How important is corporate culture in fintech: Interview with Thomas Jul

How to maintain sustainable, but record-breaking growth: building a passionate culture and the Nordic concept friluftsliv.

Corporate culture generally plays a crucial role in fuelling innovation. It encourages openness to new ideas and risk-taking. These are vital for staying ahead of the competition, and fintech is no exception. A strong and cohesive culture fosters employee engagement and loyalty. This can directly impact productivity and ultimately, customer satisfaction. Corporate culture can also be a differentiator. It helps to attract top talent who are not only skilled but also align with the company’s values and vision. Fintech Review asked a few questions to Thomas Jul, CEO of Inpay.

Tell us more about Inpay: what is your elevator pitch?

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At Inpay, we want to democratise money transfers worldwide. We want to make it easier and faster to send money across international borders. Our revolutionary approach and software technology are modernising the cross-border payments industry. It is a market where 97% of transfers are currently processed by traditional, old-fashioned, slow and expensive bank transfers. I’m exceptionally proud that we have seen such record-breaking success in recent years, with our revenues growing by almost £35 million since 2018.

What is your background and the story behind Inpay?

I’ve been fortunate to hold leadership positions at European PayTech, Nets, and multinational telecommunications company, Ericsson. As well as 15 years of executive leadership at mobile giant, Nokia. These roles have taken me to Denmark, USA, Germany, Austria, Canada, Indonesia, Finland, and Sweden. Which means I’m very at home with the global each of our business and really enjoy travelling to all of our offices and meeting colleagues from around the world.

Since Inpay was founded 16 years ago, it has been the company’s mission to improve and increase accessibility of fair, secure and compliant financial services to countries across the globe. In 2021, Inpay was recognised by the Financial Times as the fastest growing company in Denmark and the sixth fastest growing fintech company in Europe. This growth has cone lots of learnings and we are more focussed than ever on preserving that ‘start-up’ culture and placing our people at the heart of our business.

Any exciting trends in international payments?

We recently secured an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) licence from the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA), becoming the first Scandinavian fintech to combine EMI, PSP, and TPP.

The new licence will enable the company to issue electronic money, facilitate digital payments and money disbursements, among other payment services and is a landmark for the business.

How important is corporate culture for Inpay?

Corporate culture: the Nordic concept of friluftsliv
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Our people and corporate culture are at the centre of our success. Despite the growth and international reach of the business I’ve always wanted to maintain the same levels of creativity and innovation which we had at the start of our company journey. I’m hugely proud of our non-hierarchical structure, which is quintessentially Scandinavian. As well as our passionate culture, with professionals driven to make a difference. It is one of the key reasons for our success, as we are able to continually fuel our growth with a strong and brilliant international talent pipeline. 

I also champion the Nordic concept of friluftsliv, spending time outdoors, including during a recent teambuilding trip to Morocco and at our annual Danish Island company event, where we hired an entire island in Denmark and host outdoor events. These practices have boosted employee productivity and engagement, enabling our continued growth.” 

How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Well, I would have to say that 2022 was a year of major transformation for Inpay. We undertook an organisational restructure and made significant investments into senior leadership team, the structure of the organisation and our technology. I was proud to welcome Jens Heurlin as Group General Counsel and Camila Witt as Chief Risk & Compliance Officer. It will further sharpen our already strong focus on compliance, customer service and product development.

Any plans for the future or product roadmap you want people to know about? 

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I’m eager to drive sustainable growth and maintain our strong company culture. Even as we have grown to a team of 200, with more than 40 different nationalities represented across the global network, spanning across 100 countries.

We now have offices in Copenhagen (our HQ), London, which makes up 10% of the company, and we have just opened our latest office in Dubai.  We have ambitions to grow further, into Asia and the rest of Europe, so watch this space!