Meet Mike: Trustly’s Director of Travel breaks in our new London digs

As Trustly races toward its goal of becoming the leading online banking payments provider in Europe, we are opening our next office in Europe’s financial capital: London. We’re thrilled to welcome on board Mike Parkinson, one of our first employees there, who will help to build up Trustly’s presence in the UK, while also heading up the Travel sector. Now let’s get to know him a little better…

‘Ello, Mike! Nice to meet you! Can you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do before joining Trustly?

For the past 15 years, I’ve been working in London for Worldpay and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). In my most recent role, I managed the Aviation sector for Worldpay, which involved spending a lot of time in the Middle East and China, where the Aviation sector and the technology to support it is has grown rapidly.

What’s your current role? What do you like about it so far and what challenges do you anticipate?

My current role is Director of Travel and Airlines. It’s great to have a fresh start with a new and innovative product that really adds value to the industry. The challenge will be establishing a new brand and identifying the right partners, connectivity and service levels to support and grow the offering.

What interests you most about the payments industry, and specifically payments within travel?

The payments industry is fast-moving and technology has changed so rapidly over the past few years. Alternative forms of payment are no longer the alternative; they are mainstream and the majority of payment collections now, giving consumers real choice and flexibility to pay how, where and when they wish.

It’s always interesting to see the travel and payments industries connect. Merchants will always have different approaches and budgets, making it intriguing to see how they engage with suppliers and run projects.

It’s an exciting time for the travel world. Technology has allowed players to take greater control of product distribution, customer interaction and now payment directly.

You’re one of the first employees in Trustly’s new London office. What’s that like? And why is the UK a strategic market for Trustly?

Yes, it’s good to have a small base that we can grow from. London is a large financial capital in Europe, with many potential partners and customers for Trustly, so we are well-placed. Both partners and customers have commented that it’s reassuring and a committed sign that Trustly has opened an operation in London.

After a few months at Trustly, what have you learned?

Trustly has a great opportunity to deliver against the business ambition to become Europe’s leading bank transfer business. The teams at Trustly are collaborative and well-supported, and people are very helpful. So there is no reason why the ambition cannot be delivered against in the coming years. Exciting times lie ahead!

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to abroad?

South Africa. I was lucky enough to set up an office in Cape Town for Worldpay. South Africa has an exciting mix of coast and mountains to explore. The great food and wine also helps!

What’s your favorite restaurant or spot in London?

Depends on whom I’m with! Well, I’ve just discovered a Turkish restaurant behind the office, off Sandwich Street. You get chicken, rice and spinach flatbread for £10, all very tasty and fresh. London has some pretty uncomplicated and earthy spots. For curry, I like Tayyabs in Whitechapel, Hawksmoor for steak. The list goes on! There are too many to have one favorite.

Can you share your top travel tip?

Never put a bag in the hold. You get a lot of your life back.

What do you do for fun outside of work?

My children play rugby, do triathlons, ballet and tap dancing, plus cubs and girl guides. I have a boy and girl and charge around a lot with them. My girlfriend has a number of horses, events and hunts, so it is all very busy.

I’m also doing triathlons right now, so in my spare time, I’ll be on my bike or swimming in a lake. I have scheduled Ironman — Vichy in August — so have a couple months left to get fit!

Wow, good luck, Mike! See you around!