Venmo's Andrew Kortina Talks Marketing, Virtual Assistants

Many of the recent advancements in payment services and financial technology can be attributed to a pair of college students and their innovative idea for splitting checks. Founded in 2009, roommates Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail developed Venmo, a new solution to traditional transaction processing.

The digital wallet allows users to make and share payments with friends through the use of an iOS or Android application. Now owned by PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL, Venmo handled roughly $12 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

Co-founder Andrew Kortina spoke with the crowd at the Benzinga Fintech Summit in San Francisco about the payments space, including both Venmo and his new company Fin.


Back in 2014, residents of New York City began to see advertisements pop up featuring a guy named Lucas and his love of Venmo. Despite the mixed reviews of the marketing campaign, New Yorkers became increasingly familiar with the service.

“Lucas was an engineer at Venmo, and Braintree had a creative agency that was going to do some ads for us, but their best idea was to do banner ads on the Best Buy website and we didn’t think that sounded too fun. So we took a picture of Lucas and put it everywhere,” Kortina said.


Kortina’s newest service Fin is an electronic assistant that operates in the cloud. The program is designed with a combination of machine learning, specified measurement and skilled executives. Fin is able to manage personal schedules and make recurring appointments, as well as facilitate corporate scheduling and organization.

“When we started the company a little over three years ago, there was a lot of excitement around Alexa and Siri and all of these voice assistants. People were excited that improvement in voice recognition and natural language processing," Kortina said. 

Anything that an executive assistant can do, Fin can do, Kortina said.

Unlike other virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, Fin will not tell you “no," he said.

“A lot of times when you ask Siri something, she won’t understand you. But Fin doesn’t do that because there’s a team of smart people who can figure out what you’re asking for. That’s the big difference.”


Business process outsourcing takes less advantage of technological leverage and focuses more on both globalization and exposure to other industries, Kortina said. “We have gained a lot of experience running an operations team on this kind of software,” he said. 

“We’re actually taking a piece of our stack for measurement and workflow optimization and pulling things out of it that we’ll offer to other companies. Obviously we think it applies to any customer service or customer operations.”

Related Links:

Flexibility, People Are Key To Lender Kabbage's Success, Co-Founder Tells Benzinga Fintech Summit

Execs From Ripple, Fiserv, Zelle Discuss Blockchain Payments, Instant Transfers

Kamran Ansari, venture partner at Greycroft, left, chats with Venmo co-founder Andrew Kortina at the Benzinga Fintech Summit. 

Posted In: AlexaAndrew KortinaBenzinga Fintech SummitFinGoogle AssistantIqram Magdon-IsmailVenmoFintechNewsEventsTech

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.