Interview: Jeremy Gumbley, CTO of Creditcall – the Bristol-based payment platform company that has gone global
Technologies like ‘Omni-Channel Payment Gateway’ and ‘EMV Kernels’ may not be familiar to you, but you will have used them. Since 1999, Jeremy Gumbley has been instrumental in the way we pay for products or services. His work as Chief Technical Officer and Chief Security Officer for payment solution platform Creditcall has meant that his techie solutions are now being used in your daily life. They are incorporated into everything from NCP car parks across the UK to luxury brands such as hotel chain Hilton and burger chain Five Guys.
We caught up with him to find out what it take to become a global success, and how he’s staying on top of his game with the latest technologies.
TechSPARK: In a nutshell, can you tell us what you are working on at Creditcall?
Jeremy Gumbley: I am responsible for our technology products, the underlying payment platform that they utilise and everything to do with securing these products. For the last 20 years we have been rewiring the legacy payments industry by creating the fabric for the next generation of payments.
TS: What technologies are you developing?
JG: We are all about enabling payments on mobiles, online and in a store by creating a bridge for payment transactions into the acquiring bank.
“Everything we develop is easy to integrate and we make no assumptions”
Everything we develop is easy to integrate and we make no assumptions that developers know or want to know anything about the intricacies of payments. In most cases a developer wants to download one of our SDKs (software development kits) and get their application accepting payments with zero knowledge of what goes on in the background.
In addition, we develop technology around securing payments while they are in transit and we also monitor the latest threat landscape modifying our technology to keep ahead of the latest security fraud trends. As each transaction flows through Creditcall we are used to dealing with massive volumes of concurrent transactions and we are constantly evolving our payment platform to process these more efficiently, quickly and securely.
TS: What have been some of your biggest successes to date?
JG: Perhaps one of biggest successes was that before Creditcall, people had to pay for their parking with coins. Now it’s very rare to find a cash-only parking machine and that is thanks to Creditcall.
“We also have a long list of genuine world firsts”
We are also a British success story in the United States and were awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise in the Export category. The United States has only moved over to chip-based card technology in 2015, Creditcall was able to leverage its expertise in this area very effectively. We also have a long list of genuine world firsts and a consistent track record of innovation.
Introducing CHIP payments to the US: Watch some credit cards get decimated, all in the name of technology, of course!
TS: What challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?
“[Being] close to local world class universities helps us keep on top of what’s new, the latest exciting technology and ways of thinking”
We have also partnered with the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol where we have found some exceptionally good talent. It’s also really interesting to be close to local world class universities as it helps us keep on top of what’s new, the latest exciting technology and ways of thinking.
A growing business is always evolving; the things that were previously successful don’t always work unmodified at a larger scale. At Creditcall we have started to embrace the value of data in all elements of our business, we collect huge volumes of metrics that enable us to make more informed decisions, whether that be about technology scalability, marketing or how many new people we need to hire.
TS: What developments in recent technology are you most excited about?
JG: Personally it’s all about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This is truly the most exciting and terrifying invention at the same time, with a capacity to change the world in the most profound way.
At this time, it is not clear if that change will be for the good of mankind or to its detriment. Books like ‘Our Final Invention’ and ‘Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies’ paint an interesting picture of the future and the challenges that we will face as companies and governments are in an arms race to get to AI first. A very fascinating topic.
“Bristol is a fantastic city to start a business in, it’s also in the process of putting itself on the map as a real tech hub”
TS: How has starting up and being based in the South West helped you achieve your goals?
JG: Bristol is a fantastic city to start a business in, it’s also in the process of putting itself on the map as a real tech hub. This is under pinned by the fact there are two great universities with excellent technology courses. Not only is Bristol a great place to live, it also has a lower cost of living than the South East where your salary doesn’t go quite as far.
Creditcall: Making the most of Bristol’s Planetarium
TS: Are there any other companies or organisations that impress you in the region?
JG: Airbus. Great technology, new materials and they make things that fly!
- You may like: Airbus sponsorship means the sky is the limit for innovation event Venturefest Bristol & Bath 2015
TS: What’s next for Creditcall?
TS: You’re involved in our SPARKies digital and tech awards, what are you hoping to see at the event?
JG: We are looking forward to meeting some like-minded local tech companies, network and celebrate talent and achievements of what this beautiful region has to offer locally, nationally and globally.
TS: How can people get involved in Creditcall?
JG: Those who are passionate, talented and ambitious and would like to learn from world experts and shape the way we consume and pay, can find our latest openings on our website or email [email protected].
Thank you, Jeremy, for taking the time to talk to us. If you like the look of this lot and would like to be in their company (literally!) then you can check out their website, or catch them in person at the SPARKies awards! To keep up to date with their latest news, you can follow them on Twitter @Creditcall.
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