Susan Sobbott realizes consumer technologies and back-office payment structures are on a collision course.
In her role as president of global corporate payments at American Express, with more than 23 years of experience in the payments industry, Sobbott is working to develop products that make the most of this convergence.
"Our job is to stay ahead of the curve so our customers can too," Sobbott says. "Our goal is to maximize the benefits of evolving technology to identify how new capabilities can add function and value to address our customers needs."
American Express is always looking to spot trends that can make businesses function better and make end users lives easier, Sobbott adds.
In her current role with corporate payments and earlier role with American Express Open, which focuses on small businesses, Sobbott has seen a fundamental change in how businesses operate.
"Business leaders across the board are focused on growth," Sobbott says. "They are looking for the best opportunities to increase the productivity of their teams."
To this end, businesses seek ways to control expenses to free up investment dollars, Sobbott says. This mindset creates an insatiable appetite for data, she adds. Businesses seek ways to capture that data effectively so they can gain greater visibility, institute control over payments and improve cost management.
"They also expect innovative, end-to-end payment and travel solutions that are not only versatile, but are fiercely secure," Sobbott says.
Women are taking a bigger part in all of the payments industry's ever-changing facets, but there is room for the door to open for more women in the future, Sobbott says.
"I am so privileged to be surrounded by a seasoned and talented group of inspiring female leaders at American Express," Sobbott says. "And we certainly are encouraged to see savvy female colleagues across the industry."
Sobbott is the global chairperson for the American Express Women's Interest Network, and she is proud of her company's progress. Women represent 65 percent of the American Express workforce and one-third of its top executives.
"The opportunity to bring the creativity, energy, and broad thinking of more women leaders to the payments industry is great," Sobbott says. She would encourage any woman to look at the payments industry as a career.
See the full list of honorees for this year's Most Influential Women in Payments.