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Inspirational Women Spotlight: Katharina Richter-Weiss

Katharina Richter-Weiss is the COO of PXP Financial

Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?

After I graduated in business administration, I worked my way up through a range of management roles in the payments industry. My expertise is in digitalisation, e-customer relationship management, online marketing and payment technologies.

Today I am the chief operating officer at PXP Financial, based in Austria, where I am from. PXP is an end-to-end omni-channel payment provider that helps businesses accept payments online and on-premise. We offer an online and POS solution, alternative payments, collection services, card acquiring, risk management as well as a variety of value-added services, including checkout pages, reporting, revenue optimisation, tokenisation, dynamic currency conversion, instalments, and recurring payments across multiple channels.

We’re an international business with teams across six locations and expertise across the gaming, retail, hospitality and travel sectors. We’re proud to work with some of the biggest names in gaming, including BetMGM, Tipico and Kindred, and in recent years we’ve been busy developing our US business, particularly in the gaming space, which is growing at a fast pace.

My focus is on building lasting customer relationships. I love a challenge and am proud of the sustainable solutions I have implemented over the years.

What is the idea behind the company?

I have been with PXP from the beginning, and although the company has evolved, its basic principles are the same now as they were when it started; we are willing to take risks to come up with new products which accommodate the needs of our customers.

The world of payments is dynamic and so are we. Our aim has always been to stay ahead of the game through innovative technologies and new solutions that create a first-class payment experience for our customers. This ethos of curiosity and problem-solving empowers me to be creative, produce new ideas and identify areas for improvement.

PXP is all about progression, and this is reflected in the workforce. There are many women in crucial roles, and they never have to worry about being given a fair chance. For example, I have two children and never worried that I would be treated differently for taking maternity leave.

How have you been able to gain funding and grow? 

PXP Financial has a long heritage of shaping and leading innovation in the payments space.

In fact, sometimes we have been so innovative we’ve even been too early to market with technologies which have been adopted many years later, but we have carried on innovating and developing new solutions, and that has earned us more customers and seen us grow.

Today, we have 200 employees from 25 nationalities working across offices in the UK, Austria, Bulgaria, India, and the US. Our growth can also be attributed to our ability to gain licenses and become principal members of Mastercard and Visa, which has of course attracted funding.

What are the key successes?

Obtaining PSP and acquiring licenses early in our journey was certainly a success – it’s not easy to become a Visa or Mastercard principal member, and it’s a huge benefit that we’re not dependant on any sponsoring bank to offer an acquiring solution.

Another key success has come from following our customers, which has extended our regional footprint. Although we are a relatively small company, we have a big reach, especially in US.

What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?

Building anything from scratch, or indeed fixing something that’s broken, is always hard work. There’s not always a clear picture of the end result in the beginning, and it’s a challenge to start a journey when you don’t know where it will lead. But that’s what I really like to do – it’s like solving riddles.

The key is to keep focussed on what you want to achieve – always have a goal in mind and work towards it.

I also want to stress the importance of not to diversifying too quickly. This might sound counterintuitive, especially to any startup owners reading this interview, but believe me, being the first on the scene is not always a good thing. Getting there second means you can learn from whoever got there first.

I’ve experienced this first-hand. Today we see lots of people using wearable payment devices, like wristwatches or rings, but when we launched ours back in 2011, people simply weren’t ready for it. The right product at the wrong time amounts to the wrong product.

What are your plans now/for the future?

As a business we want to expand our regional footprint even further, and our license base so we can service existing customers better and attract new customers. We are also working hard on getting a new platform for our merchants in place that will allow for a highly flexible configuration and self-service capabilities. This suite of new products will combine a fresher look with the trustworthiness we are known for… watch this space!

What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own business journey?

Humanity doesn’t move forward without trying new things, and there is always room for improvement. Accept this and don’t let setbacks stop you. Just adapt and go for it.

Can you share your top tips for success?

Be confident in yourself. It won’t all work out as you would like it to, but that’s OK. If you’re convinced that you’re doing the right thing, then fight for it. Set out a clear idea of what you want to do and work towards it.

Who are the people who inspire you and why?

Many people inspire me, too many to name, but they all have a common quality: they know what they want to achieve and go for it, without resisting flexibility. If they recognise that things won’t work out, they are brave enough to stop and turn to something else. I also have huge admiration for people who are resilient and can weather the storms life throws at us all.

What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?

Remember to enjoy the small things in life and remember to bring positive energy to the people around you and to what you do.