Terrie Smith, DIGISEQ
Terrie Smith bet on herself when she became an entrepreneur. It was a daunting task — and well worth it.
“When I was transitioning from my corporate role in Mastercard to starting up DIGISEQ, it was scary but also fulfilling. In a startup, nothing is guaranteed, you deal with challenges on the daily and every step you take holds much more weight,” said Smith, chief executive of the U.K. fintech DIGISEQ and one of PaymentsSource’s Most Influential Women in Payments for 2020.
Smith and Collin Tanner, both former Mastercard executives, founded DIGISEQ, which adds payment credentials to connected devices, such as watches, bracelets, key fobs, and just about anything that can and will be developed for the internet of things.
Read more: The Most Influential Women in Payments, 2020
It’s really up to the users, according to Smith. “Consumers will drive the way they want to pay, whether it's via their watch, phone, keychain, jewellery, clothing; essentially opting for the most suitable choice for the occasion,” Smith said. “They will only seek banks that are able to offer them this autonomy and versatility when it comes to payment wearables.”
Smith’s career includes work as a payment services consultant at American Express from 2000 to 2002, and at Accourt from 2002 to 2005. While at Mastercard, Smith facilitated the provisioning of Apple Pay.
“My name is on the patent!” she said.
By 2014, Smith was co-founding her own business at DIGISEQ and moving into a world in which traditional payment and banking models were about to be turned upside down by mobile apps, e-commerce, social networking and proliferating checkout concepts.
In the past six years, IoT has become one of the hottest areas in technology, with myriad projects that serve finance, payments and dozens of other consumer products. It’s become a major part of the discussion as payment companies and retailers discuss how IoT and other emerging technology fits together and serves consumers who are now accustomed to instant service.
“This freedom and added convenience will be normalized, and ultimately eliminate the necessity of a bank card at all,” Smith said. “Banks will likely transition from being the customer interface representative into the roles of service providers.”
It’s vital to be both confident in your own ability and demonstrating it in the workplace, but also keeping in mind that there's always room for further learning and personal growth, according to Smith.
“It's also crucial to not be afraid to try out new things, and not to let novelty deter you from ideas you truly believe in. In moments where you don’t have answers, don't be afraid to ask,” she said.
While the payments industry and fintech world have expanded, there has also been social progress, according to Smith.
“I definitely believe progress has been made when it comes to LGBTQ inclusiveness in the workforce,” she said, adding she sees a need to stop compartmentalizing individuals based on their sexuality, and not see people as a “type” or classification.
“Ultimately, we are just all people — whatever our race, creed, religion, sex, preference or religion,” Smith said.