Redesigning customer experiences

Malin Eliasson, Head of Product and Innovation at Telia Finance in Sweden

Malin joined Telia Finance from a major Scandinavian bank. She always had a great passion for technology and payments, so this job is perfect for her. Malin is set to create a new level of service experience for Telia Finance customers.

“I left my job at a bank to seek out new opportunities at Telia. I wanted to use my experience and deep interest for payments, but in another industry with a leading company that want to change the rules for how customer experiences, innovation and technology can be combined. In this environment, I feel that I will face new inspiring challenges and opportunities that will keep me on my toes for a long time.”

Secure and hassle free payments
“I am here to simplify and improve everyday life for our customers. I lead a great team and we are using new technology to make finance easy, interesting, effortless and fun. Because no one really wants to pay, it is just an annoying part of buying something. So, the challenge is to find payment solutions that makes paying as hassle free and secure as possible and with a minimum of friction.”

A marketer and technologist in one mind
“Tech came into my life when internet became big. I wrote my first university paper on e-business. I was fascinated by these first players and I spent a lot of time thinking about customer loyalty. I was amazed by the new opportunities in e-commerce and the new possibilities to compare prices. This has been a theme in my career, to look at human behaviors to understand how we can create new experiences. Technology, to me, has always just been an enabler of new solutions and experiences. Traditionally you have marketing people in one corner and technologists in the other. I am both in one person and I bring both perspectives into the projects that I am involved in.”

Working with mobile payments for almost 20 years
“I have had a long career working with payments and tech. As early as 2000 I was working as a concept developer on solutions for mobile payments. The mobile phones suddenly had larger screens and WAP-technology was introduced. We were working on a mobile payment app, but in the end, we realized that the technology wasn’t ready. It was extremely expensive to use data on your mobile phone and the users were not ready. Today the scene is different and people are open for new solutions. And as long as you offer a clear advantage, you can convert people to new ways of doing things.“

We are creating seamless and effortless solutions
“In Northern Europe, payments have gone from cash to cards. Now we see a shift from cards to apps and devices. And the next step that we are working on will be from devices to seamless integrations everywhere, including biometrics. This means that the palm of your hand will be sufficient to pay in the future and your voice will be able to tell your digital home assistant to pay for things you buy online and sort out your electricity bill. This is prime time for me. Now I can really combine my drive to make it easier for people to pay, and use the latest tech to create the solutions.”

Disruption is still important
“For a while everyone was talking about disruption and the term almost got overused. But I truly believe in disruption. In my teams, we always start innovation projects with a clear focus on the end result and what we want to achieve. We keep an open mind on how to solve the project, as things might be possible to do in completely new ways – especially if we want to create the perfect customer experience. In our world of payments, who says that we need to start with the assumption that there needs to be a bank account at the center of the solution? Money might be something else, a completely new currency that lives in a cloud somewhere. Think out of the box and always disrupt old ways of thinking, is my motto.”

Who inspire you
“I have always been inspired by great people like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs. People, who also start with fundamental human need, and not afraid of challenging old habits. I never had a single mentor, but I have built a strong personal network of people over time. And I have always surrounded myself with great and inspiring colleagues.“

 

Telia Finance is creating smart and integrated payment solutions, ensuring that customers can pay wherever, whenever and in the way they want. Solutions that are seamlessly built into retail and e-commerce solutions making paying as effortless and hassle free as possible. The solutions are highly individualized and predictive to add more value to each customers’ specific needs. Digital reseats or guarantees that can be saved in an app are examples of great value adding features. And of course, the solutions are ready for biometric identification and voice controlled applications.

Advice I wish I got when I was at University

  1. Dare to challenge and rethink the way things work
  2. First focus on the true customer need, then find the right solution to solve it. That’s when you’ll find innovation!
  3. Follow your inner drive – passion wins!
Facts

 

Education

Degree in Economy from the University of Växjö and a master’s degree in Business Strategy and Marketing from the University of Greenwich.

Life before Telia

I have worked with a variety of companies, from startups to big banks, but always with new technology, innovation and payments. Before Telia, I was with Swedish bank SEB for eight years as Head of Mobile, Head of Digital Strategy and Head of Business development.

Life outside work

Sports (a background as an athlete in Track & Field and Gym instructor). And I enjoy great food and wine.

Family?

Husband and three kids (12, 11 and 5 years old).

Something you didn´t know about me

Before Telia, I had never held a position that was defined or already existing. This has been both positive and demanding. Positive because the roles were tailored for me and from what I wanted to achieve. At the same time demanding, since I had to explain the meaning of the role to the organization, why a new role was needed and what results it was going to provide.
I believe I have a constant desire to disrupt and move into areas that have not been entered before.