How Pablo Martinez Helps Ease Digital Payments for Everyone

Empowering families and organizations to digitize their finances

Pablo Martinez always wanted to work in fintech, so when Pay Theory's founders asked him to join the team, he knew this was an opportunity he couldn't pass up. 

Martinez is the chief marketing officer of Pay Theory, creator of a SaaS-based electronic payment solution. The company focuses on helping families and public schools manage tech-based financial payments.

Pablo Martinez, Pay Theory CMO

Pay Theory

Founded in 2019, Pay Theory developed a payment platform for services providers and SaaS vendors to help create more seamless payment experiences. Martinez said the company's electronic payment solution can integrate with accounting platforms to allow credit, debit, ACH, and cash payments via retail partners. Pay Theory has raised $350,000 in pre-seed funding to date, and is working on closing its seed round. 

"We want to take the world of fintech and look at how we can meet the needs of a family," Martinez told Lifewire in a phone interview. "There are companies like Square that add value to small businesses, Toast is doing this in the restaurant space, and Venmo does that for peer-to-peer. We want to do that for families."

Quick Facts

  • Name: Pablo Martinez
  • Age: 25
  • From: Trenton, New Jersey 
  • Random delight: He recently got married and he’s still getting used to wearing his ring. 
  • Key quote or motto: "Forward. A word to live by that’s really representative of myself."

Growing Toward Success

Martinez's family moved to New Jersey from Guatemala, but then quickly moved to Tennessee to be closer to family. Martinez moved to Ohio after high school to attend college, and he's been in Cincinnati, where Pay Theory is based, ever since. But Pay Theory isn't the first startup team that Martinez has been a part of; he previously took a semester off from college to start a fintech company.

"I wanted to create a better way for people to interact with their finances," he said. "This was coming from the perspective of a college student."

Martinez worked with his older brother, who is a mechanical engineer. He said they pursued the venture aggressively for seven months before realizing the company was out of their scope of expertise. Martinez met a mentor during this time who offered him a marketing internship. This opportunity taught him a lot and led him to connect with Brad Hoeweler, co-founder and CEO of Pay Theory. 

"When the idea of Pay Theory was first in its inception stage, that relationship with Brad led to him asking me to lead all of the marketing efforts."

Pablo Martinez, Pay Theory CMO

Pay Theory

Martinez has been a part of the Pay Theory team from the start, with the company now 10 employees strong. 

Tackling Inclusivity 

Pay Theory is tackling the inclusivity issue that exists in the fintech industry. Since families span the entire social-economic spectrum, Martinez sees a significant opportunity for Pay Theory to serve and educate consumers of any social class. 

"Being a minority, and a Hispanic specifically, you have a different world view," Martinez said. "I've had a much different life experience than my co-founders, so we talked about how we can address the needs of the unbanked and underbanked."

Martinez said it's been hard to connect with other people in the fintech space who have a similar background as him. He overcomes these challenges by using his marketing skills and storytelling tactics to find ways to put Pay Theory's audience and potential investors in the shoes of someone else who may not be like them. 

I've had a much different life experience than my co-founders, so we talked about how we can address the needs of the unbanked and underbanked.

Pay Theory values inclusivity even more when it comes to connecting with investors. The company is actively raising a seed round. While Martinez could not disclose the amount of seed funding Pay Theory will announce soon, he shared that Zeal Capital Partners is leading the round. Zeal is a Black-led venture capital firm investing in early-stage fintech and future-of-work companies.

Martinez's main focus right now is to get 12 partners integrated with Pay Theory's platform. These partners can be institutions or organizations that integrate Pay Theory’s platform into their financial payment structure. As he continues to help grow Pay Theory, he's hoping inclusivity will stay at the forefront.

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