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Women in Tech Spotlight - Tracy Cray


Tracey Cray - Women In Tech HDX Global Blog

HDX Global is pleased to introduce a series of interviews to celebrate women in the payments and tech industry.

 

In our second instalment we chat to Tracy Cray - Managing Director of UK and Europe Operations, Chargebacks911


Tracy Cray is a seasoned professional with over 37 years of extensive experience in the Credit, Prepaid, and Debit Card Payments Industry, specialising in Chargebacks and Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Tracy's career highlights include leading the chargebacks and disputes department at NatWest, where her team of 250 received platinum awards for their world-class chargeback operation.


Currently serving as the Managing Director of UK and Europe Operations, Chargebacks911. Tracy leverages her deep understanding of card schemes and strong industry relationships to provide expert advice and assistance to issuers, acquirers, and merchants in navigating chargeback handling. She is also well-versed in consumer law and EU Directives, providing invaluable expertise to internal and external stakeholders.


Tracy's involvement extends beyond her role at Chargebacks911. She actively participates in industry meetings, speaks at scheme conferences, and chairs collaborative industry groups like the UK Experts Chargeback, Compliance & Rules Group. Through these groups, Tracy aims to standardise chargeback rules, promote efficient issuer-acquirer relationships, and advocate for fair practices benefiting both customers and merchants.

 

Her passion for empowering positive change aligns with her interests in the Fraud, Payments, Merchant-Issuer, and Women in Payments & Fraud groups. Tracy's extensive regulatory knowledge, coupled with her practical experience in managing and applying regulations, makes her a valuable asset to these groups. Despite facing personal challenges and industry biases, Tracy's resilience and passion have driven her successful career, making her an invaluable contributor to the payments and fraud industry.

 

Overall, Tracy Cray's blend of expertise, leadership, and advocacy makes her an ideal candidate for membership in various industry groups, where she can continue to drive meaningful change and contribute to the industry's growth and integrity.


Here Tracy gives us an insight into her career.


How would you describe your experience within the industry?


"Throughout my 37-year career in the payments industry, I have seen incredible transformations in the way people transact with one another. If you think about it, up until the last century, commerce has been rather traditional: you would visit a merchant, provide them with physical currency, and receive your product. This was the transaction process for thousands of years.


Today, there are hundreds of ways to view, buy, and receive goods or services. With these different methods of transacting came the need to oversee and protect consumers, so while commerce itself is a traditional pastime, payments today are anything but traditional. This, to me, is enjoyable, as there are always new changes being made, problems to be solved, and common ground to be found all in the name of fair and honest transactions.


My colleagues, especially women, understand that to amicably solve disputes that arise between merchants and their customers requires a level of empathy and understanding. I think as the payments industry continues to evolve, there will be even more opportunities for those like myself who find joy in simplifying new, complex processes, and there’s no shortage of that within payments."


During your career how have you seen changes regarding women working in the industry?


"Over the years, I've witnessed significant changes in the representation of women within the payments industry. While it was once predominantly male-dominated, there's been a notable increase in the number of women occupying key roles and driving innovation within the sector. This shift is encouraging and reflects the industry's growing recognition of the value and contributions of female professionals.


The payments industry today is much, much bigger than pounds and pence, or dollars and cents. There are many opportunities that require professionals with more than a quantitative skill set. These sectors within payments, including dispute resolution, need human oversight and emotional accountability; they need empathy and understanding. Especially with new, emerging payment methods and the explosion of digital currencies, there are nuances where fair and balanced outcomes are required."

 

Do you think there are any developments which are key right now and coming to the fore?


"One key development that's gaining prominence is the increasing focus on consumer protection regulations and fraud prevention measures for alternative payment methods. With the rise of digital transactions and eCommerce, there are a number of new ways consumers can facilitate transactions. With these emerging payment methods, ensuring secure payment processes and safeguarding consumers' interests are becoming more paramount than ever.


For example, some new payment methods like peer-to-peer payments lack any sort of protection mechanism, much like credit cards have the chargeback process to protect cardholders. We must make sure that as an industry, we are confident that the new methods of payments are well equipped to protect both consumers and merchants, and that we’re not sacrificing security for convenience."


What would you say to women coming through the payments industry?


"To women entering the payments industry, I would offer the following advice:


  1. Embrace opportunities for continuous learning and professional development. Stay updated on industry trends, regulations, and emerging technologies to remain competitive, adaptable and indispensable.

  2. Build strong networks and seek mentorship from experienced professionals, both within and outside your organisation. Collaborating with peers and mentors can provide valuable insights, support, and career guidance. For example, at Fi911, we have the LIFT mentorship program, which puts women looking to break into the fintech industry in contact with a mentor of their choice to ask questions and seek guidance about general or specific issues or challenges they may be facing.

  3. Don't be afraid to assert yourself and advocate for your ideas and contributions. Trust in your abilities and seize opportunities to showcase your expertise and leadership potential. Remember that diversity and inclusion are essential for driving innovation and driving positive change in the industry, and your viewpoint can offer value to leadership."




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