Colin Neil
SVP Business Development at Adyen


Tell us about Adyen

Adyen was founded in 2006 by a group of entrepreneurs, including Pieter van der Does and Arnout Schuijff. The existing payments technology at the time consisted of a patchwork of systems built on outdated infrastructures. They decided to build a brand new, agile platform that made payments simpler.

They didn’t believe that payments were a one-size-fits-all solution, and set to work to build a platform that provides a frictionless, uniform experience for businesses across online, mobile and in-store channels – regardless of geography.

Fast forward to today, Adyen continues to grow exponentially, providing services to over 3,500 businesses, including Spotify, TransferWise, Boohoo, Superdry and FatFace. We are the sixth largest European unicorn, and were ranked number 10 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list.  

I’ve worked with Adyen for over six years, first as a customer during my time at Burberry, and, since 2017, as a member of the team. From Day one, I’ve been impressed by the company’s commitment to innovation and supporting the growth of its global customers.


What is unique about the Adyen platform?

The key factor behind Adyen’s success is its innovative approach to payments. Compared to other financial offerings, Adyen is a full-stack solution all built and managed in-house. We manage every step of the payment process (payment gateway, risk assessment, and acquiring) in one purpose-built system. This is unique.

Some companies can only take care of one step in the payment flow (like a gateway), while others rely on acquisitions and white-labelled technology to process payments end-to-end. It might look the same on the outside, but inside it can often be a mess of legacy systems cobbled together. 


What attracted Adyen to Manchester as a business location?

Manchester has huge potential. With the development of the Northern Powerhouse over the past few years, the city has generated a lot of interest from a spectrum of businesses, including many of our customers. With Manchester emerging as the leading Northern tech hub, it made sense for Adyen to base itself in the centre of the action. Even though we are a global company, we like to think locally, and to be close to our customers.

Manchester is an amazing city with a lot of history, energy and ambition. It’s also well connected to other major cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and across the border into Scotland, which makes it a great base for us.


What successes have Adyen seen since establishing operations in Manchester?

We’ve achieved a lot since Adyen moved up North. As well as trebling the team every year, we’ve recently renovated our new office space in the legendary Bonded Warehouse – once home to Coronation Street. We’ve also partnered with some flagship Manchester brands, including the likes of Fanatics, Boohoo, Total Fitness and a host of other homegrown companies.

One of my favourite achievements was teaming up with Prolific North for the eCommerce Show North. Representing Adyen at one of the UK’s biggest eCommerce events and introducing our brand to so many great northern companies was really exciting. And there’s much more to come!

We host lots of events across the city, inviting partners and customers to come and have a chat and learn about key industry trends, the regulations that impact them – or just explore how we can work together. It’s always great to sit down and see how we can help local businesses achieve their growth ambitions.



From Adyen’s perspective, what does the future look like for the fintech industry in Manchester?

Fintech businesses of all sizes are moving to Manchester, and the Adyen team is so excited to be part of this trend. We’ll see the fintech community grow considerably over the next few years thanks to the investment being pumped into the city.

Take Project Forward, for example. This government funding initiative supports the construction of new office spaces that will incubate entrepreneurs and SMEs that are developing digital technologies. This will greatly support challenger banks and fintech start-ups in a competitive market – and help existing businesses to grow.

From a customer experience perspective, today’s shoppers expect more than ever before. Adyen is perfectly placed to help businesses meet and exceed these expectations.




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