Making Complex Transactions Simple with Sophie Condie of Shieldpay
In this episode of PayPod, Sophie Condie, COO of Shieldpay, delves into the intricacies of the legal and professional services industry’s payment landscape. Discover how Shieldpay is revolutionizing complex transactions, enhancing efficiency, and providing security in the legal sector’s payment operations.
Lessons You’ll Learn:
During this episode, you’ll gain insights into the unique challenges faced by the legal and professional services industry when it comes to complex transactions and payment management. Explore the impact of cybercrime, the complexities of holding client funds, and the time-intensive nature of KYC collection. Learn how Shieldpay is transforming these challenges into opportunities for innovation, streamlining operations, and ensuring the security of high-value complex transactions.
About Our Guest:
Sophie Condie is the COO at Shieldpay, a regulated payment technology company specializing in simplifying complex transactions for the legal and professional services industry. With a wealth of experience in the fintech and payment sector, Sophie brings insights into the evolving payment landscape, particularly in the legal realm.
In this conversation with Sophie Condie, we explore the rising trends in the legal sector, the impact of cybercrime on law firms, the challenges of managing client funds, and the complexities of KYC collection and verification in the world of complex transactions. We also dive into the importance of transparency, operational models, and authentic partnerships in the fintech industry. Plus, we touch upon the disruption and disaggregation of corporate banking and its potential impact on the complex transactions and financial services landscape.
Our Guest: Sophie Condie, COO of Shieldpay on Making Complex Transactions Simple
Sophie Condie is a seasoned professional who has been an integral part of Shieldpay’s leadership team since September 2021. She joined the company as the Director of Operations and quickly proved her mettle, earning a well-deserved promotion to her current role as Chief Operations Officer.
Her journey in the banking and fintech sector has been nothing short of remarkable, with extensive experience garnered from senior positions at prestigious institutions like the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays. Most recently, Sophie showcased her expertise in the fintech realm by leading operations at Form3 Financial Cloud, where she played a pivotal role in delivering end-to-end Payments as a Service. Her impressive track record and in-depth industry knowledge make her a valuable asset to Shieldpay.
Beyond her professional achievements, Sophie is known for her passion as a people coach and her unwavering advocacy for women in business. Her dedication to coaching and mentoring individuals is a testament to her commitment to personal and professional growth, fostering an environment of continuous learning and development. As a staunch advocate for women in the business world, Sophie actively promotes gender diversity and inclusivity. Her leadership in these areas reflects her dedication to making a positive impact on both her team and the industry as a whole, solidifying her status as an influential and forward-thinking leader in the world of complex transactions and fintech.
Sophie Condie: Yes, the product needs to be sound. It needs to be fixing the problem and on a journey to fix the problem. So we’re going into together wherever they may be in the payment industry. But you need to be working with sound people. People are people and we’re all in it together. We’re humans. That’s what makes a sound partnership.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Welcome to PayPod. The payments industry podcast. Each week, we’ll bring you in-depth conversations with leaders who are shaping the payments and fintech world, from payment processing to risk management, and from new technology to entirely new payment types. If you want to know what’s happening in the world of fintech and payments, you’re in the right place.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Hello, everyone. Welcome to PayPod. I’m your host, Jacob Hollabaugh. And today on the show, we are, of course, talking about payment solutions, this time by looking at the world of legal and professional services, that industry that none of us business owners necessarily want to be dealing with, but are required to deal with nonetheless, and the unique set of payments needs that this industry has. As always, I’ve got an expert on these matters with me. I am pleased to be joined today by Sophie Condie, COO at Shieldpay, the company making complex transactions simple for the legal and professional services industry. Sophie, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Sophie Condie: Hi Jacob, great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Pleasure is mine. Let’s start kind of high level. I’m sure we’ll get into a bunch of these reasons here throughout our discussion, but at a high level, when we look at the legal and professional services industry, what is it about those industries and the types of payments that they’re using that make it stand out as an industry in need of its own tailored payment solutions?
Sophie Condie: As this is a really good question, sort of quite a good one to start with, I think because we toy with this quite a lot and it’s really evident. So it’s very complex. And I think as you said a moment ago, not many people want to deal in these in these spaces. So it’s incredibly complex because typically there’s a long journey before you get to the payment. And then when the payment comes as typically either rulings or other contingencies that need to occur before the payment happens. In addition to that complexity of the journey, I think it’s just massively untouched and really antiquated. The legal sector and the professional sector particularly are very good at what they do. And then the payment typically comes to the end and it’s like almost like an afterthought. And then there’s been no innovation in you think about escrow, which is a typical payment type in this industry. It’s been around for 150 years. And certainly, in the UK there’s not been any innovation around how that’s delivered. What does that look like? So the paperwork, the contract thing, the whole journey, the end to end. Proposition is just clunky and frustrating and all of those things that people just don’t like. Try and then you try and unpick it, and then you suddenly go, oh my goodness. Like the regulation, the rules, the licensing, the things that are really hard to do all come to the forefront again. And you’re like, ah, we’ve got to get underneath that as well. So it’s amazing. And certainly for us at Shilpi, bringing that innovation, bringing that thought, that challenge, that forward-thinking has been really exciting and really well received as well. So lots of the law firms that we work with in the UK and further afield have really welcomed it. But yeah, getting it right has been a lovely journey and we’re cracking it now. But yeah, that’s why I think it needs the energy and the attention.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah, it’s kind of interesting to think they have two things working in its favor in a way, but against it. And as far as innovation goes, that one, it is required, as I referenced, to say that jokingly, that none of us really want to work with them, but we all have to. But it is because everything they do is things that are required to be done. And so I think you’re hinting at in there and tell me if you disagree or not, but part because it’s required. It means that like they can’t lose customers if it’s inefficient or clunky. The way most industries are saying. This is one of many things we need to make as efficient as possible, because if not, we lose versus them having well, it’s required. Is that do you think that definitely plays a factor? I feel like I was reading between the lines there of what you’re saying that that and going back to my intro thinking, wow, I hadn’t thought of it that way. But yeah, because we’re required, they don’t have to worry as much or have never had to care as much about that part of the business.
Sophie Condie: Yeah, and I think it’s a byproduct of the service they deliver. So it’s not that the payments they’re not payment specialists. And therefore I think it’s that byproduct. And like you said, they’re not going to lose the business because they haven’t thought through necessarily the payment piece because they have to deliver a lot of the beginning piece. You’re absolutely spot on. And I think there have been law firms that have leant into building their own payment capability, but there’s a huge liability associated with holding client funds, with managing client funds. Then were they able to do all of the verification of the people, the KYC, the KYC. So know your customer, know your business, the customer due diligence is huge. Then you have to be able to hold the money, and then you have to be able to effectively disperse that money in making payments as efficiently as possible. Everybody wants it yesterday. So I think you’re probably right. I think they haven’t necessarily had to innovate in this space, but also it’s not their area of speciality or their area of where their revenues are going to come from. It’s that’s just a byproduct. So yeah, I think the requirement is definitely a contributor. And then I think because payments are not like say they don’t want to lean into them. So why would they innovate or build a business around that. And especially when there are people who can deliver this, they are typically companies that either do verification or they can. They’re holding a client account would typically be done by the law firm, and then you would just use your bank or outsource to a payment provider as opposed to bringing it all together. So yeah, I think there’s that piece too.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah. That’s brings me to the other thing I wanted to ask you then how have they traditionally been handling or not even handling necessarily the problem of payments have before a company like Shieldpay would come along, have they been outsourcing a bunch of different parts to a bunch of different players, whether it be like our escrow runs through this person and has three these three players, have there been other companies who have tried to come in and say, we have tailored payment solutions, that it maybe just hasn’t been as tailored as possible? What has been the kind of pre the last couple of decades pre a company like Shieldpay coming in and saying we can do this a lot better. What’s been the traditional way that payments have been handled in this industry.
Sophie Condie: Yeah they’ve been as I touched on there I think typically handled in-house. So I think typically law firms really of any size would manage it in-house. So the the regulator over here would define an amount of verification that would need to happen. And that is undertaken in-house. And outsourcing those types of things can be tricky. And then client funds managing those. The banks obviously offer client accounts. So that is an offering that the big banks provide. Typical banks will all offer client monies, but how effective they are and how easy they are to manage just through internet banking, it’s been on a journey in itself. You think even in the last decade how much internet banking has evolved and pre that there was things like client monies accounts. So like virtual accounting. I used to work in the banks in corporate banking and there was but again, it was just so heavily regulated and so cumbersome and tough to get right that I think it was even it’s very hard for the banks as well as as the law firms. And then. Yeah, the. Disbursements. I think they just again would do in house. So you would have a very small team of operational people delivering times hundreds of millions of pounds or dollars or any currency, just with a couple of people in an office kind of keying that which. So the security and the liability that goes with with that is huge. So yeah, that’s what and it still happens now I think until regulation change occurs that just hugely stipulates which is coming. But it will stipulate that that law firms won’t be able to hold client monies. And I think lots of law firms now are already starting to feel that change. Because like I keep talking about the liability, the management, the demand, the risk associated to managing client funds is just huge. And that’s what’s driving a lot of business at the moment as well, which is great.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah, it’s certainly an area ripe for innovation, which is what Shield is trying to bring. So you gave us a brief overview earlier, but can you expand on that a little? Who Shieldpay is what your services that you offer and the types of people you are working with or the types of companies you are working with?
Sophie Condie: Yeah of course. So yeah, she’ll pay in very simple terms. We’re a regulated payment technology business and we service anyone with really a complex payment requirement. And they’re typically high-value payments. We work predominantly in the legal sector. So we work with law firms on things like M&A. So mergers and acquisitions. So we’ll support the payment leg of that journey by doing all of the verification of all the parties involved, hold the money, and then disperse it in any currency within our risk appetite and so on. And then as well within the law firms and the legal sector, we have awesome solutions for litigation. So for class action lawsuits, which is incredibly nascent here in the UK and across Europe, I know it’s part of the vernacular in, in the US part, very much the space you guys are in. We have barely scratched the surface here in the UK. We have been undertaking them and built an incredible solution for that, and that is growing through this year and next year. Some of the class actions that we’re seeing and the group litigation orders a huge volume of transactions. So tend to be one inbound transaction, but then hundreds of thousands of payouts of disbursements.
Sophie Condie: And you need to do that whole verification piece of hundreds of thousands of people to receive their funds. So they match. And obviously, again, with all the law, the law rules around when the settlement happens and how we then have to deliver it in a certain time period and to the same standard. So we built an awesome solution for that, for litigation. And it’s proven within the litigation space. It can work in others. So another area where we’re working very closely with is a real estate innovation. We’re working really closely with a few of the lead players in that space and already doing conveyancing as well. So any conveyancing type transactions we can deliver as well. So that in a nutshell is what we do. I would say the simplest way because this is this can be tricky. I think if you’re not in the industry or maybe understand payments as a whole, it’s quite tricky to really drill into what that means. So we have three main capabilities, and I will say them over and over again because it’s easy. So verify hold and disperse. And that’s what we can do as a regulated entity altogether.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah. I think that’s a great way to simplify it down. And it is. The one of the examples you used is fascinating. Think of definitely a unique with a like a lawsuit settlement that one pays hundreds if not thousands of pay people that they’re paying it to. There’s not a lot of transactions out there like that. So one of many places where it does take that unique approach and that unique tool in functionality to be able to have make that work. Shieldpay recently released your latest research report, Time Is Money. I believe it was called. Can you give us a sampling of some of the main challenges law firms are facing with money management? I know you’ve done a few there, if there’s any to add or really big ones that stand out from this recent report. And then maybe some of the evolutions you’re seeing take place now, looking forward now that we’ve covered a little bit of the challenges.
Sophie Condie: Yeah of course. And yeah, it’s been a really fantastic journey for us undertaking this research report actually, and putting it all together and being able to publish some really interesting findings, because one of the biggest things we find, we classify ourselves as well as kind of Switzerland in what we do, so we can work with any law firms we can work with any. We’re not there’s no there’s no breaches, there’s no risks. So and lots of the law firms will always ask us what’s the industry doing, what’s happening. And actually being able to publish something has been fabulous because everyone’s curious. We all, everyone wants to get on and keep progressing and innovate in this space. So it’s been really good. I would say some of the key stats that kind of came out of it for us that were really interesting was predominantly the impact of cybercrime on law firms. So it’s just they’re becoming the scams and I guess we feel it across. I don’t think there’s anyone escaping this, but particularly in this space, I think they’re becoming much more frequent, way more sophisticated. So therefore very hard to track or mitigate against and so on. So I think it was a stat of 75% of UK law firms have experienced a cyber attack in the last 12 months, and that can be really debilitating for an organization as unfortunately lots of people know.
Sophie Condie: I think as well the so the risk associated that obviously if you’re holding client funds and then you have a cyber attack as well, the risk associated with that is just endless. So coupled with that is the time spent on managing client funds, as I’ve alluded to in some of the conversations already, it’s complicated. It’s hard work. It’s not just the bank account and managing the banking relationship. You manage your client relationship. You manage making sure that the money is safeguarded. They say they’re secure, they’re allocated, they’re not commingled there. You can provide transparency to these funds is very hard work. Even something that sounds quite simple. It’s really not. It needs a lot more. Some of the other things that have come out as well is, like I said, that holding of the funds is very time intensive. One of the second piece that’s higher. So I think we had the the time. So it was 1 in 3. So 32% of the UK top 100 law firms are saying that the KYC collection and verification checks are taken between 4 and 9 working days, just to collect the documentation and complete the checks so that time period.
Sophie Condie: And that’s not billable hours, that isn’t something that they can earn money for or drive their business forward, their revenues, and so on. So again, the kind of the time associated to that, the risk associated to holding the money, and also that we talk about the payments, people want money very quickly. And as soon as they know that somebody has got their money or something needs to happen. These are transactions that matter. If you’ve got a legal sector involved, there is typically there’s a jeopardy to that money moving. It needs to move and it needs to move at the time that it needs to go out. So again, utilizing the right payment rails, understanding why you would use that payment rail, and having the transparency of where that payment is at any stage in its journey. Very difficult to do. And I think yeah, I think this area is getting much more in the spotlight. Like I said, with the regulation changes as well. So yeah, it’s been great and it’s really emphasized and highlighted all the areas we hear. But it’s given us some really chunky, credible numbers and stats to share and have out there.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah, and it’s definitely in the legal community from the friends of mine that I know that work, and it’s definitely a competitive area, so I can see why they would want to know now that they’re finally getting on board with some innovation in the world of payments that they’re immediately like, but wait, what’s the law firm down the street doing? Like, because if they’re doing something better, we obviously want to be doing that too. That makes too much sense, knowing the few lawyers and law-related folks that I do, would there be for everything that we’ve been talking about, you’re helping to transform this industry in their payments and innovate everything within it. Would there be a good example, all industries or sector that you’ve seen successfully embrace digital payment solutions to make the streamlines and operations that now you’re attempting to do in the legal and professional services world, is there one you can point to as example of, or maybe even the company looks at as this company did this for this industry, and that’s what we’re now trying to do for the legal and professional services world.
Sophie Condie: Yeah, really, I struggle with this question. I’m struggling to to really find one. The one that sprung to mind immediately was actually the charity sector, because I think they’ve had to evolve a lot in recent years and really embrace the digitization of payments because I think charities relied so heavily on cheques and cash and the physical, the physicality of a of money, physical money. So I think that was the first one that kind of sprung to mind. I think they’ve evolved and embraced and taken forward the areas that they needed to. So you see a charity out now if they’re in their high street or something, they’ve typically got a card machine. They’ve typically got different ways to be able to QR codes. They’ve grabbed the whole area of payments to make it accessible for them, which is admirable. I’ve been in payments for a few years now, so crikey, probably 15-plus years. And from the outset, it would always be quite slow on the uptake. And I guess they to me have overtaken the likes of the legal sector and other areas and they’ve embraced it all to get their money in. But that was the only one that came to mind. I think obviously payment companies, they’ve had to embrace the digitization. That was a really obvious one. So so payment service providers. But I think they’ve had to stay at the forefront. I’m a self-professed payment geek. I could nerd out over payments like hours and hours. Unfortunately don’t get the time that I used to get. But I think it’s so interesting. And I think that people when you talk to people about payments, they think they’re so simple because it’s beautiful. It’s like a swan, right? You pay for something and it’s done. And the behind the scenes, the people like us who really understand what it’s taken to make that money move, it’s. Complex is arduous. There’s typically blockers and frictions and things that have had to happen to enable it. So yeah, I find this question really difficult and I’m not sure I’ve really answered it very effectively. But yeah, that’s where I landed.
Jacob Hollabaugh: No, I think you certainly did. And the part at the end there is so true that from a consumer perspective, and certainly from someone who’s much has been much newer to this world, in this industry, most people, most of our transactions are not the big legal settlement. I went to the grocery store today. I bought the shirt off the internet. I whatever small transactions that we do expect at this point to just we click a button and it happened. And maybe some of us that are really into our budgets realize like, oh, it doesn’t show up right away here or there and maybe have some small view of there’s some other stuff going on because it’s not over here. But for the most part, most of us think we click a button and it happens and it’s all behind the scenes. And then you do get into it and you realize there is a lot of players involved. There’s a lot of different moving parts and there’s a lot of complexities and there’s a lot of payments that aren’t just I went to the grocery store and bought the food for the week. There’s just billions and billions of payments happening all over the world of all different kinds that need their own unique solutions. So it’s been really fun with yourself. And a lot of the guests we’ve had on that are trying to tackle industry by industry. This industry has this type of payment going on that none of the other services work for. So we’ve got to find a way to do. The goal is always the same. The goal is speed, efficiency and security. Some like where you’re working with the security, almost goes top of the line because of the sensitivity of the transactions you’re making, which is another thing that’s wild to think about that. That is high pressure, I guess, would be the way I’d put it from your point of view that you aren’t dealing with someone buying food or shirt or anything that like, yeah, these transactions are extraordinarily meaningful to the folks on both ends of it.
Jacob Hollabaugh: But on one end of it, for sure, there’s someone on one end of that transaction that this is a major life event has probably occurred or is in the process of occurring. So that security piece, it would definitely keep me up a little bit at night if I was in your shoes. Let’s turn to some trend-related things for a minute here. The big one. I’ve asked a lot of folks on the show over the course of this year about is the rise of as a service businesses over the last decade, which has meant the rise of massive increase in the amount of partnerships and integrations and payment companies certainly are a big part of that, of having just an incredible amount of partnerships that need to take place and an incredible amount of integrations to make that whole complex web actually work and work as fast and efficiently as possible. What makes for a great partner when operating in this industry? What makes for a great company that you’re happy with the integration that just you see their name pop up, maybe an email or something come through and you’re like, I like this company because they do X, Y, or Z. What makes for a great partner in the payments space?
Sophie Condie: Yeah, if I go into the next layer. So what makes a big partner is somebody who understands what they’re doing. I think is probably a really simple way to say it. So I think that to your point, earlier, the way you spoke about, oh, there’s a there’s a payment over there that’s really complex and actually nobody’s fixed for that yet. So we could go into that and we could start solving for that as well as this and so on. So I think having a very clear model of what the business is doing, and therefore when you partner with that business, they’re very able to talk about their product market fit, the problem they’re solving. And therefore it’s a very easy partnership if that makes sense. So you always want honesty and transparency. We all know especially working in fintech start-ups, scale-ups, whatever stage in your journey you’re at and in in fairness, in fintech particularly because it’s still quite a young industry, I know it’s probably it’s well over ten, 15 years old, I guess maybe a bit older than that.
Jacob Hollabaugh: It feels young compared to the other financial institutions that have been around for literally all of time. It just it moves so fast that we’re like, we’ve seen 30 iterations of it in the past ten years, like it feels like it’s been around forever. But then a bank comes in, is like, this bank is 280 years old, so it hasn’t been around that long.
Sophie Condie: It really hasn’t been around that long. So the more I’m think about at least 20 years, because I know some. Anyway, I think the thing is, we’re all on a journey and we’re all on a growth journey. So demonstrating where you are on that growth journey and having the ability to articulate it and share where you are in that journey, what you’re doing, what you know you need to do, and where you’ve come from. They’re all really important conversations. And what comes with that is have a very clear kind of operational model as well. So having sound documentation, sound technical documentation or the ability for your integrations, like you said, you want to be able to have technical documentation that you can face off against, to technical teams, to be able to integrate, to be able to understand any nuances that are going to come up and when and how. I think as well. When it comes back to operating models, how you service your clients and therefore your partners, what SLAs, how do you demonstrate that? How do you manage things when they go wrong? Because it’s not. If they go wrong, we all know it is when they go wrong, because it does go wrong. And being able to demonstrate that and stand behind that and be credible in that space is really important.
Sophie Condie: So it’s that whole operational process and being on the front foot with that, how you’re going to service the partnership as well. And those agreements at the outset, like I said, as well, the open and honest dialogue from the outset, it that you can always tell and I’ve had quite a few conversations over the years now where and you suddenly you either walk away going, cool, that was refreshing. We’ve got this, we’re going to work together. I can feel it. There’s a genuine click that it makes sense. And other times you walk away and you’re like, oh, that’s there’s something not quite right there, and you’re not able to have that really open, transparent conversation and dialogue. And also you really want to work with awesome, credible, authentic people. And that’s what it always comes back to. I think we forget sometimes. Yes, the product needs to be sound. It needs to be fixing the problem. And on a on a journey to fix the problems that we’re we’re going into together, whatever, whatever they may be in the payment industry. But you need to be working with sound people. People are people and we’re all in it together. We’re humans. That’s what makes a sound partnership, I think.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah. Love that. What’s the top trend you and Shield are trying to stay in front of right now? Or maybe viewed a different way, the trend you think staying on top of will be most important to your success over the next half-decade? I know you referenced early on a few legal changes that might be coming soon. That could change a few things. How you do? Is it just staying on top of the payments world is one thing, but when you add in the the legal and the amount of regulation that you, I’m sure have to also stay on top of, it becomes a lot very quickly. But as that is is something else, what’s the kind of top thing, top of mind right now, that trend you’re trying to stay in front of?
Sophie Condie: Straight away. It is the client funds, third-party managed accounts. It’s managing client funds for law firms. That’s the easiest one that we will stay in front of. We are ahead of already. We will continue to deliver in that space we’re already delivering, and we want to continue in that space. And likewise with the complex payments in that space. The other trends that I think are really exciting and again, doing some research and reading recently and again, some of the meetings we’ve been in and the conversations we’ve been having is actually the disaggregation of corporate banking. Commercial banking, retail banking has been disaggregated. We’ve had huge competitors. There’s been a big disruption. There’s been the introduction of new banks, of new capabilities from the retail space, particularly the corporate bank hasn’t had any of this yet. And I think that this is really interesting. And the couple of fintechs I’ve been to definitely and have been in another fintech, they’ve definitely started scratching at that. And I think it’s a very interesting space because banks and the financial services model is, like we said, they’ve been around for hundreds of years and they are tech stack upon physical tech stack across software, across a monolithic build over there and something else over here.
Sophie Condie: And they’re all plugged in together, and no one really knows how any of this works. And they’re all bespoke at different levels. And suddenly it’s like, that can’t be maintained. It’s impossible to be maintained. They are having to be very innovative and think differently. And that’s where I think there’s going to be some big movements over the next few years of the disaggregation of the corporate bank. I think that’s just naturally going to happen, and we’ll be at the forefront of that because it’s super exciting, and it’s certainly an area that we play in because in those areas like you said, there are moments that matter their life events for individuals as well as companies. So remembering that whole journey and the personal aspect behind that is so important. Even though we’re B2B, we always remember that money is moving and that will be impacting an individual at some stage. And then I think the other piece is probably Psd3 Psd2 made a massive change to things like marketplaces, and I think Psd3 and the changes coming there are going to be quite impactful across a wider audience as well. So I think, yeah, that’s my summary.
Jacob Hollabaugh: As always, there is a lot could be the very simple answer whenever asking that question of like all of it, I don’t know. There’s so much going on at any given point. We’re lucky to stay in front of one of the 1000 different things that are changing and evolving in this world every day. I do find it fascinating thinking about who will be the winners of that disaggregation that you talked about, and that it makes sense if you do step back and look and be like, well, these are part of the reason things have moved slower in the financial world, it took longer to get to all the digital stuff is because of how long these have been around. And when you have super old infrastructure and instead of ever replacing it, you just said, okay, the next, build the next layer on top and then build a layer and build a layer. And now we all have little APIs tapping into parts of this. But if we actually look at it, we’re like, we out here don’t know how to fix anything down in there in that really internal infrastructure that is super duper old. And we just kept covering up. And so eventually there does reach a point where it’s much easier for someone to say, we’re going to start from scratch, we’re going to we don’t then we don’t have to deal with all of that.
Jacob Hollabaugh: We can just start over, which is a big undertaking, but doesn’t come with trying to figure out these 20 layers that have been built on top and how to untangle it or anything else. Just start anew. So that’ll definitely be something I’m guessing I will be talking about much over the next couple of years with this show. The final pivot I want to make is you did reference. You’ve spent time at a couple of different places within the payments world, the financial world, and I always love to end on a little kind of business and personal development advice for folks working in this world. When I’m speaking to someone who’s had such success across a few different companies, the first thing I’d love to ask is your best advice for someone working in this industry. And speaking of all of the crazy pace and the amount of things to keep up with that we’ve referenced here the last couple of minutes, what’s your best advice for keeping up with all of that? And mentally be handling the pace of this always-changing, always-evolving worlds of payments and finance? Because it definitely, definitely can wear on folks. So any advice for someone newer to the industry of how to handle the mental load of working in this crazy world?
Sophie Condie: Yeah, yeah, mean.
Sophie Condie: I remember starting in the first fintech and within the first two months I was like, what am I doing? What am I? This doesn’t work. My brain is not working because there’s just no structure. There’s no especially because I was part of the inception team. So we were we were building it. I was part of that. And so used to working in corporate environments where the structure was there. You’re trying to break. That was tough. So I think that’s one of the biggest bits of advice is when entering into start-up scale-ups, when you’re entering into fintech or something that is much more disruptive, innovative. Be kind to yourself. This is different, even if you’ve never worked for it. If it’s your first job, this is going to be a crazy ride. If you’ve worked somewhere else and you’re entering this. Space. You are never going to experience anything like this, so just buckle up. Be kind to yourself and the kind of other peace I think has served me really well through. It has been a level of curiosity and tenacity and bringing those two together, because I think even when I was in the banks, I was always like, but why is it done like that? That’s not a good journey.
Sophie Condie: That doesn’t. And I’ve challenged and I’ve queried and I’ve pushed and I’ve tried to get to the most simplest level. And I think that curiosity and then the tenacity to deliver what it is that, you know, will solve that problem and those sort of attributes, and don’t be afraid to have a good vent. Like, make sure you’ve got somebody in the company that you can have a really safe sound vent with and a rant about something, because then you also get underneath it and you can scratch it and you can go, we can fix that. And that’s what I believe like fintech is all about. When you want to innovate and disrupt, you want to fix it. You want a solution. So be really kind to yourselves and it’s easier said than done because I think when you’ve got that mindset and the curiosity, you can keep running the whole time and you need to just sit back and do a bit of reflection, be kind. It’s a crazy pace and the expectation is so high, but that’s why I love it as well. There are a lot of pros to it, but it’s hard. Yeah.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Love that. Well, that’s a wonderful place to end on. Sophie, this has been a real pleasure for those listening who may want to follow you or learn more about Shieldpay, and keep up with everything you and the company have going on. Maybe read some of those reports as again, the one you put out was quite wonderful to read. I definitely encourage folks to check it out. Where would be the best place for them to go to find you? You can either.
Sophie Condie: You can either go to our website at shieldpay.com or you can pop by on LinkedIn as well. Jane is probably one of the best channels that we utilize frequently. Sophie Condie or Shield Pay will be there.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Wonderful. We’ll link to those in more in the show notes below. Sophie, thank you so much for your time and knowledge today. I’ve greatly enjoyed it and hope to speak again sometime in the future.
Sophie Condie: Yeah, thank you so much! I’ve really enjoyed it too.
Jacob Hollabaugh: If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more, head on over to soarpay.com/podcast to subscribe on your podcast listening platform of choice. That’s soarpay.com/podcast.