Payments privacy for employees and clients with Episode Six


Episode Six is an Austin, Texas-based payments technology provider, offering global, scalable payment tech to clients and the financial institutions they work with. Founded in 2015, Episode Six has raised more than $98 million in venture funding, including a $48 million Series C in May, which saw participation from Avenir Growth Capital and Anthos Capital.


According to Chermaine Hu, Co-Founder & CFO of Episode Six, the company’s internal focus on privacy in payments spans operational corporate functions. From an HR perspective, privacy issues center around personal data, and ensuring that candidates’ and workers’ data is stored and even deleted according to compliance regulations and individual decisions.

“We take very seriously the protection of personal information and its storage in our HR systems, as well as payment information that goes into our HR system and our finance platforms,” Hu said.


Hu outlined a privacy focus in payments and data from the moment a candidate comes into contact with Episode Six. The company’s ATS system automatically deletes candidates’ information if they are no longer in the pipeline. And, once employees join, Episode Six has them complete different consent forms—related to birthdays, work anniversaries, and other personal information.

“We really give people the option to protect their information in ways that they prefer,” Hu said. “Are you okay with us actually sending you a gift at your home address [on your birthday]? That's something that we ask our employees to say yea or nay to.”

Episode Six also puts different permissioning levels for team members and their roles, ensuring that only relevant team members have access to sensitive information, such as bank account details. Looking to scale rapidly in the coming three years from its current 200-employee size, Hu said technology, coupled with proper procedures, helps the company comply with privacy requirements across geographies.

Externally, Episode Six offers infrastructure-layer technology, and doesn’t personally deal with the personal information of clients and consumers. “But our platform is built in such a way that [clients] can put the necessary safeguards they need into their data structure, their process, their product,” Hu said. In that respect, Episode Six offers the same privacy and security flows to its clients as it expects from the tools that help protect payments data internally.

Given increasingly stringent privacy standards such as GDPR, Episode Six has both looked for compliance-focused solutions itself, and also emphasized the flexibility and privacy that its product offers to clients.

As Episode Six continues to scale, Hu anticipates needing to evaluate the effectiveness of the internal technologies and systems in place that safeguard employee data and payments information. But to date, the fintech is confident with how it’s handling this data, Hu said.

“Because of the industry we’re in, we make sure that we’re complying both externally in supporting our clients, as well as internally as we continue to have more people and data on our platforms,” Hu concluded.