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Q&A with Daniil Saiko Part II
Team Lead, Pre-Sales and Technical Implementation

Don Curren December 14, 2017

What sort of issues do companies in our biggest verticals face with regard to straight-through processing?

I think one good example would be in payrolls, where you may have individuals or companies to pay, all around the world, that may require different payment types, different speeds of delivery. You may have a threshold of costs that you’re willing to accept, and certainly, it’s not a one-size-fits-all payment file that you can upload into your platform. Your requirements may be more complex than that.

Additionally, in payroll, in accounting and legal services and those more mature industries, the ability to send accurate data and information back pertaining to transactions that have been made so accounting systems and ERPs can be updated, that is really important, and, again, many of our competitors struggle to deliver that.

Is there anything you’d like to add about what specifically Cambridge can provide?

I think that Cambridge can provide a wealth of different solutions and options to suit an individual company’s needs. It seems to be very fashionable to have a one-size-fits-all solution – that’s the Apple mentality where everybody just has an iPhone or an iPad. In the real world, and particularly with payments, I think companies are more complex and requirements vary depending on the size of the business, the number of payments you have to make, the delivery of those payments, and also what your own IT infrastructure looks like.

We have a number of different platforms and technologies to suit our customers’ needs, and so we take a very consultative approach to finding the best solution, and it’s not that we just post a static API or product module on the website and it’s a take it or leave it. For Cambridge, integration is more of a spectrum than a set of fixed solutions. It’s a very consultative and flexible offering.

Can you expand a bit on Cambridge’s consultative approach?

Our approach tends to be very hands-on and is all about enabling our partners and clients. There tends to be two major cases when working on a larger integration especially API. First is a partner that’s already making global payments which requires an upgrade in services and capabilities. This includes having processing issues and lack of the breadth in currencies. In this case, they know what they need and it is about providing them as close fit to existing architecture, but with an upgrade if possible to reduce their development.

The second major case is when a domestic company is expanding its services globally or needs global payments enabled on large scale for the first time. This case is very different as they are often looking at us to provide best practices and most efficient solution. Unlike the previous case, we are much less restricted by architectural concerns and have much more room to work with. So we assist with everything from workflow design to vetting the UX and UI.

Both cases are very different, but our consulting approach works great in both cases. In contrast, what we have seen in the market is partners being handed a massive documentation or Open API portal and no technical contact or support. This results in drawn-out implementations, with subpar end solutions.

Is there anything else on the business aspect of things you think we should address?

I think that for companies that are wanting to transition to use more innovative solutions and newer technologies, specifically integrated payment solutions, a partner service provider needs to have the rich product suite and the requisite banking relationships to support their requirements.

I think it can be the case that payments providers are extremely strong on technology, but lack a history of trust with the banks which impedes their ability to provide a truly global, robust solution for their customers. Essentially, unless we’re looking at blockchain or digital currencies, the mechanism for processing those fiat-currency funds is through traditional channels, and therefore our respect and relationship building has to be with those old institutions.

What do you like best about your job?

It’s fast-paced and ever-evolving. No integration is exactly the same, even if you are working with the same technology stack, so you cannot cruise through it. And the fast pace of it is really exciting. I always joke about the “You should book your flights at least two weeks in advance” note in our expense system. I think with over 50 flights this year alone I have done it a handful of times — I often don’t know where I will be next week. Couple it with the occasional need to be in a different city with less than 48 hours notice, it definitely keeps it interesting.

Missed Part One of our Q&A with Daniil? Click to read more!

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