Donna L. Embry, Payment Alliance International

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Embry is senior vice president of strategic development at Payment Alliance International, a Louisville, Ky.-based ISO and independent ATM supplier. She is also president of the MidWest Acquirers Association, a nonprofit group that provides training, education and networking for acquiring-industry professionals. She has worked in the payments industry for almost half a century.

She says the most interesting development in her segment of the payments industry is how the "mobile phenomenon" is changing the way business is done. "From wallets through couponing through the 'new experience,' all facets of the business are changing and rapidly," Embry notes.

The biggest challenge the industry faces, according to Embry, is outpacing how consumers are changing "while keeping up with the various legislative and pricing pressures at a time when the economy is in a recovery period."

In five years, she predicts that most important change in how the payments business is conducted will be the replacement of physical cards to generate transactions.

"Although it will take more than five years to make this option a mass-marketed accepted way of doing payments, I believe that the current 168 wallets will be condensed down to two or three survivors with ubiquitous standards opening the door for more market acceptance and usage," Embry says.

Embry says the business leader she most admires is Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter and the founder and CEO of mobile payments company Square Inc. "He took a risk, solved a key business issue, changed the face of the industry and woke up a sleeping acquiring industry."

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