58. Alina Ciocan, Finance Operations Manager at Kani Payments Ltd

Company: Kani Payments Ltd

Website: https://kanipayments.com/


About Alina & Kani Payments Ltd

Alina started working for Kani Payments in 2019. As Finance Operations Manager at Kani Payments, her role is to be responsible for all aspects of financial operations, including managing accounts payable, accounts receivable, and key financial reporting. Alina also contributes to the development of the reconciliation platform, works with the development team to add new features to the product and works directly with customers.

A big challenge for Alina during her time at Kani Payments was the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant working from home, long hours and a difficulty separating my free time from my work time. As leader of a small team within Kani Payments, they worked together to remind each other to take regular breaks, switch off notifications at the end of the day and undertook group mindfulness classes. Developing into a leader also presented its own challenges as Alina explored her own leadership beliefs and values. These now include a focus on integrity, common humanity and an understanding that leading is just as much about the people you lead as it is about the goal you are pursuing.

This year Alina has a plan to continue to develop her team, her role at Kani Payments and advance her personal goals. In five years, Alina will have utilised her knowledge and expertise to become a certified accountant and ideally a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to empower companies, particularly those with low revenues, to better understand their data and how to manage their finances.

Beyond this, her ambition is to continue to share knowledge in training apprentices and give something back to the younger generations. She aims to be an inspiring female leader for the vibrant and growing Fintech community in the Northeast of the UK, as well as the wider global payments ecosystem, and advocate for the employment of local people from diverse backgrounds. When her team expanded recently, Alina opted to partner with an apprenticeship scheme because she believes in providing opportunities for talented people and creating the right environment for them to grow, including continuous learning and development through various training sessions and courses.

Alina believes that the finance industry also needs an image rebrand to become more approachable, which means continuous support for diversity. When hiring, Kani Payments scout beyond financial hubs and look at training programs that support people from different environments, using digitalisation to facilitate this. Diversity programmes, working with networks for women and BAME individuals in finance, and direct mentorship programmes need to become commonplace within the fintech industry, something that Alina will continue to advocate for in her role and industry.


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