Nicole Baxby: On a mission to revolutionize financial services
Last month, we spoke with Laura Hunter, principal program manager in Microsoft’s Azure Management division. This time around, our special guest is Nicole Baxby, an account director at Featurespace, a technology company which helps banks, insurance companies, and gaming organizations prevent fraud.
Having earned a bachelors degree in political science from Columbus State University, Nicole has more than 13 years of experience in the financial technology (fintech) industry. Now, she spends her time working directly with financial institutions, helping them leverage machine learning solutions to fight fraud.
Keen to learn more about Nicole, we quizzed her on a range of different topics: Her involvement with Money20/20’s inaugural Rise Up leadership program, and the exciting developments that will shape the financial services sector in the coming years.
Trulioo: I understand you’re somewhat of an expert when it comes to the payments sector – you’ve forged an exciting career for yourself. How did that come about?
Nicole: I started working for Total System Services (TSYS) in 2005 as a client issues analyst, which was a great introduction to learning about technology platforms. I had an opportunity to move to the U.K. with TSYS, which gave me the opportunity to work as a banking consultant in Europe. “#Fintech consulting is a fantastic way to gain industry insight and understand decision-making processes – @nicolebaxy” Fintech consulting is a fantastic way to gain industry insight and understand the forces that drive the many decision-making processes within financial institutions” – @nicolebaxby.
Trulioo: What do you think is in store for financial services in the future?
Nicole: I think the current landscape of major financial services will likely experience change largely due to the amount of innovation and disruptive technologies within the fintech space. Organizations that have strategies to incorporate newer technologies, such as AI and machine learning, and are prepared to apply these innovations in new ways, will likely do better than those that are less prepared to face their customers’ changing expectations. There is also a more concerted effort to work together to deliver convenience, without sacrificing security; as we move forward, I think we will continue to see fintech and financial services partnerships in order to deliver great customer experiences.
Trulioo: Can you tell me a little about the Money20/20 Rise Up Leadership Program?
Nicole: Rise Up is a leadership accelerator program, envisioned by Money20/20’s president – Tracey Davies – to address the lack of gender diversity in the senior management ranks of fintech companies. Out of more than 500 applicants, 35 women were selected to participate in a dedicated track at Money20/20, where we collaborated and learned from some of our industry’s most influential leading women. The program also provides mentorship and opportunities that extend beyond Money20/20, delivering ongoing benefits and further driving empowerment.
Trulioo: What is the biggest challenge that women are currently facing within the tech space?
Nicole: “Women are more likely to experience ‘imposter syndrome’ than men; we tend to doubt our own ideas – @nicolebaxby.” Women are more likely to experience ‘imposter syndrome’ than men; we tend to doubt our own ideas and capabilities, and subsequently our achievements” – @nicolebaxby. Taking part in the Rise Up Leadership Program showed me that, while doubting yourself is normal, it can be overcome by getting out of our heads, recognizing our worth and taking risks. This has been proven by the most successful women in all industries and we must continue fostering that bold, pioneering spirit.
It is also important to support other women across the industry and to find ways to advocate for each other, whether it be in meetings, through sponsorship, or encouraging our organizations to adopt conscious inclusion practices.
Trulioo: If you had to sum up your personal mission in one sentence, what would it be?
Nicole: Hard work, innovation, and authenticity will always win.
Trulioo: Lastly, if you gave a Ted Talk about banking or financial services, what would the title be?
Nicole: Disruption is Coming: How Women are Changing Politics and Professions
To learn more about Nicole and keep up to date with what’s she doing, follow her on Twitter.
If there’s a female trailblazer that you’d like to see featured in our Women in Tech blog series, please send your suggestions to [email protected]. Check out our previous posts here and stay tuned for the next installment!