A day in the life of…Desirée Castro
Whether meeting new clients across the US or planning another great PayNode feature with colleagues in Sweden, our business development manager Desirée Castro is always busy. We asked her to share details of a typical day in her working life…and to tell us a few insider tips about PayNode.
Based in Miami, Desirée arrives at the office around 07:30. But of course, working in a 24/7 global industry such as business aviation, she has already checked her e-mails for overnight messages before leaving home. “It’s good to get a feel of what’s been happening in the world and our business before I arrive, so I know what the day is likely to hold,” she says. “I like to keep track of developments in financial technology and aviation.”
Mornings regularly begin videoconferencing with her colleagues in PayNode’s international head office in Gothenburg (Sweden). Part of the day will then often be spent “onboarding” new clients. For Desirée, that process includes “checking we have all the details we need and generally carrying out due diligence and comprehensive ‘Know Your Customer’ procedures.”
Sales team members at PayNode also meet regularly with members of the development team, ensuring everyone is aware of each other’s latest news and activities. “Many companies seem to keep these two functions largely separate,” says Desirée, “but I think it’s really important sales and development teams are ‘on the same page’.”
Much of Desirée’s time is spent reaching out to current and prospective clients, either on the telephone or in person. In fact, she spends around 50% of her working life on the road, in meetings and at conferences. “It’s really important I talk to decision-makers at CEO- and CFO-level, so the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention & Exhibition is a particularly strong event for me.” Sometimes as many as 10 meetings might be needed before a large organization commits but the process isn’t always so lengthy. It’s not unusual, Desirée says, for customers who have already heard about the benefits of PayNode to simply ring up and ask: “Can we start right away?”
So that’s the perfect question but what’s the most common question from customers and potential customers? “People want to know when we will be adding wire bank transfer transactions to PayNode. As 90% of transactions in our industry are processed that way, it’s great to be able to tell people we’ll be launching that service in Q2 of 2018. I think the new product will make a particularly big difference in Europe and for US brokers and operators working internationally. Alongside our American Express credit card service, I’d say we’ll be able to support around 98% of transactions when the wire bank transfer product launches.”
As she spends so much time helping clients, we eagerly asked Desirée for her expert tips on using PayNode.
“Make sure you confirm services rendered,” she says. “Far more often than you would think, brokers and operators waiting to receive funds have actually forgotten to confirm the trip happened. Ask for your money!”
Desirée also encourages brokers and operators to use PayNode’s ‘History’ feature, which provides a transparent timeline on matters such as the progress of requests and the disbursement of money. “This feature can be really helpful but is being underutilized by many companies at the moment.”
Desirée’s a wonderfully upbeat person but none of us are smiling all the time, so what’s the worst part of her job? “Expenses!” she says without hesitation.
Around 18:00, Desirée will plan her ‘To Do’ list for the next day. And when she goes home at night and reflects, what’s the best part of the job? “Knowing we’re revolutionizing the industry and working with such a great team. Magnus [Henriksson, Managing Director], Kelly [Byrne Dzioba, Customer Success Manager] and Anna [Halvardsson, Customer Success Manager] are awesome. It’s been a very good year for PayNode and the air charter business. Now I can’t wait for 2018.”