SEAN MURRAY

This is a search result page



Sean Murray is the founder of deBanked (2010), deBanked Connect & Broker Fair (2018), and DailyFunder (2012).

Murray entered the nonbank finance industry in 2006 and has a Bachelors of Science in Accounting & Finance from University of Delaware. He is widely known for his extensive reporting on the merchant cash advance industry and fintech.




Sean Murray



Recently Authored by Sean Murray

Think The New California Disclosure Law is Just About a Disclosure Form? Think Again
By: Sean Murray

California Lending"We're one of the good guys so of course we'll comply and include the form with our contracts." Variations of the above phrase have been oft-repeated in the last few months by participants in the commercial finance industry when queried by deBanked about California's new disclosure law. Several companies have shared that they are prepared for what's to come, but are they? The regulations go into effect on December 9th and begin a new chapter of compliance for the industry. Though one might be aware that California will require specific disclosures on commercial finance contracts (including purchases of future sales), Katherine C. Fisher, Partner at Hudson Cook, LLP, explained that the breadth of the state's law will likely require changes to a funding company's operational processes as well. Fisher told deBanked that there's not just the matter of disclosing but also the matter of what triggers a disclosure having to be made. What might otherwise be considered the normal discourse between a funding provider and a customer prior to a deal being consummated is now an area requiring close examination. "If a broker sends a text to a merchant with the offers, could it trigger this?" is one scenario she posed about the threshold for disclosure. The funding provider needs to know the answer because once the disclosure requirement is triggered, the broker needs to relay back the details of the offers made, the specific disclosures provided, and the timestamp of when this took place. All of this data then needs be stored by the funding provider to maintain compliance. And funding providers will need to be vigilant. "The funder is responsible for broker compliance," Fisher said. The entire process of who-said-what, when, and how will suddenly become a realm requiring tight control it seems. And that all comes back to the form itself, which is not all that simple either. merchant cash advance APRCalifornia will require funding providers to estimate an APR on a purchase transaction using one of two methods: the Historical Method or the Underwriting Method. While the methodology selected is probably best left to qualified counsel to assist with, the likely deviation of a future estimated APR from a backwards-looking APR was a reality considered by state regulators. To bridge this gap, California requires that funding providers disclose reasonably anticipated true-up scenarios. A true-up in this instance refers to the already well-established option for a merchant to perform a monthly reconciliation of payments if the amount collected is above or below the purchased percentage specified in the contract. Though the very nature of the reconciliation is a consequence of not being able to predict the future exactly, California's law requires that funding providers disclose the dates and amounts of the true-ups that they reasonably anticipate. Such concepts and mathematics, once perhaps the subjective domain of a funding provider's in-house underwriters will soon be subject to regulatory scrutiny for total accuracy. And this just scratches the surface. The scope of this law is so unique and technical that the Hudson Cook law firm spent a considerable amount of time preparing a guide on this very subject. deBanked saw some of the pages of this guide during a call. Fisher, meanwhile, insisted that compliance in California is different than compliance with the law recently enacted in Virginia and that if funding providers wait until December to begin preparing, it will probably be too late to be ready in time. "This is more than just a form," Fisher said. "You need to spread the word about it."
Got a Mantle, Bryant, or Mahomes Card? This Company Wants to Fund You
By: Sean Murray

mickey mantle cardLast month, an anonymous bidder paid $12.6M for a 1952 mint condition Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card, the highest amount ever fetched for a piece of sports memorabilia at an auction. Understandably, the news electrified a fast growing market of collectors, traders, and financiers that predicted the next big asset class wasn't just going to be real estate or crypto or NFTs, but physical sports trading cards. The value of the Mantle sale came as no surprise to one budding entrepreneur in South Florida. On Instagram, he'd been talking about Mantle cards for weeks, even going so far as to hold up another '52 Topps Mantle card to the camera to promote what his company can do, which is provide quick cash advances to owners of valuable sports cards. The entrepreneur's name is Edward Siegel, CEO of Card Fi. Siegel's no stranger to the alternative finance space because he spent about a decade in the MCA industry, most recently as the founder of Bitty Advance, which he sold in 2020. Since then, Siegel returned to his roots and early passion of his youth. "I had a background in sports cards as a collector, you know as a kid, but then in my early twenties, I was promoting card shows at malls," Siegel said. "I was heavily into the hobby, setting up the card shows and promoting them and doing player appearances where players come in and do an autograph appearance." That was back in the late 80s, early 90s, according to Siegel. When Covid hit and he exited his most recent company, he noticed a massive resurgence in the sports trading card market. His next business ultimately became Card Fi, a company that will evaluate the market value of a card and make an advance against it. There's obviously risk involved so they take possession of the card for the duration. "We have to get a hold of these cards and we're responsible for them and then we vault them in our in-house bank vault," Siegel said. The cards are stored in a highly secure climate controlled environment. Card Fi shows the vault off frequently in its Instagram videos. Such a business requires large amounts of capital so Siegel went searching for investors, a pursuit that led him to a unique place, an Instagram Live pitch competition hosted by famed CEO and reality TV star Marcus Lemonis. Siegel entered himself in as a contestant, knowing full well that the odds of even being chosen to present his business to Lemonis were about a million-to-one. Somehow, he was called up to pitch. "So [businesses] went on there during the quarantine and you pitched your business," Siegel explained. "I went on there and I pitched it [...] And he understood it and he thought it made sense." The moment eventually led to a deal with Lemonis' company and Card Fi was on its way. Michael Jordan CardSiegel, meanwhile, dispels the notion that the burgeoning trading card industry or his business hinges upon old vintage cards or that it's a baseball-card-centric universe. "If we look at it, there's two different markets, you have the modern card market [where] I would say it's basketball [that leads the pack]," he said. "For the vintage card market it's baseball." Football is huge as well, he explained. A Patrick Mahomes rookie card, for example, an NFL Quarterback that's still currently playing, recently fetched $861,000. There are only one of five like it in the world, the scarcity playing a major role in the value. Meanwhile, a Justin Herbert rookie card, an NFL Quarterback who's only in his third year was already receiving bids above $1 million at the time this story was being written. "It really depends on the card itself," Siegel explained. "Some players might be known for having better careers but then you have cards that have more scarcity to them. Something that's a one of one or maybe a very low populated card and a graded PSA 10 could very well be worth more than a [Michael] Jordan rookie because it has scarcity in it." PSA refers to cards that have been verified as authentic and graded on the condition of the card itself. Ten is the highest level a card can receive. Card Fi will only work with graded cards to avoid any funny business when it comes to advancing funds based upon the value. Edward Siegel Standing in Front of Card Fi VaultSiegel explained that Card Fi's average advance is about $40,000 - $50,000. The max right now is $500,000. There's a big market for this type of funding it turns out because Card Fi's much larger rival, PWCC, just raised $175 million to make similar offerings to sports card owners. This financing benefits the market as loans and cash advances have become an increasingly asked-for offering among trading card collectors, said Chad Fister, PWCC's CFO in a story that originally appeared on Sportico. Enabling our clients to access liquidity through a menu of capital offerings is key as trading cards continue to prove themselves to be a valuable tangible asset class. For Card Fi, customers that take an advance can track everything through an online portal, including details about their cards, payments, and balance. "We want to note that we built a full-service automated underwriting and collection platform to where, whether it's the customer or the broker, they can log into our system and put the description of the card into the system and it's going to automatically underwrite it and price it out," Siegel said. That description sounded like something straight out of the fintech industry of his past, especially the component about brokers. "Just like the MCA space, we have a whole partnership side, a broker side, where brokers can refer us customers just as an affiliate where they just send the info over," Siegel said. Similarly, they can earn a commission if a transaction is completed, he explained. In this industry, brands like Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini have become the bread and butter for Card Fi. Even though it's all business for Siegel these days, he couldn't help but mention a particular card he had a personal attachment to. "My personal favorite card in my collection is the 1965 Topps Joe Namath rookie card," Siegel said. "Of course being a die hard New York Jets fan, that has to be my favorite card."



Related Headlines

03/17/2022Sean Murray searches for gold
02/01/2022Sean Murray to Speak at NFT.NYC
10/11/2021Sean Murray on The Smarter Money Show
06/02/2021Video: Sean Murray with Oz Konar
03/31/2021Video: Jennie Villano and Sean Murray


Related Videos



Where Can I Find a Merchant Cash Advance Lawyer?



Sean & Johny Comedy Reel - SEAA 2021



Can MCA & Business Loan Brokers Get Sued?



Episode 70


Stories

Sean Murray to Moderate Best Practices Panel at New York Institute of Credit Event

October 15, 2018
Article by:

deBanked President and Chief Editor Sean Murray will be moderating a best practices panel at the New York Institute of Credit Event on October 16th. The event is also supported by the IFA Northeast, the Alternative Finance Bar Association, and deBanked.

The subject of the panel is to discuss best practices when dealing with different financial firms, namely ABL, factoring, and merchant cash advance. The panelists are:

  • Bill Gallagher, President, CFG Merchant Solutions
  • Bill Elliott, President, First Business Growth Funding
  • Raffi Azadian, CEO, Change Capital
  • Dean Landis, President, Entrepreneur Growth Capital

Merchant Cash Advance APR Debate (Sean Murray v Ami Kassar)

November 24, 2015
Article by:

The other day, Inc. writer and loan broker Ami Kassar took some time out of his day from taking photos of his shadow in the park to engage me in a debate about the use of APRs in future receivable purchase transactions. He was apparently very bothered by my analysis of Square’s merchant cash advance program which has transacted more than $300 million to date.

To clarify my position here, I am indeed in favor of transparency, so long as it’s intelligent transparency. Coming up with phony percentages based on estimates and applying them to transactions where they don’t make sense is not transparency. Similarly, advocating that merchant cash advance companies and lenders alike move away from a dollar-for-dollar pricing model to one that requires the seller or borrower to do math or hire an accountant is also not transparency.

Even a Federal Reserve study that attempted to prove merchant cash advances were confusing inadvertently proved that APRs in general were confusing. If someone doesn’t know how to calculate an APR, then it’s unreasonable to assume that they could work backwards from an APR to determine the dollar-for-dollar cost of capital. In effect, APR is a surefire way to mask the trust cost despite arguments to the contrary.

My unplanned debate with Ami Kassar on twitter is below:

Sorry Ami. The only thing unclear is your argument.

DailyFunder Marks 10 Year Anniversary

July 26, 2022
Article by:

dailyfunderThe DailyFunder.com domain was registered ten years and 1 month ago. Formed two years after the debut of deBanked, DailyFunder went on to become the most active small business finance community in North America. The forum has generated more than 160,000 posts and has more than 12,000 members. It has regularly surpassed two million page views per year.

“There is no doubt that the DF has impacted the trajectory of the industry over the last decade,” said Sean Murray, who founded it. “The site receives thousands of visitors per day. In the early years it ushered in an era of broker commission transparency.”

Murray recalled a time when sales agents were not always aware that there were even commissions being paid at all.

“There were reps who thought that they had to charge merchants a separate fee in order to earn anything at all,” Murray said. “And their bosses were taking 50% of that. When I would bring up commissions, they’d be like ‘wait, the funders are paying my boss for these deals too?’ and I’d be like ‘how do you not know this?’ Widespread communication via the forum eliminated a lot of the secrets.”

One of the most popular categories on the forum in more recent times has been the Deal Bin, where brokers try to find placement for deals. It’s recorded more than 41,000 posts.

“Ten years is a lifetime as far as I’m concerned,” Murray said. “Love it or hate it, everybody knows the DF. If you’re a lender or funder, your brokers are lurking on there whether they admit it or not.”

Small Business Lending on Blockchain to be Discussed at NFT NYC

June 23, 2022
Article by:

Sean Murray is scheduled to speak at the NFT NYC Conference this afternoon about the use of NFTs in the small business lending market. NFT NYC is a 4-day event dedicated to the subject of non-fungible tokens. Blockchains present a possible solution to some inefficiencies that exist in the small business finance industry. Some or all of Murray’s presentation will be shared on deBanked.

Here’s a short preview of what’s going at NFT NYC:

Join the deBanked Team in NYC for a Night of Networking in Web3 & Crypto

May 8, 2022
Article by:

The Refinery Rooftop NYCThe team behind deBanked is hosting a 3-hour open bar in New York City this Wednesday night on May 11th from 6-9pm. It’s called deCashed. deBanked readers interested in Web3, NFTs, and crypto are welcome to attend the event being held at The Refinery Rooftop.

Sponsored by Artchive and designated as the first in-real-life meetup for enthusiasts of the Ethereum Name Service’s recently formed “10KClub,” deCashed intends to bring crypto-capable folks together for a night of fun, networking, and cocktails.

“I think there is a big misconception among folks who associate crypto with things like the value of bitcoin,” said Sean Murray. “In my opinion, cryptocurrencies are not investments. They’re payment tools and a means of identity. If you’ve soured on crypto because you were told a coin was going to go up and then it went down instead, that is unfortunate because the actual use-cases for crypto are just starting to be used and are on the verge of mass adoption. You don’t need to invest in any coins, just be knowledgeable of the infrastructure.”

Twitter, for example, has already implemented a limited Web3 mechanism in which ethereum-based NFTs can be used as profile pictures for users that connect their wallets. Instagram too is slated to roll out integrations with ethereum, solana, flow, and polygon THIS WEEK as social media the world over begins its slow evolution forward. Coinbase too rolled out its own social network last week. Similarly, a handful of non-bank lenders have already pivoted to smart-contract-based loans in which lenders are effectively 100% insulated from loss.

Seven years ago there was a big rush for small business lenders to incorporate social media activity into the underwriting process with the premise that much could be learned by what businesses say, share, and present themselves as on social media. Today, social media users are slowly gravitating toward a blockchain-based experience connected to their digital wallets in which their bank statements and their online photos are effectively accounted for in the same system. Do you know how to examine that?

See you at the deCashed three-hour open bar this Wednesday night in NYC at The Refinery Rooftop from 6-9pm if Web3 and crypto appeals to you. Please register in advance. If you need help, e-mail events@decashed.com or call 917-722-0808.

BROKER FAIR IS BACK! – NYC

May 2, 2022
Article by:

Broker Fair 2022 - New York Marriott MarquisBroker Fair is coming back to New York City on October 24th at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Anticipated to be the biggest Broker Fair ever, brokers from the small business lending, commercial financing, revenue-based financing, leasing, factoring, and MCA industries, will come together in the heart of New York.

“It’s amazing to have participated in the industry’s growth over the last four years,” said Broker Fair founder Sean Murray. “Our first event launched in Brooklyn in 2018 and now the demand has brought us into a massive newly-renovated venue in the middle of Times Square.”

Brokers, lenders, funders, factors, equipment financiers, fintechs, and the whole small business finance ecosystem can expect a full day of education, inspiration, and high quality networking opportunities.

Register here. For inquiries or questions, email events@debanked.com.

See last year’s sizzle reel:

Alchemy’s Lending Tech Has Come to the Small Business Lending Market: Here’s What You Need to Know

April 7, 2022
Article by:

Alchemy Site“We are the salesforce for embedded finance.”

Timothy Li, CEO of Alchemy, has launched a financing software for both commercial and small business lenders that can automatically approve applicants through an integrated decision engine. The service offers what he calls a “soup to nuts” digital lending platform — offering lines of credit, installment loans, and even loan servicing.

For the past six years, Li has been building a suite of products for those who want to sell financing. He compared his product to what many companies are now offering in the form of Buy Now Pay Later. As his service began to grow, Li realized there was an “extension” of potential with his service.

“[The] extension of this is that some of the small businesses also happened to be small business lenders,” he said.

 

“ANYBODY CAN PUT THEIR LABEL ON AND HAVE [THEIR LENDING PLATFORM] UP AND GOING IN A MATTER OF WEEKS”

 

According to him, he created the service not as an idea of innovation, but to meet a growing demand from his users. “I heard from all of the small business lenders in the New York area,” said Li. “They said ‘Tim, could you augment or come up with a piece of software fully automated for us to use’”?

Although it took some time, Li said this recent announcement is what the lenders that came to him years ago were looking for. “I said well, we’re almost there, give me a year or two to kind of really properly do it right. So that’s what we’ve done.”

In what he refers to as “private labeled” software, Alchemy’s Lending SaaS (or Lending-as-a-Service) allows merchants and lenders alike to operate a fully branded and operational lending platform with a full suite of financial products. Customers range from tattoo removal companies to lenders, to companies that have now grown to become publicly traded.

The ability to literally send Alchemy a JPEG of some branding and marketing and becoming on online lender is as easy as just that. “Anybody can put their label on and have [their lending platform] up and going in a matter of weeks,” said Li.

 

THE GOOD ‘OL ISO MODEL IS GREAT. BUT…

 

When speaking about the role ISO’s play alongside his technology, Li didn’t dismiss the value brokers play in the small business lending industry. “The good ol’ ISO model is great,” he said. “It’s great that there is a product like this that can help [merchants] grow and drive their company. But as the new generation comes in, they don’t have time. They might be on their phone for five minutes after they close their store or small business, and these kind of products are out there sitting there for them to apply for on their own time.”

Alchemy deBanked
Flashback: Li spoke with deBanked Editor Sean Murray in Aug. 2020

Li hinted that his product is best utilized by merchants who are digitally-native and are looking to have access to data quickly, while being given the time to make a decision regarding the type of financial product best suited to their business.

“[Alchemy] lets them pick what they want to pick based on their own cash flow,” he said. “It’s no longer that there will be a sales process where things aren’t as transparent. The ‘I am not going to tell you who my lender is until I’m paid,’ [thing], you know how the ISO world works. This stuff takes all of that away, and puts it right in the hands of the consumer that needs it.”

When asked if brokers could find any use of this product, Li said that if used right, the value proposition for brokers that use this software is huge.

“Brokers can use our system just like any other lender. If they want to have another way to be able to market to these small businesses, and have them use their products more. It’s essentially HubSpot for financing.”

deBanked CONNECT MIAMI is SOLD OUT

March 15, 2022
Article by:

deBanked CONNECT MIAMI - sold out

Update: The deBanked events team is now en route to the location.

Tickets to deBanked Connect Miami have officially sold out.

The incredible demand led to more registrations than any previous deBanked CONNECT event in history.

“People want to network in person, they want to learn about what’s going on in the business around them,” said deBanked president Sean Murray. “But this one has surpassed all of our expectations.”

The March 24th event at the JW Marriott Marquis will be deBanked’s 4th time in Miami since 2018. Attendees of the small-business finance-focused event can expect to connect with brokers, lenders, funders, venders, lead generators, collectors, lawyers, investors, software providers, and more.

Tickets and sponsorships are no longer available. If you are already registered and have questions, email events@debanked.com.

Threads on deBanked


07-03-2019

Inform More, Earn More...
dale laszig has written a terrific article (http://www.greensheet.com/emagazine.php?article_id=6033) on the green sheet (http://www.greensheet.com/) a...




Found on DailyFunder:

07-03-2019

Inform More, Earn More...
sean murray, president and chief editor at*debanked, makes great points about education for sales agents being paramount to their success.*if knowledgeable about the diversity of financial products, and their distinctions from one another, agents can*help customers make informed decisions, which allows them to close more deals., , *, , customers trust in the person, brand or company they are working with is...
06-07-2019

How in the WORLD!!!??...
sean murray over at debanked to do a nice piece for his magazine debanked., , this is just getting crazy!!! still waiting for approval/denial and merchant has been called 4 times already.... wwooowwwwww!!!!...
01-28-2019

Quicksilver...
sean murray would have stepped in to stop this but i guess doesnt want to hurt his bottom line...