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Meet Craig Span, Founder & CEO at GlobeTopper:
Craig Span is the Founder and CEO of GlobeTopper since its inception in 2015. GlobeTopper is an award-winning prepaid B2B gift card concierge firm that offers an extensive and evolving catalog with brands from across the globe. These products fuel GlobeTopper’s bigger mission of fostering collaborative client relationships that enable us to better understand their unique needs and deliver tailored solutions to support their growth. In 2022, GlobeTopper placed 61st on the Inc. Magazine’s list of 5000 Fastest Growing Businesses in the US and 4th on the Philadelphia100 list of the region’s fast growing companies.
With a focus on technology innovation and global financial inclusion, Craig frequently shares his insights at industry conferences, driving meaningful discussions on the future of gift cards and digital payments. He continues to inspire and mentor aspiring entrepreneurs and is the new Chair of the Philadelphia GSEA Young Entrepreneurs program.
Craig lives outside of Philadelphia, PA with his wife and three kids.
Watch Now: Vit’s In-Depth Talk with Craig Span
Quick Read: Craig Span, Founder & CEO at GlobeTopper, Interview Highlights
Introduction: Globetropper’s Journey
In one of our latest Default Global podcast episodes, I had the pleasure of speaking with Craig Span, Founder and CEO at GlobeTopper. Craig gave us a peek into the company’s journey, which began as a prepaid mobile top-up venture in 2015.
“It was very difficult to get traction… It’s a very volume-dependent, low margin business,” Craig mentioned.
Recognizing the need for a pivot, they moved into digital gift cards, leveraging the same platform and adapting to the market’s changing demands.
“COVID happened, and everybody had to move to that digital economy, whether they were ready for it or not, both brands and consumers. We really found our footing during that time.”
Navigating Multiple Currencies and Balances
As a business, GlobeTopper is based on the idea of globalization and being location agnostic. They provide a platform that simplifies the complexities of dealing with multiple currencies and managing different balances in a global market.
“We’re basically taking whatever products, catalogs, and currencies and putting it into something digestible for clients – one easy API,” Craig explained.
This approach allows their clients to have global access to catalog items, regardless of where they are or how they want to pay.
Embracing Digital Currencies
With a 24/7 business model, GlobeTopper also accepts stable coins as payment. According to Craig, digital currencies provide their clients with the flexibility to top up their prepaid balance at any time, without being constrained by traditional banking hours.
“We’re looking for a way to be able to level the playing field in terms of making payments,” he said, emphasizing the company’s focus on providing easy, accessible solutions to their clients.
Leveraging Cultural Differences and Customer Needs
In expanding their reach to around 55 to 60 countries, GlobeTopper is keen on understanding cultural differences and customer needs in different markets. They collaborate with regional providers to gain local knowledge and insights into specific markets. It’s all part of GlobeTopper’s strategy to provide a personalized, region-specific approach to their global clientele.
Challenges and Obstacles in Diverse Markets
Emphasizing the importance of local knowledge, Craig spoke about the challenges they faced while emerging into markets very different from the U.S. For example, in countries like Argentina, operating with local exchange rates can be tricky. To navigate these challenges, the company seeks out local expertise and adapts their approach to fit the specific requirements of each market.
In terms of hiring, GlobeTopper’s primary criteria is not location but the candidate’s skills and experience. They believe in empowering their global team to do their jobs with independence, maintaining a strong company culture despite geographical distances.
Staying Profitable Amid Economic Downturn
In the current economic downturn, Craig believes in expanding reach to maintain profitability. This includes looking beyond traditional markets for funding, seeking out new opportunities, and adapting to changing circumstances.
The Future of GlobeTopper
Looking ahead, GlobeTopper plans to expand beyond gift cards into areas such as digital bill pay and healthcare vouchers. Craig envisions a digital marketplace where companies can offer their employees things that are relevant to them in their respective countries.
“The opportunities are endless, and everything is moving this way. We just want to be at the center of that,” he concluded.