If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

That's a truism Discover has learned to identify with, according to Diane Offereins, its executive vice president and president of payment services. With the influx of new industry players, innovations and challenges demanding a response, the company is betting on doing what it does best.

"Not everything needs to be cutting-edge for it to be relevant or even vital to the success of new endeavors," she said. "Discover's expertise and diligence is relevant and critical to the successful implementations of new technology organizations."

Offereins, who has been recognized in previous years as one of PaymentsSource's Most Influential Women in Payments, has held her current position for the past decade of her 36-year career. Although there's pressure on the industry as a whole to stay at the forefront in light of the entrance of tech disruptors, Discover has benefited significantly from partnerships with younger companies and new players, she said.

Fintech companies work in much faster cycles than the traditional payments industry is used to, and these newcomers aren't afraid to pivot. Discover's partnerships have taught it how to stay "nimble," Offereins said, while still allowing it to focus on enabling commerce in a seamless and secure way.

"Discover has come to understand this 'test as you go' mentality and it has allowed us to learn in-market moreso now than ever before," she said. "[New technology companies] will continue to be a big part of the payments space future, and we will be part of that future with them."

Discover is ranked in Glassdoor's top 25 companies for best work culture and values as ranked by employees and the Human Rights Campaign named it a best place to work for LGBT equality – accomplishments in which Offereins takes some personal pride.

She helped found one of the company's diversity and inclusion programs, called Employee Resource Groups, which launched in 2012. There are 21 different groups meant to embrace differences among employees, all of which host meetings, speaking engagements, volunteer opportunities and other community-building events.

"I worked with the highest levels of management to create a mindset where individual differences are leveraged to create a more meaningful, inclusive workplace culture, as well as to enhance our business results," she said.

Offereins is also active in her community outside of work. She is on the board of Children's Home and Aid, an organization that helps children and families overcome poverty, abuse and neglect. Her son is on the junior board.

"It's through activities like this that I think my son has picked up on the responsibility to help others. It's so nice to be able to spend time with him, while contributing to such a great organization."

This article is part of PaymentsSource's 25 Most Influential Women in Payments feature. Follow these links to see a full list of all honorees or a slideshow of the featured executives.

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