Payment transactions are now so sophisticated and fast that we hardly even notice them. But they work because there are specific people behind them. In the Czech PayU, one of them is Borislav Blecha. He is an enthusiast of digital technologies and different ways of payment solutions. According to him, they are only at the beginning of their potential. From this perspective, they could be compared to his little twin daughters I have at home.
Taking care of them is the most important thing for him and he is also very dedicated to PayU. He handles a lot. In the past, Bronislav worked at Vodafone in the premium SMS business. He also gained valuable experience at Vodafone in Germany in the NFC area. At O2 and CCS he learned a lot in the field of fuel card payments. He commutes to PayU’s Prague office from Ústí nad Labem, where he lives. Mostly by train, so he can use the time to work. But with his family he likes to get in the car in his free time. He loves travelling and it also gives him a good workout when he gets a good workout at the gym. In an interview, he gave an insight into his work at PayU.
What are you responsible for at PayU?
It’s mainly product development and product management. I’m involved in it internationally at PayU. In addition, I also provide technical support to key business partners. At the same time, I take care of communication with third parties in the payments area, especially with banks and associations. In the Czech branch of PayU I work as a technical and communication support for the sales team. Within the global PayU, I collaborate on products not only with Polish colleagues in our headquarters, but also with colleagues from Israel.
What technology project are you working on now and what will be the result?
As this is a very dynamic industry and company itself, there are a lot of concurrent projects both on local platforms and on a global platform. The projects are of course of different nature – some are targeting completely new services, others are improving/simplifying processes and we also have projects to develop existing APIs. The main and most interesting running projects that primarily impact our local markets I would probably identify as the following: reselling PBL (payment buttons) using third parties. This will allow us to “resell” the payment buttons of certain local banks to third parties so that they can use it. The main benefit for the partners is that they only need one integration, namely on PayU, and then they will be able to offer their clients’ customers the possibility to pay via a quick bank transfer (payment button). Another running and very interesting project is Click2Pay. This is a joint project between VISA and Mastercard card schemes that aims to create an electronic wallet, similar to Google Pay / Apple Pay. There, the aim is to further enhance the security of online shopping and therefore improve the user shopping experience.
How do you perceive your colleagues – in the Czech Republic and abroad?
The international environment is also one of the reasons I came to PayU. Most of the time I am in contact with colleagues from abroad, usually from Poland and Israel. As they say, different country, different morals. In my opinion, this is doubly true here, which gives me very valuable experience in dealing with people in general. I am very glad for this opportunity. Not only does one continuously improve one’s foreign language skills, but one also gains very valuable experience in international projects. From a local perspective, I have to single out our country manager Martin. I have experienced a bunch of different bosses in my career, but here I finally feel that he is the boss “in the right place”. He has a lot of experience in the industry, so we have useful discussions together where the final agreement doesn’t take long and we can move forward quickly. Plus, we have a great human fit, which is also very important to me.
What do you find distinctive about PayU?
PayU typically has the characteristics of a fintech company with a global footprint, which is a clear advantage for me. There are “corporate” processes in place that are constantly being improved, but at the same time we have quite a lot of local freedom. The payments area is developing rapidly and new products, innovations and new functionalities are always the subject of a rather ambitious roadmap, which is very full for at least six months ahead. Personally, I see this as positive because we are not stagnating and we always have and will always have something to offer our customers. Sometimes it’s an adrenaline rush, but from a product person’s point of view, it’s a much better situation than not having anything to put in the roadmap. If I had to sum it up, PayU is a typical fintech global company where you really don’t get bored.
What technologies are you working with?
I’ll probably turn this question into systems. The big interesting thing is that since PayU operates globally, it has several platforms in its portfolio on which it provides its services, which are additionally connected to each other, which in the end brings very complex possibilities. This also makes PayU able to cater to even the biggest global players who need to handle payments in different parts of the world and ideally have and see everything on one clear dashboard. Such complexity is not offered by the competition as standard. I enjoy it a lot because I like to learn new things.
What is the most interesting thing you have learned during your time at PayU?
I joined PayU during the lockdown, so it was a completely new “onboarding” experience for me. I had to learn everything online from internal manuals, I only saw my local colleagues online for the first three months. Self-study did not give me any problems and I solved open questions with colleagues online afterwards. I am very much looking forward to when this pandemic period will pass and I will be able to go in person to see my colleagues at the headquarters in Poland. Personal contact is very important for me, at least in terms of building a good and long-lasting cooperation. I very much appreciate the support of all colleagues, thanks to which I was able to get into the “action” as soon as possible and get fully involved in the operation. I have great colleagues, which is really important to feel good at work. I would also like to single out our HR department, which has made me very happy on several occasions. Although it may seem like a small thing, I have been very pleasantly surprised by the distinctive gifts for employees that we receive from HR from time to time. They know our children’s names and the gifts are labeled with their names. It probably means nothing to some, but I appreciate this “personal” treatment very much, it hasn’t happened anywhere else so far.