Five minute interview: John Sheard, Realex Payments

John Sheard, head of corporate business development at Realex Payments, talks about BBC Radio 6 and his dream of flying in the five minute interview

Tell us what you do for a living.

Head of Corporate Business Development at Realex Payments. We work with large businesses across multiple sectors that need expert advice, guidance and solutions for taking payments online, domestically and internationally.


Why are you the right person for this job?

Not sure – ask my boss! On a serious note, I’m a good listener, I know my stuff when it comes to payments and I get on well with people, and that is quite simply it.


What gets you up in the morning?

I’ll answer this literally - BBC Radio 6 Shaun Keaveny – a legend! Just listen to small claims court – you’ll get my drift.


Who helped you get to where you are today?

Clichéd but I would definitely say my parents. They have an exceptional work ethic that I grew up with and learnt from. Patience and tenacity are very good traits to have in your working life.


What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?

Worst advice – you’ll never be successful as a nice guy.

Best advice – Don’t worry about the things you can’t influence.


What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?

Know your stuff and find a niche – If you can understand your industry and product in finite detail you will have the great foundations to succeed. Further, if you do it in a niche area you’ll find your services in great demand.


What’s running on your smartphone?

BBC News App




Angry Birds (guilty pleasure)



What does the next five years hold for the channel?

I see exceptional growth in payments along with diversification and innovation as payments moves towards new solutions that are beyond traditional card payments. What this means for the channel is that resellers will have to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing technology which consumers are already adopting – be it new products or challenges of IT infrastructure.


Tell us something most people do not know about you.

I’ve always dreamed of being an airline pilot.


What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?

Learn to fly and have my own plane – ultimate freedom.


What is the best book you've ever read?

Player of Games by Ian M Banks – A Sci Fi epic!


And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

Elysium – What was that all about?!


What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony

Fleetwood Mac – The chain

Radiohead – In Rainbows

Pink Floyd – The Wall

Groove Armada – Paper Romance


What temptation can you not resist?

Skiing – Costs me a fortune every year!


What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?

Alpha Romeo 156 2.0 T Spark. How does it compare to my current car? Well, it’s a lot slower than my current car and far less reliable but definitely had the edge from a character perspective! I do miss it.


Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?

Ed Balls – I don’t think I need to explain why!


If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?

Golden Eagle – Majestic. I would love to have the freedom to see the world from a totally different perspective.


If you could take part in one event in the Olympics, which would you choose and why?

Winter Olympics Included? If so I’d say the Luge – It just looks like one mad long adrenalin rush, why wouldn’t you want to do it?


If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?

Doctor Manhattan from the Watchmen – Quite simply because he is totally indestructible. I would ask that he cover himself up however.


And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?

Difficult one – Grizzly bear has got the brute force but I suspect clumsy, my money would be on the Gorilla for sheer agility, strength and superior intelligence. Also, bears can’t run downhill – design fault!

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