When your company is called Silicon Valley Bank, you always operate in the midst of disruption.
Reetika Grewal, SVB's head of payments strategy and solutions, works with MasterCard to lead an accelerator program called Commerce Innovated, which connects the experts at these companies to the Silicon Valley-based developers changing the course of technology.
"Our goal at SVB is to help our innovation-minded startup companies succeed," said Grewal, adding the program is taking applications for its third class of startups. "Banking, and by extension payments, is a heavily regulated space and very hard for startups to navigate."
The accelerator is part of SVB's embrace of new technology, a departure from many banks that are relatively slow to respond to such changes.
"At SVB, we consider disruption our friend. Disruptive innovation in payments has historically been more incremental compared to other sectors. But this sector is evolving and fast," Grewal said.
Payments are now key to a seamless consumer experience in a digital world that SVB considers rife with opportunity, Grewal said.
"We sit at the center of helping enable all of this innovation," Grewal said. "The confluence of new technologies, trends in consumer behavior and the necessity to be safe, secure and compliant will influence how I do my job and how we operate in the coming year."
Grewal enjoys working in payments because of the category's complexity and fast evolution. But that also requires a commitment to constant education to keep up with a changing industry.
"Work/life balance and nurturing a family can be very difficult to perfect as a woman working in payments," Grewal said. "Though there has been a significant increase in paternal care giving, women are still perceived as primary care givers. With the tradeoffs women need to make between serving as the primary caregiver and the desire to strive for a commitment to constant payments education, I feel many women struggle."