Payment Expert’s ID Check: Payments Professionals offers insight from industry leaders and experts on how they got their start in the financial industry, from their early years in education, to how they have been able to climb the corporate ladder.

This week, Ignas Dovidonis – AML/CTF Compliance Officer for electronic banking platform myTU, based out of Lithuania – shares his journey of stringently focusing on the nuances of AML/KYC practices and how hard work and attention to detail will always bear fruit.

Ignas Dovidonis, AML/CTF Office at myTU

Where did you go to university and what did you study? What impact did this have on your current journey?

I completed my bachelor and master’s degrees at Vilnius University Business School, focusing on Business Finance and Sustainable Corporate Finance and Investments. My education offered me a comprehensive understanding of corporate finance, exploring the intricacies of financial structures, ownership, and relevant legislation. 

This foundation has been instrumental in my current role at myTU, where we integrate sustainable practices into innovative financial services for our customer base representing over 100 nationalities. 

Were you part of any sports clubs or societies at university and has this influenced your educational and professional development?

While sports clubs and societies are great for making connections, I didn’t go that route during my university years. My focus was primarily academic, laying the groundwork for a deep and focused career in finance. 

Did you have any jobs outside of the industry before making your start in it and was this experience a motivation to get into the industry you aspired to be in? 

From the outset of my professional journey, I was drawn directly into the finance industry. My focus has always been on deepening my understanding and expertise in financial systems. Sometimes the straight path leads to the same place as the twisty one.

What was the first job you had in the industry and are there any lessons from this you still draw on?

My first role in the industry was as an AML Analyst, which really threw me into the deep end of understanding how money moves and spotting money laundering warning signs in day-to-day transactions. 

Those early days on the job taught me a lot about the nuts and bolts of financial security, lessons that I still use today at myTU. They play a big part in how I shape our AML strategies to keep things tight and compliant.

Who was your biggest role model outside of the payments industry who continues to inspire you in your current career?

Rather than having a single role model, I’ve always been inspired by the collective wisdom and practices of seasoned professionals across the finance sector. By studying their work and insights, I’m shaping my own approach to leadership and innovation in fintech.

When was your first big break in the payments industry? Why was this such a significant moment for you?

My journey in the fintech industry has been a series of steady and consistent steps forward. Over the years, as I deepened my expertise and accumulated valuable experiences, my efforts began to garner recognition and led to several promotions. Each step forward was a validation of my dedication to mastering the complexities of the fintech industry

Was there a moment you faced in the industry that really challenged you? How did you overcome this? 

The biggest moment was the first regulatory inspection that really required a high level of professionalism. Such inspections are periodical processes, however the first one might be a bit frightening. 

I tackled it by thoroughly preparing and relying on my team’s expertise, which turned a daunting experience into a valuable learning opportunity that enhanced our practices.

Lastly, what is some advice you would give to an aspiring person looking to get a start in your respective industry?

My advice to newcomers is straightforward: don’t feign knowledge. It’s crucial to genuinely understand the processes you’re working with.

Always feel free to seek guidance from seasoned professionals, keep up with industry trends, and embrace the intersection of technology and finance. These elements are vital as they drive and sustain our economies today.