In an industry that affects the entire world, it’s no wonder that diversity is a deciding factor in the success of the companies involved with payments. Today, the opportunity for innovation and change are seemingly endless and many organizations, from banks to fintech startups, are in a constant race against time to provide the best and most secure solutions. Payments industry players, old and new, are tasked with finding solutions that meet security standards, address consumer demands for convenience and speed, and help businesses continue to grow. With so many factors to consider, companies are learning to embrace the diversity of the payments industry and encourage more diversity in their workforce.
An Inherently Diverse Industry
Gone are the days of the age-old question: “Paper or Plastic?” Today’s mix of payment options only continues to grow, and rightfully so. As the menu of payment and banking technology continues changing, the organizations responsible for providing these solutions are challenged with accommodating payer and payee needs. Besides just the considerations of consumer and merchant demands, there are other important factors to consider:
- Business size
- Transaction amounts and frequency
With so many things to consider, companies in the payments industry are always under pressure. In order to address their challenges, many companies have made commitments to encourage and embrace diversity throughout their entire organization.
PayPal Practices Demographic Transparency
After much criticism for having a founding team that many called the PayPal mafia, the eCommerce giant new they had to do better after becoming independent again in 2015. In August 2016, PayPal made the announcement that they would begin a “journey” to creating a work environment that “reflects the world we live in and celebrates the incredible variety of experiences, capabilities, talents, backgrounds, and interests” of their employees. They stated their mission to “reimagine money and democratize financial services so that managing and moving money is a right for all citizens, not just the affluent.”
As a first step, the company publicly shared the state of their workforce demographics. The report was actually more promising than most expected from the tech company. It also allowed the company to be very transparent about how they would continue to improve their work environment. Among the promises were a mentorship program for women and strengthening relationships with organizations dedicated to diversity in the tech industry.
Gravity Payments Faces Criticism Head-On
Earlier this year, POS and payment service provider, Gravity Payments came under fire for an apparent lack of diversity in their staff. In response, the company chose to let their actions speak louder than words” and publish a six-part content series on how they are embracing diversity in many ways. The series highlighted diversity from their employees’ perspectives, put a spotlight on how Gravity contributed to the success of an organization dedicated to human rights, and even explicitly stated all the initiatives within the company that specifically influence diversity.
A Constant Balancing Act
Payments professionals are no stranger to evolution or the complexity involved in creating solutions for a large group of consumers. While many companies have tried generalizing their approach to providing the right apps, software, or hardware, none have been successful with this tactic. Even the largest companies, including Visa and Mastercard, understand that to have continued success they must consider perspectives and ideas from as many walks of life as possible. Innovation is key in the payments industry and in order to best innovate, the companies involved must be inclusive and diverse by design to address the many people their solutions touch.