Small to medium-sized merchants are asking for more, says Colleen Taylor, executive vice president and head of treasury management and enterprise payments in commercial banking at Capital One.

"They want to make payments quickly and easily, and integrate with other business applications and social media, through a truly mobile experience," Taylor says. "They have a desire for 24-hour access to payment systems and not being tied to deadlines."

The payment systems of the next generation will be real-time and method-neutral, says Taylor. And innovation is coming from within the industry and outside of it.

"The proliferation of new products, services and technologies that allow for consumer-to-consumer payments, online crowdfunding, digital wallets, prepaid payment cards and virtual currencies is creating a fast-paced environment filled with challenges for the traditional bank and its consumers," she says.

While the payments industry faces heavy competition from newcomers, Taylor says, financial institutions' long-standing consumer safeguards will keep banks in a powerful position.

Cybersecurity will continue to be a key determinant of which payments players succeed. And as regulations pressure the businesses that serve underbanked populations, traditional financial institutions will be challenged to find "acceptable and affordable payment opportunities" for this market, she says.

Taylor has spent nearly 25 years in the payments industry, including the past five in her current role at Capital One, where she is a driver of sustainable payment strategies enterprise-wide. She has been previously recognized by American Banker Magazine's 25 Women to Watch, and has participated in reverse-mentoring at a previous employer to expose the top ranks to the perspectives of employees from more diverse backgrounds.

At Capital One, she chairs the bank's Enterprise Payments Advisory Council. Under Taylor's guidance, the team has focused on the changing business landscape with strategies that have already begun to influence some of the company's security standards.

She is also an active member of Capital One Bank's Market President Network, which selects executives to represent the bank to the local community.

Once male-dominated, the banking and payments industries have diversified greatly in recent years, she says. As vice chairperson of Nacha's board, Taylor works with another honoree in PaymentsSource's 2014 Most Influential Women in Payments, Janet Estep.

"The elite stand out through their work ethic, their applied skills and expertise and their deep knowledge of industry trends," says Taylor. "Equally as important is delivering for the customer. An inherent desire to act in the best interest of their customers will set them apart from their peers."

See the full list of honorees for this year's Most Influential Women in Payments.


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