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Executive Q&A: A Payments journey. What to consider when growing from start-up to scale-up

Dima Kats, CEO at Clear Junction, tells us about his career and how the company started


Take me back to the start. How was Clear Junction created? 

I have always wanted to work in fintech. I went to the University of Tel Aviv, where I studied Computers and Economics. After university, I spent a substantial portion of my career in the Israeli fintech space before working as a consultant for various financial companies. During my time consulting, I noticed that companies not only needed my advice, they also required high-quality payment services and solutions – which is where my idea for Clear Junction originated. 

The financial industry is enormous and there are many ways to provide services. At Clear Junction, we decided to operate within a particularly challenging and niche area of the market that other service providers avoided, mainly due to the perceived risk involved. We built risk management capabilities into our proprietary technology to navigate this, so we felt more comfortable and confident taking risks. This is what makes us unique. 

Now, we provide the foundations behind the finance industry and work with big names and well-respected financial institutions. Knowing that we built this company from scratch in 2016 and only five years later, we are processing payments at massive volumes for companies worldwide continues to astound me. 


What is your company’s unique selling point?  

We don’t serve retail clients; we serve other financial institutions, making us unique. Since we serve other companies specialising in our domain, we only work with other financial experts. This can be a challenge as there is little room for mistakes in these relationships – our clients tend to know exactly what it is that they need to achieve so we must constantly work to meet their expectations. 


How has the company evolved over the last two years? 

 The past couple of years have been difficult for all industries across the globe, as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc. In turn, this has led to some significant changes in working practices at Clear Junction and beyond, including working from home, conducting meetings online and basically trying to find new ways of delivering the same services. 

In many ways, Clear Junction has been lucky. Our payments solutions work through an online platform and API integration, meaning that while there was considerable disruption to our working environment, it was generally business as usual as far as the product and service provision was concerned. As a company, we went through the same things that most companies did, such as prioritising employee safety and requiring everyone to work from home.  

The pandemic caused changes in consumer behaviour and restrictions for financial institutions with various lockdowns, which led to a rapid increase in mobile banking and digital payments. However, the rise in mobile banking provided a unique opportunity for our customers to grasp this opportunity. Businesses and banks need to make sure they are working with payment experts who have experience managing online transfers across the world safely and securely. Therefore, we were pleased to see demand for our services grew enormously – our transaction volumes increased by 9136%. 

To continue delivering optimised, quality services throughout the pandemic, we have been changing how our products work and innovating our proprietary in-house technology around international digital payments. The growth of mobile and digital banking is set to continue after the pandemic. Our priority is to continue evolving with the industry to best support our customers in overcoming the barriers of digital transformation, both now and in the future. 


Let’s talk about the future. Where do you see Clear Junction in the future? 

Due to our rapid growth, we have undergone a complete rebrand. We have been focused on hiring new people and have several open roles currently. We increased our team to 60 people this year, which is a 20% increase compared to six months ago. We plan to continue hiring across sales, marketing, client services, business development and beyond. In the fintech industry right now, there is no shortage of opportunities available. The challenge is ensuring that we are ready to take those opportunities and capitalise on them. 

We are continuously looking for ways to improve the services and solutions we offer in response to the fast-moving changes happening in the industry, in order to service our customers to the best possible standard. We certainly did a great job of this over the last year and expect to see our growth continue. As a business, our revenues are multiplying every year and we are in a strong position financially. It’s an exciting time at Clear Junction and we are looking forward to the future.  

Ultimately, to achieve the levels of growth that are required to be listed as the number one fastest-growing, founder-led business in the UK, so many different things need to be aligned and achieved. Of course, we have focused on compliance, security and robustness in our infrastructure and methodology, but none of this would have been possible without the hard work and efforts of every team member at Clear Junction. A special mention must also be given to our banking partners who work alongside us – and then there are all of the clients who have trusted us to provide the payment solutions on which their businesses depend. 

We have never been the type to rest on our laurels. We are working tirelessly to facilitate the next phase of growth, with new products and services being announced all the time. The past couple of years have been challenging for many people for a multitude of reasons, which makes us feel especially fortunate to be in the position that we are in.