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When your job speaks to your passion for technology while allowing you to fulfil your calling to help others, you know you’ve found your sweet spot. As Senior Product Manager at Yoco, that’s exactly where Rebecca de Beer finds herself right now.

Rebecca was drawn to the world of technology because of the infinite possibilities and opportunities it presented. “Like most graduates, I found myself asking ‘What next?’ after I completed my business degree at UCT. Technology was an obvious answer because there are so many outstanding companies in this space, all offering really exciting, challenging roles,” she explains.

Far from being put off by the male-dominated nature of the industry, she found this to be one of its attractions. The industry is becoming increasingly accessible to women, she notes, and it’s pleasing to see that the number of female product developers is on the rise. This is undoubtedly the case at Yoco where there are a few formidable women making strides across the various departments such as Shabnam Osman, Head of Product Management, Mari Basson, Product Marketing Manager and Sibahle Alkema, Marketing Manager.

She joined the company in April 2022, after a stint in the public safety sector. This is where she uncovered her desire to help people – but, since her employer was US-based, she had a yearning to have a greater impact on her home country.

“Yoco does exactly this because we’re all about getting resources to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access them,” she says. As a leader in the small business payments industry, Yoco makes it possible for small business owners to access card and online payments and has provided an enormous boost for the country’s critical SME sector as a result.

Rebecca explains that as a Senior Product Manager, she looks after several products for her development team. “Our focus is on creating value for merchants and solving problems related to the products we supply.”

Rebecca spends significant time with the merchants themselves, observing how Yoco’s products are used in ‘the real world’. This is important because while it’s helpful to innovate and conceptualise new products, the company fails to meet its objectives if they don’t meet the needs of merchants on the ground.

As part of those objectives, Yoco is poised to release several new products into the market within the next few months. These are certain to deepen the company’s impact and will have enormous benefits for Yoco customers.

Rebecca is proud to have played a role in the development of these products. “The ongoing innovation at Yoco is one of the aspects of my job I enjoy most. It gives me a lot of scopes: one of the things I have learnt during my time here is that you have tremendous space to explore, try out new ideas and figure things out. Your job is really what you make of it.”

She adds that since all product managers at Yoco come from different backgrounds, they each bring something unique to their role. In her case, it’s a knack for building structures that help to create more cohesive teams. “I love helping people on teams get to know each other in a way that lets us all be human. I think that’s my superpower,” she says. Once this foundation is in place, she strives to foster collaboration between all team members. She maintains that this is one of the most powerful tools available for solving problems. “I also like to take a step back and study the issue from all sides, so that I have a thorough understanding before I take action,” she says of her approach to addressing challenges.

When she’s not tweaking product processes or design, Rebecca’s on the lookout for ways to keep moving – preferably outside. “I’m a typical Capetonian in that respect,” she laughs. “It doesn’t matter if it’s running, hiking or Padel, so long as I can work up a sweat!”

Rebecca says that, with Yoco’s new developments soon to come online, she’s ready for an exciting year ahead. “Big things are coming, and I am extremely pleased to have been one of the people to have brought this strategy to life,” she concludes.

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