Women in FinTech: Anna Sternicka
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In what will be the first of many blog posts, we have started the process of trumpeting Nethone’s female fraud fighters! We have a fairly large team ranging from developers, data scientists to customer success specialists (to name a few), and a large part of our team is made up of successful women in FinTech. We dedicate these posts to them, highlighting how despite the low percentage of women in global FinTech overall, they are at the core of creating and developing our advanced fraud solution as well as educating the wider world about its capabilities. Raising awareness of the successes of Nethone’s women can aid the process of gender equity. In the first of our blog series, we talk to Anna Sternicka, Nethone’s Senior Product Manager. Women in FinTech Nethone Fraud Fighters

Women in FinTech: Fraud Fighters with Experience

Anna, women in FinTech companies are still underrepresented in the senior workforce, with many working in Human Resources and Marketing positions. How do we go about encouraging women to seek more senior leadership roles and close the gender gap?

There is still a lot of work to be done in order to progress with gender equity, but definitely an increased awareness of the roles women play in FinTech is crucial. The process can be partly achieved through some simple actions such as providing role models and mentor programs to younger women who tend to stay away from what is perceived to be the male-dominated world of finance and technology. First and foremost, if we look at FinTech itself, it offers exciting new opportunities in payments and financing in an ever increasing digital world. FinTech already has a reputation for being an improvement on traditional finance and financial tech models, a fresh approach, so to speak, therefore, the industry itself should likewise provide an environment that allows women to nurture their career development.

If only 12% of senior positions are held globally by women in fintech, this needs to change in order to get away from the old male-dominiated structures of traditional finance.

We’re already making cutting-edge technology, so why shouldn’t FinTech companies have a cutting-edge approach to gender equality? FinTech companies should definitely be making waves in their approaches to women in senior positions - there are many talented women out there that can bring a lot of experience to the table.

Interestingly, at Nethone, women are found in numerous departments, including senior positions across the company. These roles range from product management, business development and customer success (read about the most common mistakes in eCommerce fraud prevention in F10 from our Head of Customer Success). We are all actively engaged in forging the company’s strategy and also developing our advanced fraud solution.

Please tell us a little bit about your role and how you engage with customers to help prevent fraud?

In the fast-paced age of continually updating software solutions, it is my role to oversee and ensure a smooth process for those wishing to implement and use the company's advanced fraud solution. The tech is advanced, requiring great skill to create it, but likewise great skill is needed to share the knowledge on how to use it effectively to protect eCommerce payments and financial transactions. It can seem daunting at first, especially when we use words like ‘artificial intelligence’ and ‘machine learning models’.

We know that potential and existing customers will at times have a fairly basic understanding of these concepts. Therefore, it is my role to ensure that we not only create a business strategy and develop solutions and new features for implementation, but that we hold workshops with customers in order for them to gain an insightful view into the fraud prevention solution we offer. This process will revolve around product discovery, story mapping, outlining the customer journey, product roadmap, exploring the buyer persona and much more. It’s great to educate eager customers on how advanced our capabilities are, but likewise, that we can provide such cutting-edge solutions in a human readable fashion. We share our knowledge, but we also have a customer-centric approach where we engage with customers, either informally or through feedback sessions to discuss any problems and solutions, and generally keep them informed and up to date. Empathy is a key tool in modern FinTech companies - a quality that should never be underestimated.

On this same theme, if a customer requires a solution to a specific problem, the likelihood is we will already have something in place that can be tailored to the customer’s needs. If, however, we do not have a solution at that time, this is where my team and I work to find a solution and create it. My team includes various skillful tech people from software engineers to data scientists that have great skill in creating new features that continually improve fraud prevention. Telling customers ‘sorry, we can’t help with that’ is not something we are used to, preferring instead to maintain our customer-centric approach. Not only does building a new solution to a specific problem provide value to customers, there is an added benefit to Nethone’s overall fraud capabilities. We are able to continually aid the evolution of our fraud profiling capabilities and machine learning models. It really is a win-win situation.

How do you envisage the role of women in FinTech in 10 years time?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning models are already a core of our business and in 10 years time, we can all just imagine how much more powerful these capabilities will become. All this tech talk may sound daunting at times, but the reality is, the opportunities within FinTech companies will rely on these advanced ML models to do a lot of the work of programmers etc. therefore, there will be an increased drive to employ people that will focus on business development, customer success and creativity/marketing with a strong emphasis on being empathetic while successfully marketing advanced fraud solutions. We already do this at Nethone, with empathy and emotional intelligence being a key trait we look for in people that join us. These qualities enable us to be a customer-centric company, going out of our way to ensure a positive customer experience (UX) from start to finish.

Do you have any final advice for women seeking to break into the FinTech industry?

Just go for it. Study hard, find the job positions you feel passionately about and, most importantly, become the driving force that speeds up gender equity. Don't be put off by areas of study or work (such as finance and technology industries) that have been traditionally male-dominated. There's still a long way to go until we reach gender equality, but raising awareness has been a great start. With the right leadership, and the right mindset, companies can help steer things in the right direction.


If you are interested in the topic of advanced fraud prevention solutions that can ensure a frictionless customer UX, or would simply like to know more about its capabilities, we are here to help.


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