About Me

Professional Life

Brief:

Faisal Khan is an independent Banking & Payments Consulting providing advisory services for banks and financial services companies. Most of my work is based on architecting payment networks, products and solutions for clients or doing product/idea validation. Core focus has always been on cross-border transactions in the P2P, B2C and B2B space.

I am also an advisor to Hippocorn (a VC company out of Denmark) as well as a talent scout for Series A & B financing for various fintech VCs/funds.

Extensive knowledge in the design, integration & running of payment networks and systems. Well versed in online payment mechanisms, (web/mobile). Niche knowledge of cross border payments (money transfer / remittances), mobile banking, payment gateways, PSPs / PF, merchant accounts, acquiring operations & mobile payments. 

Core competencies lie in money-transmission, especially across borders for purposes of money-transfer (remittances). Deep understanding of the mechanics involved in money transmission, from the old, new and emerging methodologies, including value-transfer using alternative currency methods.

Highly Knowledgable with laws/compliance issues related to Financial Regulators (around the world), Anti-Money laundering (AML), KYC, Money Transmitter (MT) Licensing issues / Money Services Business issues (MSB)  in US, Europe and Asia.

Knowledgable about digital (crypto) currencies, alternative payment networks and peer-to-peer (P2P) payment solutions. Especially versant in Bitcoin & Blockchain technology.

Over 5,000+ answers published on Quora Internet related to banking, fintech, payments & payment systems. Co-Host of Fintech / Banking & Payments Podcast. 

Extensive contribution to the money-transmission space domain knowledge.

Specialties: Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies (including Bitcoin), Wire Transfer, Banking, Correspondent Banking, Remittances / Money-Transfers, Electronic Payments, eMoney, Branchless Banking, eWallet, Virtual Card Technology, Mobile Payments, Mobile Banking, Financial Networks, Transaction Gateways.

Pragmatic experience with various markets (US, Canada, UK/Europe, GCC, East Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and parts of Eastern Europe)

Mr. Khan holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and Masters in Electrical Engineer (Major: Electromagnetics) both from Florida Institute of Technology. 

Associations

  • Co-Host, Around The Coin. The premier podcast of banking, payments and fintech. Hosted weekly. 
  • Non Executive Director, DigitalX (Traded on the Australian Stock Exchange). DigitalX leverages Blockchain technology and the secure ledger system to create new and innovative software.
  • Advisor, Digital Finance Institute (Toronto, Canada). Think tank created for the next generation of financial services.
  • Advisor Fintech (Banking & Payments), HippoCorn (Copenhagen, Denmark). HippoCorn helps start-ups & established firms move in the right direction, by connecting them with investors and specialist advisors from around the world.
  • Member of the Board of Advisors for The Identity and Payments Association (IDPay) (USA). IDPay is a worldwide association for companies, organizations, and professionals in digital payments and identity verification

Achievements & Recognition 

Presentation & Appearances

  • Blockchain 101: Everything you wanted to learn about blockchain but were afraid to ask” 2314th November 2016, hosted at LeapFrog / MachNet, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Blockchain 101: Everything you wanted to learn about blockchain but were afraid to ask” 14th November 2016, hosted at Hippocorn, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • The PaymentBanking (German Fintech Podcast) – hosted by Kilian Thalhammer & Rafael Otero #72: Interview with Faisal Khan on Payment & Banking in Pakistan (introduction in German, but podcast is in English).
  • Advisory Committee Member for the “Innovation Challenge Fund: To Improve Remittance Services for Overseas Pakistani Workers“, Karandaaz Pakistan (in association with: United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAid) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Pakistan October 2016.
  • “Cracking the Blockchain Code” – Keynote speaker for explaining the Blockchain technology. Seminar by Planet N Group + Karandaaz Pakistan, 22nd October 2016, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • “Top trends in the Remittance marketplace” – Speaker, The Next Mile: Mobile Future for Remittances Workshop hosted by Terra, Mobile Money & Digital Payments (Global) Conference 2015, PayExpo MENA, 1st December 2015, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Conference Chair, Mobile Money & Digital Payments (Global) Conference 2015, PayExpo MENA, 2nd December 2015, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • “The Future of Payments – How digital payments are changing payment culture”, Speaker, Mobile Money & Digital Payments conference 2014, PayExpo MENA, 19th November, 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • “Payment Innovation – the move towards a cashless society” Panel Moderator, Global Digital Banking Conference 2016, UAE Edition, 12th October 2016, Dubai, UAE.
  • “12 Questions Every Money Transfer Company Should Ask”, Speaker, IMTC EMEA International Money Transfer Conference 2016, 19th May, 2016, Barcelona, Spain.
  • “P2P X-Border: The race for frictionless, value-led payments”, Panel Moderator, Money2020 Europe, 4th April 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Presenter – Workshop on the E-commerce Industry in Pakistan organized by Nadeem Hussain, Tameer Bank, 24th August 2015, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • “Opportunities in Online & Mobile Payments for Startups”, Speaker, P@SHA and NEST I/O Presentation Series, 21st March, 2015, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • “A Brief Introduction to Payments & Payment Systems (in Pakistan)”, Speaker, Plan9 – PITB’s Tech Incubator, Pakistan Software Houses Association, 2nd November, 2013, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • “Bitcoins & Digital Currencies”, Speaker, P@SHA and Karachi Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship (KITE), 24th January, 2014, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Aamer Abedi (Marketing Director RemitONE) interview with Faisal Khan, “Bitcoin, regulation and what the future holds for the remittance market”, 8th August 2014, Online.
  • Faisal Khan’s interview with National Check & Currency’s MSB Insider Expert Interviews, 22nd August 2016, Online.

Who Am I?

My name is Faisal Khan. I am a result-oriented Banking, Payments & Fintech Consultant.

Where Do I Work?

I work for my own company called Faisal Khan & Company which specializes in Cross-Border Money Transfer and Payment Systems. I’m essentially a payments consultant and an evangelist for digital money (aka Bitcoins and the Blockchain technology)

What Do I Specialize In?

I primarily specialize in cross-border money transmission.

If your project has anything to do with money transfer, remittances, business payments, money transmission laws, money transmitter licenses, store-value (e-money), access to banking, processing partners, payout access, tie-ups, etc. — this is what I do best.

Some of the example clients I work with:

  • Money transfer operators trying to gain access to banking
  • Fortune 1000, 500 and even Fortune 100 company trying to optimize your international ACH payments
  • Licensed Bank wanting to get more international business, remittance tie-ups
  • Licensed money transmitter, trying to forge alliances with partners in various countries for remittance payouts
  • Payment processor wanting to connect with clients whose payments you would like to process
  • Fintech startup looking for advice on how to penetrate a certain market segment
  • Individual entrepreneur trying to understand the complex maze of the payments world
  • Not-For-Profit entity trying to find the most cost-efficient method to make payments overseas, directly to the end-users

In addition to the world of money transfer, I’m a payments guy, which means, I work with all facets of payments. Some of the areas I work in are:

  • Credit & Debit Cards Payment Processing
  • Open & Closed Loop Payment Systems
  • Payments Facilitator (Payment Service Provider) application, setups and licensing.
  • Working with VISA & MasterCard to appoint clients as principal members.
  • Value transfer via Bitcoins or other digital currency protocols like Ripple
  • Well versant in AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations as laid out by regulators around the world.
  • Peer-to-Peer Payment Systems
  • Mobile Payments
  • Payment Gateways
  • Branchless Banking
  • eWallets
  • Mobile Banking
  • Payment Aggregators
  • Electronic Payments based on tokenization or gestures
  • Correspondent Banking
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) and International ACH
  • Global Payment Processing, Gateways and Payouts

This is what I do best. Contact me or book a time on a call, to see how I may be able to assist you.

Which Markets Do I Work In?

About 80% of my clients are from North America and the remaining 20% are from UK/EU. My clients contact me when they are interested in expanding their reach into foreign markets.

I understand the money transfer space in:

  • US
  • Canada
  • EU (including the Nordic and Eastern European Countries)
  • Australia
  • NZ
  • South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh)
  • Far East (Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia)
  • Middle East (UAE & Saudi Arabia)
  • Africa (South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco).

I’m well versed with the money transmission laws, banking and processing partners, legal formalities to do business in these territories and above all, have an excellent network of people with whom I can connect you.

Why Have An Introductory Call With Me?

You would be surprised by how many people have benefitted from consulting with me. Take a look at my Testimonials page.

A 60-minute call can answer pretty much all your questions and clear up all the doubts you may have regarding your product or service. I exercise an Ask Me Anything policy during the call. If I can connect you with the right people, partners, companies, I will do so without hesitation. That by itself is a huge time-saver. To book a call with me, simply click here.

Where Am I Based Out Of?

I am based out of Karachi, Pakistan. Don’t let that deter you, for I work globally.

Ask anyone on my LinkedIn profile or those who have reviewed me if my being in Karachi was a handicap for them.

Search me:

How Can I Verify Your Domain Knowledge?

In addition to the testimonials, one of the best ways to have a sense of semblance to my knowledge & domain experience is to review my Answers on Quora. I have in excess of 5,000+ answers on Quora and have been a Top Writer 2013, Top Writer 2014 and Top Writer 2015. You can view my Quora Profile in full here.

Who Do I Work With?

I’ve worked with everyone; virtually from everywhere around the globe.

From entrepreneurs who are starting out with just an idea, to fintech startups who are seeking growth, mid-sized companies seeking access to foreign markets, banks & financial institutions who would like more business, to Fortune 500 companies who have very niche requirements for international cross-border money transfer or payment processing.

Why Hire me?

Why? Because I’ll help you get closer to your goal, without the bull. My basis for working with people & companies has three basic tenants which my clients love:

  • I work irrespective of the project value (sticker price). Your project or assignment could be worth US$ 10,000 to US$ 10 Billion, it has no relevance with respect to my engagement. I look at the problem, not the value of the project.
  • I do not partake in equity or shareholding. Nor do I want it. My engagement is for select services, and then I am out of the way. It’s your project, and you retain full ownership (equity/shareholding) rights in it.
  • I have no interest in taking a percentage on a per transaction basis. The income from each transaction is yours to keep. Not mine.

I help clients clear up the fog with respect to their business plan. I aid in bringing clarity to their approach. I keep the buzzwords out and help them understand the various complex intricacies of the payments world and legal verbiage in plain, easy to understand English.

I make the complex simple! (and I can do simple to complex).

How Do I Bill?

I bill for my time or for the referral (matchmaking I do), plain and simple.

Based on the engagement this could be on an hourly basis, project basis or retainer basis.

What Do I Do At Work?

At work, most of my time is spent on client problems.

This essentially means reading, understanding, researching, creating, designing, developing and deploying specialized payment systems and networks. Most of these systems are for cross-border money transfer (remittances) as well as bespoke payment systems for online and mobile peer-to-peer payments.

The remainder of my time is for education and upkeep. I will devote a couple of hours a day reading & researching what is happening in the payment, banking, and fintech world.

What Are Some Of The Areas I Do Not Work In?

There are four specific areas in the payments space that I do not work in:

  • Mortgage, Lending, Payday Loans, etc.
  • Retail Banking Operations
  • Investment Banking
  • Unlicensed Money Transmission.

Personal Life

My Alma Mater

Florida Tech, my alma mater is in a small town (called Melbourne) on the Space Coast of Florida. Claim to fame: Jim Morrison lead singer of The Doors was born in Melbourne, Florida. I minored in Arts & Architecture (though our university officially does not give a minor degree). If you are curious to know, Marc Chagall is my favorite.

Family

I’m married to Anika Khan, and have two very beautiful children. Son: Omer Mikhail Khan (age 15) and my weakness, my daughter: Fevziye Ahmed Khan (age 11).

Oddities

I stopped watching the TV and reading the newspaper since 2006. Never felt happier in my life (and saner too).

Interests

I am an avid lover of old bookstores / old books, and just go gaga over flea markets and antiques.

I find many ways to keep myself occupied, from collectibles to collecting postcards (hey, if you want to send me a postcard, that would be like uber-cool).  I enjoy Jazz (vintage jazz that is), two favorite Jazz radio stations I listen to are Martini In The Morning (what a beautiful name) and Bop City Vintage Jazz.

I also like OperasDeep House Music (yes – contradictory). Needless to say, as the kid of the 80s, I am absolutely in love with that music. 80s music rocks!

I am a Type nerd. Though I must profess I am not highly knowledgable in it. Learning as I go along.

Aesthetics and Balance is very important to me.

I am an Apple fanboy.

I contribute on Quora quite a lot. I’ve been selected as a Top Writer 2012Top Writer 2013 and Top Writer 2015. See my profile on Quora.

Die hard foodie. The different types of foods I enjoy – Korean, Japanese, Arabic (especially Lebanese), Italian, French, and any kind of seafood.

Though  I don’t own a DSLR (….yet!) I do enjoy B&W photography. Books are my weakness and are a very distant second, after my family. I could drown myself in books all the time. I cannot enlist a favorite author or favorite book for you. Too many, but if it has writing on it – chances are I would read it. I have recently over the past couple of years, taken an avid interest in History and Geography. Two subjects I used to shy away from when I was young and now very much love them.

As with almost everyone else, I love movies. I can pretty much watch any genre with the exception of comedy or horror films. I try to avoid them, its not that I don’t watch them entirely. Combine movies and history, and you get a very lethal combination.

Other interests include  Vinyls,  Astronomy, music, a/v aficionado,  love trivia, stand-up comedy, cooking, guns, alcohol (from wines to a killer martini), I enjoy them all.

Contributions

I contribute a lot of content to Quora. I also contribute content & edit content on Wikipedia. Recently, I have also started adding records to the OpenLibrary project.

Babushka99 Handle

What’s the backstory on the handle: “Babushka99” ?

Many of you, who know of me (online) also know that I mostly use “babushka99” as my online handle/nick. You’ve probably thought, what the heck does that mean? why does he call himself that?

Here is the answer as to why I call myself “babushka99?

When I was in college, in the 1990s (early). I was infatuated with CIA/KGB books. So much so, that I enrolled in a Russian Language class (yes, I can speak the language……somewhat rusty!). At the same time, a movie came out called “SNEAKERS”  — one of the characters a lead hacker in the movie is called “Mother”.

Babushka if you don’t know – means Grand Mother in Russian. It is also referred to as a beret (cap) in Polish, and Kate Bush has a song called Babooshka.

Anyhow, since we were very much plugging into the internet, BITnet, FIDOnet, COMPUServ for the very first time, I choose my nick as Babushka.

The “99? got added to it – to be almost 100% sure that whenever I apply for a User ID, the Username “babushka99? would always be available.

So the name is a combination of the CIA/KGB fascination, Russian Language, and the Grand Master association to Hacking from the Movie SNEAKERS.

Contact

If you need to get in touch with me, my address is fk /at/ faisalkhan /dot/ com. You can follow me on the various social media networks like FacebookTwitterQuoraLinkedIn and Google+