March 26, 2024 | 5 min read

We’ve seen the future and it’s powered by Women

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While many dedicate the month of March to celebrating women’s achievements, in the world of payments innovation women are making history all year round. From thought leaders to business leaders, there’s no shortage of amazing women transforming the financial landscape. 

And women are shown time and again to be the biggest adopters of modern technology. Our recent research of 1,500 US consumers in January 2024 found that 34% of women were using their mobile wallets on a weekly basis, compared to 24% of men.  

Shockingly, 50% of men said they had never used a mobile wallet to make payments. But this fell to 35% when women were asked the same question. 

Three women shaping modern financial experiences

Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive women changing the financial innovation world today. First up is Anne Boden, founder and former CEO of Britain’s Starling Bank, a challenger proposition that is redefining user experiences. 

A true trailblazer in what has traditionally been a male dominated industry, Boden built Starling from scratch following a career in retail, business and corporate banking. She lays claim to being the first woman to launch a British bank and once told Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper: 'When women master technology they tend to rise to the top very quickly because they have greater empathy.' 

Since launching Starling, Boden has written two impressive business books - the first about the journey of building a challenger bank. This book isn’t a dry and hard going read. Banking On It: How I Disrupted an Industry and Changed the Way We Manage Our Money Forever is a suspense-filled page turner.  

Boden’s latest title, the Female Founders’ Playbook, is hot off the press. It brings together the wisdom of a small battalion of successful women entrepreneurs and investors, including Romi Savova, Zandra Moore, Joanna Jensen, Christy Foster, Alex Depledge, and Jenny Campbell among others. It’s well worth a read.

The recovering banker and why it’s time to move on

Another power player subverting convention in financial services is Leda Glyptis. Alongside a busy career spanning two decades with organizations like 10x Banking, Flagstone, SimplyPayMe, and Smarter Contracts, Glyptis has also found time to become a respected commentator and author in the space. 

In a recent article on The Banker website, she had the following to say about technology transformation at financial institutions: “It is time to clean up the mix and remove systems that are no longer fit for purpose. Consign them to museums of technology as tools that served us well, but are no longer relevant.”

In fact this is a theme that recurs in her new book, Bankers Like Us: Dispatches from an Industry in Transition. In exploring the question of why digital innovation is proving challenging to the industry, Glyptis, who describes herself as a ‘recovering banker,’ explores everything from corporate structures to human psychology. 

However, she brings the narrative to a positive conclusion by providing insights as to what the future could bring with a little bit of grit and determination.

An embedded prophet: the woman who predicted the evolution of payments

Finally, we come to Sophie Guibaud, co-founder of Fiat Republic and co-author of Embedded Finance, When Payments Become an Experience, more details on which can be found here.

Guibaud impresses with her business acumen and thought leadership but also due to her ahead-of-the-pack foresight on embedded finance and how it would go on to transform payment experiences. In fact she began working in this area in 2015, when many were focused on the idea that fintechs were going to replace traditional banks. 

The technology has since been adopted by Big Tech players like Google and Amazon, with the latter’s store proposition defining embedded payments in a bricks and mortar setting, in Guibaud’s opinion. And this brings us to her key insight on embedded finance: experience not revenue has to be the primary focus when it comes to building a proposition. 

It’s a sentiment that certainly speaks to Boden’s assertion that women display greater empathy. 

So, where to next? Well, we’ve got two more coming up in this series. Next blog we talk about 3 more influential women in business..

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