Originally published in TechCrunch March 18, 2021

In New York City, if you order a toasted bagel with cream cheese at a deli, you have to pay sales tax. Ask for that same bagel unprepared? You won’t. In Illinois, candy is subject to sales tax, but candy with flour is considered a regular grocery item. Meaning: A Kit Kat is tax-free, but M&Ms will cost you extra. And in Colorado, your daily coffee cup is considered essential packaging, while the lid is not, making it subject to a nonessential packaging tax.

These examples may seem trivial, but they illustrate the…

Three to five business days.

If you’ve ever received a refund from a store, transferred money from a holding account, or waited for a payment to clear, that is probably how long you’ve had to wait — perhaps anxiously — for the transaction to clear. If you were making a payment, this lag time might even have inadvertently caused you to overdraw at your bank, as your checking account balance was deceptively higher when you authorized a debit than when it eventually went through days later. For many Americans, it’s a predicament that gives unfortunate new meaning to the saying…

Originally published in TechCrunch on June 29, 2020.

If you have bought a house in the last decade, you likely started the process online. Perhaps you browsed for your future dream home on a website like Zillow or Realtor, and you may have been surprised by how quickly things moved from seeing a property to making an offer.

When you reached the closing stage, however, things slowed to a crawl. Some of those roadblocks were anticipated, such as the process of getting a mortgage, but one likely wasn’t: the tedious and time-consuming process of obtaining title insurance — that is…

Originally published in the Journal of Payments Strategy & Systems, Vol. 13, №3 2019, pp. 226–236, © Henry Stewart Publications, 1750–1806

Written by: Ashley Paston & Matt Harris


While the trend for leveraging integrated payments software (FinTech 1.0) offered bank acquirers a new channel to disseminate payments, the current wave of FinTech (FinTech 2.0) consists of software companies integrating payments into their core offering. FinTech 2.0 companies are able to capture more of the payment economics and offer merchants a better experience. While a software company can pursue multiple pathways to offer payments to its customers, the only way…

Ashley Paston

Investor at Bain Capital Ventures focused on fintech

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