Mission accepted: Building a globally scalable credit card from scratch

People · 2 February 2021Jocelyn Kaylee Neo

Not many can say they’ve built a credit card, but Mikhail Shikhov can. The backend engineer joined Revolut’s Credit department in its infancy when there were only five people on the team. Today, there are five core teams developing Revolut’s credit systems, each playing a crucial part in creating the revolutionary product that will soon be present in four markets worldwide.

Mikhail, who has since become Head of Engineering in Revolut's Credit team, lifts the curtains and tells us the part he’s played in getting Revolut’s credit card to where it is today.

(Revolut's credit card isn't available in the UK.)

The early days

Mikhail joined Revolut hungry for something bigger, something more ambitious. He quickly found that in his first assignment, which was to build Revolut’s credit card from ground-up. The irony though? He’s never owned a credit card.

Yet, this unfamiliarity may have given Mikhail a fundamental advantage. His burning curiosity about the banking product became a driving force behind his work, satiated only by delving deeper into the gut of the financial world.

“Our goal was to create a credit card superior to those already in the market, prefaced by integral mechanics and product reliability. So from the get-go, we worked towards building a seamless backend operating system with a positive user experience in mind.”  

With that, Mikhail talked to Revoluters on the commercial side, organised processes and ensured compliance with local requirements at each stage of development. Most importantly, he maintained production on the backend so the user experience would be seamless at every touchpoint.

“Backend engineering is like the air we breathe - we don’t see it, and we scarcely think about it. But there is a whole ecosystem happening just so our product can deliver wow for our customers.”

The future of credit cards

From day one, Revolut has had a global ambition. This means that Mikhail and his engineering team have always prioritised scalability and agility in their backend solutions.

“We launched in Lithuania, Poland, and more recently, the US. We’re now working towards expansions in three other markets. Scaling at such speed and range is definitely challenging from a tech point of view, as we have to consider system architecture and maintenance, production, and data storage capacities. But our practice of thinking deeper and never settling means we’ve always known that this day would come. So essentially, we’re as prepared as can be.”

The future will see Revolut’s credit card scale quite dramatically with new features and products, so any new Revoluter coming onboard – Credit engineer or otherwise – will find themselves on an exciting ride.

Want to power a stellar product with your expertise? Come join Mikhail or explore our other career opportunities right here on our Careers page.

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