Few months into the company, we had the opportunity to catch up with Jennifer Miles, executive vice president at Ingenico Group, North America to talk about her interest in the payments industry, how she sees the technology evolve and more.
1. How did you choose to work in the payments space?
The profession actually chose me. I started my career with Wachovia Bank (now part of Wells Fargo) working with Fortune 500 companies on cash management initiatives. I was fascinated with the different ways large enterprises managed their cash collections, disbursements and investments. Ultimately, I become enamored with the retail side of cash management because the technology was just beginning to get sophisticated enough to change the way a merchant does business. In those days the internet was informational only and the concept of “omni-channel” didn’t exist. I’ve stayed in this industry for over 20 years because the pace of change continues to accelerate and I’m fascinated by all of the new ways people are shopping and transacting.
2. What were some of the factors that helped you to evolve in your career?
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to hold many roles in my career that I think have given me the basis to understand a lot of what you need to drive a successful client-focused organization. That understanding has come through working with and partnering with great people – I’ve been so fortunate in my career to work with talented teams, have great mentors and coaches.
3. How have you seen the payments industry change over the years?
I think the most significant change I’ve seen is that payments is now an exciting and attractive segment that everyone clamoring to be a part of. The best example I can give is to look at the ETA membership roster 15 years ago and compare it to today – all of the cutting-edge companies want to be a part of the industry because they recognize that payments is the heartbeat of commerce and if you want to change the way people do business you have to be a part of the foundation.
4. What are some of the new payment technologies you are excited to see evolve in the coming five years?
There are a lot of new technologies in the works but frankly, I’m excited to see some of the current technologies that have been early in the maturation cycle starting to reach real scale. I think payment technology is becoming more dynamic as it begins to incorporate solutions that go beyond just paying for goods and services. I’m excited to see connected screens take off in the U.S. and enable merchants to reach their customers in more innovative ways.
5. How do you see customer experience change in the future across different industries and how can payments be an effective part of that equation?
Customer experience and payments are the backbones of any buying process. It’s the best way to “identify” and “connect” the buyer and the goods and services they are spending on which opens the door to sophisticated ways of marketing that we haven’t seen in brick and mortar yet. Payment plays a big role in making or breaking the customer’s experience and I believe we are on the right path to reducing that friction.
6. In an era where technology is making everything simple from paying for a cab ride to automated robots helping guests with hotel services, how do you see the industry evolving to serve the customers of the future?
Payments have always been an integral part of our lives, whether we are paying for groceries or for a stay in a hotel. It is something that only comes to mind for a consumer when it is inconvenient to pay when the payment device doesn’t work or your credit card gets declined, etc. The industry has already made so much progress in removing this friction from the payment process and I see that becoming more seamless in the future. I think the customers of the future want to be able to pay for things with the least amount of effort and with technology like mobile wallets, NFC rings, etc. I envision greater things happening.
7. How do you envision the future of commerce evolving, and what should the payments industry be doing to prepare?
I see the evolution of digital payments not only completing the vision of a cashless society, but also its integration with the instruments of our daily lives will impact everyday consumers. This fusion of tools will make payments seamless, frictionless and effortless. This shift will open up opportunities to view payments as part of a bigger solution rather than a means to transact. Payment professionals should focus on creating, selling and deploying the value of these holistic solutions to the market.
Jennifer Miles will be participating in a keynote panel discussion at ETA TRANSACT titled The Future of Commerce on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 9:20 AM. Visit our landing page to get more information, schedule meetings and download pre-event content - https://info.ingenico.us/transact-2018