Search for...

myPOS’ CTO on Building a Leadership Culture and Being Global and Local at the Same Time

Abdelnour Bezzouh (personal archive)
Image credit: myPOS CTO Abdenour Bezzouh (personal archive)

As the fintech world deals with economic challenges, European fintech myPOS is on a steady path. Recently acquired by Advent International in a deal valued at over $500 million, the company is demonstrating a 30% YoY growth and has no plans of slowing down.

Renowned for being the first and only fintech to offer merchants instant settlement of funds within seconds, at no additional cost, myPOS enables businesses accepting payments via myPOS to use their money instantly via a free e-money merchant account and a complimentary card linked to their account. Additionally, myPOS offers a variety of classic and Android-based POS terminals and tools for accepting online and mobile payments, delivering a comprehensive solution under one roof. Presently, the company serves over 200, 000 SMEs across 35+ European countries. 

The Recursive sat down with Abdenour (Nour) Bezzouh, a seasoned CTO with over two decades of global experience in driving digital transformation and growth for startups and multinational corporations such as Santander and Intuit, on his plans of aligning technology strategies with business goals to drive myPOS’ growth.

 

The Recursive: What made you join myPOS as CTO?

Abdenour Bezzouh: I grew up and studied in France and initially thought I would work between France and Germany. However, I moved to the U.S. and spent most of my career in Silicon Valley, which is a hub for technology and innovation. I worked with major tech companies there and developed a deep passion for technology.

Four months ago, in February, I joined myPOS. I was recruited by Advent International, a private equity firm that acquired myPOS. At the time, I was interviewing with other companies in the U.S. but was intrigued by the company’s mission to enable merchants to thrive through innovative payment solutions.

Although I had never been to Varna, Bulgaria, where myPOS’s operations center is located, I was impressed by the team’s energy and the company’s culture and products, such as instant settlement. I saw a lot of opportunities to improve processes and technology to better serve merchants. This potential for growth and improvement convinced me to join myPOS over other offers.

 

The Recursive: With your extensive experience in financial technologies, how do you evaluate the company’s products and solutions and how do you envision them developing in the future?

Abdenour Bezzouh: The company has done an excellent job addressing the needs of micro merchants. As the world becomes increasingly cashless, there’s a growing need for diverse types of merchants, from taxi drivers to freelancers, to accept payments seamlessly. Our solutions cater not only to physical transactions with our POS devices, which account for over 95% of our sales but also to online payments through e-commerce integration and payment links.

Read more:  Proportunity opens Series A+ round on Seedblink, aims to serve as a bank for aspiring homeowners

We enable individuals who want to make a living from various ventures to accept payments easily. This is particularly important as more people, especially the younger generation, seek purpose and flexibility in their careers, opting for freelance work or starting their own businesses.

Our product suite is robust, allowing merchants to use mobile and web applications to manage their accounts, see deposits, transfer money, and more. We offer instant settlement, where payments are quickly deposited into the merchant’s account, enabling immediate access to funds. We are also expanding our value-added services to further support our merchants in managing their businesses efficiently.

 

The Recursive: So, has myPOS succeeded at creating all those payment channels and solutions for merchants?

Abdenour Bezzouh: So far, so good; however, while we have been successful, there is still significant room for improvement. From a business perspective, our goal isn’t just to provide a solution for accepting payments but to offer a comprehensive suite of tools to help merchants manage their businesses effectively.

Similar to my experience at Intuit with QuickBooks, we need to think about the entire ecosystem. Merchants need more than just payment solutions; they require tools for accounting, payroll, inventory, and other business essentials. At myPOS, we aim to provide these services, including loans and integrations with local payment methods.

Our focus is on being both global and local, catering to the specific needs of merchants in various European countries. This means integrating local payment methods and providing value-added services tailored to each market.

Technologically, myPOS is transitioning towards an open platform. We are moving from a monolithic structure to a more modular, API-driven architecture. This includes creating a robust data layer to leverage our vast transaction data, making us more data-driven and improving how we serve our merchants.

We aim to evolve from a fintech company enabling payment acceptance to a comprehensive business platform that includes financial tools to help merchants grow and succeed. We aim to simplify merchants’ lives by integrating various elements of the ecosystem, reducing redundant data entry, and making operations as seamless as possible.

Read more:  From Metaverse Ecom to Dapps, What to Expect at Tech of Tomorrow

 

The Recursive: What opportunities does myPOS offer for developers?

Abdenour Bezzouh: Our IT, Dev, QA, and security team currently consists of about 120-130 people, and we aim to grow by at least 50 this year. The private equity firm backing us wants to see even more significant growth, but doubling the team quickly is challenging. Nonetheless, there is a strong appetite to expand.

We are undergoing a major transformation, moving from a monolithic architecture to a more modular setup with frontend, backend, and data layers. This creates numerous opportunities for developers in Sofia and Varna with various skills. Specifically, we are looking for: UI Developers with experience in React, Mobile Developers for both Android and iOS, POS Device Experts, Security and Encryption Specialists, API Developers, Backend Services Developers, DevOps Engineers, Data Engineers, Machine Learning Engineers, AI Engineers. 

The full list of openings can be found here.

Our headquarters is in Varna, but we are also actively hiring in Sofia due to the high demand for talent. We have expanded our talent acquisition and HR teams in Sofia to support our growing needs. So far, we’ve increased our team size by 15% and plan to grow by another 20-25% soon.

Developers joining myPOS will be able to work on cutting-edge technologies and innovative projects, contributing to our mission of providing comprehensive payment solutions and business tools for merchants.

 

The Recursive: What makes myPOS’s tech stack attractive for top engineers?  

Abdenour Bezzouh: myPOS offers a diverse and robust tech stack, similar to other companies in the field. Our front-end development includes a combination of React, PHP, and mobile development with Swift for iOS and Java (transitioning to Kotlin) for Android. On the backend, we utilize a mix of C#, .NET, and other high-performance technologies. In our data layer, we leverage SQL and Python, which are integral to handling our extensive transaction data and supporting advanced analytics and AI initiatives.

Our dynamic growth environment, marked by a 30% annual growth rate and the recent Advent acquisition, sets us apart. We’re expanding our team and transforming our tech stack to handle increased merchant and transaction volumes—a challenging but crucial task.

Read more:  Bulgarian P2P lending platform KLEAR receives €800K funding from New Vision 3

We integrate AI in multiple ways, using the ChatGPT team version for secure internal operations and developing AI applications for our ChatBot, Virtual Assistant, and Risk Engine. These projects enhance customer interaction, transaction monitoring, and risk management. AI is transformative for us, boosting both platform capabilities and internal productivity. 

Another focus area is the merchant onboarding process, which we aim to streamline from several days to minutes using automated tools for user identity validation.

We seek engineers who are not only technically skilled but also possess the right mindset and leadership qualities. Our environment is perfect for those who thrive on impactful challenges and are eager to shape the future of fintech.

 

The Recursive: How does the tech team relate to the company’s vision and mission?

Abdenour Bezzouh: When I joined, the tech team had a practical, focused approach with the product team often leading. This created a culture where the engineering team was primarily focused on execution rather than leadership.

My goal is to shift from a delivery-focused mindset to one of leadership, therefore I encourage the engineering team to step up, lead, and think creatively. This transformation involves understanding the overall business vision, the “what” and the “why,” and translating them into technical solutions. It’s about creating a clear line of sight from individual contributions to the broader business objectives.

The business provides the direction and goals, while the engineering team explores multiple options to achieve these goals. This approach ensures that everyone knows how their daily work contributes to the company’s mission and vision. It’s about fostering a culture of creativity, business focus, respect, and customer obsession, driven by data and metrics. This transformation aims to align the tech team with the overall vision of empowering small and medium-sized businesses to grow.

 

The Recursive: What type of culture and spirit do you want to see in your department?

Abdenour Bezzouh: We want people who can think for themselves, are visionaries, and see the bigger picture. It’s important to have fun, work hard, be creative, and stay business-focused. Respect, customer focus, and understanding our numbers are crucial. We emphasize being data-driven and removing opinions when possible. This culture, inspired by Silicon Valley principles, is about working as one team to solve business goals and driving myPOS forward.

Tags:

Help us grow the emerging innovation hubs in Central and Eastern Europe

Every single contribution of yours helps us guarantee our independence and sustainable future. With your financial support, we can keep on providing constructive reporting on the developments in the region, give even more global visibility to our ecosystem, and educate the next generation of innovation journalists and content creators.

Find out more about how your donation could help us shape the story of the CEE entrepreneurial ecosystem!

One-time donation

You can also support The Recursive’s mission with a pick-any-amount, one-time donation. 👍