Claire Gates, Paysafe Pay Later
When Claire Gates joined the Paysafe Group two years ago, she was determined to demonstrate to payments industry leaders that bringing fresh ideas into fintech is gender agnostic.
Early in Gates’ career she started working in executive roles for companies including American Express, Citibank Europe and GE Capital. She then went the startup route with a managing director role at Virgin Money followed by a managing director position at Borro.com. Then she briefly moved to Mastercard before founding her own consultancy, Efficient Business Growth Ltd. It was from her consultancy that she joined the Paysafe Group.
In her current role with the Paysafe Group as CEO of Paysafe Pay Later, Gates is melding her knowledge of consumer finance, merchant needs and capitalizing on the online installment lending trend that has become so appealing to millennials.
Last year the European Paysafe Group announced that it would launch the Paysafe Pay Later installment lending service for merchants in the U.S. and Canada to meet the growing demand for online installment lending. This move puts Gates on a collision course with Max Levchin’s Affirm, Jack Dorsey’s Square, and Swedish-based installment lender Klarna (which recently added U.S. rapper, Snoop Dogg as an investor and celebrity spokesman).
Gates, who is one of PaymentsSource's Most Influential Women in Payments for 2019, is confident that change is occurring in women’s representation in the fintech industry. “Historically, women have been underrepresented within the sector, but headway is being made and I would say that 2018 was a transformational year in terms of diversity and inclusion in business generally, with the payments industry being no exception," she said.
A key to any executive’s success is having high-performing teams work for them and understanding how foster that achievement. Gates is no exception as she believes that building a great team is a long-term process that requires balancing personalities of team members and nurturing the individuals’ needs. It’s not something that can be done overnight.
“First and foremost, it is most important to invest your time in them. This begins during the recruitment process. In addition to recruitment, it is seriously important to invest your time in the onboarding process, integrating the individual into the team to ensure goals and objectives are clear,” Gates said.
But that’s just the start, and unless further time and effort is spent with team, an executive may end up with a group that performs at a mediocre level.
“A team is made up of individuals with different personalities and communication styles," she said. "Continuous investment and development for all members is needed to help them to work seamlessly as a unit and go from good to great.”
Gates received a diploma in corporate finance from the London Business School, an MBA from the University of Warwick in Coventry, England and a bachelor’s in engineering from Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.