On the acquiring side of the payments industry, Holli Targan does it all.

As an attorney in the Southfield office of Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, she chairs the firm's Electronic Payments Group. Her duties include handling mergers and acquisitions, helping clients develop their strategy and alerting the industry to regulatory changes.

"Much of my time is spent acting as a strategic advisor to clients who are positioning their companies for the short- and long-term changes within the industry," Targan says. "This involves advice about new business lines and revenue streams, strategic partnerships with other companies, and contract terms entered into today that will serve client companies in the long term as the industry evolves."  

She has also been president of the Electronic Transactions Association and remains active in the organization today. During her 12 years on the ETA board, Targan has served as chair of the Government Relations Committee, the Nominating Committee and the Certified Payments Professional Credentialing Commission. She's also been a member of the Mobile Payments Committee. 

As one of the four founders of Women Networking in Electronic Transactions, or W.net, she remains active in guiding the group. W.net has about 300 members, for which it provides national and regional programs that focus on professional and leadership development, networking and business opportunities, mentoring and peer support, and educational programs and leadership seminars. The organization also champions diversity and aims to position women for greater success, she says.

Despite W.net's nine years of effort and progress, "there is much left to do," she says.  "Women do not yet participate in meaningful numbers in C-level positions within the industry. The percentages at the managerial level are not much better."

Looking at the industry as a whole today, Targan sees changes occurring in new business segments, including mobile payments, money transmitter services and stored value.

"In addition, the Federal government has set its sights on payment companies, which brings unprecedented regulatory oversight over an industry that previously flew under the radar," she says.

To stay relevant in the next five years, companies should diversify their product offerings and revenue streams to keep up with competition and innovation, Targan says.

Looking back upon her 28 years in the payments, she urges women who are new to the industry to strive for personal excellence while also networking with others.

"Concentrate on becoming the absolute best in your field through educational opportunities and continued expansion of your experience throughout your career," she advises.  "Find organizations and individuals who will expand your network to assist and guide you as you find your way. Foster relationships with people within and outside of your company, and maintain and nurture those networks."

And take advantage of Women Networking in Electronic Transactions, Targan says. "Engage in W.net to leverage programs and participate in a community of women specific to the payments industry."

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

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