Hero Innovation Group Inc. (formerly known as Euro Asia Pay Holdings Inc.) delivers innovative financial solutions for the next generation of consumers whose parents demand safety, security and peace of mind while promoting financial literacy for the future.
The Hero Group stands out among competitors as it continues to diversify its products and services to address specific unmet needs tailored to youth demographics while delivering a unique service to the North American market with its flagship brands – Hero Financials & SideKick Card.
Our mission is to make it simple, safe, and secure for kids and young people to become financially smart adults in the future. We have created innovative technologies to make the process fast and easy.
We live by our core values: Happy, Hungry, Humble, and Human, and we are proud to have been praised for its commitment to maintaining a multicultural work environment that celebrates gender equality and implementing at-work wellness programs.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a business leader with international experience in both private and public companies. My expertise spans 25 years with a track record of building and growing successful technology businesses, two successful exits, and three public listings. I founded Expert Agent in 2003, the leading real estate SaaS solution in the United Kingdom, connecting more than 14,000 realtors and almost 9 million home buyers.
Before joining Hero Innovation Group (formally Euro Asia Pay), I acted as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Venzee Technologies Inc, the Managing Director at Web Sky Ltd. (Expert Agent), and the Chief Operating Officer at PDT Technologies Inc., a global, full-service product design and development firm which is now called Kabuni Ltd. and is traded on the Australian Stock Exchange.
As a father of two, I try to instill financial knowledge and responsibility in my kids. Additionally, issues around safety, security and peace of mind are important to parents like me. Hero Innovation Group is one Company that takes such matters very seriously.
The company was incorporated in British Columbia in October 2017 with the goal of developing payment solutions that offer enhanced digital financial services to the international student market. SideKick, our first flagship product, was launched in June 2020 and currently supports international students coming to Canada.
After launching our international product, we heard from parents in Canada that they would also love to make use of our technology, as there has been a lack of solutions supporting their kids’ needs locally.
We also heard how most traditional banks underserviced kids, teens, and young adults in the country. So, it seemed natural for us to enhance our audience to the next generation of consumers while servicing both international and domestic markets.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Buy stock in Pfizer and sell Bitcoin! But seriously, looking back it’s been a crazy couple of years, incomparable during modern times.
When the pandemic hit, restricting the movement of International Students, our core focus at the time, we made the decision to focus on our domestic market.
It was a huge shift and the advice I’d give would be “You’ve got this”. With all the uncertainty and with no frame of reference for the global situation we had no idea how long this would run for.
Our business decision to take the opportunity to fortify our offering, really focusing on Financial Literacy allowed us to diviliver our Hero Financials product in record time not only for the Canadian market but also for the US, later this year. We have an amazing team at Hero and their dedication and hard work is now coming to fruition.
What problem does your business solve?
Financial literacy is a critical component for youth smart money management to ensure a solid financial future. We believe that this new generation of consumers, in Canada and internationally, are increasingly connected, tech-savvy and prefer to support companies that align well with their values.
That is why we proudly offer an all-in-one solution with the kind of digital tools and support that complement these important values.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Our inspiration really ties into our company’s purpose. We are in the business of delivering financial literacy through our innovative financial solutions for the next generation.
We recently launched our brand-new Hero Financials product for users in Canada. Hero is designed to address the unmet financial needs of kids, youth and their parents, especially around financial literacy, and independence.
It is the perfect solution for parents and guardians who want to provide their kids with a solid understanding of how to manage money, allowing them to gain financial independence with confidence.
What is your magic sauce?
Being laser focused on our target market and surrounding yourself with some of the best people in industry. That’s what has allowed us to build out and deliver products like Hero Financials.
One of Hero Financials’ main features is the SideKick Mastercard which allows teens and young adults to make their own financial and spending decisions.
Parents can allocate funds into different spending categories and kids can spend the money using their own SideKick Mastercard, eliminating the need to borrow their parents’ debit or credit cards.
Money transfers are sent in real-time, and the card can be used both in-store and online via contactless and chip payments. For added convenience, any lost Hero Financials cards can easily be locked instead of it being cancelled and then replaced. If found, the user can unlock their card and use it again.
I would also add that our magic sauce is the world-class team that is behind this product. We brought our diverse knowledge, experiences, and skills together to create a way for parents to be part of their kids’ lives, even when they are away.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Our roadmap shows a bright future for our shareholders and customers; we are not only hitting but overdelivering on all our internal and external milestones.
At Hero Innovation Group, we see ourselves as a company that creates products and services tailored to the customer’s needs in any given situation in an effortless manner while offering an ideal user experience.
We are building a solid foundation in Canada with our international and domestic programs. Canada’s education market is very similar to other top education destinations globally, which is also true for parents’ problems when sending and monitoring money for their children away from home.
Our immediate focus is expanding our product offerings to reach a broader addressable market to potentially over 6 million users in Canada.
In addition, we have multiple products and services planned in the near future explicitly designed for the North American market and will start disclosing soon. That being said, we are also working on future US expansion, with other lucrative territories to follow which will be our focus at least for the next few years.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Financial education should be a crucial and compulsory part of every kid’s life journey and should start as early as possible in life.
The biggest challenge that we saw the industry or this generation facing was the feeling of often being underserved by traditional banks and other financial institutions, as these companies tend to focus their efforts on the active population.
There was a lack of solutions exclusively thought of for the financial literacy of kids and teens. We can relate to kids, teenagers, and their parents and therefore introduce a perfect product and a turnkey solution for parents who are trying to imbibe financial literacy at a young age.
Other solutions available can be used by youth but are not explicitly developed with their needs in mind. That’s where we fill the void: we listen to their needs and evolve our products and services to support them every step of the way.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
Hero Innovation Group engages with schools, education agents and student bodies to promote our products. With the recent launch of Hero Financials in Canada, we have increased our addressable consumer base from approximately 700,000 people to more than 6 million.
The group has also recently announced strategic partnerships with i2c and Discover Card to expand and offer Hero Financials in the United States this year. This means that we can potentially reach over 60 million vendors and tap into the U.S. GenZ market, a sizable opportunity with an estimated purchasing power of $140 billion.
All our partners are the one who consider and believe that education and financial literacy form the core of their company values too. Most of their products complement our strategy of creating a worldwide alliance allowing the next generation of consumers with more choices and products to imbibe life-long financial skills.