eClear, Newsroom, Payment | 17. April 2024

How to drive Payments Innovation

Meet Joana Traynor, a payments' strategist forging innovative solutions. Get insights on her journey, problem-first approach, and how her work tackles VAT headaches for businesses expanding into Europe. by

eClear Payments

Joana Traynor is a strategist in the world of digital payments. As Product Owner of Payments at eClear, she spearheads the development of innovative solutions that streamline transactions within the complex landscape of VAT compliance. But what does that really mean? Joana’s journey in this dynamic field, her forward-thinking vision, and her invaluable advice offer a unique perspective for anyone interested in the future of payments. We’ll go beyond the buzzwords to see how Joana’s work actually impacts merchants and how her leadership embodies the collaborative spirit that makes her product, ClearVAT, a standout solution for cross-border VAT compliance.

Unexpected Paths Lead to New Horizons

Sometimes, the most exciting paths are different from the ones we planned. Joana Traynor’s journey into the payments world started somewhere else entirely. “I was still working at the e-commerce company Cleverbridge…being the product owner for Frontend experience,” she explains. She was focused on making online shopping look and feel great for the user. But behind the scenes, a whole other world was waiting to be explored.

A joint project on the complexities of 3DS (PSD2) compliance – those acronyms alone can make your head spin! — became her gateway into payments. It turns out that what happens after you click “Buy” is a fascinating process. Joana was hooked, taking on extra project management duties on the payments side.

This unexpected opportunity was the turning point. When the payments product owner left, Joana found herself offered the position. Switching into such a specialised area might seem intimidating, but she says, “Luckily, I had a mentor that introduced me to all the specialities of the payment industry.”

Navigating Change: Crystal clear Visions for Payments

Joana isn’t about vague, fluffy visions for the future. “It is key to understand where you are with the product today and how sustainable it will be in X years from now,” she says. It’s a super practical approach—what good is a grand vision if your product isn’t built to keep up? This focus on both the present and the future keeps her strategy sharp.

But beyond being practical, Joana knows a successful vision must be crystal clear. “The vision should always be specific and understandable, not allowing any room for assumptions.” Think about it – in an industry like payments, where things change at lightning speed, everyone needs to be on the same page to stay ahead.

The eClear Advantage: Problem-First Focus

As Joana puts it, “When identifying new features… you always need to understand the problem, not the solution.” It’s not just about throwing tech at things; it’s about figuring out why something isn’t working as it should.

This problem-first mentality drives the spirit of constant improvement within the company. Joana prioritises user needs, Whether a tiny tweak or a big launch. This focus shows in the product—eClear’s payment solutions keep improving because they’re built on understanding the challenges merchants face in this ever-changing market.

Innovation in Payments: Removing Barriers for Growth

When we talk about innovation in payments, it’s about more than just the flashiest tech. Real progress makes life easier for businesses, especially when venturing into new markets. That’s where solutions like ClearVAT come in.

“We tackle the VAT headache for marketplaces and platforms ready to jump into Europe,” she explains. Dealing with all those different VAT rules can be a real growth-killer. This SaaS product streamlines the whole process – it handles the calculations, payments, and compliance across the EU. Suddenly, that huge admin hurdle is gone, and businesses can actually focus on expanding.”

Joana stresses that payment innovation shouldn’t just be about efficiency. “It’s about knocking down the barriers that hold businesses back,” she says. ClearVAT gets this – it reduces risk and gives businesses the boost they need to succeed in the European market.

A Culture of Accountability

For Joana, going it alone isn’t even on the table. “Working in cross-functional teams is very normal…” she explains. Think about it—payments aren’t some isolated thing; they’re a part of the whole e-commerce experience. For a product to work, everyone has to be in sync.

But teamwork isn’t just about tech folks for Joana. She believes everyone in the company needs to be on the same page: “The entire team needs to agree on these deliverables and will be accountable for the execution.” It’s not just about ticking off tasks; it’s about each person feeling like they’re truly contributing to that next successful product release. Regular updates and celebrating wins together – that’s what keeps the team motivated and focused on making their products better and better.

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