Living up to the word "enterprise" in her job description is serious business, but for Colleen Taylor, head of treasury management and enterprise payments at Capital One, success also means staying true to herself and finding joy in work.
After a career spanning 25 years with many senior level positions, Taylor gets a thrill from her role over the last three years leading Capital One's Enterprise Payments group, which develops the bank's Faster Payments initiatives and innovations to support real-time payments.
"The digitization of banking is changing everything," she said.
Taylor predicts we'll soon see the first scaled commercial use of blockchain, the distributed ledger technology commonly associated with bitcoin, and expansion of what she calls "The Internet of Payment Things."
Blockchain-related payments innovations will bring opportunities to deliver more products and reach new audiences, but competition will be fierce, Taylor said.
Payments security is always a top priority for Taylor, but she'd rather be prepared for problems than fear them. "I challenge people—myself included—to get in front of threatening trends with thought leadership, asking at every level, 'How do we combat possible issues?'"
Taylor attributes her long track record of career success in part to establishing a personal "brand" early on, based on hard work, integrity and going the extra mile to help others and ask for help from others. "Success is rarely a solo act," she declared.
The climb up wasn't always easy. Taylor often was the only woman on the team, leading technology improvements, sometimes working abroad in locations such as London, and driving sales initiatives. At times she encountered friction, she said, but she drew support from her colleagues, who rallied to support her, and vice versa.
Taylor demonstrates that attitude in her personal connections, including her relationships with her 14 nieces and nephews. "They always count on me to show up—helping with a science project, attending graduations or camping out all night to get Jimmy Fallon tickets," Taylor said.
Her warmth extends to the community, where Taylor for years has volunteered at a drug rehabilitation agency in Harlem, including serving on the board of the Veritas Therapeutic Community.
Taylor has worked on behalf of other philanthropic programs, as well, and remains involved with Delta Sigma Theta, a public service sorority she's belonged to since attending Spelman College. Taylor also has an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
"If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will," said Taylor, who was previously recognized as one of PaymentsSource's Most Influential Women in Payments and American Banker Magazine's 25 Women to Watch. Equally important: "Be yourself and have fun," Taylor advises other women who want to rise in the payments industry.