Fintech Firm Central Payments Hires First Legal Chief, Raises $30M

Jessica Drew is taking the legal reins of the eight-year-old company, which was recently spun off from the Central Bank of Kansas City.

September 02, 2022 at 12:02 PM


Central Payments has hired its first-ever general counsel as the South Dakota-based fintech company looks to capitalize on a recent $30 million growth-equity deal and spinoff from the Central Bank of Kansas City.

“Today, I find myself sitting in my new office in the heart of downtown Sioux Falls, at Central Payments, L.L.C.,” the company’s new legal chief and head of risk, Jessica Drew, wrote in a LinkedIn post on Thursday.


She added, “So much has changed over the last year. I can’t help but reminisce about where I was at a year ago, just a couple blocks away at Great Western.”


Drew most recently served as senior VP, associate GC and assistant corporate secretary at Great Western Bank, which finalized its $2 billion sale to Interstate Bank in February. She exited the bank in May, after having worked for more than seven years in Great Western’s legal department.


“Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council was well into implementing our strategy to immerse DEI into the work culture via conversation, education and being kind,” Drew noted in her post.

She was unable to discuss her departure from the bank. Great Western’s general counsel, Donald Straka, split with the bank in February, according to his LinkedIn profile.


Central Bank of Kansas City founded Central Payments in 2014 as a community development financial institution, which later created Falls Fintech, a startup fintech accelerator. Central Payments has since grown into a banking-as-a-service platform.

The firm announced in August that it had completed a $30 million growth equity raise led by Castle Creek Capital and was spinning off from Central Bank, which will continue to partner with Central Payments as an investor, issuer and strategic partner.

As Central Payments’ top lawyer, Drew oversees compliance, anti-money laundering, security, corporate governance, fraud risk management, vendor management and legal teams and processes, according to her corporate bio.


Earlier in her career, Drew served as senior counsel at Sioux Falls-based financial holding company Meta Financial Group and as an attorney at Mackoff Kellogg Law Firm in North Dakota.