The BankShift Journey

As Founder of ShiftCents, Inc. (BankShift), I would like to express my deep appreciation for your continued support of our mission. I would like to share how we got here with a story from my childhood curiosity to innovative ventures and the birth of BankShift.

Reflecting on my journey, it’s evident that BankShift has transformed from a mere concept into a thriving entity beyond my initial vision and voice. I’m immensely grateful for the growing support for our mission. 

My fascination with technology began in childhood, evident in my adventurous disassembly and reassembly of my parents’ computer. These secret operations, often completed before my parents’ return home, marked my first steps into the tech world. 

Despite a memorable mishap that led to trouble, these experiences were invaluable, offering me a hands-on education in computing during its early stages in the most riskiest way. I have nostalgic memories of those initial days when I was first introduced to what we now warmly refer to as the realm of tech “trailblazers” and “pioneers.”

This innate curiosity led me to explore software, starting with my first video game, Melee, a space adventure that ignited my lifelong passion for technology. Titles like Dune echoed through family interests and movies over the years.

My tech journey took a significant turn when I served in the military. During this period, I had the fortune of working alongside incredibly talented individuals. 

Post-military, I joined WolfeTech, a pioneering mobile development company focusing on two-way pager networks. We innovated in data packet management and early mobile trading platforms, enabling transactions with major financial firms via primitive Blackberry devices. 

Our work demanded precision and security, guiding us in delivering mobile solutions efficiently and safely, setting new standards in the industry. Surya Jayaweera was the visionary to me, as the company built the first wireless stock trading application, before online account opening was a thing.

After 9/11, the landscape changed drastically. I found myself consulting for the Executive Office of the President, developing mobile solutions for sensitive but unclassified data. This challenge led me to venture out as a CEO, founding Karbon Systems and developing a mobile ecosystem secured with AES 256-bit encryption—a significant achievement in the early 2000’s.

The subsequent dot-com crash tested our resilience, leading to the acquisition of Karbon Systems. The transition into the public sector and a broader enterprise development platform marked a pivotal moment, albeit one fraught with challenges in navigating the post-crash tech industry.

My experiences in the financial sector, particularly at a large institution wrestling with outdated technologies and methodologies, underscored the need for innovation. Frustrated with the inefficiencies and driven by a vision for better solutions, a colleague and I developed OpenMEAP.

This open-source platform revolutionized how mobile apps were built, deployed over-the-air, and managed, representing a significant leap forward in mobile enterprise application platforms.OpenMEAP was not just a technical achievement; it was a testament to our commitment to pushing boundaries and solving real-world problems. Its adoption across 150 countries validated our approach, even though it remains separate from the financial institution that inspired its creation.

After working on the website team, I quickly transitioned to single sign-on, where we built an application for login replicated across various login screens from different bank acquisitions. After a successful deployment, I moved to the mobile team to implement Two-Factor Authentication in the financial institution’s mobile ecosystem. Later, I was asked to lead the technical delivery of a credit monitoring application from inception through the cloud—the first web and mobile application of that financial institution in the cloud, with a sick return on investment (ROI).

The infrastructure as code provided a blueprint for other teams to migrate their applications to the cloud. It was the catalyst—the first team pushing applications into the cloud—that prompted others to follow suit. As others looked at the blueprint and Terraform templates, it became easier for them to customize and replicate them for their own line of business-driven applications.

Looking back, my journey through the tech landscape has been anything but conventional. From dismantling computers as a child to pioneering mobile technology and enhancing financial services through innovative software, each step has been driven by curiosity, problem-solving, and a passion for making a difference.

As I reflect on this journey, I realize that BankShift is more than a company; it’s the culmination of a lifetime of learning, adapting, and innovating. It’s a reminder that in the ever-evolving world of technology, the spirit of exploration and the drive to improve are our most valuable assets. Join me in this ongoing adventure at BankShift, where we continue to shape the future of financial technology. 

For a deeper dive into our journey and the innovations that have marked our path, I invite you to watch this video on OpenMEAP. I sounded like a humanoid. 🤖 🤣

Here’s to the next chapter in our story, one that I hope will be as exciting as it is transformative. We appreciate your continued support and will make every effort to not only meet, but exceed, your wildest dreams. 

Thank you,

Rob Thacher
Full-Stack Founder & Veteran