Meet the team
Getting to know Vyne: Team Product
Jul 23, 2021 · 6 minutes
Let’s get to know each other. This is the first in a series of blogs introducing the team behind Vyne perfecting payments for merchants and their customers alike.
We’re hearing from team Product, Tom Thirkettle and William Hand on their roles at Vyne and their insight into the future of payments.
The first question is a simple one, why Vyne?
William: For me, it all comes down to wanting to build a product that makes a real impact. What I love about Vyne, is the first time you use it you think “why didn’t I know it was this easy”. I’m obsessed with payment experiences, and want to use Vyne to transform what it means to get paid online. It’s about being part of driving that change, not just for payments insiders, but for real consumers and merchants alike.
Tom: Open Banking is providing the foundations to revolutionise payments making them fairer for both merchants and consumers. Open Banking payment methods will become commonplace in the coming years, and I want to be part of the team leading the way. The wealth of payments expertise in the founders alone is unparalleled across the market. Combining this knowledge with the strength of the surrounding Vyne team makes me confident that we are best placed to deliver real value to both merchants and consumers, changing payments for the better.
Describe an average day as a Product Manager?
William: There is no average day! Every day is different. We work closely with engineering teams and business stakeholders alike. I spend my time between getting stuck into implementation with our engineering team, or working to break down user problems and build our roadmaps to balance merchant and consumer priorities. We work in an always-changing market and mirror this with a fast-paced cycle of planning, building, and shipping continuously. We love to hear from our users and when I’m not focussing on what we’re building now, I enjoy meeting our merchants to discuss what we’re planning for them in the future.
Tom: There isn’t one single answer to this question, that’s why I love Product Management, and why I love working at Vyne. Two daily certainties are the morning stand-up and understanding the user. Apart from that I can find myself doing anything from prioritisation, conducting user research, working with UX or sitting down with leadership to discuss strategy. The varied nature of the work is what makes it the perfect job for me. As a Product Manager at Vyne I am always working to deliver value to clients, partners and users, but how I achieve this varies hugely and I am able to define this process myself.
Now the tougher questions… what makes a successful product in your eyes?
William: I think the key to a successful product comes down to three things: first, have a defined sense of purpose to make sure you deliver value in a singularly focused way. Keep your attention on what differentiates your product and play on that to innovate - history doesn’t remember those that did it all, but rather those that did it the best. Second, make sure your product is simple, intuitive, and anticipates what your users need before they ask. Take time to understand their pain and put yourself in their shoes - never assume they’ll perceive things as you do. And third, make something that emotionally resonates. This may sound far-fetched, but focussing on ensuring a positive response across your entire product experience helps control how people feel when using your product - something marketing cannot.
Tom: A successful product achieves impact. It is vital that when delivering a product, the team know and understand the impact that they intend to have. In order to do this you need to build a product that people love to use, one that solves a problem they face every day. But it also goes further than that, a successful product should have world impact.
Vyne is making payments fairer for merchants and consumers. Making businesses more successful, saving consumers time and money and reducing fraud rates.
What’s the most exciting thing happening in payments right now?
William: After staying largely the same for the last decade, the online payments space is finally starting to get more attention. The economics of incumbents are collapsing because the product itself is increasingly becoming the differentiator in the market, and consumers continue to grow ever more accustomed to better digital experiences, whether it’s across eCommerce, banking, or services they use every day. In this market, disruptors like Vyne are more nimble and better equipped to serve merchants and consumers. In 2021, not only do merchants have more payment options than ever, but consumers have greater choice and richer, more embedded experiences which are increasingly becoming the drivers of online purchasing itself.
Tom: As technology evolves, the number of new payment options and technologies is accelerating. From account-to-account payments, to Buy Now Pay Later, to new real-time payment rails expanding across Europe, new payment options are appearing all the time. All these advancements are not only giving consumers and merchants more choice, but also raising their expectations about what payment solutions should deliver. As payments continue to digitise, and expectations are raised, more solutions are starting to chip away the market share of the incumbent payment methods. This increased competition is going to continue to drive innovation whilst ultimately benefiting consumers and merchants, as payment solutions should.
What does the future of payments look like?
William: If I were to pull out one theme I think will become a big focus in the future, it would have to be security. We’re seeing more and more focus on protecting consumer data and this will only continue to become more important. Today, consumers are already moving to on-device authentication as ever more people start to use payment methods that remove the need for merchants to handle personal payment details. Not only is this more convenient for consumers who aren’t forced to share their data with merchants, but as authorisation is granted through biometric authentication with the issuer or bank, it’s much more secure.
Tom: Digitisation. More and more payment journeys will be digital, moving away not only from cash but from cards and legacy card terminals. Whilst wearables (such as watches and rings) will increasingly be used to make payments, phones and tablets will also cement their place at the top of the food chain. This digitisation will lead to more innovation in payment options both online and in-store, from increased lending options to higher security and faster check-out times.
Finally, your favorite read/watch/listen?
William: For product insights I enjoy listening to The Product Podcast and Rocketship FM. I’m a bit of a UX nerd so I also really enjoy keeping up-to-date at UX Collective and UX Magazine. Outside of that, find me scrolling Twitter or watching crime thrillers on Netflix.
Tom: Listen: Fintech Insider podcast by 11:FS. Read: Any good thriller or fantasy book. Watch: Succession on HBO recently.