CoinPoint buzz: PaySafe’s finest — Yasen Yankov standing at the vanguard of software development and FinTech refinement
From online to instore; from merchant acquiring to payment gateways; from alternative payments to omni-channel and secure cross-border e-commerce; from white-label credit solutions to mobile order and delivery platforms — PaySafe undoubtedly offers merchants an unbeatable one stop payments solution. The entire workforce at PaySafe operate towards achieving a common goal — to connect businesses and consumers by offering them the best customer experience — however a person who superintends that the dev side behind the platform is inch-perfect, and on par with the latest market trends is Yasen Yankov. Today, CoinPoint representatives are looking into how Yasen sees things from his perspective and what changed as a result of cryptocurrency revolution within the FinTech area.
1. What made you join one of the global Fintech industry players Paysafe Group, and what challenges did you face during the onboarding stage?
YY: Joining Paysafe felt like a natural thing for me to do as I’ve worked in the financial technology industry for quite a while and I liked the company’s ethos. Prior to joining Paysafe, I spent four years as Co-Founder and CTO of a crypto lending platform and that experience made me realize that FinTech is what I am passionate about and is the space where I want to be. A challenge I faced when settling into my new role at Paysafe related to the scale of what we do here vs. what I’ve previously been exposed to. The company is quite large and it’s global, which means that we collaborate with colleagues across several locations. I really enjoyed the onboarding stage at the company and was happy with my decision to join.
2. Operating a very dynamic Fintech dev team is a highly responsible job. What is your approach to managing talent?
YY: I always try to follow a set of simple rules. Firstly, people should know what their short-term goal is and believe in it and its achievability. I try to build close relationships with the engineers within the team and lead by example, being passionate about what we do and how we do it. So, my second rule is that everybody within the team should have an awareness of what’s going on for every other team member and if he/she needs help. Last but not least is how we shape the team — we know our engineers very well and want to enable them to play to their strengths. It’s also very important for the success of initiatives we work on to be mindful of their scale — time to market is critical and we need to approach the delivery process and the SDLC in an aligned way. We often review product functionality and speed of production to ensure that the team is on track from a timing perspective.
3. Tell us something more about Paysafe’s solutions and how they bridge the gap between fiat and crypto transactions on a global level.
YY: We are working on several initiatives in order to bridge this gap. Last year we launched cryptocurrency services within our two main digital wallets — Skrill and NETELLER — giving customers the opportunity to instantly buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Our Skrill Quick Checkout product enables online businesses to quickly onboard crypto into their accepted payments methods alongside traditional alternatives. We also have a card issuing partnership with Coinbase that enables its UK account holders to make contactless, EMV (Chip & Pin) verified or online payments with all merchants that accept Visa card payments and make cash withdrawals from their Coinbase accounts from an ATM. The benefit of the prepaid card model is that the business doesn’t need to integrate cryptocurrency into their checkout because funds are converted into fiat currency before the transaction is completed, making this solution scalable and of maximum benefit to consumers.
4. Blockchain and AI are forming a great alliance, specifically in the finance industry. How do you see these two innovative technologies develop further, and which real-world use cases are most promising?
YY: For AI, I really like the fintech consumer ideas which have recently emerged — personal finance assistants, the ability to convert invoices into a digital P/L sheets, etc. I think that because the financial system is becoming so open, it’s getting harder and harder for consumers to manage their personal finances. On the blockchain side — credit scoring is a huge use case for consumers and several projects in this area already seem to be progressing well.
5. Have you used cryptocurrency before and what is your opinion on their features?
YY: Yes, I’ve started using and buying cryptocurrency back in 2011. I think that cryptocurrencies are still in their early days and are connected to specific use cases. I’ve been part of one of the biggest crypto accelerator programs — BoostVC — since 2014 with my startup company and I’ve been buying my coffee in Starbucks with crypto because of a company called Fold, which was in our cohort.
6. Tell us something more about the Paysafe Global Hackathon.
YY: It’s a huge event, with participants in different locations working together on a variety of coding tasks. This year the focus was more on algorithms and computer science as well as professional coding. More than 850 engineers joined the competition in two stages. Kamil Debowski, a Polish developer, won the competition big prize of $25000. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun at the same time and we’re looking forward to organizing it again this year.
7. What do you expect from this year’s Next Block Sofia event which you are supporting?
YY: I expect to meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world, who are into crypto and securities. I’m very keen on this year’s topic — I’m a big believer in the security token idea and I’m looking very closely into several implementations and the technology and product stack around it. I took part in the conference last year, so I’m happy that Paysafe is going to be part of the conference this year.
CoinPoint Group is constantly on the hunt for the innovative projects within the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors as to show them the light and guide them through the thick and thin. If you’d like to learn more visit our website at https://www.coinpoint.net/ or if you’d like to be interviewed by our team and present your project, let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org