Regulatory Ramblings podcast

Digital Payments, Innovations, and Financial Inclusion

Rewind 15 seconds
Fast Forward 15 seconds

Lisa Nestor is a Los Angeles-based fintech expert and pioneer in the field of electronic payments. She currently serves as the chief strategy officer at AirTM. Under her watch, AirTM has successfully facilitated over 26 million transactions, and expanded access to commerce to international businesses both large and small, creating a user-friendly tool benefiting millions of people worldwide.  

After just a year in the FinTech field, Lisa introduced by a UCLA professor from her MBA days, to Jed Michaela, then CEO of the Stellar Development Foundation - a non-profit foundation supporting the Stellar ledger: an open, decentralized blockchain ledger focused on payments and providing open financial infrastructure. Before transitioning to AirTM, Lisa spent five and half years at Stellar, where she focused on partnerships and later, ecosystem development. As she puts it, the beauty of AirTM is that it leverages Stellar ledger.  

With a passion for innovation, implementation and strategy within the shifting fintech landscape, Lisa’s knowledge is much sought after by entrepreneurs, developers and C-Suite executives. 

In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, she talks to our host Ajay Shamdasani about her time in the Peace Corps, how she got into FinTech and payment systems as a ‘non-techie’ as well as AirTM’s long term goals and achievements thus far. Their conversation also delves into how firms operating in the FinTech and crypto realms should they adjust their business strategies to factor in digital money and cross-border payments and the attendant regulations that go along with them.   

Lisa also shares her views on financial inclusion, making money easily accessible and immediately available, and utility of decentralized ledgers. She also talks about the challenges of operating across 190 countries with 400 unique payment methods globally. The discussion underscores the need for proper cross-border payment infrastructure to support the digital economy, which begs the question – who will set the rules of such new financial architecture – the industry or governments? 

The conversation concludes with Lisa’s thoughts on stablecoin digital currencies outside national currencies (especially amongst those concerned about digital financial sovereignty), whether self-custody wallets the solution to digital financial sovereignty and what parts of the world beyond Dubai are worth watching for developments in FinTech and payment systems. 

HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at

More episodes from "Regulatory Ramblings"