Behind the Idea Editor's Choice Fintech Paytech

Behind the Idea: TransferGo

TransferGo, one of the world’s fastest-growing money transfer companies, earlier this month announced the appointment of Edgardo Savoy as its new Chief Technology Officer.

Based in London, Edgardo will be responsible for leading TransferGo’s team of more than 60 engineers and driving the company’s technology roadmap with a focus on customer experience. With his team, Edgardo will expand TransferGo’s customer offering to ensure anyone arriving in a new country has access to the same benefits as non-migrants.

Bringing over 25 years of product and technology experience to TransferGo, Edgardo has held senior positions at Paddy Power and Lastminute.com, and has led large scale global technology and product teams whilst working in South America, Europe and the UK.

The company is currently going through a time of growth. It now boasts over 2 million users following a $10 million investment boost that will allow it to expand its global footprint and continue to launch new services on its cross-border payments platform.

Edgardo Savoy is the new CTO of TransferGo

What has been the TransferGo response to financial technology innovation?

From the outset, TransferGo has been focused on solving a very real issue with international money transfers. In the past, cross-border payments have been slow, clunky, costly and completely unbeneficial to millions of migrants. We came into the market to build a fast, secure and convenient money transfer solution.

As fintech innovation continues to evolve, so has what we can offer customers. But it’s not just innovation for innovation’s sake. We’re listening to our customers’ needs by investing in talent, defining new processes and building technology teams so we can deliver products faster and meet their challenges head-on.

How do you see this changing over the next couple of years?

The process of innovation is a cycle that never ends, and it’s the role of a CTO to ensure it doesn’t. Today, the business landscape is so competitive that teams must always be looking to raise the bar and keep their service current and efficient, otherwise they will fall behind.

Even in uncertain times like these, our mission to support the migrant community won’t ever change. That allows us to ensure the talent and culture we develop within the business all has that sole objective in mind. As we’ve grown and matured as a business we’ve found new ways to communicate, interact and lead, while encouraging innovation. Innovation is not a switch you can flick on-and-off, it’s a strategy that needs care, attention and improving.

How do you plan to create a culture of change inside the company?

First and foremost, I want to decentralise decision-making. Once you hire great people, you need to give them the tools to make decisions themselves, and be open about it, so they can innovate without unnecessary restriction. Almost all start-ups want to embody the ‘move fast, break stuff’ mantra but without the proper working environment, whereby employees are given autonomy, this is simply unreachable.

Instead, my experience tells me that operating under the ‘I want to try X as I think Y will happen’ hypothesis encourages companies to view change less in its traditional sense, but as a series of connected experiments. In turn, this empowers employees to be creative, develop their skills and drive real, positive change across the business.

What fintech ideas are you looking to implement? 

The best innovation comes from seeking connected problems that can be solved through a single set of interwoven solutions. We want to build on our strong remittance proposition and deliver a set of services that target a variety of our other customer pain points. Watch this space!

What benefits will these bring?

Without revealing too much… We’re acutely aware of the stresses that our migrant customer base can endure. When they arrive in a new country, in a challenging economic environment, money is often the first necessity that can take a physical and emotional toll. We want to build clever products that remove this stress and allow them to feel secure and supported.

Do you see any other industry challenges on the horizon?

We’re living in an unprecedented and unpredictable business environment which has accelerated a number of changes for humanity. For instance, there’s no doubt that the public will work differently, shop differently and interact differently for quite some time. In the context of our professional lives, both employees and employers alike have had to upskill rapidly and offer new propositions to remain competitive.

For money transfer services, this has meant moving away from cash-in, cash-out solutions and to the ease and speed of digital-first products. We anticipate that many established money transfer services will scale down their physical stores, amid fears of virus transmission via cash, and focus their attention on building a robust, innovative online service.

Can these challenges be aided by fintech?

Absolutely. Fintechs are not encumbered by legacy technology or processes, so have established themselves as a trusted disruptor. This is critical as individuals are typically sensitive with regards to who they bank with or offer their financial data to, so as a trusted disruptor, fintechs are becoming widely accepted and able to prove their worth.

Any final thoughts?

In recent months, I’ve fielded many questions on how TransferGo – and the wider industry – has reacted to COVID-19, and for me, it all comes down to having technology at the core of the business. As a company, technology has allowed us to react fast, meet new challenges head-on and achieve new outcomes. For example, we worked together to release product capabilities that fuelled donations on record time. All it took was focus, a common goal and a company-wide understanding of how our technology can support our wider communities. It’s an important lesson to take forward with us that whether we’re living during COVID-19 or not, technology is key to helping us adapt and thrive.

Author

  • Gina is a FinTech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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