Very few footballers follow in the footsteps of Sophie Flynn by entering the world of fintech. As we look ahead to the Women’s World Cup, we chatted to Sophie Flynn, Co-founder and CFO at Transact365 about her journey from football to fintech founder.

Sophie Flynn, a former professional women’s footballer, co-founded Transact365, a global payments firm that launched in 2017. As the CFO, she takes charge of the company’s financial affairs and ensures the seamless delivery of top-notch payment services to merchants worldwide. Working closely with the senior leadership team, Sophie actively scouts for fresh opportunities to drive the company’s growth. Despite being a relatively young player in the industry, Transact365 continuously explores avenues to enter new markets and remains vigilant about emerging trends like decentralised finance (DeFi) gaming, predicted to attain a market value of $104.5 billion by 2028.

A career less ordinary

Sophie’s fintech journey is anything but ordinary. Fueling her passion for football, she kicked off at Blackburn Rovers Football Club at 10 and kept going till 24. Yet, women’s football lacked funds and popularity at the time. 

Hence, despite her inclination towards a finance career, Sophie knew the conventional university route wasn’t for her. Instead, she pursued practical experience and hands-on learning. At 18, she opted for an apprenticeship with an accountancy firm, which enabled her to achieve the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) certification, followed by her Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification in 2016.

Launching into the fintech space

Once Sophie garnered auditing experience, she delved into the rapidly evolving and inventive realm of fintech. This exposure paved the way for her and her co-founders to spot an unfilled gap in the market—an opportunity for a global payment platform. This realisation birthed Transact365. Since its inception, the company has witnessed substantial growth and ventured into burgeoning markets, consistently working to elevate their global services.

While collaborating with various businesses, Sophie and her team noticed fragmented payment procedures and the lack of a centralised payment system in the market. Recognizing this opportunity, they created Nucleus365, the sister company of Transact365. Nucleus365 functions as a centralised payment system, empowering merchants with comprehensive visibility throughout the payment process and allowing them to track customer behaviour across all operational markets. With streamlined payment flows, Nucleus365 efficiently handles payment processing and settlements within its platform. Launching a new venture is never a walk in the park, but despite the challenges, Nucleus365 has received an overwhelmingly positive response, continuously earning accolades from their merchants.

A(nother) male dominated industry

Undoubtedly, the payments and fintech sector remains predominantly male-dominated, with women accounting for only 30% of the industry and a mere 1.5% representing women-founded global fintech businesses. However, despite these figures, Sophie has thrived in this domain, thanks to the strong support networks she found within the industry. She acknowledges that conferences, public events, and platforms like LinkedIn offer excellent avenues to connect with supportive networks, irrespective of gender. Sophie firmly believes that the sector is gradually recognising the immense value of promoting female leadership voices. She has also observed a surge in social media content, news features, and podcast interviews effectively amplifying the presence of women in fintech. She hopes that this encouraging trend will continue to gain momentum in the future.

Sophie emphasises that women should avoid confining themselves to the conventional status quo. Instead, she encourages them to challenge and reshape industry standards actively, making a meaningful impact. Showing vocal support for other women in their field is crucial, as they likely share similar thoughts and experiences. Sophie also advises embracing one’s hard work, success, and expertise, recognising that gender holds no relevance to job performance. The fintech industry thrives on innovation, so she urges women to take the leap, just as she did, and become an integral part of this dynamic sector.

Three lionesses!

Finally, as the women’s World Cup approaches, Sophie is eagerly preparing to cheer on the lionesses, especially since some of her past teammates are part of the English team. With firsthand experience of what it takes to build a winning team, she wholeheartedly supports her former teammates and the lionesses in their pursuit of victory!