Alumni Stories: Mikko Vahter, A Payments Consultant looking to broaden his understanding of the broader landscape of Payments

Mikko is a Senior Payments Consultant at Qvik working with merchants, Fintechs and financial institutions in the payments and loyalty space. His projects revolve around implementing marketplace solutions, cross-border payments, payout or escrow accounts. He decided to enroll in the Payments specialisation to gain a broader understanding of the landscape. 

“I did foresee that learning more about these subjects would enable me to advise and help customers to innovate.”

Mikko Vahter, Senior Payments Consultant at Qvik

CFTE: As somebody who is already involved in the Payments space, what motivated you to take the course?

Mikko: What motivated me the most to take the course was that I wanted to learn more about the fundamentals, digital currencies, new payment technologies and business model innovations in the payments space. I did foresee that learning more about these subjects would enable me to advise and help customers to innovate.

Many of the new innovations, like mobile wallets or request-to-pay, are using existing payment rails so you need to understand the fundamentals to be able to innovate such services.

CFTE: How have you implemented the knowledge and skills you acquired in your career?

Mikko: After spending 11 years in industrial technology and automation, I decided to join a retail technology company and that choice ultimately led me to the payments space. I also had the opportunity to complete my Master’s studies in digital technologies while working.  Now with Qvik, I have a great opportunity to take responsibility, innovate with customers and dive into new projects.

One concrete recent example is adopting recurring PSD2 payments for certain merchant use cases, which actually no one is using in Finland currently. Of course, adopting new technologies that are not yet fully mature poses some risks and delays but ultimately, it will lead to more efficiency and great customer experience.

Another example would be solving merchant invoicing problems with SRTP (Sepa Request To Pay) and start planning before service is alive.

CFTE: What did you find the most enjoyable about the course? What are the main takeaways for you?

Mikko: I especially enjoyed learning how innovations in the payments space have changed developing markets and increased financial inclusion in areas like Africa. Mobile wallets like M-Pesa have really changed the world.

My main takeaways are: think of new ways to innovate on existing infrastructure and solutions to complex challenges are usually simple.

CFTE: Finally, before you go, could you describe yourself in 3 words or less?

Mikko: Diligent, curious, stubborn 🙂

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