When asked what got her interested in a career in the travel industry, Clare Murphy, commercial director at WEX Europe, goes all the way back to the age of 14. That’s when the Irish native took a trip to New York City with her mother to visit family. She remembers thinking, “there’s this whole wide world out there with so much to see and learn about.” From that day forward, her passion was travel.
“It seemed a natural thing for me to join the travel industry, and I’ve loved every minute of it,” says Clare. “Specializing in travel technology, I’ve worked in corporate travel, for a tour operator, and for an international airline. For the last nine years, my focus has been around corporate direct solutions, including payments technology, and that’s what ultimately brought me to WEX Europe last November.”
Clare got hooked on travel payments technology during the seven years she ran her own consultancy – a time that coincided with the financial technology explosion. She worked with corporations, helping them source new technologies, improve expense reconciliation, and innovate ways to pay. After working with a number of global corporations which she helped to create innovative payment strategies, Clare got excited to see the opportunities in that side of the business that combined her passions for travel, technology, and payments.
An Interest Ignited
We first got on Clare’s radar two years ago when she worked in the payments division of a company that owns one of our competitors. She says she kept up to date on what we were doing, and the customers we were attracting, noting that “WEX really intrigued me.” Her move to our London office as commercial director for corporate payments means she leads the go-to-market strategy of a territory that covers 13 European markets with 15 different currencies.
Leading the go-to-market teams, Clare has overall responsibility for the sales, relationship management, partnership management, supplier strategy, and customer projects teams. Her team of sales managers covers our established markets in the UK, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, while also growing our presence in nine new European markets. WEX secured its European Money License at the end of 2017, which allows us to offer credit solutions in all 31 countries in the European Economic Area, which is estimated to be worth €273 billion ($333.5 billion USD).
Our relationship management team is focused on managing our existing customer base and helping them grow their business. That work is complimented by the partnership and supplier team, which ensures we partner with the best technology companies in each market. Once we have the customer and partner ready to do business with WEX, we hand off to the customer projects team, which assists the customer during their initial go-live.
While Clare’s country managers are headquartered in London, all of them travel frequently and are native speakers of their country’s language. “I’m always amazed to hear so many people speaking in their national tongue when I’m in the office,” remarks Clare. “They know their market, the nuances of each of their countries, and they speak the language, so I really see them as owning that whole country,” she observes.
Making the Move to WEX
Clare’s move to WEX coincided with our move to 1 London Bridge – a location and office space that she claims is “just amazing.” She believes that the investment WEX has made for our European headquarters is really a testament to how important this growing market is to the overall WEX business. The open concept workplace design supports internal collaboration, which she takes advantage of with her Monday morning sales stand-ups. Her team presents their past week’s achievements, top three priorities for the coming week, and any blockers they may be experiencing.
“I provide breakfast for our weekly meetings – so we get a lot of people who come by and listen to what we’re doing,” says Clare. “My intention is that if the team is experiencing a blocker, perhaps a colleague from another department might be able to help. The initial feedback is that people like the collaboration and learning more about key customer initiatives within the company. The weekly meeting is also helping us gel as a team and with the wider company.”
As Clare settles in at WEX Europe, she’s enthusiastic about the opportunities available for professionals interested in working for a company that’s at the intersection of payments technology and data. “This is an exciting, fast-paced environment where, if you’re motivated, you can achieve success and recognition in a dynamic, growing industry,” she observes.