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, Mayeul Wattecamps, Head of Marketing at payment solution Mangopay, reveals some of the key challenges in building a marketing team from scratch, the lessons learned and why people within the industry should always focus on improving what is not working. 

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

I actually started my studies with an accounting degree. As well as the pure expertise I gained, I found it helped me become more structured, rational and data-driven. Now, this helps me so much every day as I structure teams and plan ahead. 

After three years of studying accounting, I started studying for a classic Management Masters, at Audencia Business School in Nantes, France. That gave me a wider vision of the business world and led me to launch my own business while I was still a student.

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

Sport has always been a big part of my life. As a teenager, it was athletics – sprint and high jump. But the highlight was when I was a student and I was always looking for the next challenge. 

At that time I was captain of my school rugby team, I did lots of running and mountain biking. I loved competition. It gave me the will to train, develop and go beyond the initial plan to win. Rugby especially was really important in terms of learning how to win as a team. Since turning 30, I’ve become more of a Parisian yogi and enjoy swimming at my local pool. I still try to challenge myself while keeping my mind and body healthy. 

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?

I started my career by launching an ethical clothing platform. My goal was to bring together all the best ethical and responsible clothing brands and make them available in one platform. I’ve always loved taking new concepts and turning them into reality. 

As Mangopay is focused on providing the best payment solutions for platforms, this experience is extremely valuable for me today, as I’m able to put myself in the shoes of our clients which really helps to guide our marketing efforts. 

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

I worked for five years at Pumpkin, a peer-to-peer, payment application – it was like a French version of Venmo that eventually turned into a neo bank. I joined the customer service team and ended up leading marketing, data and experience. 

Pumpkin was a Mangopay client and it meant I was able to learn so much on the client side. Still today, this has been one of the most valuable career experiences for me which helps me in my role now on a daily basis. It forces me to always see things from the customer’s perspective. Even supporting B2B platforms, it’s ultimately the end users that you serve. 

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

I try to be my own role model and take charge of my own career path. Of course, I get inspired by others, but mainly on specific topics. 

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

The payments industry is a complex one. It’s always evolving and has lots of exciting opportunities and challenges. This ecosystem makes product marketing really interesting – it’s a function where you can bring so much to the business. 

After I joined Mangopay, I quickly realised that, as the company grew, we needed a product marketing function. After six months and lots of meetings with product marketing tech leaders, I finally got to launch this department at Mangopay.

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

I’ve built more than 10 teams from scratch and changed positions many times. The main challenge has always been to make sure each member of my team is at the right place and in a position to succeed. 

In my career the biggest challenge is ongoing – building the Mangopay marketing team by merging people from different companies, countries, cultures, backgrounds and ways of working. The challenges are often the same, but in a more diverse and complex environment, which makes it more challenging and sensitive, but also exciting.

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

For me this is all about having the right level of energy and making sure you are focusing on the right priority, at the right time. 

Don’t look at what’s OK, look at what’s not OK and don’t be afraid to discover you’ve spent some time working on the wrong decision – it’s better to know it sooner, rather than later. Lastly, spend time with your clients, get to know their businesses by heart.