Employee Spotlight: Marija Riba
This month's employee spotlight is on Marija Riba! At many companies, business sometimes slows down in the summer but not here at Wirex. Just this month Marija has headlined at the European Women in Payments seminar, published an article on the impact of stablecoins and has transitioned to a new role as Senior Product Manager - it's been a busy July!
Earlier this year, she oversaw the launch of our brand new Wirex Mastercard in EEA and has been working behind the scenes on X-Accounts and our upcoming US launch, so what better time to get some insight into her crypto journey.
How did you first get involved in the crypto space?
I’ve always had tech-minded friends, so I remember hearing about Bitcoin when it first appeared. Some even bought a couple Bitcoin to see what happens and ended up selling them early. But still, cryptocurrency didn’t seem more than a niche interest, so I can’t say I researched it intensively at the time.
I found my way into the payment industry back in 2014. I worked for a payment processor for a few years, and crypto started cropping up more frequently: we considered processing crypto for a while, we had a crypto exchange as a client, a few colleagues were sucked into the Bitcoin rally of 2019, etc. Then I joined Wirex in April 2020 and the rest, as they say, is history.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I’m incredibly lucky to be in a company offering so many growth opportunities, but I’m also proud of myself for seizing the chance to develop my career and professional qualifications. I think my biggest achievement has been launching the Mastercard, then developing the relationship to launch merchant offers, participate in the European Women in Payments panel, join the Mastercard Priceless Planet coalition, and lots more to come!
What advice would you give to someone who’s interested in learning about crypto?
I think anyone wanting to get involved in blockchain or cryptocurrencies already has that thinking-outside-the-box mentality, but I’d say remain curious and read as much as possible! Another great way to learn more is to speak to people in the industry. From working on the Women in Crypto campaign, I know for a fact that there’s a lot of women in the crypto space that would be happy to share their experiences!
What’s your favourite thing about working at Wirex?
The people, the pace, and the possibilities!
Wirex has successfully nurtured a very collaborative environment. No matter where they are in the world, everyone is super responsive, positive, and enthusiastic to help, which, as formerly project and now product manager, I really appreciate!
The speed at which things happen can sometimes be a challenge, but it definitely keeps us on our toes and engaged. There’s never a boring or repetitive day at Wirex, and you’re always learning loads.
And, finally, the development opportunities. My manager has actively encouraged me to go outside my comfort zone, build my personal brand, and take on more responsibility - even championing me to pursue my interests by moving over to a product management role.
Where do you see the crypto industry in 5 years’ time?
There’s those who think crypto is a fad and those who think everything will be crypto. I’m neither extreme, but I do think we’ll see a lot more convergence between traditional and blockchain-powered financial instruments. A good example is something like X-Accounts, which is essentially a crypto savings account, except you can choose to receive your savings bonus in crypto or fiat.
In the next five years, I would say the question of regulation will become even more prominent, and we’ll (hopefully!) begin to see much more consistency across multiple jurisdictions. And, of course, we’ll be seeing a lot of innovation in parallel. New financial instruments and technologies will arise, offering customers even more choice and control over their assets.