Lost Password


Zūm Rails: Innovating Transactions, Elevating Experiences

In the ever-evolving landscape of fintech, Zūm Rails has emerged as a trailblazer, reshaping the payments industry with its innovative approach and commitment to seamless financial interactions. Founded in 2019 by Marc Milewski and Miles Schwartz, the company has swiftly scaled from a humble beginning at the kitchen table to a team of 30+ professionals providing groundbreaking payment solutions. Let’s delve into the Zūm Rails journey, guided by the vision of its CEO and Co-founder, Marc Milewski.

Conquering Milestones: A Year of Triumphs

The landscape of open banking and instant payments adoption in the United States has been relatively slow compared to its global counterparts, with notable exceptions like Brazil. However, a significant stride was made in July 2023 with the launch of FedNow, and the anticipation of forthcoming data-sharing regulations promises a potential acceleration in the domain.

While the journey towards comprehensive adoption continues, Zūm Rails, founded by Marc Milewski and Miles Schwartz in 2019, has emerged as a trailblazer in reshaping consumer payment experiences. Acknowledging the fragmented nature of current payment systems, the Montreal-based company has taken the innovative approach of creating an all-in-one payment gateway that seamlessly integrates open banking with instant payments.

Marc Milewski, drawing from his background in treasury payments and experience as an early employee at Versapay, identified the need for a unified gateway to address the complexities associated with moving money. In discussing their vision, Milewski stated, “Companies don’t want to be payment experts — that’s our job.”

Zūm Rails has developed software to simplify the intricacies of money transfers across various payment rails, enabling companies to choose the approach that best suits their business needs. The platform leverages “omni rails,” encompassing traditional credit, debit, and electronic funds transfer options, as well as real-time alternatives through partnerships with entities such as Visa Direct, Mastercard, MX, and Canada’s Interac network.

Managing the flow of money involves identity verification, direct linking with bank accounts, and facilitating payments according to the customer’s preferences, effectively reducing fraud and failed transactions.

Over the past year, Zūm Rails has experienced remarkable growth, processing over $1 billion in payments monthly for more than 500 companies, including notable names like Questrade, Coinsquare, and the Desjardins Federation of Credit Unions in North America. Expanding its reach, the company successfully launched in the U.S. at the end of 2023.

Having bootstrapped the company to a team of 30 individuals, Milewski and Schwartz recognized the need for venture capital to fuel their ambitious initiatives. In a recent Series A funding round, Zūm Rails secured $10.5 million, led by Arthur Ventures. This investment aims to facilitate the company’s expansion in the U.S., diversify its payment offerings, and introduce new banking-as-a-service features for merchants. Additionally, Zūm Rails is actively developing a FedNow offering in the U.S., promising FDIC-insured payments within seconds for businesses.

The company’s impressive performance has garnered attention, with Jake Olson, Vice President at Arthur Ventures, praising Zūm Rails for achieving profitability without external capital. He emphasized the company’s compelling product positioning, providing organizations with a comprehensive solution for the entire transaction journey and enabling a seamless experience for end-users. Zūm Rails, with its high-growth and capital-efficient approach, stands as a testament to conquering milestones in the ever-evolving landscape of digital financial interactions and instant payments.

Defining ‘Smartness’ in Operations and Strategies

At the core of Zūm Rails’ success is its definition of ‘smartness’ in operations. Marc Milewski articulates the company’s commitment to integrating the latest technological advancements, data, and innovative practices into their operations and strategies. Their ability to navigate the business landscape responsively, solving user problems while looking ahead to future risks, underscores their smart approach. Sustainability and ethics further solidify Zūm Rails’ commitment to long-term success.

Fostering a Culture of Innovation and Adaptability

Zūm Rails places a premium on creating an environment that fosters innovation. The company’s smaller team thrives on top-tier talent, with a focus on solution-oriented problem solvers. An open work environment empowers employees to be autonomous and collaborative, generating value beyond traditional revenue metrics. This culture of innovation and adaptability has been pivotal in Zūm Rails’ journey.

Setting Zūm Rails Apart: A Unified Payments Hub

Zūm Rails distinguishes itself by offering a software platform that replaces entire payments tech stacks with a single, user-friendly interface. Unlike competitors, Zūm Rails provides a centralized hub for businesses, streamlining fund management and payment processes. This unique approach reduces risk and enhances the overall payment experience, setting the company apart as the only solution offering such a wide range of features in a single user interface.

Preparing for Industry Trends in 2024

As the industry anticipates significant trends in 2024, Zūm Rails is well-prepared. Recognizing the pain points of businesses operating with large tech stacks, the company was built to be scalable and act as an all-in-one payment solution. Viewing payments as more than mere transactions, Zūm Rails sees them as opportunities for an elevated customer experience and enhanced analytics. The company’s platform, built with the future in mind, allows for seamless pivoting in response to emerging technologies.

Collaborations Powering Growth: The Questrade Partnership

Collaborations have played a crucial role in Zūm Rails’ success, with the partnership with Questrade standing out. Working closely, they created the first complete instant payment platform, showcasing a shared vision of offering a quicker, more secure, and superior product. This collaboration not only validated Zūm Rails’ concept but also provided a market MVP, optimizing workflow and validating their tools in the market.

Sustainability in Growth and Operations

While Zūm Rails explores limitless software capabilities, it remains committed to sustainable growth. Rigorous back-end protocols ensure preparedness for any eventuality, providing users and new Zūmers with a thorough and supported experience. Timelines are strictly maintained to prevent user disruptions during feature releases and development deployments, reflecting the company’s dedication to sustainability in both growth and operations.

Staying Ahead in an Ever-evolving Market

Zūm Rails maintains its edge by diligently identifying and eliminating pain points within users’ payment journeys. The company leverages pre-existing tools to analyze transaction data, customer spending habits, and financial interactions. This proactive approach allows Zūm Rails to focus on continuous improvement, staying ahead in an ever-evolving market without direct competition comparisons.

Company Culture Driving Innovation and Productivity

Zūm Rails’ company culture revolves around giving individuals the freedom to innovate. The fully remote team operates on an outputs-based approach, fostering creativity and accountability. Effective communication across countries and time zones has been key, enabling the team to work, innovate, and succeed together.

Maintaining Excellence: Zūm Rails’ Future Outlook

As Zūm Rails looks to the future, maintaining excellence remains a top priority. The company intends to uphold practices that have led to its success, constantly innovating, eliminating friction points within its processes, and contributing to the evolution of the payments space