It is worth noting that the fintech sector in Ukraine is one of the most rapidly growing and developing sectors with companies fighting for customers and opening new horizons even despite the pandemic. In this article, Ukrainian journalists gathered the Top-21 businesswomen of the financial technology industry in the Ukrainian market. You have a chance to meet the most successful of them. These ladies have successful businesses as at the local, as well as at international level.
Alona Shevtsova is the founder and CEO of the LeoGaming international processing company, the LEO international payment system, as well as the director of the LeoGaming Pay financial company, a shareholder of the iBox bank, and a philanthropist.
Alona Shevtsova can be easily called a trendsetter in the Ukrainian fintech ecosystem. She is also one of the leaders and the pioneers of the financial technology market in the country since her company was one of the first to develop a domestic non-bank payment processing under the LeoGaming brand. Today, the company holds a leading position in the development of integrated payment solutions for businesses.
“Fintech, e-commerce, and non-cash payments are the field of real innovations in business and real tangible changes for customers. In this area, you need not only to create innovative and commercially successful products but also benefit people, make their lives better and more convenient,” says Alona Shevtsova.
The Ukrainian Association of Fintech and Innovative Companies has included Alona Shevtsova in the list of the top 50 most influential women of the Ukrainian fintech sector. In addition, she is nominated as the most effective CEO of the financial sector at the prestigious FinAwards 2021.
Vera Platonova is a Senior Vice President and the Director of Regional division in the CIS and South-Eastern Europe at Visa. She is responsible for the activities of the payment system operator in the markets of 17 countries, including Ukraine. According to Vera herself, the Ukrainian market is the largest in the entire region.
Under Platonova’s leadership, Visa in Ukraine is developing a new global strategy, i.e., the integration of all market participants through payment technology solutions. The company promotes the tokenization of payments (Visa Token Service), the development of NFC, Tap to Phone and FaceID technologies, local innovations in the field of non-cash transactions, P2P transfers, and contactless payments.
Inga Andreeva is the CEO of Mastercard in Ukraine and Moldova. Inga Andreeva is a banker with 16 years of experience in financial technology. She considers cash to be Mastercard’s main competitor.
The company ranks first in Ukraine among payment systems, while its market share is over 70%. The key attention of the company is paid to the development of NFC transactions with Mastercard cards and the tokenization of payments.
Jaanika Merilo is an expert in the field of IT technologies and e-governance, an advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mikhail Fedorov.
Yanika is a world-recognized expert in the field of IT solutions for business and the public sector. She is an ideologist and lobbyist of the State in a Smartphone concept offered by the team of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. One of her key professional interests is to improve the investment climate and create favorable conditions for the development of entrepreneurship and civil society.
Alyona Suvorova holds the position of director of the department of mobile financial services at KyivStar. She is also an e-commerce expert.
Under her leadership, Kyivstar develops mobile commerce solutions under the “Smart-Groshi” brand. In fact, it is a mobile wallet that allows you to make payments and money transfers in real-time.
Alena Andronikova is an executive director of the Ukrainian Moneyveo fintech company. In addition, she is a financier and business consultant.
First of all, Moneyveo is a service platform that provides online loans. It is worth noting that the innovative development strategy proposed by Alena Andronikova, has brought the company to the international level. Today, Moneyveo holds a leading position in the Ukrainian market of non-banking e-lending according to the Ukrainian E-Commerce Expert research. 1 million citizens of Ukraine use the platform on a daily basis.
Alena is also responsible for the official launch of the country’s first electronic money system together with the Maxi Card team. As a result of the appreciation of her success, Alena Andronikova was recognized as the best businesswoman in the field of online lending according to womo.ua. She is one of the top-ranked members of the Women’s Leadership movement, and one of the most successful women in the field of financial technology in Ukraine according to the results of the expert evaluation by PaySpace Magazine.
Svitlana Golyak from IBOX Bank is the Acting Head of the Management Board of IBOX Bank, and a banker with 20 years of experience in senior positions in Ukrainian commercial banks. For the last 7 years, she has specialized in financial monitoring in the banking sector.
Under the leadership of Svetlana, IBOX Bank is following the strategy of transformation into a full-cycle transactional bank. In 2020, they offered a new large-scale product, i.e., Internet acquiring for business. The bank was awarded the Milestone Achievement award at Mastercard Day 2020.
“Our priorities in 2021 are the launch of the first version of the mobile app for individual customers, as well as the development of Internet acquiring solutions for businesses. The first involves a lot of work to attract customers (after the final release) to existing and new products. We also need to develop a personal account for businesses with the ability to customize their acquiring, analytics, data uploading, and other services,” says Svetlana Golyak.
In 2020, IBOX Bank was recognized as the Best Transactional Bank of 2020 by the experts of the “Bankir” international financial club. At the beginning of 2021, IBOX Bank received the Bank of the Year 2021 award in the “Savings Bank for Business” category from the Financial Club.
Valeria Ionan from the Ministry for Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media is the Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for European Integration and the founder of Quadrate 28.
The Quadrate 28 company is considered the first group in Eastern Europe to provide “team on-demand” services for startups, small and medium-sized businesses. Q28 forms the key operational departments of the client company on a remote basis while working in such fields as finances, sales, marketing, and PR. The company offers its services in the following fields: retail trade, construction, medicine, consulting, services and technologies, telecommunications, education, and HoReCa.
Irina Tsybulnik is the head of the Development Department at the Ukrainian LeoGaming fintech company. She is a specialist with 11 years of experience in the telecommunications business. She is the key expert in the field of the development of payment services in terminals and on the Internet. Currently, she holds the position of Head of the Department for the development of services at the LEO international payment system.
“Currently, 21 participants have been registered in the LEO International Payment System, including 3 banks and 18 financial companies. Within our payment system, the participants, such as banks and financial companies become true partners who exchange services, thereby increasing their turnover and income,” Irina Tsybulnik
LEO became the fourth international payment system working with non-bank financial institutions out of 14 registered by the NBU. The company is one of the top 5 leaders in the money transfer market.
Inna Tiutiun is the Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Association of Fintech and Innovative Companies. She is an experienced banker with 20 years of experience, including the direction of information technology and payment systems of the NBU.
The Ukrainian Association of Fintech and Innovative Companies is a specialized association aimed at promoting the development of the Ukrainian financial technology market and creating a competitive fintech ecosystem, including increasing financial inclusion in Ukraine. It was established in June 2018 and unites the industry leaders in the country.
Valeria Vagorovskaya is a banker and the founder of the Fondy payment platform that accepts online payments around the world with cards, Apple and Google Pay, and other payment methods.
Valeria has more than 10 years of experience in the field of fintech and banking. Over the past 5 years, Valeria has brought her fintech startup to the international level with offices in Ukraine, Great Britain, Ireland, Poland, and Slovakia. Fondy works with more than 14 thousand companies around the world.
Valeria supervised corporate customer service programs and worked on improving payment acceptance services for MegaBank and Oschadbank. She is a member of the international NGO European Women Payments Network.
Zaryana Kivak is a banker and a unique expert in the field of financial monitoring and compliance policy. She has vast experience in the banking sector. For more than 10 years she worked in such banks as JSCB “Unex”, Russian Standard Bank, Bank Petrocommerce Ukraine, Investment and Trust Bank, European Industrial Bank, Bank “Sich” and IBOX Bank.
These days, Zaryana holds the role of the Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of IBOX Bank and is responsible for the implementation of the bank’s strategy towards development as a transactional banking institution.
During the period when Zaryana was the head of IBOX Bank, the bank has tripled the volume of corporate clients’ funds, and the size of net assets has crossed the mark of UAH 2 billion. It is worth noting that the IBOX Bank also received a membership in the Visa and Mastercard international payment system. Under her supervision, the company started offering Internet acquiring for business and underwent an active digital transformation.
Mariam Matiashvili is the Head of Business Development at LeoGaming. It is a fintech company that specializes in bringing innovative online products to the market. She is the Project Manager of the LeoWallet e-wallet (e-money wallet for mobile devices).
“Anonymity of payment is one of the advantages of our wallet, but it is not the key feature for the main audience. The main value is in favorable payment terms and cashback,” says Mariam Matiashvili from LeoGaming
While holding the role of the CBDO at LeoGaming in 2020, Mariam improved the payment solution for business. The company updated the PCI DSS certificate to the highest version 3.2.1 and also implemented Apple Pay and Google Pay solutions for the company’s partners, which provided an average turnover growth of 45% across the entire range of LeoGaming services.
Galina Heylo is a banker, and a Vice-President of the Association of Ukrainian Banks, and a founder of the “Transformation” financial and analytical center.
“Fintech played a huge role in the lockdown period. I have no idea about how we would have overcome 2020 in case if this sector wouldn’t face the most rapid development in its history,” says Galina Heylo
Galina has 19 years of experience in the banking sector. She started her professional career as an operator for servicing interbank transactions and worked her way up to the head of the board of a commercial bank.
She reads lectures at the National Center for Training Bank Employees of Ukraine and the NIKLAND International Business School. She is a professional member of the stock market in securities trading and depository activities. She holds international GARP and IAB certificates.
Kate Scheglova is a world-renowned expert in the field of financial technologies. She works as a consultant at the World Bank in the field of fintech and regulatory sandboxes, as well as develops the Regulatory Sandbox for the National Bank of Ukraine.
She is the founder of Future Communications Lab LLC and a publisher of the Future e-comm and fintech magazine. She has repeatedly been recognized among the world’s experts and opinion leaders in the financial technology market, including being ranked in the Top-50 Fintech Global and Top-100 Women B2B Thought Leaders To Follow 20/21. She is a Senior Project Manager at the NBU and the EBRD for the development of the fintech development strategy in Ukraine for 2025.
Irina Tsyganok holds the position of Deputy Director for Innovation Business Development at IBOX Bank. She has 17 years of experience in the banking and fintech sectors. She is an expert in digital business transformation. In particular, she participated in the creation of the ProCard processing center and the Syncord Pay acquiring system.
While working at IBOX Bank, Irina Tsyganok is responsible for the development of innovative products, in particular, the direction of Internet acquiring:
“The launch of the acquiring direction in IBOX Bank took place not only as a part of the strategy of the bank itself, but also as a result of the demand in the market, requests from partners, and the overall popularity of this technology,” says Irina Tsyganok.
In this segment, the bank cooperates with key Ukrainian PSP providers, representatives of large retailers, and other market participants.
Larisa Ivchenko is the Director of the Alta Capital financial company. She is a banker with 20 years of experience in the financial market of Ukraine. Alta Capital is a non-bank institution that provides a full range of financial services, including servicing non-cash large loans for businesses.
“The NBU’s new methods of stimulating loans encourage businesses to become better borrowers and meet the requirements of banks for scoring, receiving funds at lower rates.”
The company is actively developing the sector of microloans. In addition, the company offers loans for people facing the issue of criminal litigation.
“The main part of small and medium-sized enterprises are companies that can hardly fulfill the scoring programs of banks. These are active enterprises, but given our tax burden, they conduct business with optimization. I believe that we need to find lending methods for these companies as well.”
Svetlana Obolenskaya from iPay is a banker with 15 years of experience in the Ukrainian financial market.
At iPay, she is responsible for the development of the company’s products. These days, the payment platform allows the audience to make money transfers and online payments for goods and services of more than 3,000 companies. In 2019, the platform was recognized as the best partner of the Mastercard international payment system among payment service providers in Ukraine.
Prior to iPay, Svetlana was the head of the Corporate Customer Service Department at Ukrsibbank.
Anna Tigipko is the founder of the izibank fintech startup. It is worth noting that izibank is a mobile bank without branches, created in cooperation with the TAS group under the license of Taskombank. Such traditional banking services as opening accounts, managing transactions, and deposits can be accessed via smartphone.
“In many applications, you need to choose the categories of products and services for which you will receive the cashback, and you need to remember to select these categories once a week or a month. If you do not choose them, you will not get cashback. Our clients do not need to choose anything. They just spend money, use their card and get cashback without having any issues.”
Anna has many years of successful experience in the financial market. She was engaged in the process of the official launch of banking products of the TAS group of companies.
Lydia Eremenko is the founder of the Ukrainian FinTech Hub. This is a YouTube channel about the financial and e-commerce market in Ukraine. She heads the PR and marketing department at PSP Platon. It is a fast online payment system with more than 3 million transactions per day.
Lydia is a moderator of many fintech events in Ukraine and Europe: UAFIN.TECH 2020, Digital Lending Conference 2020, PaySpace Magazine Awards 2020, and many others.
Nadezhda Gladkevich is the CEO of the RENOME Group of companies. This holding specializes in B2B fintech solutions, business process automation, and outsourcing. The company’s services are used by banks and financial organizations in 20 countries around the world.
Nadezhda also manages the Renome SMART company that sells and services banking equipment, software products for banks and businesses in general. Renome SMART develops its products on its own. Such stages as planning, development, design, and implementation took place in Ukraine.