Diane Offereins spends much of her time as Discover's executive vice president for payments services working to unite the company's three payment networks — Discover Network, Diners Club International and the Pulse ATM Network — into one global payments business.

She is accountable for more than 1,000 employees in the U.S., India, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Singapore, China and Hong Kong.

Adapting to and supporting non-traditional payment companies has become a key element of Offereins' job.

"The area of mobile and online commerce is intriguing as the channel continues to be a playground for innovators focused on using smartphones to complete online transactions, while bringing the digital wallet to the offline world," says Offereins, who was also featured in PaymentsSource's 2013 Most Influential Women in Payments.

Discover has focused on mobile commerce developments in the past year, securing key partnerships with Facebook and Ariba. These initiatives are "solidifying the company as a highly-sought partner," Offereins says.

Discover is also "at a crossroads" in terms of thinking about how these new payment methods and form factors marry with new forms of security, Offereins adds. "New industry standards and specifications continue to bring about corresponding security and authentication, which is greatly needed to keep pace with innovations in technology and channels," she says.

Discover will participate in the advancement of omnichannel marketing as it brings about "an opportunity to harness digital capabilities and infuse them into point of sale locations," she adds.

Offereins encourages women in the payments industry to value their points of view and know that they contribute to the outcomes of business discussions and results.

She advises women to remain actively involved in organizations that support and encourage others within the payments industry. "Both internal and external networking programs are important for women who strive to become successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders," she says.

More needs to be done to close the gender gap within payments services in the U.S., Offereins says, but even more so "when one looks at the world more broadly and sees the gender gap around the globe in terms of economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment."

To the extent, Offereins says it is her duty to help close those gaps for women around the world by raising awareness, helping a woman down the hall with a career decision, or helping a woman on the other side of the world with a business negotiation.

"Women should support one another," she adds. "If they’re in a position of power, they should not just help women in their own industry, but women in all walks of life."

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

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