How to Get a Job in the Payments Industry in 2020

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April 13, 2024 at 6:47PM UTC
There's an entire industry that allows you to swipe a credit card and buy an item — a quickly evolving industry full of new technologies, mergers and acquisitions and a wealth of professionals making their mark on the booming field. But what exactly is payments and how can we expect it to change in 2020? 
Genevieve Dozier, a Client Business Executive at Fiserv with over 13 years of experience in the industry, spoke to Fairygodboss about the basics of payments, trends in the industry, and how to get a job at a payments company. In 2019, Dozier was recognized on the ETA 40 under 40  list, based on her impact and her professional character. She was also elected to participate in the Money 2020 program. Here's what we learned from her extensive experience in the field. 

How does the payments industry work?

The payments industry is massive and comprised of multiple payment products that allow electronic payments to be made. 
According to Dozier, "payments start at the point of sale... the way you (the consumer) pay." Once a consumer inserts their card or taps their phone, the payment services provider — which has an account with the merchant — sends the transaction information to the payment processor. The processor transmits the transaction information to the card association that is associated with the card the consumer used. The card association then contacts the issuing bank to ensure there are proper funds on the card. Then, your transaction is approved or declined. Yes, all that happens in those split seconds you wait at the store! 
Different companies "own" the separate steps of the payments process and operate as businesses accordingly, usually depending on a certain channel of revenue. 

What are channels in the payment industry?

So, what are the channels in the payment industry? According to Dozier, there are three primary channels: 
  1. B2C or merchants, who sell to consumers and process consumer payments. 
  2. B2B or merchant service providers, who sell their payment services to merchants to enable sales. 
  3. C2C or software companies that enable consumers to pay other consumers electronically, such as PayPal 
Careers in the payments industry may look different depending on which channel your team or organization operates in. You may be a B2C marketer at PayPal, a B2B account executive at Fistserv or a IT Manager at a merchant and still work in the payments industry. 

What are payment products?

Payment products are specific services or utilities that a merchant services provider or bank provides to its customers. 

10 payments industry trends in 2020

1. Digital consumer-to-consumer apps will continue to grow in prominence, limiting even further the use of cash and check. 

2. E-commerce will continue to attract a rising share of retail purchases, chipping away at brick and mortar systems. 

3. The user base of mobile wallets will rapidly expand. 

4. Providers will feel a pressure to diversify and take large bets to retain market share amid the mega-giants created by 2019's mergers and acquisitions. 

5. New entrants will shake up the space and force innovation as traditional companies compete with the resources and agility of tech giants like Apple and Google. 

6. New types of fraud, enabled by new and increasingly digital payments technologies, will change data security and privacy practices. 

7. As globalization of payments increases, non-commercial entities, such as government entities, will have an increasing role in shaping the payments ecosystem. 

8. Payments teams will need to invest in agile, technology-literate and customer-focused talent to fulfill the unique, increasingly digital and ever-changing needs of customers and retain business. 

9. There will be an increased competition between closed and open payment platforms as consumers continue to decide which experience they value. 

10. There will continue to be talent and process fallouts from the large mergers and acquisitions that occurred in 2019.

How to get a job in the payments industry in 2020

Interested in a job in payments, especially in this exciting time of new talent practices? Dozier says the industry is made up of people of different backgrounds and there are many transferable skills that would make you primed for the switch. She emphasized that a certain degree is not required to work in payments (her degree is in Fashion Design and Business). However, there are some courses that may be useful to educate yourself further on the industry. The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) offers courses to earn an ETA CCP or Certified Payment Professional credentials. Dozier also suggests attending webinars on the Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions website
More urgently, Dozier suggests demonstrating certain skills and attitudes, including problem solving ability, a sense of urgency, good communication, empathy, organizational skills, time management, analytic ability and research skills. 

To learn more about the payments industry, watch our webinar here

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