Sitting down with Mollie CEO Shane Happach
At Mollie, we like to keep things simple. That's why we created an effortless payments solution and why we focus on one thing: helping our customers and partners.
This uncomplicated attitude also probably explains why Mollie CEO Shane Happach doesn’t work in a fancy corner office, will happily reveal his favourite rappers when asked (Dr. Dre and A Tribe Called Quest, in case you’re wondering), and even did some quite spectacular dancing for a recent internal video which – unfortunately for the world – will never be made public.
But, sitting down with Shane on a busy Monday morning at our Amsterdam HQ, our leg is bouncing with excitable energy fuelled by the thought of spending an hour or so interviewing the boss. Because Shane also has a steely determination and no-nonsense attitude that – to be honest – makes him our perfect CEO, and before that helped him to guide Worldpay’s London IPO and acquisitions as its executive vice president and head of global ecommerce.
So, it comes as some relief that soon into our conversation, when we start to talk about the reasons behind Shane’s move from Worldpay to Mollie, he sits back in his chair with a big smile.
“When working for enterprises at Worldpay, I saw that we had as much efficiency as possible in our partnerships,” Shane explains. “But the smaller companies that I worked with always needed help – they didn’t have the resources or teams to get the most out of our service. So I knew I would get more satisfaction from helping those companies, and that’s why I joined Mollie.”
A new product to help our customers grow
In fact, this commitment to serving those businesses has brought us together today. Because we’re getting ready to take another step on our mission to simplify financial services for all companies. Not so much a step, but a leap – a new product that will give our customers quick, easy access to financing.
“Cash flow is one of the main hurdles for small- and medium-sized businesses that want to grow,” explains Shane, “they might want to purchase inventory, ramp up their marketing, or even hire new staff, but accessing funding can be time-consuming and complicated. That’s not ideal for businesses that need to be agile to take advantage of opportunities. We’ve even seen that businesses are put off even trying to get financing because of this. That’s where we come in.
“With this new financing product, we’re introducing a fast, easy, and flexible way for our customers to access capital to help them grow their business.”
Our dedication to making the complex effortless
We have big ambitions. But our record hopefully speaks for itself: we’ve been supporting firms since 2004, and more than 130,000 businesses use our effortless payments solution.
Of course, we also try to be honest about what we do: we don’t say we’re revolutionising this or transforming that. Instead, we spend time perfecting uncomplicated (there’s that word again) products that make it as simple as possible for our customers to be the best they can be. And grow. Growth is at the heart of our mission.
Shane exemplifies this: he’s a laid-back leader who has a laser focus on helping our customers and partners. And that aim is as important to him as ever. “There’s a big difference in the tools and services that enterprise-focused players deliver to companies like Google or Amazon,” he explains. “Everything favours the larger players. We’re trying to push that tech downmarket to make the complex simple for our customers. The more we can reduce the gap between them, the better.”
Mollie’s vision is to develop world-class financial services that allow everybody to grow. But how does that influence our activities? “Many fintechs and neobanks are consumer-focused,” explains Shane. “We’re all about serving businesses. Financial processes sometimes still involve lots of paper; they’re very manual and not very 21st century. We can shape the future of those business processes and make them as seamless and straightforward as possible.”
A proven product designed to drive growth
Here’s where that new product comes in. Financing is a proven product for SMEs in other parts of the world – we’re just helping our European customers access it in the best way. “It will be like all our other Mollie products and features,” explains Shane, “simple, effective, and developed for all businesses to use. Like always, we’re creating an easy-to-use, beautifully designed product.”
Customer experience is key to what we do. It’s why we offer our customers local support in their language and a conversion-optimised checkout, help them add payment methods with a single click, and why we offer our payments solution with transparent pricing and no lock-in contracts. Creating great customer experiences has also helped us secure a 4.4 rating on Trustpilot.
“As a company, it’s vital we maintain those standards to deliver remarkable customer experiences consistently,” explains Shane. “No matter what we do, we always focus on customer experience. It’s all about simplifying financial products for our customers and then offering local support for them when they need it.”
Developing new and existing products
Financing is our next step as we move into financial services, but there will be more additions to Mollie’s financial service product range as we evolve. And, of course, we’re continuing to improve and perfect our payments solution. “Our financial services stack is our newest technology,” explains Shane, “and it’s being built entirely separately from our payments technology. We will continue to refine everything that we offer and do.”
At this point in the interview, Shane is in his element, and it’s clear that Mollie’s mission is close to his heart. He sits forward intently as he talks about our activities, taking brief pauses after questions before delivering answers with crystal-clear clarity. And it’s great to look towards our future, but what about if we look back and assess what we’ve accomplished in a period of hypergrowth that’s seen us serve more customers than ever?
“I am proud of almost everything that we’ve accomplished since I joined Mollie,” Shane says. “We added a lot of great people into the business. The company has grown quickly, but we still have a great culture here – it’s still the environment we want to offer people.”
This is a big year for us to deliver a lot for our customers. There are lots of things that favour the bigger guys. We need to make sure that we help our customers remain competitive, offer them invaluable services at a fair price, and support them when they need us. If we do that, they’ll be happy and – more importantly – able to realise their potential and keep growing. For us, that’s what it’s all about.”