An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

You learn from every mistake too. I tell my team I will let go of someone for lying, with no second chance, but if you own up to the mistake, we’ll work through it and see those mistakes as an opportunity to improve our process and guardrails.

As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Robert Day.

Robert Day is the co-founder and managing partner of With more than 35 years in the financial services space, he brings a wealth of knowledge from working on the inside and behind the scenes of a “closed-door industry.” Robert is passionate about helping businesses save money, uncover unfair billing practices, and he has shared his expertise with The National Credit Association, The Credit Research Foundation, Credit Today, Coleman Research Group, and has previously been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Washington Business Journal, Business Week, to name a few.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I’ve tried my hand at several careers and businesses before getting my start in commercial banking. I got into banking to make my mother proud, and I got out of banking so that I wouldn’t have to tell my mother what I did day-to-day. The merchant process industry is rampant with unethical practices, and the industry had a corrosive effect on me. I felt that we were treating people like crops, and I didn’t like who I was becoming. It got to the point where I didn’t want to be anybody’s friend if my career couldn’t benefit from the relationship. If there wasn’t a buck to be made, why would I waste my time? And that’s horrible to admit.

In a moment of exasperation, a colleague and I had a conversation about the future. He floated the idea of founding a company with a mission to bring transparency to the merchant processing industry. We wanted to help people whose companies and livelihoods were being put at risk by the unethical business practices of commercial banks. That company eventually became

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

As the industry leader in merchant processing auditing, we save our clients a profound amount of money from processor overbilling. For many merchants we work with, it’s like turning on a lightbulb. I recently completed an audit for a new client and we discovered that he’s getting overbilled $260,000 per year, and that’s before fixing their interchange issues. Prior to the inception of, processors had free reign to overbill merchants with zero recourse. Not anymore! Now merchants are in control and have the ability to manage their fees. If what we are doing to this industry is not disruptive, I cannot imagine what would be, as we have turned it upside down. Now it’s the way it should be.

Commercial bankers and merchant payment processors steal more than you think. They may not break into your house and take your wedding ring, but the amount they overcharge eats into margins and sometimes forces companies into bankruptcy, costing people their jobs and livelihood. The impact is more extensive than the theft of a wedding ring — it’s equivalent to taking away a spouse’s ring, the home, and the family’s future. And bankers believe that they operate with some moral standing because they work for a large, well-known corporation.

But unfortunately these large payment processors have a rap sheet longer than most criminals. They have received multiple fines of tens of millions, sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars. If a fine of that staggering amount doesn’t stop a company, what’s that tell you about how large the grift is?

Helping businesses avoid overbilling fees saves jobs and families, especially at small and mid-size companies that don’t have any other resources or methods to recover overbilling. We approach the business with transparency and full disclosure, something you simply don’t see in the industry. The government fails to regulate the industry effectively, and the processors operate unchecked, so we expose that. We’re the only ones who do what we do.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

To be honest, funny is not a word that comes to mind when I think about the mistakes I’ve made or our company has made. I may be too neurotic to look at any mistake without a large degree of self-criticism. We have made plenty of mistakes by trusting salespeople and signing contracts where things were promised on the phone only to learn the applications and features that were promised were a feature to come, not ones they currently have.

However, it is what gave birth to our “Love Us or Don’t Pay Us” guarantee. We want our clients to feel comfortable hiring us without worrying about the risk that they misinterpret our services or aren’t satisfied with what we do and how we do it. I believe that by offering our services without that risk, without that stress, we are doing the right thing. Signing certain contracts with a guarantee would have saved us from making some large mistakes.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I’ve always been interested in Steve Jobs and Elon Musk as influential business leaders.

With Steve Jobs, I loved his passion for disruption. I appreciate his refusal to accept “no” as an answer and his commitment to ensure his team was staffed with the right people to get the job done. I am someone who works their team hard, and if you can’t get it done, we can cut the conversation short because you’re not the right fit for us.

That level of candor and expectation to succeed is essential when you are creating something from scratch, when many people’s instinct is to say no simply because there is no precedent or blueprint. We had to create the vast majority of everything we’ve done from scratch. It was a hard journey, and when you try to explain it to others, they question what we do. You’re trying to use a vocabulary that doesn’t necessarily connect yet to our everyday language.

Steve Jobs was the kind of guy who never did what was already being done. This caused skepticism — if somebody could’ve gone down this path, wouldn’t they have done it already? Entrepreneurs need to constantly overcome that skepticism.

Elon Musk is also passionate about creating something new. His commitment to making the world a better place, prioritizing advancement over winning, is inspirational. For example, when he committed to making Tesla’s patented technology freely available for anyone to use, he was called crazy, but he responded by asking what is the worst thing that could happen? The worst thing meant somebody would build a better car than Tesla could, and what’s wrong with making the world a better place?

Again, entrepreneurs often face skeptics who believe we’re going down the wrong path. But we have to try the impossible to change the world.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

In my opinion, being disruptive is doing something new and doing it in a way that’s against what everyone gravitates towards. The status quo is the kiss of death. I always aim to innovate, operate with excellence and improve our business each year. I am constantly pushing our vendors to up their game, allowing us to improve, as well as pushing my IT team, our auditors, client services, operations. I ask them every year and even many times during the year, if we could change one thing, what would it be? I am always looking to improve. Maybe it is my DNA, but I am never happy with how things are.

We don’t get everything right this first time. But wrong is only the first step to getting it right. I don’t think anything really goes wrong if we’re learning from it and working towards getting it right. We can see the irritative nature of disruption in the music industry, where we’ve gone from 8-tracks to cassettes to CDs to the iPod. Now we watch TV on our phones. This only happened because someone knew there was a better way and they worked hard to find it, to create it! As Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else ever thought.” When we think of creativity we usually think of art. However, creativity is so much more and is what makes the world go around.

Can you share five of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

My dad gave me good advice at my son’s first birthday. The baker had made a mistake with our cake, and I was furious. My dad calmed me down by asking, “What will this matter in time? Who will remember this in a year, a month, or even a week?”

The saying “time heals all wounds” doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships; everything gets better in time. Bad business deals and business mistakes, soured friendships — you learn from it all with the benefit of time.

You learn from every mistake too. I tell my team I will let go of someone for lying, with no second chance, but if you own up to the mistake, we’ll work through it and see those mistakes as an opportunity to improve our process and guardrails.

I also have benefitted from the advice that nothing is ever as bad as you think.

And a practical lesson I’ve learned and try to teach is to never reply to an important email for 24–48 hours. You need time to digest things.

Best advice no one gave me, but advice I regularly give involves perfecting your pitch, research and professional networking. For example, when I take our teams to trade shows, I tell them to stop by every booth and learn more about every single vendor. Tell the vendor what we do and ask that vendor how they might be able to help us. Not a group effort, each one on their own. I ask them to write up a small report on what they found. Over the years, that has led to quite a few changes in how we do what we do.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

For me, taking our message and the story of what we’re doing to the next level is about getting the word out more. I have a book coming out soon (The Great American Heist), that provides a personal account of what I’ve been through, what got us to the level of success we’ve experienced and why we’re doing what we’re doing. My hope is that the message will resonate with and have an impact on as wide an audience as possible.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

I recommend “Elon Musk” by Ashlee Vance. I can relate to the struggles Musk faced in his early days of trying to get Zip2 and (which became PayPal) off the ground. He wanted everything to be perfect and better than anything that was done before, which resonates with me. He was a trailblazer, but he needed to overcome a team of people who reinforced the status quo and were constantly saying what he was trying to achieve was not possible. My first five years of building were full of “no” and “it can’t be done.” Reading about Musk, I felt like I was in good company, and while the average person may have thought I was crazy, it was comforting to know other industry trailblazers faced the same obstacles.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

A favorite quote of mine relevant for our business is from the character Bigweld in Robots: “See a need — fill a need.”

And, oh boy, do we see a need! Even Senator Dick Durbin has said so, speaking about the banking industry: “Small businesses and large businesses alike are being overcharged across America by credit card companies and banks, without restraint.”

There is a need to address the massive overbilling — an issue that the senator and other politicians have acknowledged but not addressed — and there has been no one to fill that need to help merchants. That is, until we saw it and filled it.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’m passionate about helping improve living conditions in Haiti. There is a lack of awareness about how dire the humanitarian issues and conditions are in Haiti, and I use my influence as much as possible to raise money for humanitarian efforts in the country and the nonprofit organization, Loving Kay Refij.

We’re in the midst of fundraising for a well, with about half of the money already raised. At the same time, we are fundraising for a mobile ultrasound to support women and prenatal health. Children often have less rights and are treated worse than we treat animals in this country. So, I do try to influence people to get involved there.

How can our readers follow you online?

Readers can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, and our website,

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Meet The Disruptors: Robert Day Of weAudit On The Five Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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