Victoria Yasinetskaya, Chief Marketing Officer for OnePay FX at Banco Santander
Victoria grew up in between two worlds: Kiev, Ukraine, where she was raised and experienced the socialist regime firsthand, and the U.K., where at the age of 12, she went to study at a boarding school. There, she didn’t only become familiar with the different cultures of her peers, she also discovered her passion for mathematics and statistics. At this young age, it became apparent that a career in economics seemed to her to be the best fit.
After completing school, she studied at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, which offered a double degree in Banking and Finance from the London School of Economics. Afterwards, she went back to the UK to do her Master’s degree at Warwick University. After completing her studies Victoria decided to be adventurous and try living in Barcelona, Spain. Her first job was as a Project Manager at a market research company PRM. “I finally experienced first hand the practical use of statistics,'' says Victoria about those years. It was also her first point of contact with the financial industry, as most of the clients were banks.
From market research, Victoria changed into a career in consultancy, as a Senior Strategy and Marketing Consultant at 9senses, also based in Barcelona. “My main task was to show banks how to become innovative and more customer centric.”, says Victoria. She developed strategies, analyzed major customer pain points of her clients and helped to solve them. What she took from those years? “Definitely a lot of working principles, as well as the experience how to deal with politics in larger financial institutions,'' says Victoria.
After the traditional financial side, Victoria got to know the fintech scene. As a Marketing Director at Strands, she was responsible for designing and implementing brand and digital marketing strategies. It was also during this time, as the only woman in the leadership team, that her interest in “fem tech”, short for “female technology”, started. Femtech is a category of technology that encompasses products, apps and other digital services from companies focused on women.
Those circumstances inspired her to write her first article, which was published in 2016: “FinTech’s biggest contradiction: The case for FemTech”.
Later she also led a study at Strands called “SheBanking: the end of traditional banking”, which analysed current attitudes of women towards banks and a great opportunity for financial institutions to improve this relationship and be more inclusive both in product offering and marketing.
Victoria says, “I was mainly pointing out why it is a challenge for the fintech industry to be diverse - but also, how to tackle it.” Some highlights: While 80% of household spending and financial management decisions are made by women, only 7% of FinTech organisations employ female executives. Additionally, 73% of women globally report dissatisfaction with their banking services, and 80% of women-owned small and medium enterprises with credit needs are unserved or underserved according to the Global Banking Alliance for Women.
As she dove deeper into the topic, Victoria decided to publish a book. During 2018 and 2019, she conducted, together with her co-author Mercè Brey, more than 90 interviews with people from around the world. Victoria explains, “I was curious to understand in depth how the current situation is and how to envision the future type of leadership and teams.” As a result, “Alphas & Omegas: the power of feminine energy in business” will be published in September this year. Victoria says, “Both, the banking and the fintech world are very male dominated. By conducting those interviews, we wanted to understand more why and how this will evolve. One of our main conclusions is that leadership is becoming more inclusive, with a good balance between masculine and femenine energy. In the modern days, when millennials start to dominate the workforce, there is no room for traditional style of leadership where masculine energy predominates. True leaders of the future don’t shy away from their femenine traits, no matter if you are a man or a woman, and in addition to strong character and confidence demonstrate empathy and collaboration.”
Besides being an author, Victoria is also a lecturer at the Afi Escuela de Finanza, where she teaches about the latest trends in fintech and marketing. Victoria explains, “As a lecturer, I also learn a lot, because it encourages me to always be up to date about the topics I teach.”
Currently Victoria holds a position as the CMO at OnePay FX and PagoFX, the latter is a fintech company which was launched by Santander. It's a solution for international money transfers, which makes sending money abroad more secure, simple and fast. OnePay FX is only accessible for the client base of Santander and PagoFX is an open market solution for anyone, to be launched later in 2019 in a number of key European markets.
Also for this exciting project, Victoria stuck to the business advice a former leader gave her: “Before you launch any product, understand very well what customer pain points are. You have to learn from your customers and always put them at the center of any decision.”
Click here to find out more about Victoria and her work
Date of publication: September 2019