Page 38 - Pay Magazine s2014
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Best Advice
“My dad always said: ‘I don’t care what you
do as long as you really love your job. You spend so much time away from family and spouse, so it’s important to love what you’re doing.’”
reeTika greWal
Head of Payments Strategy and Solutions, Silicon Valley Bank
companies & people
Women Driving Payments Change
At the intersection of banking and disruption, Reetika Grewal is front and center. Working for a bank that serves startups and their investors, she views the payments industry from a unique vantage point. “I love being in this position to help startups navigate the world of payments and to fuel the ecosystem of innovation and disruption,” Grewal says.
Her role is to focus on internal pay- ments strategy as well as working with SVB clients and partners to help get their solutions to market. She also heads up SVB’s partnership with MasterCard to run Commerce. Innovated, a startup accelerator.
The philosophy that fuels her work and her passion is the idea that you can change things. “You don’t have to accept the way things are, and that’s exciting.” Part of the
challenge is changing things within the regulatory framework and the network rules. “Payments is a multifaceted discipline,” she ex- plains. “There are the rails and rules around how to use them.
I am attracted to innovating within that framework.”
Hooked on Payments
Prior to joining SVB, Grewal worked in the payments strategy group for JPMorgan Chase and led strategy and partnerships at mobile banking company Clairmail, which was later acquired by Monitise. It was her first job out of business school—a rotational position within Wells Fargo where she worked in online banking and bill pay—that got her to the Bay Area and got her hooked on payments.
“Banks typically were the ones to drive new products to market, but
they’ve become so entrenched in the regulatory requirements since the Great Recession that they no longer have the bandwidth to innovate,” she explains. “Now you’ve got technology companies saying, ‘How can we do everything better and create a great consumer experience?’” Where SVB and Grewal come in is to help make sure those ideas turn into sustain- able models that are scalable and can be brought to market. “We’re trying to drive change. And, we have a great compliance depart- ment because they partner to find solutions, which changes the conversation.”
As for new trends shaping the industry, she’s keeping an eye on the Internet of Things—making payments from your car, refrigerator or your watch—and opportunities in B2B. “There’s a massive opportunity to do some really cool things to help businesses manage invoices and payments as well as in the alternative lending space,” she believes. “Although it’s not pay- ments directly, the IPO of Lending Club represents a tipping point— there’s so much going on across the board that really boils down to creating better experiences.”
For Grewal, balancing work and family is important and difficult. She and her husband and their two children, ages 6 and 9, get out to enjoy the Bay Area as much as possible. “When you love your job, you give it your all. I take on every new thing as a learning opportunity.”

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