Vice President of R&D and Open Innovation
As the global vice president of research and development for Visa, Scott Edington has a lot on his plate. Four years ago he was recruited to start up Visa Labs, the R&D arm of Visa that encompasses open innovation, research and develop- ment, and an incubator network. Every day, Scott works with world-class scientists, university research labs, tech incubators, and high-profile clients on revolutionary payment innovations.
What excites you about working for Visa?
Because of where Visa sits in the global payment ecosystem, I have the opportunity to do really impactful, invaluable things that affect the day-to-day lives of consumers using more than 2 billion cards globally. That fact keeps me up at night, but also motivates me to go to work every day.
What are the challenges of your position?
The sheer complexity of where we sit in the ecosystem. At some companies, if something fails, it’s not a big deal, and the customer can just press the “back” button on their browser. If we fail—if our transactions don’t go through, if we allow fraud to happen—that’s huge for us. At the end of the day, we can’t afford to have mistakes.
What perceptions of Visa would you like potential candidates to have?
Visa offers a unique value proposition. You’ll have the opportunity to work on meaningful projects that impact billions of people. Visa has 2.2 billion cards in existence, and in order for those cards to work, all 10,000 Visa employees must do their part.
What are Visa’s plans for the future?
We’ll continue to play a major part in the payments ecosystem and global ecosystem. Payments ideally should be frictionless. You shouldn’t think about whether you paid with your phone or a credit card; the focus should be on the compelling experience leading up to the purchase. We want that experience to be unique to the Visa customer. It’s an exciting time to be in the payments space, and we want to continue to lead the industry.