Most Powerful Women in Finance for 2020: Diane Offereins, Discover Financial Services

President, Payment Services

In an increasingly competitive and technology-driven payments industry, Discover Financial Services continues to gain market share under the leadership of its longtime head of payment services, Diane Offereins. Last year, she presided over a business unit that saw substantial increases in total network volume — from $376 billion to $403 billion — and reached a global merchant acceptance tally of over 48 million locations.

In addition to setting Discover’s strategic direction and company culture, she successfully led the company’s most mission-critical technology initiatives, delivering improved value to customers and internal company stakeholders.

For example, by working closely with Discover’s fintech partners, her team was able to achieve considerable improvements to D-PAS, the company’s secure chip card payments technology, which now leverages on-chip data storage for a variety of nonpayment solutions, such as e-receipts, hotel keys, transit passes and loyalty programs.

Adapting a wider perspective has been a recurrent theme for Offereins: “When my team set ambitious long-term profitability goals for the business, we realized that we had to change our approach to growing the bottom line and design creative ways to deliver value,” she said. One way her group did that was by bringing in new minds and “stealing a few great folks” from other business lines within Discover.

During the height of the COVID-19 crisis, with more than 95% of its workforce able to conduct their tasks remotely, Offereins and her team were able to provide high-quality service with minimal interruptions. Still, Offereins acknowledged that home-centered work environments demand new perspectives on work-life balance.

“Working from home can quickly cause work and home life to bleed into one another. Encourage your remote workers to unplug, take a half-day when possible,” she said.

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