Our Fynbos family - meet Ömer

13 December 2022

Every week we're going to introduce you to a member of the Fynbos team so you can get as excited as we are about what's cooking in our kitchen. We'll share a quick background then ask them a few random questions to try and peel back the onion. Engineers are hard nuts to crack. (Okay enough with the food metaphors...)

Ömer headshot
Ömer Talha Özdemir Junior Software Engineer

Ömer is a junior software developer and the youngest member of the Fynbos team.

Unlike the majority of the Fynbos team who are based in Cape Town, Ömer lives in Istanbul. He started his career in data science and artificial intelligence, but soon realized that he enjoyed creating bots more.

A few years ago he built an e-commerce website with one of his friends, with the ambition to make it easier to sell online game items. Little did he know that this decision would lead him on a journey to working in payments.

Customers ✔️! A cool-looking website ✔️! Wait, how do we handle payments?

As e-commerce store owners, with no experience in the field, they had to find a way to accept payments from their customers, and pay their suppliers internationally. Despite the store doing well, they struggled with payment issues and had to shut down the website after 9 months.

What makes e-commerce special, is the unlimited amount of payment options available. We had to learn the meaning of interoperability the hard way.

Ömer's frustration with payment issues sparked his interest in finding a better way to make payments. Ömer was drawn to Interledger’s currency-agnostic and open architecture, and became determined to create a service based on it. During this time he made several contributions to the Interledger codebase while trying to understand how the Interledger Protocol and Open Payments work under the hood.

Luckily for Ömer, the Fynbos founders are active members of the Interledger community, and at that time were preparing to announce their launch.

Once Fynbos was founded, Ömer was one of the first people to reach out, and his enthusiasm was impossible to ignore. We made an exception to our rule of only hiring engineers willing to work with us in the office, and got him on board.

Ömer works on a variety of projects and experiments that are part of our OSS contributions to the Interledger community or help us to test and conceptualise use cases and technologies we plan to adopt into the product in the future. Check out his latest work on using Secure Payment Confirmation (SPC) for checkout with a payment pointer:

What’s one possession or tool that enhances your daily life?

Without a doubt, it’s a nail clipper. I don’t know why but it’s awfully irritating to have rough nails and it’s not possible for me to concentrate on anything without properly trimmed nails.

What’s something you want to get better at?

I mostly eat out and even though I believe I eat healthy foods, I would love to get better at cooking at home. There's something pleasant about choosing ingredients, cooking them to your own taste, and eating the food you cooked yourself. Also, it’s much more fun when you are with your friends.

What’s a simple life hack that everyone can benefit from?

I’m not sure if you can call it a life hack but I’m obsessed with doing things in the most efficient, sustainable, and reliable way possible. Let’s say I have to wash the dishes for the first time in my life. Even though it’s common sense that you just need dish soap and a sponge and use them, I’m going to watch a few how-to-do videos from YouTube, learn the most efficient method, and search for the most sustainable tools/brands (dish soap and sponge in that case). Thanks to this method, you only suffer once so you don’t have to do so rest of your life.

We hope to enable ecommerce use cases with the Fynbos wallet (like those Ömer has been experimenting with) by the end of Q1 next year. To get an early preview be sure to join our waitlist and be among the first to try it out.