After spending over 25 years on the retail side of the cards business, when an opportunity arose to work on product and strategy development for U.S. Bank's corporate payments systems earlier this year, Heitman jumped at the chance.

"In the past few years, I've heard more and more great things about the investments the bank is making in growing the B2B side of the payments business," she says. "You could say I've been cheering on the business from afar."

Heitman now runs marketing and product management for U.S. Bank's corporate payment division where she oversees strategy, profitability, product development and marketing for the bank's commercial and government payment system products.

In her previous role heading the bank's branded credit and debit card businesses, Heitman garnered kudos for her work helping the bank comply with portions of the Durbin amendment that hit the debit card business. She also worked closely with the retail banking business to identify ways to replace revenue lost to the new regulations.

Last year, Heitman was honored as one American Banker's "25 Women to Watch" in banking and is the most senior woman in U.S. Bancorp's corporate payments group.

She points to two critical developments as the most interesting things happening in her segment of the payments industry right now. "The first is innovative product solutions, which promote even deeper integration into the overall value chain for corporate customers," says Heitman. "Payments is one component of that value chain, but innovation is allowing us to deliver value throughout.

"The second is the evolution of how we think about our customers' needs. The industry is moving beyond individual, narrowly focused payment tools to broader 'solutions.' This new approach helps our clients optimize their working capital and improve their cash forecasting while mitigating payment risks and leveraging payment automation."

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