Digital disruption is rocking the payments industry. Whether by developing new products or platforms, tapping new markets, or introducing fresh use cases, virtually every company is trying to navigate the ever-shifting ways people interact with their finances, and how that’s changing the way they purchase.

From legacy players trying to crack the digital code to startups hoping to break through, payments firms are looking to come up with the next big thing that changes the face of the industry. And whether that’s a new way to pay in-store, cutting-edge digital banking features, payment integration into popular chat apps, or fresh features that can be used to buy or sell, an influential group of key players are leading the charge. 

BI Intelligence has identified 17 of these payments industry game changers — folks that are responsible for building products that solve major problems, the brains behind ideas that make payments easier and more seamless, and the forces behind industry-wide paradigm shifts in 2017.

nana murugesan headshotBI Intelligence1. Nana Murugesan, Vice President and General Manager, Services and New Business, Samsung Electronics America

  • Who he is: Murugesan, a Samsung veteran, works on a team that helps monetize and develop new business in the firm’s North American segment. Most notably, he runs Samsung Rewards, Samsung Pay’s wallet-specific rewards program, which launched in late 2016.
  • Why he’s changing the game: Mobile wallet adoption has largely stagnated in the US, leaving wallet providers scrambling to find ways to onboard new users and then keep those customers engaged in a fragmented ecosystem. Samsung Rewards, which rewards users proportionally based on how frequently they pay with the wallet, has done just that — since the launch, the wallet has seen a surge in monthly users, major gains in repeat usage, and daily transactions have doubled and set records. Though many wallets incorporate store-based rewards and loyalty, Samsung Pay’s program is the first wallet-specific platform, and will redefine the way wallets leverage loyalty to onboard and engage customers. 

Gordon Smith headshotLinkedIn2. Gordon Smith, CEO of Consumer and Community [...]