Women in payments - exclusive interview with Daria Rippingale, BillPro

Monday 10 September 2018 09:31 CET | Interview

The Paypers has sat down with Daria Rippingale, BillPro’s CEO, to discuss the challenges and opportunities for women in payments

Daria Rippingale will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming European Women in Payments Network Annual Event, the only Pan-European Conference specifically focused on championing for diversity (gender/cultural/age/race etc.) in fintech and Payments. EWPN will be hosting the second Annual Conference & Awards on 15th-16th October 2018, in Amsterdam, featuring interactive panels, deep-dive workshops, and plenary sessions with industry female leaders.

What is your role within BillPro and what was your professional background before joining the company?

I have been CEO of BillPro since 2012. In addition to my CEO responsibilities, I am directly responsible for the future vision and commercial strategy of the business. I started in BillPro as the second employee, managing the commercial development of the company - specifically in terms of building the brand, banking relationships, and sales strategy. After 3 years, I was promoted to the role of CEO, which I have held for 6 years. Before joining BillPro, I was working in a Marketing and Sales strategy role at another payments organisation, where I built the foundation of my industry knowledge.

What do you think is the main reason for the gender inequality in payments and what can be done to motivate women working in this industry?

The payments industry is not unique in gender inequality. Unfair or unequal treatment, such as lesser employment, promotion and salary opportunities, exists for women across all areas of business all over the world. Couple this with the fact that Payment Companies have traditionally been technology (IT) and Finance driven (previously male-dominated industries), these issues have and will continue to be apparent.

Fortunately, the payments industry is also highly evolving (to stay ahead of regulatory and payment technology changes) and so is likely a bit more progressive than more traditional areas of banking and finance. Time will help, but I believe the biggest driver for workplace equality will be the younger generations entering the workforce. These generations have grown up in a much more open and equal world, where traditional gender stereotyping no longer has such a large impact on professional choices (enrollments into many technical university degrees are now closing 50/50 of men to women). I think that we will see a huge shift specifically in the payments industry due to this trend in the coming 5 years. Special shout out to Iceland for making it illegal for women to be paid less money at the start of this year!

What can be done to motivate female individuals making tremendous contributions to the payments industry and how can organisations and companies help in promoting diversity and inclusion in the financial industry?

There can be a fine line between championing and pandering, and I think it is very important to hit the right mix when motivating women for success. Women need to be recognised and rewarded, just like anyone else, but for their successes in their own right, not because they are women. Furthermore, the focus needs to be on the merits of their achievements. Women seeing women championed for their success, with no regard for their gender, is one of the biggest motivators for young women today.

In terms of promoting diversity in the industry, there are some easy steps that could be taken to try and break the image of payments as a realm of male domination. Increasing the number of women speakers at major industry events sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s still something event-coordinators struggle to do. Organisations like EWPN are playing such a vital role in breaking these patterns, not only by empowering women, but also by promoting women in the payments industry who deserve recognition, who would be overlooked, in many cases, by their male counterparts.

How does the EWPN help women in overcoming the challenges they face in the payments industry? 

The impact that EWPN has in campaigning for equal gender opportunity and promoting professional success is priceless. EWPN is the first organisation that is truly dedicated to supporting and championing the success of women in the payments industry, based on their professional merit, not just their gender.

The group also promotes the benefits to companies for including women in high-level roles, focusing on achievements major payments companies have gained from having women in leadership positions. 

However, the real benefit of the EWPN is their focus on inclusion and growth through shared experiences and understanding. The EWPN events highlight and discuss, openly and honestly, the issues we all face. They are a platform for like-minded women to collectively support and problem solve together to achieve the equality deserved in the industry.

What developments have marked this year so far in payments and what do you anticipate in changes for the next 5 years in the payments market?

Open banking and PSD2 have clearly been the most significant events to unfold this year. We are seeing a variety of actions and reactions by banks and it is becoming very clear who is ready and who is not.

I do not believe that traditional banks will disappear but we will start to see their role change over the next five years. We are already seeing a wide variety of new industry segments opening up with supporting services and digital infrastructure for banks, but I see that more new players will emerge to support fintechs, especially as banks are still finding their way in this new paradigm.

In terms of market developments that affect Women in Payments? I’m going to harp on about Iceland together and their legal mandate on equal pay. Get yourself together, rest of the world!

What are your expectations on this year’s event and what key topics do you plan to address and why?

I am really looking forward to meeting and learning more about other women who are achieving great things in our industry and more creative and innovative ways that women find to address these gender issues and propel their careers. Personally, I want to champion the idea of women empowering themselves with knowledge - as cliché as it is, knowledge is power, and it cannot be diminished, even by the biggest of egos (of either gender).

About Daria Rippingale

Daria has been CEO of BillPro since 2012 and has lead the company’s expansion over multiple continents, while attaining the regulatory status and licensing to become a direct acquirer and fully passported Payment Institution across Europe. Daria is a solution focused business leader who constantly challenges processes to drive innovation. She has developed and implemented a revolutionary onboarding platform that has transformed BillPro’s efficiency and has enabled the business to take risk management and onboarding to the next level. This system, which won the Award for Best Onboarding Solution at MPE 2018 in Berlin, has the potential to transform risk management throughout the entire payments industry.

About BillPro

BillPro is a credit card acquirer and licensed European Payment Institution (offering secure payment solutions to businesses of all sizes globally). BillPro offers Visa, MasterCard, Carte Bancaire, JCB and Amex acquiring, along with a number of alternative payment methods. BillPro is a Swift, SEPA and clearing house member and issues multi-currency IBANs and payment accounts to businesses and individuals worldwide.

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Keywords: Daria Rippingale, BillPro, EWPN, payments , European Women in Payments Network Annual Event, PSD2, Open Banking, payments , bank, fintech
Countries: World