Diane Faro, CEO, JetPay

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In a career spanning four decades, Diane Faro has led one payment company after another through major transitions to successful outcomes.

It happened again three years ago, when Faro took over as CEO of JetPay Corp. after serving on its board of directors for a couple of years. She immediately directed fresh investment into management, technology and new products, driving growth across all business segments, and leading the company to its acquisition last year by NCR Corp.

“Payments is an incredibly exciting, ever-changing industry,” Faro said, reflecting a career path that took her from a rising star at National Bancard Corp. (NaBanco, later absorbed by First Data) to several other leadership positions including president of First Data Global Merchant Services, and a five-year stint as CEO of Chase Merchant Services.

Faro, who is one of PaymentsSource's Most Influential Women in Payments for 2019, gets a thrill from having witnessed the payments industry evolve from manual, paper-driven processes to digital power.

“We’ve redefined commerce in every sense—creating a world where payments are made virtually and distance doesn’t matter—and we keep the economy running through billions of payroll and payment processing transactions every year,” she said.

Collaboration and teamwork are particularly important in Faro’s career, having served as a mentor for legions of female executives as a co-founder of the nonprofit Women Networking in Electronic Transactions (Wnet). With two other female payments industry executives, Faro helped establish Wnet in 2005, watching it become a thriving national organization with record participation in networking events and mentoring. Faro is still active in the organization, after serving on its board for nine years.

“Women in fintech make us a stronger, more powerful industry,” Faro said, pointing to all the women she’s seen rise in the industry in the years since Wnet was formed.

“Mentoring cultivates exceptional teamwork. I have dedicated many years to helping emerging professionals develop their abilities and enhance their contributions to both our team and the industry as a whole,” Faro said.

Faro claims she learned leadership and mentoring skills from the best.

A guiding light in Faro’s career is Paul Garcia, former chairman and CEO of Global Payments, whom she met early in her career at NaBanco, where he was CEO.

“I was fortunate to work alongside Paul as our company grew and I learned firsthand from him how to nurture a business, and how important customer service is to the bottom line,” Faro said.

Faro absorbed key leadership lessons from Garcia. “His presence commands respect and loyalty and he taught me how to create a true team among diverse employees. Every day, wisdom I learned from Paul guides me both professionally and personally,” Faro said.

Because payments is a fast-moving industry, it’s important to build diversity across organizations to nurture corporate vision and agility, according to Faro.

“People of different genders, backgrounds and walks of life bring new perspectives and allow us to respond more effectively to challenges we face,” she said.

Looking ahead, Faro is excited about how the use of artificial intelligence is transforming payments with new ways to capture and use data.

“AI will become instrumental to knowing our customers, securing data, marketing and delivering service. The use of unstructured and general data analytics will no longer be enough—integrated solutions and apps that clients use will produce data that drives decisions for businesses and consumers,” Faro said.

READ MORE: THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN PAYMENTS, 2019

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