Ahead of her webinar at the In-house Financial Services Virtual Conference, Paymentsense GC Karen Ozdamar talks to The Lawyer about her 3 big predictions on how we will work on the back of this crisis, touching on all things flexibility, technology and autonomy.

Karen Ozdamar

What is the purpose behind the Paymentsense Customer Champions? 

As part of our “customer first” focus, we invited our employees to apply to be Customer Champions. We selected those who best demonstrated their engagement with the business as well as their desire to put the customer at the heart of everything we do. The Champions are from different departments at Paymentsense and help drive change and new initiatives.

The Champions are involved in initiatives that impact our culture as well as our customers. They regularly brainstorm within their departments and meet to articulate new ideas to present to management. They also meet with the People Team to share their feedback, for example in relation to our latest employee induction programme, benefits package and new intranet.

Has your team implemented any changes into your culture during this remote working period?

Individual teams and product units have embraced virtual meetings during the remote working period and, as anticipated, everyone has been eager to roll up their sleeves and ensure that geographical distance doesn’t slow progress. It doesn’t seem to be hampering team spirit or the social side of Paymentsense life either – who knew in March that Zoom team drinks would become the new normal?!

Paymentsense is engaging with employees and staff as a whole more frequently than ever during the remote working period. Our emphasis on being transparent, open and honest is underpinned by virtual Town Hall and “Ask Us Anything” sessions hosted by Paymentsense’s Founders and members of the Executive Team. We are also conducting more frequent virtual business updates so that our people can easily keep up to date with business and product developments.

Culture is very important at Paymentsense, so we have transferred the majority of our cultural and social activities online during the remote working period. Our “#stayconnected” Slack channel allows staff to keep in touch and we hope that fitness classes and quizzes via Zoom, as well as interactive sessions such as virtual cookalongs and book and film clubs, will enable everyone to remain connected during this time.

What are your 3 big predictions for how we will work on the back of this crisis?

1: Inevitably, a lot of businesses will come under pressure to offer more flexibility around remote working going forward. The challenge will be for each organisation to find the right balance, taking into account its customers and business needs as well as the preferences of its people.

2: Most businesses will be more comfortable relying on technology for meetings and collaboration. In our case, Zoom has come into its own, so I think we can expect an overall reduction in international travel and commuting between our offices, even when travel restrictions are lifted.

3: I think the challenges of putting in place offensive as well as defensive measures through lockdown will mean that many entrepreneurial businesses like Paymentsense will allow their people even more autonomy to innovate and grow as a result of these extraordinary circumstances.

Tell us your go to inspirational quote

Like many people, I find a lot of Steve Jobs’ famous quotes inspiring. He said “My favourite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” He was talking about the fact that we should try to do everything as quickly and effectively as we can and not allow tasks to grow to fill the time available to them.

Another favourite is “a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” (Author unknown).

For me, it is important to continually push ourselves – passion, tenacity and drive as well as curiosity, adaptability and empathy are all qualities that I think make a team so much more than the sum of its parts. Paymentsense doesn’t stand still as its external environment changes, which is one of the reasons that I find it an inspiring environment in which to work.

Karen Ozdamar is one of the 30+ speakers making up this year’s speaker line-up at The Lawyer’s In-house Financial Services virtual event taking place between 30 June – 2nd July. For more information on the conference, a copy of the agenda, or to register for any of the 10+ sessions available, please visit the event website.