Denys Kyrychenko, CEO and Co-founder of Corefy tells about digital payment solutions and Covid-19.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Denys Kyrychenko: My family and I are doing well, but we stay cautious and follow all the WHO guidelines to keep a safe lifestyle.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Corefy.
Denys Kyrychenko: I started my career in the fintech area 15 years ago. As a student, I developed a mobile application for RuPay, later rebranded and known as RBK.Money. Having zero prior experience, just in 4 months, I created a mobile wallet on SymbianOS for all available smartphones on the market (there was no trace of iOS and Android yet at that time). Further, I expanded my hands-on experience working with projects like RuPay, WebMoney, RBK. Money, Monexy — pioneers in the fintech industry in Easter Europe and delivered truly early-bird solutions to the market. As a CTO, I reached the next great milestone, associated with developing a payment aggregator at Interkassa. At some point, I decided to move on from solely technical product development, and with the other partner, I bought Interkassa to launch it as a stand-alone business. I developed a wealth of knowledge and understanding regarding online payments and successfully launched multiple PSPs and e-wallet solutions. And 5 years ago, I left Interkassa to start my own fintech project, Corefy, with an HQ in London, UK, and an R&D office in Ukraine.
How does Corefy innovate?
Denys Kyrychenko: Corefy was created in 2018 with a mission to provide a platform for any size of business to manage payment processes. Corefy is a universal feature-rich payment orchestration platform for online businesses and payment institutions. We integrate payment providers and acquirers worldwide to bring a unified communication, control, and management interface. Our technical platform provides feature-rich functionality that connects and manages payment services, initiates, processes transactions, collects and analyses payment data, and much more.
We aim to centralize and standardize online payment processing, improve visibility and control over transaction flows, mitigate risks, and improve overall business efficiency. We see the beauty in simplifying the complex, so clients can run their online business without obstacles using cloud infrastructure, Omni- and cross-channel, and full-service payment solutions for both corporate and institutional clients.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Denys Kyrychenko: Undoubtedly, the coronavirus pandemic is a significant variable. It has been affecting business performance since the last year. It applies to the strategic roadmap and targets, changes in customer behavior and preferences, set of product features scheduled for development and release, team management, etc. The challenge was to adapt as fast as possible to gain a first-mover advantage, as the number of online payments has rapidly increased in diverse industries. And I believe we did a great job meeting the demand.
Not only we managed to stay afloat, but in fact, we outperformed and delivered a great result. We successfully process over 14 million transactions per month, up from 6 million at the beginning of 2020. Corefy integrates more than 650 payment providers and supports more than 400 payment methods. Last year, the company entered the Scandinavian market by participating in the Danish government’s Nordic Fast Track program. The program is aimed at accelerating the development of non-Danish startups on the local market. Also, in 2020 Corefy has successfully processed over 100 million clients’ transactions throughout various rails ranging from bitcoin to SEPA – surely the vast majority were card payments and e-wallet transactions.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Denys Kyrychenko: Employees are the greatest value for Corefy. We have made every effort to ensure that all employees can comfortably continue to perform their tasks in a comfortable and safe environment. Thankfully, everything went smoothly, and we even expanded our team. We’re incredibly proud that last year it grew from around 30 people to more than 50.
However, we still had many challenges due to the pandemic, predominantly related to managing remote and office work. Having a family-type team, we felt how hard it is to maintain prior corporate culture and efficiency on distance. And onсе epidemiological situation in the country got better, and office work was again officially permitted, we resumed work in our spacious office. Yet, we follow all the local and worldwide recommendations to ensure maximum safety for our employees and save the possibility for them to work remotely. Our company also pays for the employees’ PCR tests and provides financial support if any of them require extra funds for treatment.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Denys Kyrychenko: Due to the pandemic, we moved all communications with our current and potential customers online. Previously we used to have regular offline meetings to discuss current workflow and possible opportunities.
Also, we improved our customer Data-driven approach by using tools like Airtable, Zapier, Google Datastudio, Hotjar, and others. They enabled the possibility to automate the tracking of so-called “Customer temperature” (metrics such as Onboarding time, NPS, Satisfaction score, Support requests, and many others).
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Denys Kyrychenko: As for the grants and government support, our company has applied and received Corporation Tax relief on our Research and Development (R&D) expenses. This initiative aims to support companies that work on innovative projects in science and technology. Given our main expenses are associated with R&D, we deeply appreciate the support from the British government.
Your final thoughts?
Denys Kyrychenko: Beyond doubt, the coronavirus pandemic has an enormous effect on the payment industry itself and the strategic and operational activities of start-up companies. To remain competitive and, more importantly, gain an advantage, companies should be as agile as possible and stay open-minded for new opportunities. Life after the pandemic won’t be the same, and I recommend grabbing the opportunity and getting ready for the new stage of market evolution.