May 19, 2020

PCI Pal: providing data safety and security for its customers

Data Security
shark dodo
4 min
PCI Pal: providing data safety and security for its customers

Following the high growth of the fintech industry in 2019 and 2020 predicted to see the same, Business Chief sits down with Darren Gill, CRO, PCI Pal, to discuss industry trends.

Could you tell me a little bit about your company and your role at the company? 

PCI Pal is a leading provider of secure payment solutions for contact centers and other businesses that take Cardholder Not Present (CNP) payments. With an increase in data privacy regulations, as well as data breaches, it is becoming critical for businesses to ensure their customers’ sensitive payment information is secured. PCI Pal’s solutions provide that security by descoping the contact center so that this information never reaches a company’s environment and isn’t accessible to hackers and other bad actors. 

As Chief Revenue Officer at PCI Pal, I am responsible for managing the company’s global sales and partner engagement strategies as we continue to expand into new markets. Before that, I led the development of our partner program in North America.

What are the current trends within your industry? 

With the recent increase in high profile data breaches, consumer trust is at an all time low. In fact, 2018 research from PCI Pal revealed that 40 percent of American consumers are concerned about sharing their sensitive payment information over the phone, representing a significant problem for businesses that leverage the phone channel to make financial transactions. Speaking payment details over the phone used to be standard practice, but since it allows anyone on either side of the phone call to obtain private customer information, businesses will need to rethink their processes.

What makes your company competitive? 

Certified for seven consecutive years by the most stringent information security standard, PCI DSS c3.2.1, customers can feel assured their data is safe with PCI Pal. Because our entire product portfolio is served from the cloud, integrations with existing environments are simple and efficient, ensuring no degradation of service while meeting security and compliance requirements. We have also recently been recognized for our compliance solutions by the Cybersecurity Breakthrough Awards and CNP Awards. 


What innovations has your company been developing during 2019? 

We know how important it is for consumers to be able to interact with companies on their preferred digital channel, whether it’s on the phone, over email, SMS or social. Leveraging our extensive experience across the secure payments landscape, we’ve spent months strengthening and expanding our secure and compliant payment solutions to help organizations that take Cardholder Not Present (CNP) transactions to meet these needs. With PCI Pal Digital, businesses are able to provide customers with secure payment options across digital engagement channels, all from within the PCI Pal platform. PCI Pal’s technology ensures these channels are descoped from the requirements of PCI DSS, so that in the event of a data breach, customer information is protected.

What are your predictions for the industry in 2020? 

In 2020, businesses will continue to prioritize a digital first strategy that includes improvements to security and the customer experience. As a result, businesses will move towards the adoption of omnichannel secure payment solutions that enable them to take payments across any digital channel for Cardholder Not Present (CNP) transactions. This includes channels such as social media (e.g. Webchat, Whatsapp, Messenger), email and SMS. Furthermore, businesses will look to technologies that ensure these channels are secure and compliant with the requirements of PCI DSS, while retaining operational flexibility to engage in conversations with customers in the channels that work for the business.

Is there any exciting news you’d like to share with our readers at Business Chief USA? 

In addition to launching PCI Pal Digital to provide a true omnichannel secure payment solution for our customers in 2020, PCI Pal will continue its global momentum with new partnerships, product integrations and customers. Watch this space for more!

For more information on business topics in Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Canada.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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