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Five years, five questions

PrimeiroPay blog interviewed Gabriela Vieira to ask how it feels to be one of the companies’ first hires

Celebrating her fifth anniversary at PrimeiroPay, our Director of Legal and Compliance, Gabriela Vieira had a chat with our blog. Here are five questions for her five years in the team. Enjoy and don’t forget to check our job openings!

1. You are working at PrimeiroPay since its foundation. What has changed in these last five years?

The company grew significantly in volume, client base, partnerships and employees. The team also expanded and became more diverse, creating an environment of constant innovation. But I’ll tell you what did not change: we remained dynamic, result-driven and ready for the next challenge. Now we have more tools and resources to put our ideas into actions and tackle the ever-changing reality of Latin America.

2. Name a few projects that you are most proud of.

I have to start with the setup of PrimeiroPay Mexico. What a fantastic project! The incorporation of our legal entity was completed on my birthday – best gift ever! – and led me to live in Mexico City for three months to establish the initial setup. Later, I passed the baton to one of the best professionals I ever met in my career, Rocío Pérez, our Head of Latam.

I am also very proud of how our team was able to build such a strong partnership with Citibank in Brazil, even when the legal framework of the payments industry was in the early stages. Convincing reliable and solid commercial banks to back our foreign exchange solution can be hard. The cross-border payment market was just starting, and there was no benchmark and a lot of doubts. The local Central Bank required no license for operations, and the regulatory burden would fall upon the banks. However, both parties gave each other a vote of trust, and the discussions about the legal and compliance standards we needed to meet went for months – I could even say a full year. In the end, we started a lasting and award-winning partnership that continues while our expansion plans flourish. 

Last but not least, I will mention a personal victory: we modernised our agreement template. During my Ph.D., I studied linguistics and contracts and wanted to implement some changes inhouse. After reading about trends on using images and pictures to bring clarity to the interpretation of obligations, I decided to make PrimeiroPay’s different settlement options visual. We pride ourselves in offering tailor-made commercials, which imposes a challenge to the legal team to foresee that many options. But at PrimeiroPay, no one is scared of a dare, so we decided to think outside the box. Well, I know for non-lawyers this might not sound so groundbreaking hahaha but I assure you: this is a very innovative way of thinking contracts. 

3. What are your favourite things about working at PrimeiroPay?

First of all, is the collaborative environment. I love how, at PrimeiroPay, people from all departments and different nations can work closely. I learn so much every day because of these interactions and our diversity. They also dare me to think of law on a practical approach, as a tool to shape our products and solutions. Our routine is so dynamic, and there is never a dull day.

We also respect diversity outside the company. PrimeiroPay believes in Expanding Proximity in the sense that we need to understand the countries we operate in and, most of all, their people and culture. Different markets have distinct needs, and you will not remove complexity with a one size fits all solution. 

Our open-minded way of work is practised not only inhouse; it starts by learning and listening to the merchants in their particular context. We speak their language: the company offers free language courses to all its employees. 

The people in PrimeiroPay are empowered to shape the company’s future with what they can do best. Tim Werner, our founder and CEO, always says that work must be fun and, honestly, the company lives up to this promise. Take me for example; I proactively asked to be part of a lot of the project listed on the previous question. When you show drive, opportunities will follow.

4. Looking back and using one word, how do you define your career at PrimeiroPay? Why?

It is hard to choose one word. Perhaps enriching; simply because all my experiences as part of the PrimeiroPay team – from internal meetings to speaking in Congress – have added value to me as a person and as a professional.

5. What to expect for the next five years?

PrimeiroPay will have operations in more countries, definitely covering Latam as a whole and possibly other regions of the globe. I also expect us to grow exponentially in Europe, due to our soon to be PSD2 license. But most of all, I expect to be surprised. Our trajectory has been unpredictable, turning challenges into opportunities, so I would continue to expect the unexpected.

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