Posted August 16, 2022 by FreedomPay

Women in Technology: Courtney Kelly Peters

In the US, women account for only a quarter (25%) of workers employed in Technology. FreedomPay’s Women in Technology series aims to inspire ambitious women globally to consider careers in Tech and motivate them to take on leadership responsibilities by giving strong, successful, and passionate women a platform to share their stories.

Courtney Kelly Peters is Vice President of Partnerships at FreedomPay, specifically focused on North America. Courtney has been named as one of the Top 50 Women Leaders of Pennsylvania for 2022 by Women We Admire, and as one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology in 2020 by The Financial Technology Report.

Courtney joined FreedomPay in April 2017, paving an unusual path to Tech Exec, from studying Human Nutrition and working in Hospitality to Sales and Partnerships. The mom-to-be shares her insights and inspiration.

What does your role involve?
I lead the Partnerships team to fulfill our company’s business development objectives around monetizing and optimizing relationships with potential and existing acquiring and integration partners. This involves setting partners up as referral resources, evaluating their businesses, and growing our partnerships. I also oversee our reseller channel, from business development and sales training to operational duties such as ordering hardware and setting up accounts.  I also do some direct enterprise sales that I’d been working for some time or have an interesting tech approach. I started in sales at FreedomPay around 5 years ago and like to hold on to a couple of direct deals myself.

Tell us about your unconventional path into Tech

I took an untraditional route. I studied human nutrition at undergrad and grad school, then moved to New York City and alternated between bartending and travelling the world for seven years. The interpersonal exchanges I had throughout those experiences hugely influenced how I socially interact with people and problem solve which ultimately impacted my ability to effectively transition into a Sales role. Then, I was hired by a leader in the Payments space to sell the same Point of Sale systems that I’d used as a bartender. Soon after, FreedomPay reached out to me on LinkedIn and the rest is history.

What do you like about working at FreedomPay?

I like being challenged. I’ve always been very competitive, so the challenge of trying to close a deal or learn something new motivates me. Being surrounded by so many intelligent peers with different ideas to share makes FreedomPay highly collaborative, motivating and engaging. This helps to strengthen the skills that can transform our employees into strong leaders and better allies.

I also love the people that work here – I’ve made some great lifelong friends and had great mentors along the way. Nate Ware has been instrumental in my personal career growth, but I also see how he elevates others on his team to be the best versions of themselves. It is a leadership quality that I strive to emulate.

How does FreedomPay encourage collaboration?

In my role, there is consistent overlap with client-facing and internal teams within FreedomPay. We all collaborate to create a fantastic customer and partner experience with our innovative technology and commitment to customer success.

At FreedomPay, all employees receive additional compensation through a pooled commission plan, which helps to drive collaboration even further. This unique program incentivizes project engagement and team pride in our achievements.  

All of this and more guide our strategic, cross-functional engagements, help set clear objectives and identify targets or areas for improvement. This helps move the needle faster.

What is it like as a woman in Tech?

I am glad to see the women becoming more interested and entering into these exciting and challenging tech careers. It is inspiring to see how the number of women in leadership positions in the sector and at FreedomPay specifically are growing through internal promotions and external hiring. We’re seeing an increase in women interested in moving into this space. We also have many allies, who empower our next generation of women leaders.

How can people be good allies to women in STEM careers?

Recognizing and elevating women with leadership and growth potential is changing the game. Women leaders are valuable, tending to lead with empathy and supporting their team members to elevate them and ensure everyone feels comfortable. If we continue to build these individuals into strong leaders, there is no stopping the inevitable transformation of the workforce.

Do you have any role models?

I’m going to become a first-time mother within the next month. I have recently found myself looking to women that have children and balance their families with their careers as role models

My own mother’s work ethic and dedication to our family have always inspired me.  As a working mom, she organically grew her career while raising three little ones with my father. She set the bar high for what it means to work hard for what you want while creating a wonderful life.

The women I find most inspiring and influential have the qualities that I try to portray myself with as a leader: confidence fueled by increased knowledge of technology and self-awareness.

I really admire some of the women at FreedomPay who work on the technical side. I’m in awe of Sam Wildonger. She’s around my age and her career progression in Technology has been inspiring. Watching her become a mother twice since she’s been at FreedomPay gives me hope because I was concerned about how being pregnant would impact my career. I worked hard to advance within FreedomPay and have different teams view me as a leader. I really didn’t want that to change. I spoke to Sam and that conversation shifted my attitude about moving into this next chapter of my life. She was quickly elevated to a new position just two months after she came back from maternity leave, and her success motivates me to be just like her.

Do you have any advice for girls and women that want to work in Tech?

Find your niche, what you’re great at. You don’t have to be an engineer, a coder, or work on the QA team to be a part of the experience that technology brings. There’s tech all around us, whether that’s our phones, laptops, or other devices.

You can get into Account Management or Project Management, or work with Implementations and Client Success. You can be the face of the business or sit further in the background and strategize. Those are all vital roles in Tech.

If you’re interested, always reach out and ask questions. That can sometimes be hard for women. It’s not easy to speak up when you don’t know something or missed the explanation but just ask. A lot of people are excited, happy, and interested in helping younger people, and women specifically, to grow their careers.

Why should women candidates choose FreedomPay?
There are a lot of internal allies at FreedomPay that are interested in helping women to be successful. Our collaborative culture values creative approaches to problem solving. We’re a very inclusive community where everyone’s thoughts and ideas are truly appreciated beyond just what their pronouns and beliefs are. It crosses cultures and religions. We get to know people on a personal level and it creates a strong bond in and out of the office. You’ll have a fantastic support system and an intelligent team.

Thank you, Courtney!

Are you interested in joining FreedomPay? We’re hiring. Visit our careers page today. FreedomPay is an equal opportunities employer, motivated to hire women and other underrepresented groups in STEM.

Posted April 29, 2021 by FreedomPay

Next Level Commerce: The Intersection of Business Intelligence and Analytics

Business Intelligence can empower merchants to adopt data-driven decision-making, but selecting the right BI solution to meet a company’s needs is not always as simple as making an A, B or C choice. There are factors to consider, including how a particular BI product improves decision making with a businesses’ data.

Making the right call can be the difference between a smart approach to increasing revenue and creating an enhanced consumer experience or continued struggles with siloed data that prevents growth. Jason Vargas, Product Owner of FreedomPay’s Business Intelligence solution, revealed that there is no magic to Business Intelligence, but rather strong data analysis powered by a smart integration with a company’s commerce platform.
When companies look for a BI solution, what they primarily desire is access to their customer data. By analyzing this data, companies become better equipped to implement informed strategies to take their business to the Next Level.

They initially need to answer the data availability question to progress to leveraging BI for insights.  This need is not always addressed with 3rd Party BI Products.  Often, industry BI Products focus on features and functionality as opposed to the data.  This may distract organizations from what is a much larger decision-making process.

“The more complex and innovative this industry gets, the more esoteric these solutions become,” Vargas said. “You’ll find these solutions get exasperated. Realistically, adopting BI is a cultural decision more so than a technical decision. And that is really the beginning of a journey that an organization is taking, as opposed to, ‘We are going to now buy something that is going to do something cool for us.’
After a company establishes a Business Intelligence solution need, it is critical to find a solution that integrates well with its commerce platform. FreedomPay’s BI solution works seamlessly through its Next Level Commerce™ platform to make the most out of a company’s data, and it ties in with the functionality of its other commerce payment tools.

When Business Intelligence is fully integrated into one’s commerce program, generating business enriching competencies such as BI Reporting, Enterprise Performance, and Data Driven Decision making is attainable, because the data is populated, curated, and analyzed into the areas a business chooses, not ones chosen by a BI platform vendor.  This in turn accelerates the journey from understanding to action via Loyalty Offers and other demand generation activities. 

BI as part of a Commerce Platform accelerates your journey to BI Maturity and puts the right tools in place for reaching your Next Level goals.

Posted September 23, 2020 by FreedomPay

Top 2020 Trends in Financial Technology

Named one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of 2020, Courtney Kelly Peters has positioned herself as a key influencer in the fintech space. Her ability to cultivate partnerships, opportunities, strategic relationships and innovative thinking continues to set her apart.

Courtney, Director of Business Development at FreedomPay, shares her thoughts on the leading fintech trends of 2020 and the impacts of COVID-19.

Touchless Commerce

Enabling an efficient, almost invisible interaction with consumers has been top of mind for merchants and consumers alike. With the sudden social and economic impacts of COVID-19, there was an immediate need to understand how to continue to drive revenue through new channels that were not previously prioritized such as eCommerce, or to reinvent the in-store checkout experience.

A successful eCommerce channel is important now more than ever. As the initial impact of COVID-19 has subsided, increased functionality as it relates to ecommerce platforms has opened up the discussion for most verticals.

Businesses are taking advantage of various new Touchless Commerce technologies to best serve the consumer. Virtual kiosks allow for order and payment right in the palm of your hand has helped to keep revenue flowing while providing a sense of safety and security during the pandemic.

Alternative payment types such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo and more allow the customer to easily convert cart to purchase with the payment type of their preference.

When shopping in store, more and more merchants in the US are looking to offer a completely touchless payment experience. Digital wallets are further gaining traction as well as QR-based payments that can be completed swiftly and securely right from your own device.

Business Intelligence

The payments ecosystem has been forced to evolve quickly over the past 6-12 months. There have been major shifts in consumer buying trends that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the associated technologies that support them.

Now more than ever, insight into who customers are and what they are purchasing is at heightened importance but appears to be quite fragmented when merchant look at an entire enterprise. With multiple commerce channels driving revenue potential, there is a growing lack of consumer insight into the full consumer journey.

A fully integrated Business Intelligence tool is key to data success. Merchants can now have a holistic view of the consumer journey, whether purchasing in-store or online. With the aggregation of data, a strong Business Intelligence tool can produce actionable insights at the press of a button – allowing merchants to push discounts and incentives at the point of purchase and much more.

While COVID-19 has been devastating to businesses across the globe, it has encouraged merchants to upgrade their technology to better meet the demands of the modern-day consumer. I expect to see continued innovation in the fintech space driven by advanced technology to facilitate a frictionless, safe and secure consumer experience.

Posted September 08, 2020 by FreedomPay

Struggling to Get Executive Buy-In for Business Intelligence? Five Ways to Get the C-Suite on Your Side

Here are 5 ways to convince stakeholders of Business Intelligence benefits

Securing C-level commitment for tech-investment is always a challenge. Strategic priorities, like business intelligence often get pushed off the board agenda by short-term challenges and stakeholder pain-points.

In some cases, it is simply hard to make them understand the competitive advantages of business intelligence. It is not a new IT-fad, the icing on their ‘digital-transformation-cake’, or a ‘nice to have’.  Instead it is now a critical requirement for all businesses that want to respond quickly to change – a prerequisite for survival in a post COVID-19 world. 

In fact, the right business intelligence solution can not only make businesses more successful but can also provide the insight they need to make many of the board’s operational headaches disappear.

What’s preventing the C-suite seeing business intelligence potential?

It may simply be a case of baggage – especially if they have had a bad business intelligence experience in their current role or in a previous organization. They may be anxious about poor ROI, failure to meet expectation, lack of in-house expertise, or creaking legacy systems. Perhaps the company already has a business intelligence system, but it may be outdated and with limited functionality.

They may also be unaware of current business intelligence advancements. These days, next level business intelligence solutions offer near real-time intelligence and rapid return on investment. Deployment over-the-cloud is fast and simple and integrated dashboards and tools make them easier to use and link to martech, finance and logistics.

So how do you shift the decision-maker mindset and build a winning case for business intelligence?

Here are five ways to bring business intelligence benefits to life:

1. Paint a new reality
Start by showing the board what a new, truly data-driven future looks like – and remind them that other organizations are already there. Then explain why your legacy platform simply can’t match this new ambition. Make it clear it is about taking the huge amounts of real-time data (SKU-level data) they already have and making it work even harder.

2. Fast-forward expectation
Old legacy business intelligence systems processed data in batches, so intelligence was historic. With a real-time business intelligence platform, you can move the clock forward and start making decisions based on real-time data. Ask your C-team if they are happy knowing what customers, resources and stock were like yesterday when they could see how things are across their operations, right now, today?

3. Secure a smooth business intelligence partner
Reduce decision-friction by making the business intelligence journey as smooth as possible. That means making sure you choose a partner with the expertise to set KPI, SLAs and ROI right from the start. They can help minimize disruption, optimize return and provide a migration path that lets you wrap around all your existing technology stacks (Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing etc.), and integrate third party data as well.

4. Create compelling use cases
Focus on areas that are important for your business and are already on the management agenda. Whether that’s getting customers to choose short-life or high-volume stock items, encouraging upselling, reducing queues and walk-aways, enabling in-the-moment personalized push-offers, keeping track of partner franchise operations, spotting fraudsters faster, or building feedback loops to support better product development. There is a myriad of ways to highlight the value of a new business intelligence system – just make sure they’re relevant! 

5. Show it is easy to get and share
Finally, illustrate how easy it is to get from ‘theory’ to ‘reality’. And emphasize that their buy-in and commitment is the first step to get there. Reassure them by demonstrating the dashboards, customizable fields and automated reports that help them dig deep into their business – across channels, locations, partners, and parameters. Let them see how easy it is to get the exact information they need and to share it with others.

To discover more about bringing the benefits of business intelligence to life for your C-suite, download our latest whitepaper: How to Unify Commerce Data into Actionable Next Level Business Intelligence

Posted July 22, 2020 by FreedomPay

Business Intelligence: Actionable Commerce Data

Why millions of merchants fail to manage and optimize their Business Intelligence

1. Stay on top of customer demands

With enhanced Business Intelligence and smarter understanding of transaction-level data, merchants can improve their visibility of product cycles. This is essential for reducing waste, streamlining business operations and reducing costs. Enabling smarter business intelligence is a great way to boost profitability without impacting service quality or user choice.

In today’s world advanced machine learning and modern tech is emerging to make understanding customer demands in near real-time easier. This revolution in Business Intelligence means that management and optimization of data will become second nature; it will be simple, just plug-in and play.

It will have a profound effect on strategic business decisions and for the end user.

2. Why should businesses boost promotion and cross-selling

Product-level insight enables businesses to improve market basket analysis and unlock previously unseen cross-selling opportunities. It is also more straightforward to analyse the impact of promotions and loyalty incentives more effectively. The results will predict and influence future behavior.

3. What can merchants do to exploit near real-time data to keep ahead of competitors

With near real-time data on products and stock units, businesses can also flag important trends as they happen. It suddenly becomes a lot easier to initiate a fast response to optimise an opportunity. Overall predictive services will be more accurate, and the business can operate initiatives like dynamic pricing strategies more effectively.

4. Build Business Intelligence feedback loops to support product development

Transaction-powered Business Intelligence that’s full of stock-keeping unit data gives businesses better visibility of factors like product performance, trends, and insights. With this kind of understanding, businesses can manage and market product offerings based on greater insights. They can also develop new products, create new product bundles and ultimately generate sharp uplifts in revenue. But surprisingly 87% of companies do not have business intelligence capabilities and tools.

5. Capture unexpected events and prevent fraud

Near real-time transactional data doesn’t just help businesses establish patterns for ‘typical’ behavior or product demand cycles. It also helps spot unexpected events, making it much easier to identify fraudulent activity. Equally, this capability can be used to catch and react quickly to a sudden spike in demand.

6. Learn how to explore fresh outlooks with third-party data

Finally, you can also synchronize your transactional data with other third-party data to achieve richer and contextualized analysis. Businesses can overlay transactional data with a third-party weather app to find out if the weather is triggering sales behaviors. Ultimately, you can use this kind of analysis to predict demand, drive seasonal promotion campaigns, and achieve a new level of profitability and efficiency.

To talk about how Business Intelligence can be used for your enterprise, or to discover more about Next Level Commerce™ click here.  

Business Intelligence Solution with transactional data report