In our blogs, we continually introduce our skillful members of the TrustPay team.
Let us introduce you to the Deputy CEO – Richard Tési, one of the longest-serving employees at TrustPay.
You are currently one of the longest-serving employees at TrustPay. How do you remember your beginnings in the company?
TrustPay was my first full-time job, which I started almost 9 years ago after graduating from college. I started as a payment operator – I checked bank account balances, made reconciliations, and set up new merchants on the internal portal.
At that time, TrustPay was the first financial institution in Slovakia to differ significantly from other companies in the same industry. I had to learn the specifics of this industry, but thanks to the support of my colleagues, I was able to get familiar with it quickly. After 2 months, I was appointed Deputy Head of the Operations Department. Over the next few years, I went through several departments, until at the beginning of 2016 I worked my way up to the position of Deputy CEO.
Not everyone can work their way up to a similar position. Why do you think you did it?
Good question 😊 I’ve always felt good at leading and organizing people. I gained a lot of experience during my studies when I helped out from the age of 14 in a family joinery company, and over time I also dealt with the management of some projects.
It may sound strange, but since I was first promoted after 2 months in TrustPay, I felt that we had a good connection with the management of the company and the cooperation worked really well for us. I tried several leading positions within the company while I worked my way up to the current one. During this process, I found that the internal management of the operational and technological part of the company suits me the most, which is what I am currently doing. The front office wasn’t my cup of tea.
“Our work has become more efficient, and what three people had done throughout the whole day can now be done by one person before their lunch break.”
How has the environment in TrustPay changed since you worked there?
In the beginning, we dealt with most things manually and often on printed paper. But our work has become more efficient, and what three people had done throughout the whole day can now be done by one person before their lunch break. We went through a lot of automation and electronization within the daily operations and client agenda. We have introduced new optimization systems and eliminated bureaucratic processes. We have created several teams specializing in different product lines, and instead of outsourcing, we solve most things in-house.
How do you perceive the company’s growth in the almost 9 years you have been in TrustPay?
Since I joined the company, the volume of processed transactions has increased, the company has turned from red numbers to profit, and we have also grown in the number of employees.
Does the increase in the number of employees affect the corporate environment?
I think, despite the increase in staff, we have managed to maintain an extremely friendly environment and, apart from the pandemic, almost nothing has changed. The team is still young, although I probably already belong to the group that increases the average age. 😊
Tell us something more specific about your position. What does fall within your remit?
Many things. As Deputy CEO, I am primarily responsible for ensuring the company’s day-to-day operations, successful payment processing, consistent setup of merchant accounts in production systems, and resolving problems during our daily operations.
There is also another important agenda covered by me within the company, which is the complete IT agenda – from IT Security, through IT support, IT infrastructure to IT development. I am responsible for the management of these departments and for product and project management. When an idea arises for a new product or the functionality of existing products, we develop it into a more detailed form and devise its integration into our services. Together with the CEO, we set priorities for which projects will get into development, and then I track the entire project during development, testing, and deployment in a production environment where our clients actively use them.
“I face new challenges every day. I couldn’t do it alone. The key is that I have excellent colleagues and team leaders who I can always count on and with whom we work closely.”
Sounds like a pretty broad agenda. How do you manage so many people and departments effectively and make sure the projects get done on time?
Sometimes this can be quite a decent challenge 😊 This means managing more than 60 people. I face new challenges every day. I couldn’t do it alone. The key is that I have excellent colleagues and team leaders who I can always count on and with whom we work closely. Every successfully completed project or solved problem is our mutual success.
You have definitely experienced a lot of interesting events and many challenging situations. Do you remember any of the near past?
There have been a few over the years 😊 I experienced one of the biggest challenges during the beginning of the pandemic. While in December we were just beginning to hear the first news of a new virus in faraway China, at the beginning of March we had to move our – in that time 70 employees to work from home. At TrustPay, before the pandemic, the home office was not a standard model, so in a few weeks, we had to prepare a complete relocation of employees to their homes and prepare people for working remotely and for collaboration within the department when they would no longer be sitting in the same office.
In addition to organizing the work in the departments, we had to make sure that the development of our new projects did not slow down. I think we managed it successfully. 😊
You mentioned project management. Could you name some of the last major projects you have been working on?
In recent months, I would certainly like to mention that we were working on a complete redesign of our payment gateway, which we presented to our merchants on April 5th. I could also mention the new payment methods like Aircash for the Croatian market and Sofort for the market of German-speaking countries and Belgium.
Can you tell us about some of the surprises that TrustPay is preparing for us?
In the near future, we will launch the so-called SEPA instant payments, which will significantly simplify and speed up the acceptance of funds from our clients’ customers via bank transfers in euro currency. While you have received SEPA payments by default the next business day, the new product will allow you to receive a SEPA payment within 10 seconds. In combination with our other existing products, such as virtual IBANs, we can provide merchants with very innovative solutions. In the coming months, we will introduce the possibility of accepting payments via PayPal wallet and, of course, this year we will add other new payment methods to our portfolio, which will allow our merchants to cover larger markets.
We are also planning other surprises, which we will reveal when the time is right. 😊 Our clients have something to look forward to!
What do you see as the strength of TrustPay compared to other payment gateways?
At the level of new products, it’s definitely flexibility. While large banks may take a year to develop and launch new products, we respond to market needs in months. When the pandemic started and shops closed, within 4 weeks we were ready to provide merchants with the possibility of accepting payments via a payment link, i.e., the possibility of accepting money without the need for technical integration.
We care about the satisfaction of our clients and respond appropriately to their feedback. We can offer them a payment account to manage their funds even with the connected prepaid card (physical or virtual) to this account. And last but not least, our main benefit is the ever-growing portfolio of payment methods, to which we have added up to eight new payment methods in the last year alone.
“We managed to build an excellent team.”
What advice would you give to candidates who are interested in starting their journey at TrustPay?
I would tell them not to be afraid of challenges. At first, they may feel that it is difficult to learn their agenda, but over time they will certainly get into it and the reward of personal success will not pass them by. As TrustPay is not corporate, a friendly environment is not just something we say in our job ads. We managed to build an excellent team. You meet people from every department, and you often communicate with the company’s top management.
We make the work environment more attractive, redesign the premises and offer employees several work benefits. We are happy to welcome new colleagues and look forward to working together. 😊