Early in her career, Monica Eaton-Cardone had to deal with the tough part of being a retail entrepreneur — constantly being hit with chargebacks on card payments — to ultimately develop an idea to help retailers navigate that unpleasant part of payment acceptance.

"I realized that other organizations were suffering from the same problem but that no one really knew why or how to resolve the issue," Eaton-Cardone said.

Rather than continue to accept financial losses through chargebacks as "business as usual," Eaton-Cardone went after the problem despite lacking formal technology training.

Monica Eaton-Cardone, co-founder and chief operating officer, Chargebacks911
Monica Eaton-Cardone, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Chargebacks911

"I helped develop a program that solved universal problems related to measuring risk and tracking secure payments, which has since been adopted by banks and other merchant companies," said Eaton-Cardone, the chief operating officer and co-founder of Chargebacks911. "I’ve needed to be fearless from the very beginning and I find it helps me as both an international businesswoman with clients across the globe and as a mother with my children back home."

It also helped land her a spot on the PaymentsSource 2017 Most Influential Women in Payments list.

In addition to her role with Clearwater, Fla.-based Chargebacks911 for the past five years, Eaton-Cardone also serves as the chief information officer for its parent company, Global Risk Technologies.

She also co-founded eConsumer Services to bridge the gap between merchant and customer relations and has been the executive director of the non-profit tutoring organization called Get Paid for Grades since 2013.

Through it all, Eaton-Cardone says she has learned it is important to be true to oneself because it helps pave the way to success. But she admits that didn't happen right away.

"When I started out I thought I wanted to be more conservative, and I wanted everybody to wear suits to work," she said. "We wanted to look and be like Bank of America, copying Wall Street, because that represented success."

Eaton-Cardone estimates she "probably wasted six months of pain wearing suits, when I’m really a jeans and T-shirt type of person."

It turned out that everyone she worked with was the same in that regard.

"What we do takes brainpower and creativity, and sometimes people are most comfortable wearing sweats," she added. "If you’re true to who you are, and you let your staff be true to who they are, that’s going to take you further than any other path."

Eaton-Cardone's path has included many opportunities to motivate and lead other women at her company and within the industry through her work, various presentations and speaking engagements at industry events. And it has made her organization more dynamic.

"I work with inspirational young women every day and they’ve taught me that women approach problems quite differently than men," Eaton-Cardone said. "A homogenous group of people, composed of individuals with the same backgrounds and experiences, will only produce a limited range of perspectives."

Women today realize their potential has a right to be recognized and be allowed to flourish, she added.

"We women have our own conflict resolution strategies and bring solutions that would otherwise be overlooked in business," Eaton-Cardone said. "Our diverse workforce is essential in establishing the dynamic, adaptable, and creative organization we love working for."

CONTINUE READING: THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN PAYMENTS, 2017