Diane Offereins
EVP, Payment Services, Discover Financial Services

SUch is the pace of the suddenly technology-soaked payments world that a wide-ranging conversation with one of the industry's most recognizable executives quickly morphs into breaking news.

"Today we announced we are teaming with Samsung Pay," says Diane Offereins, Discover Financial Services' executive vice president of payment services, during a phone interview in August. "There is a proliferation of mobile and the way it's changing things, especially in our business."

Offereins has been in her job for about a decade, and has worked for nearly three dozen years in the payments industry, dating to a time when these companies moved slowly on adopting innovations. That's obviously changed. Corporate titans like Apple, Google and Samsung are aggressively pursuing mobile payments, and EMV chip cards and a constant flow of new forms of digital commerce guarantee this week will be different from last.

The industry looks to how Discover responds to these changes given its scale as the world's third-largest acceptance network. What the company supports and when is big news, and it's Offereins' job to draw on her experience and technology expertise to cultivate new relationships and spot the next big thing.

That makes Offereins, who Discover says is the "face of the company" in its engagement with business partners, a pillar of the payments market. Her influence reaches the 1,000 largest U.S. merchants, 3,700 financial institutions that issue debit cards on Discover's PULSE Network, plus partnerships with merchant acquirers and new companies. (She also ranked as one of our Most Powerful Women in Finance last year.)

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