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Co-CEOs of Enfuce: “The ever-evolving landscape of payments is our oxygen”

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“We are not maintainers, we are builders”, say Monika Liikamaa and Denise Johansson, our co-CEOs. Enfuce thrives and grows through the rapid evolution of the payments market because our leaders embrace change. For this year, the dynamic duo expects big leaps in embedded payments and sees endless opportunities in global scalability. 

Being co-CEOs, the quality of decision making is squared 

The dynamic duo. That is what Monika and Denise were called by many who met the pair during the Series C funding round in 2021. And they are not far off. As Denise puts it, Monika is the yin to her yang.

“People saw the dynamic energy between us and started calling us co-CEOs. That is what we have been from the beginning of Enfuce. There is not a single big decision that hasn’t been blessed by both of us. So, we thought we would shake the stereotypical organisation structure and make it official, and now we are co-CEOs,” Denise Johansson recaps.

The key to succeeding as co-CEOs is to know and respect one another’s strengths and how they complement those of the other.

“Monika’s strength is in being a visionary and a bold goal-setter, and never settling for anything less. My strengths are on the softer side, like on people and structure, and breaking down our goals into tangible details. We don’t have to choose either-or. When you have that understanding of strengths, you can be powerful co-CEOs that bring something extra to the company,” says Johansson.

Leadership is often a lonely endeavour, but Monika and Denise always have a like-minded sparring partner only a phone call away. That brings exceptional speed and quality to decision-making.

“Being co-CEOs and founders of Enfuce is a lifestyle. We always have a partner who shares that lifestyle, works towards the same goals, and understands the context of every decision. As a result, we can execute on things much faster and with better qualitative metrics than if we were to make these decisions alone,” Liikamaa says.

Enfuce was the first company to take processing to public cloud

If Monika and Denise were to give one piece of advice to their past selves, the answer would be clear.

“Trust yourself and trust your decisions. We have that trust now, but we could have had it stronger from the beginning. After all, we had worked together for a long time before founding Enfuce so we had the experience and knowledge. But we learned fast and are now implementing the changes that we could have done sooner,” Liikamaa says.

Bold decision-making was what sent Enfuce on its magnificent growth journey. One of the courageous leaps was to build the business on public cloud.

We founded Enfuce to be better, faster, and scalable. And the only way to reach those goals with zero money was to go cloud.

Monika Liikamaa

Denise says the other pivotal moment for the business was packaging the product, Card as a Service.

“We were able to find the concept that the industry understands and has the need for. That has been a game-changer during our journey. It enables us to be big and go global,” says Johansson.

Read about our values that guide the growth and success.

Embedded payments will drive the market this year

Enfuce thrives through change because its co-CEOs live for the excitement of it.

“We don’t always know what will happen next, but that is the excitement of it all. We might have GDPR 3.0 or PSD3 in the future. Instead of seeing that change as a bad thing, we want to grasp the opportunities it can bring,” Johansson says.

Open banking was a hot topic in the industry a couple of years ago. Yet not very many services driven by PSD2 have made their way to consumers. Denise is sure that the services will come but the journey is long. She doesn’t see any major changes in the role of banks and card payment rails in moving money between entities, either. So what phenomena are disrupting the payments this year?

The concept of embedded payments will take new leaps ahead that we didn’t see six or twelve months ago. Embedded payments are going to grow fast and develop further, and new services will arise.

Denise Johansson

“On a macro level, COVID-19 has forced major leaps in IT infrastructure. All this development has made it possible to do things remotely. You no longer have to be in a certain place to do certain things. The same infrastructure that enables widely distributed and affordable telecommunications is also the foundation on which embedded payments are built. As the infrastructure evolves, digital payments evolve also. That is where Enfuce wants to be,” Liikamaa says.

Denise and Monika see massive potential in scalability and are ready to help fintechs roll out across Europe.

“Most fintechs are still country-specific and focus on the home market. When it comes to growing outside of country borders, many struggle to understand compliance and how everything works. Players like Enfuce can help with compliance and take away that burden,” Monika says.

As Enfuce scales across Europe, we will enable more fintechs to enter the pan-European market with truly scalable products.

Monika Liikamaa

How will the COVID-19 pandemic or the emergence of new systems shape the future of payments?