The payments industry has experienced a surge of innovation and new technology in recent years, and has been shaped as much by outsiders as it has by forces from within. Among those at the forefront of this change: 20 women who have reached impressive heights in a traditionally male dominated industry and have played a vital role in helping their organizations stay ahead of the curve.

Many have benefited from, or even started, programs to help other women advance in their careers. Others have carved their own path. All have risen through the ranks and taken on responsibilities for an industry that is redefining the very way we handle money. Digital currency, wearable technology, products that are reaching new categories of consumers – the world of payments has become a fast-moving place, making the successes in the industry all the more worth honoring.

The women recognized here represent banks, technology vendors, payments networks and other businesses. They come from government agencies such as Fincen and retail giants like Walmart. Their work also takes on an international scope, with many honorees responsible for projects on a global scale, such as using mobile technology and prepaid cards in new markets.

In alphabetical order, here are PaymentsSource's 2014 Most Influential Women in Payments. Click each name to view a profile of the honoree, or view a slideshow of everyone featured.

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