Meet Victor Palau, CTO of Ebury

Tell Us About Ebury, What Does the Company Do?

Ebury is a financial services company, specialising in international cash management solutions including cross-border payments, FX risk management and business lending. We help businesses grow by eliminating boundaries and making international finance simple and accessible.

For example, take a small or medium-sized business owner selling products on an e-commerce platform across several European countries but buying supplies globally in several countries, inside and outside of Europe. We make it possible for this owner to conduct business without having to worry about the exchange rate fluctuations of the currencies they work with. We can also provide financing for buying and shipping the products during busy times, like Christmas. This is possible because Ebury provides a unique combination of lending, currency and payment solutions.

What Makes Ebury Different?

Unlike other financial service providers, we’ve built our technology to provide a secure end-to-end payment infrastructure. Ebury has also developed extensive partnerships with banks and other financial institutions across the world to provide global reach and diversified our solutions to support the growth of clients and meet their evolving demands. This means we can deliver a one-stop-shop for our clients to further simplify their business activities.

Crucially, we provide expertise and excellent customer service, usually reserved for banks’ biggest customers.

What Does the Future Hold for Ebury?

Ebury is targeting continued global expansion, through strategic banking partnerships and market-leading product development, always leveraging this technology to provide a better service for our clients.


How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Business and the Role of CTO?

Initially, there was a lot of volatility in the markets, but that settled down after the initial lockdown. We noticed some of our clients’ sectors slowing down (such as hospitality and travel) while others massively increased their volumes, especially in health supplies (PPE importers).

While the global pandemic was difficult for everyone on both a business and personal level, it also highlighted an increased need for Ebury’s tailored support and dedicated customer service to SMEs.

For a CTO, the main challenge was to support the non-technology teams in their transition to remote working. Thankfully, we were able to do it easily due to our experience introducing remote working in early 2018 for the Tech team and because we were already a globalised company.

We suffered no downtime in our services during this period, which was invaluable for our clients.

How Does a Fully Remote, Global Tech Team Work at Ebury?

As mentioned before, we had been implementing remote working since early 2018, so when the pandemic hit it was a smooth transition for the Ebury Tech team.

Ebury Tech is distributed between Europe and South America, to make sure there is always some overlap between individuals across different time-zones. That said, we work very asynchronously so that no team member is left waiting around for a colleague that isn’t online at the time.

Our remote working strategy allows us to reach talent where talent is, rather than being restricted to geographical boundaries. We often blog about our remote working experiences so I encourage people that would like to learn more about it to have a look at our website.

Tech team employees can work from home or a coworking space, with a schedule of their choice that fits their lifestyle. We only ask them to maintain a suitable work environment and predictable work hours.

Having managed remote teams for over a decade, I think that we are now going through one of the hardest times to work remotely given the restrictions introduced to combat COVID-19. I’ve always encouraged my teams to meet each other at least once a year, but social interaction has obviously become a lot harder due to the pandemic.

What Exciting Tech Developments are On Their Way?

From a technological point of view, I am most excited about the transformation of our platforms from a service-oriented architecture to an event-driven one. As Ebury grows, we find ourselves servicing a far more diverse group of clients, all with different needs that require our platform to be flexible and be able to scale parts of it on demand. Our technical roadmap, which we are currently implementing, introduces this flexibility.

Our event backbone (Kafka) is not the only major technology change, we are also in the midst of migrating from AWS ECS to Kubernetes. Although they are both container orchestration solutions, the second one provides greater flexibility and increased security to our systems.