that that happened when the first one of you guys quit his job.

Pinny Ackerman 13:15
I think it was about six or seven months or so. Okay, okay. 2011, so was read about them. And then after about six months or so I was in full-time. And then Yakov left,

Yoni Mazor 13:28
What was our confidence in the company, we had enough cash flow to have a salary of full-time salary position for all of you guys or did you take a leap of faith or some kind of both?

Pinny Ackerman 13:36
So it was a little bit of both. We had a crazy story I attributed because I'm, you know, a religious do, I can consider Haskell properties, you know, like, divine intervention, there was one story of a client early on, that we got through a referral, who we bought a couple of million points. And instead of sending him a check for 20, or $30,000, he said, Hold on to the money. I don't want it yet. I'll let you know when you should give it to me. And to us, that was a tremendous amount of cash

Yoni Mazor 14:07
Flow. That was an SBA loan, you know,

Pinny Ackerman 14:09
Exactly. That's exactly what it was. But you know, it was it helped us we didn't have to borrow from friends and family and worry about making payments and making receivables we had $30,000 operating from a loan that was essentially free from one of our clients. And that was, I can't think of him I'm not going to mention it was obvious but like that was highly instrumental in us being able to accomplish what we were doing without having to, you know, take out outside funding

Yoni Mazor 14:35
Him not even knowing I gave you tremendous confidence to propel forward and looking back was a momentous moment for you guys.

Pinny Ackerman 14:41
Huge, huge moment. And then there were little bits of those, but there was one major one and that helped us. But yeah, I mean, it took a while until we decided that we would do full time but we realized that there was a real opportunity. And we had so many different ways to build on it. And, you know, that's kind of how it kind of blew up.

Yoni Mazor 14:58
So that was the evolution of how you got started. Okay, now let's go back, you said you pinpointing the map, you know, micro-communities Micronase. So what was the next step for you to keep rolling in?

Pinny Ackerman 15:08
So we then the size of the community and the referral base, we ended up a lot of it I was in the early days was that hyper-local marketing, and then a tremendous amount of referral word of mouth. So we ended up with somehow, we ended up with a tremendous amount of business in the Syrian Jewish community. We did well by one person, he referred his brother-in-law, and then his, his brother-in-law, and then it was like, triple effects and a ripple effect. So like a whole nother segment of

Yoni Mazor 15:36
The atomic bomb for them as if something's good, the whole community is on it.

Pinny Ackerman 15:39
It was crazy. That's kind of like what happened, I think in e-commerce, and we'll get into that. It was just it ended up being 40% of our business that ended up forgetting about where our advertising was all over the country, it ended up being 40% of the business was just in that market were just exploded was like wildfire. We were partners with some travel agents because we were buying points and supplying travel agents.

Pinny Ackerman 16:03
So we had very close relationships with some of them. And then we started getting requests from our clients, and they're saying, oh, I'm selling you my points. But I also want to travel from China to Israel to Europe. And we started referring that business out. And about two or three years in we said wait a minute, why don't we also bring our travel arm into the business, therefore we can handle the point and then also handle their travel and have it all in one

Yoni Mazor 16:30
The point recorded critical points, but also travel mileage.

Pinny Ackerman 16:34
And tie them together. So somebody other points, and instead of taking cash, use it to have our travel, have our book their tickets, and now we're making money because we buy points

Yoni Mazor 16:44
Their article integration is pretty much in your name, we call it paid

Pinny Ackerman 16:47
360 That was a circle of services. And then we partner with you know, you know, travel agents that offer higher-end services. So what we did was we kept the core business of points, which we do in-house, we have our travel department, which is I would say quasi-in-house, we have a couple of guys with our branded by us that our we work with. But then the other services, anything related to that we started partnering with like, folks, Oh, you wanted a custom trip, you know, honeymoon, we have somebody that we work with, that we trust. And if you want you can use your points. But here's someone that we trust and knows that business better than we do that was put them in context. And so we started kind of building things.

Yoni Mazor 17:27
So from you know, being able to allow people to sell points, you go in all matured into helping people utilize these points himself if that points, right, instead of selling it to get, you know, they go travel. But then you added another point that makes up where are we saying?

Pinny Ackerman 17:44
So someone can have points and they can use them to either side and get cash or they can use their points to then travel

Yoni Mazor 17:50
Traveling. The third layer is connecting them directly by calling it for lack of a better word than know concierge travel agents.

Pinny Ackerman 17:57
Exactly, exactly. So anything related to that if they want to start I'll give an example. There were some years in the Jewish community Passover, Passover programs were a huge business people would spend 3050 or $80,000 to go away for Passover

Yoni Mazor 18:11
days, just kind of background information, you know, the Jewish people, and once a year we celebrate the Passover festival holiday Fridays, we now let the bread with Marta these crackers. And you know, the schools are awful for all the Jewish schools. So lots of families want to you know, usually happens around March or April, when your families want to kind of go out and do it somewhere else.

Yoni Mazor 18:33
Because it's very tedious to holiday because you have to clean your house, you know, for your for yourself, you have to anything related to bread or wheat, you have to clean it all out. And when people go crazy nuts, some other people like to just say, you know, my house is my house, I'm not going to go crazy on it, I'm just going to go to a hotel or resort somewhere for a day's listening to hide and have a good time and missing it the vacation became like a vacation opportunity for the Jewish community. So instead of B roll it to a huge business and industry, and how are you helping there.

Pinny Ackerman 19:01
So what happens is exactly what you're saying? So people who are anyway, spending a tremendous amount of money for those eight days have to go to one of these programs, we partnered with the programs and said, you can tell your clientele that they can use their points to pay for their state. So if normally were tossed $20,000 for two rooms, you know, a family would say, You know what, let me take the third room and I can bring other people and it'll be $30,000. And they're selling their points to do that. So by educating the consumer that their points have $1 value, and we can in any environment.

Pinny Ackerman 19:34
So there's, you know, this is just one example of that, that happened to you know, we found a lot of success and, but, and again, this will apply to e-commerce as well. The dollars that you spend on your card can also turn into points, which therefore turns into more dollars, which has applications everywhere. So we found ourselves very much educating the consumer about that there's a value in that point, and that this is a real dollar amount that we can tie it to so On a personal level, whether if you want to take your family on a trip, and you've earned all these points, now you can go away, we have just done something major, like a Passover program, and then even more. So we'll get to, I guess, into the E-commerce space where that dollar goes that you're spending and you

Yoni Mazor 20:13
Get. I think I'm getting about one thing I want to clarify here, maybe if you can help me so most consumers today with their credit cards, they're aware that there's no cash value to their credit cards because of cash rewards. So what is the advantage of regular consumers? Before we even step into the E-commerce domain? What is the value of regular consumers to work with, with the company like paid, why I'm getting cash, I get 1% 2% 3% all these categories. Why is there a needs to go the extra mile on anything? A lot of the advantages are at that moment at that point.

Pinny Ackerman 20:46
So I think the value will be is that there's a tremendous amount of information out there. And some people follow some of the bigger bloggers and they read about what they're offering and tell people like that and enjoy that. And they have to figure out how that applies to them. And they'll carry around 13 or 14 different personal cards for when they get gassed to use that card. When they go to eat. They use that card when they go into Uber, which is fine. And I'm not competing with that. Are

Yoni Mazor 21:08
Are you saying it's a regular consumer, some of them so sophisticated and developed on it? So they mapped it all out where they can maximize the bang for the buck on their credit, their credit card usage? That's one type of the more sophisticated in

Pinny Ackerman 21:20
That segment of the market. And I would say for that market. And obviously, we're not, you know, they don't necessarily need us on the personal side. I think you are 90% of the marketplace is not like that.

Yoni Mazor 21:31
Yeah, I'm not like that. I know I get 1% well, whenever you get a chance to convert it to cash and move on. So you're saying that

Pinny Ackerman 21:38
you might not know which is the best you might be using a card in your wallet just because that's the one that you use when for 10 years, oh, I flew on American Airlines one time, and I saw it get 30,000 points if I sign up. And that's the current use for everything. And I think there's a tremendous amount of people that do that. And they're not thinking about Wait a minute, it's used a different card. I can there's a huge advantage. So yeah, I'll

Yoni Mazor 21:57
To be honest with you, I know I'm not optimized for it because it is sophisticated. It does take time and research to get to those optimizations. Most people don't have that luxury, do you think that's where he goes, step into the situation of the consumer, or the business and map it all out? And you don't even charge for it, you just help them out? Yeah.

Pinny Ackerman 22:15
So the reason and the reason we don't charge for that is that we're going to make money and why to buy once you utilize the value of using the right card, we're assuming that based on the relationship and you appreciate it, you're going to come back to us that therefore we can help with other things, whether it's your travel, whether it's buying your points. So I think that's where I think a lot of the value will come in for that clientele is where we don't have to charge for that, you know, a fee for the consultation.

Pinny Ackerman 22:38
But usually, they'll find value at later points. And they'll trust us as trustworthy people. And I think a lot of what our brand has been over the past 1011 years is the trustworthiness you know, I mentioned that a LinkedIn before that'll make money on every phone call that I make, I'm not charging you to talk to me or to talk to my team about what there is to do, I'm confident that at some point, we're going to bring value, and therefore we can make an ROI on that. And that's really how we built the company from the ground up is that there's a value in what we know and what we have to offer, let's figure out a way to make money that not going to feel like we're charging you a penny for

Yoni Mazor 23:10
I love that's kind of my favorite approach, let's focus on the value, and eventually, the value will find its will its way back to us. It's all kind of impactful arrangement, okay. So on the consumer side and the business side, I can understand the things you know, the benefits of you know, maximizing and optimizing, you know, you’re spending, so you get rewarded as much as possible according to your needs that I get. So now let's dive into the E-commerce space and try to make sense of, you know, of all of it to our listeners in our audience. And yeah, what's the opportunity there. And if you can finish,

Pinny Ackerman 23:41
When we're talking about it, I'll show you how the segue applies. On the consumer side, you have a guy who's buying gas he's buying groceries is at restaurants, $1,000 a month, $5,000 a month, $10,000 a month, and then the ROI on that on $100,000 in annual spend could be 1% 2%, it's a little bit. Now if you take that and multiply that by 10, right. And eCommerce, you have companies that are spending hundreds of 1000s of dollars, millions of dollars a month, right on ad spend on inventory on fees on, you know, on services. So when all of a sudden, you know, you can get one or 2% Back on the dollars that you're spending anyway, or even three or 4% back. So somebody's spending a million dollars a month, which is not unrealistic. And various, you know, parts of the business, if you could get 1% or 2%. Back, you're talking about 10 $20,000 a month. So if you calculate that into your margins for a product, that's a so then obviously your margins will now go from 8% to maybe nine or 10%. Now you've

Yoni Mazor 24:37
Always just from the top, you're saying

Pinny Ackerman 24:41
exactly that so that also might make you might make it worthwhile to be buying and selling a certain item if you know that your margins are increased based on the fact that you're spending money to buy it. So that's a and b There's a whole mother side of the business, which is the corporate card side which is you know, well I need access to Capital, right? Every e-commerce guy that we talked to says, I just need more credit, how I can spend more money. So we have relationships, there is probably 30 or so fintech. And banks that offer corporate cards, we're partners with probably eight or nine of them that we feel very close that are, we're confident that they can help our clients in the way that they're structured.

Pinny Ackerman 25:18
And by us kind of navigate navigating and consulting with a business to say what are your needs, we can then match them up to that right partner, we can do a handoff, and then they don't cost them anything, the bank or the FinTech will pay us as a referral fee, so to speak. But that will allow our E-commerce companies to have access to more capital, higher rewards, maybe a little bit of both. And that's where they were able to find them. And we found that it's been tremendously helpful using the E-commerce space, because first of all, they're not familiar with which cards get the best dollar value on the cashback, and B, they might be being approached by some of the corporate cards, you might have you on Amex or breakfasts are different, you know, they might be approaching them,

Pinny Ackerman 25:58
But they're not sure how to navigate what will make sense for them. So we can kind of come in as a, you know, like a broker for corporate cards, and kind of help them analyze it. And then we can be their representative. And we might present them two or three or four options, here's an option one, here's your option to, here's their software and their dashboard, they're going to give you a higher credit, but lower cash rebates, they're going to give you a higher rebate, but a lower credit, they want you to pay it back. So you

Yoni Mazor 26:22
Have to drill everything down, map it out, make sense of it for you know, eCommerce, businesses, and sellers. So they can make an educated decision, what is the best optimal option for them to get a maximum impact with their spending?

Pinny Ackerman 26:35
I think there's one other part of it, that's the human part of that, besides for the dollars and cents of it, but I find, I would say 60% of the work that I'm doing is navigating the relationship between the bank and the business owner, and you know, in a formal banking relationship, everyone's nervous, right? The bank is nervous, like, is it real? Is there money there can we get and the business owners like, I don't want to tell them too much. You know, here's what our numbers look like. And we're kind of a matchmaker between. So we can have an open conversation with my clients that say, listen, here what the bank wants to see. But I understand what's going on. And then I go back to the bank, and the relationship that we have, as they listen to, everything is legit. But here's what they're worried about. And I think that I can't underestimate the amount of time I spend keeping the peace or helping them understand each other's needs.

Pinny Ackerman 27:25
And therefore that's where it comes together. We've had times where people will be like, Oh, I tried with that bank card, and they know they weren't approved. And it could be something as simple as well, they put the wrong address with a typo and an address on the application. And the bank says the underwriting flag that is the wrong address doesn't match up, it looks like a red flag that can go back and say, Whoa, here's what happened. The reason they're saying no, is because of a simple issue. We just have to correct that limited them back on the phone. So there's a lot of this, like, communication that needs massaging, I guess. And I think we're very, I find myself significant amounts of time is spent on the relationship side because there's a lot of money at stake, you know, there's a lot of value there that can be added. And that's really where I think our value comes from.

Yoni Mazor 28:11
Yeah, so I think that's very valuable for businesses, because honestly, I especially also an E-commerce, things are so sophisticated. And there are more layers of sophistication that you got to keep adding and adding. This is one of those layers and functions that most typical problem. Yeah, the overwhelming majority of Amazon sellers or eCommerce sellers are not going to, they're not going to have tolerance for it. Because we're such a touch and go rapid, boom, boom, boom. So I think, you know, taking them out to take some errors,

Yoni Mazor 28:38
Hey, I am spending 1000s upon 10s of 1000s, maybe even millions a month, is there an opportunity to optimize what I'm doing with that spending, there's a company that I can reach out to free of charge, they don't charge anything, they're going to spend the time of day they're going to break their heads. to map it all out for me, give me option 1234 I'm going to sit down with my, my team, we're going to have all the numbers in front of us say this is the best route, boom, this is just making a decision, you see all the option make a decision and off to the races, you facilitate everything around there. Correct.

Pinny Ackerman 29:06
Exactly. And I think also the other part of that is that because we have these deep, deep-seated relationships with the banks and INDEX we have a buying power with them. So when you call up, if you were to go online and look up one of these banks, you're going to get a one 800 Number you’re getting whoever's in the front door. That's the lowest level salespeople are the gatekeepers. Yeah, right, you're dealing with the gatekeepers we're dealing with directly with the Director of Partnerships, or, you know, we're going to get access to we're bringing the source you're working with the source of things.

Pinny Ackerman 29:36
So we're going to bring them a volume of accounts. Now, if it's a small account, you're not going to get to take advantage of our relationships because we have to be able to show value. The reason why when the banks and fintech value us is that we're going to bring them 1015 20 $50 million and spend a month and therefore they're saying, Okay, we're going to give you our higher-level access, higher-level credit, higher-level attention. And so for the individual, if you get it going to get a better service

Pinny Ackerman 30:00
Some, you know, from what we're going to be able to put you in contact with,

Yoni Mazor 30:03
yeah, you get, you're able to find a way to get to play that the highest or best year possible by being, you know, independent not being able to enjoy such an impact or experience, you know, you know, on your own like that. Got it. So I guess the question that comes to my mind is, what hardware? is the kind of E-commerce coming knocking on your door? Where were what was that epiphany moment that you realized e-commerce is, there's an opportunity here yet to kind of look it through the spectrum, map it out, what would that evolution there?

Pinny Ackerman 30:35
So it's a good question. We've been around, like I said, since 2011, buying points and doing some travel and things like that, what we ended up finding was some of our larger accounts that we were purchasing points, somebody were to call us up, and they had a million-dollar or a million points, or 2 million points, or whatever. And we were buying their points every three months.

Pinny Ackerman 30:55
So we knew that there were significant amounts of amount of monthly spending. And then we got in touch with some of the corporate cards, and we're like, wait a minute, there might be a better solution than what you're doing for your card. So now we kind of use our we ended up using our front end retail side of the business to help feed clients to me, right, we would have the sales team say, hey, Penny, have a client here, we're buying his points. I see. He's spending, you know, I'm talking to them. And he's telling me, he spent a few $100,000 a month, and he's in E-commerce. So we found that we were just we stumbled into this, you know, this network of people that we were bought, we had relationships with anyway, and they happen to be in E-commerce. And that's what we found was a huge opportunity.

Pinny Ackerman 31:34
There are other verticals that we find this opportunity as well. Healthcare, real estate, construction, there are other things, I happen to think that the E-commerce community is unique, in the sense that the opportunity is massive. I mean, forget about what we're doing. The E-commerce community in general is the warmest, most inviting genuine community that I've ever experienced. And happens to be the opportunity is tremendous because there's so much spent the constantly if they could spend more than they could do more business, their businesses are legitimate.

Pinny Ackerman 32:06
You know, this is where the world is going. The energy levels up, you have the banks and fintech are eager to get, you know, you have some banks and fintechs that double their revenues through COVID. Right, which is, if you think about it counterintuitive, that when everything was shutting down, and everything was moving online, these banks were able to make 100% profit on the revenues because they're scooping up the people that are purchasing online and the businesses that are driving that son.

Yoni Mazor 32:32
So those financial institutions were burning because they were putting their eggs in the E-commerce space. I mean,

Pinny Ackerman 32:37
Exactly. Got it. Exactly. So yeah, I mean, we stumbled into it. And then like I mentioned before, it's the same thing.

Yoni Mazor 32:45
As e-commerce came, if I found you eCommerce found your warehouse, and then it would just explosive growth. And then you and your clients and the data interaction made sense of it all. So it was a snowball effect that you just grow and grow into that

Pinny Ackerman 33:00
is the lowest hanging fruit in this marketplace that I find right now, I think what COVID did in our market was accelerate five years of growth in virtual digital payments. That would have you know, it used to be you talk to a company and they had a legacy program that they were using, and they're issuing checks in there, someone writes a check someone signs up, someone nails it.

Pinny Ackerman 33:20
And then during COVID, there was none of that. So all of a sudden, they had to think about how do we do this more efficiently? How can we do this with software and a dashboard? How can we manage our span and track it? We don't have you know, so all of a sudden, people were open to the conversations as well, the banks and the syntax are ready, willing, and excited to put the funding in front of it. So that's really where I think it blew up.

Yoni Mazor 33:41
Yes, you're saying, you know, the pandemic COVID pushed the whole payment industry into the digital age, brute force, you can't even go to the office on the check. It has to become digital. And that gave a whole massive lift in that direction. But also eCommerce, on the other side of consumers are stuck at home, you got to buy online, both it was a perfect storm.

Pinny Ackerman 34:01
It was a premier Summit. I think from a personal perspective, you know, in the heart of COVID. You know, it was very tough, as you know, as any company that we had to be it was a pivot or die moment. You know, so we needed to say how we figure out where the world is going and where we can capitalize. And that's where we were really like we've been doing the corporate card stuff for a couple of years.

Pinny Ackerman 34:22
That's like a side hustle. And then we realized, you know, when people are traveling, so they're probably the value point’s drops. We said, you know, we have this part of the business, and if we think this is where the future is, let's start shifting some of our energies there. And you know, thank god that's really where we've done a huge amount of growth like it's been Yeah,

Yoni Mazor 34:44
That’s exciting sounds okay. I want to kind of package the story and see if we got everything together successfully so far. So born and raised in Baltimore, it just extends, relocates to New York. Your father was Rabbi and my other social worker, you graduate and then you go for, you know, to Miami a little bit between those years in Canada up, and also the institutions were involved, you were met your future, you know, partners, you guys, all four partners. And then you graduate 2005, you graduate with your master's degree, you go into the, you know, well, you know, social wellbeing industry for about five, six years.

Yoni Mazor 35:13
And then 2011, because, you know, a little bit of time before that, you know, one of your friends and your current partner right now, one of the co-founders, he was kind of doing this on the side, and he was in terms of, you know, dealing with points, you know, buying points and, and rewards and dealing with it. And then he scheduled, you know, the three of you down, or basically, all four sitting down, he puts an envelope for cash, here's my business idea, you do this, you do this with that, you guys similar, then I say, Okay, let's give it a shot on the side, nobody quits his job yet. And then what about seven months, the first one of you, can quit your job because you know, you're generating cash and revenue. And then everybody kind of falls into place, everybody needs a job, and he's doing it full time this around already 2011.

Yoni Mazor 35:58
And then, by divine intervention, one of the clients was, you know, was able to keep in your hands about $30,000, they were not in a rush to get their money, they also even more confidence to kind of, you know, make the leap forward and keep pushing strong in that direction. And then you'll find yourself, you know, very, very successful over the years. And then you know, from 2011, and then you know, today we're recording this the end of 2020 21 and 2022. You know, you guys work on, you know, many verticals, real estate, health wellbeing, but also an E-commerce is a great opportunity for E-commerce sellers, to maximize and get maximum impact on all their spending, free of charge does, you know, reach out to get paid, they're going to map it all for you, although in all the numbers that you need to know. And then you'll be able to make an educated decision. And then once you do that, they also take more action and apply more muscle to make it all happen to execute on it. So he's got everything correctly so far.

Pinny Ackerman 36:54
Good. That's exactly that's our story. There we go. Okay,

Yoni Mazor 36:57
So thanks so much for sharing that. It's, it's been useful and exciting. So I appreciate it. Okay, so two more points I want to touch on. So the first point is somebody wants to reach out and connect, where they can find you. But the last point will be is what is your matches, the message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there.

Pinny Ackerman 37:11
So I would say my message of hope and inspiration is that I never really think about it too much. But I think that if you really, if you have something that you find has value, I think you might have to find the right people to put it in front of. But if you know that you have something valuable, and you find the right people to get in front of and you have the right people around you and you surround yourself with people with that positive energy in that outlook. You can put boots on the ground, and it'll, it'll take time, and it'll, it'll you'll strike and you'll start to move and it starts to grow. So I think that we live in a very unique time where people can find opportunities,

Pinny Ackerman 37:45
It’s out there around us, you just have to find the opportunity that works and that speaks to you. And like you mentioned, helping people with the passion to be able to help businesses grow. And I think if you find the opportunity that you think speaks to and you know, helps others, you can figure out a way to therefore for it to come back and help you full circle to make a living out of it. Because it becomes a full circle, right? You're doing something to try to help somebody that helps them. Therefore it will come back to you whether you're religious or you want to say it's karma, whatever you want to say, I think that if you put yourself out there and you know, you're something that's making the world a better place, so to speak, then, you know, I think there's a tremendous amount of opportunity in the world right now.

Yoni Mazor 38:22
Oh yeah. So no problem. So for your staying focused on value, right. Make sure that you're valuable and then you know, it's going to come back around, you know, the chain of value. Okay, so I just want for the people listening out there. Well, where can they find you though? So it's got P

Pinny Ackerman 38:40
Is. Right. Yeah.

Yoni Mazor 38:42
So let me break it down. So GT, right, get paid p Just you know, visit the website funding, find them there and, you know, beautiful, thank you so much. You know, it's been helpful. Hopefully, we also are very helpful to the listeners out there. Stay safe and help everybody the next time. Thank you very much.