41. Francoise Brougher, global business lead, Square
Francoise Brougher (@square) is Jack Dorsey’s not-so-secret weapon to lead business development at Square. Google veteran Brougher is known for her blunt, no-nonsense style, and she is often compared to Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. She’ll need to lean in to take on Square’s challenges, which are considerable. The company is still in the process of pivoting from a consumer play to serving businesses, and Brougher’s data-driven approach and analytical discipline will be required. The company seems to come up with new and creative consumer plays all the time. Square, as always, is in an interesting position. Is it headed for an IPO? Can Jack Dorsey serve a meaningful role as dual-CEO of Twitter and Square? Brougher will play a critical role as Square moves forward.
42. Brian Roemmele, founder & CEO, 1st American Card Service
Brian Roemmele (@brianroemmele) is working on revolutionizing payments 140 characters at a time. A consultant, Roemmele is “in” payments. He called out Google for its errant strategies long before anyone else, wielding his Twitter feed, arguably the most enlightening feed in fintech, as a weapon. Roemmele has clients in the space, so he often hears about negotiations before they are publicly known. This gives him the time to understand the ramifications of moves within the payments sector, which increasingly looks like a three-dimensional chess game played on smartphones. That he expresses such pointed views in little more than a tweet or two is astounding, and that makes Roemmele someone to follow, in more ways than one.
43. Ohad Samet, founder & CEO, TrueAccord
Alternative lenders abound, but what lies on the other side of lending? Only the thorniest, most painful area of regulatory compliance for lenders: collections. Ohad Samet (@ohadsamet), formerly chief risk officer for Swedish payments company Klarna, got the idea when a late payment on his Macy’s card came back to haunt him. He built TrueAccord to be an alternative collections company mirroring alternative lending. The experience is online-only (unless the customer chooses to receive calls), and transparent. Samet believes behavioral analytics can help improve the experience for customers, and perhaps even — shocking thought — keep them as customers of the institution at which they’re overdrawn.
44. Bob Steen, CEO, Bridge Community Bank
Bob Steen (@bsteen1947) personifies innovation from traditional banks. Based in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, Steen’s bank was the first in the country to institute biometrics to authenticate customers in the branch. (How often do you hear “biometric” and “branch” in the same sentence?) He was also a loud and passionate advocate of faster payments long before it was part of the national conversation, and now sits on the Federal Reserve’s faster payments task force steering committee. “Many bankers don’t put a proper value on payments revenue,” Steen said. “The community bank’s role has to be connected to a payments solution.” Community bankers wondering how they can keep up in the fast-paced world they find themselves in should hearken to Steen’s example.
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