Over the course of our 16-year history, Income Access has evolved constantly – from our technology and marketing services to our partners and our team. A big milestone for us was joining the Paysafe family back in September 2016. Being part of a larger Group has opened-up new business opportunities.
Of course, with opportunity and expansion comes the need to streamline the bigger Income Access that’s resulted. Enter: Tara Wilson, our new General Manager, who joined us in the autumn from Paysafe.
Income Access (IA): Tell us about your background before joining the payments sector.
Tara Wilson (TW): I’ve worked in the tech sphere for almost 20 years. I started out working for an outsource company for Apple in Ontario. That’s where I really began to learn about best business practices and knowledge management.
IA: How did you move into the payments sector?
TW: Through a business connection, I was invited for an interview with a payment processing company here in Montreal back in 2003. I started in data entry, and developed a really solution-oriented mindset, focusing on constantly improving our processes. For example, with client install trainings, we didn’t really have a structured process, so I built that out.
I moved from managing the data entry side of the business to managing customer service and technical support. From that role, I really learned about strong customer service.
After five years, they made me Director of Operations, overseeing multiple departments, including retention. It became clear that we needed to establish clear processes to ensure customer satisfaction. We really started focusing on how to improve the customer journey. This involved developing reliable documentation for our teams to ensure that client issues were resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible. We standardized our customer service process so that every time a client contacted us, we’d be using the same information to fix the issue at hand.
IA: Can you tell us about your move to Paysafe and your role there?
TW: After over a decade’s experience in the payments sector and a 360-degree understanding of the company’s operations, an opportunity came up at Paysafe, then known as Optimal Payments.
I started out managing our Canadian payment processing Onboarding teams as well as customer and technical support. Within six months, I’d started managing the Account Management team, and after a year I was also managing the UK payment processing Operations teams.
IA: Tell us about your move to Income Access last autumn?
TW: Income Access had been part of the Paysafe family for about a year, and more and more opportunities were emerging to grow the business in new as well as existing directions. Because of both my work and leadership experience, I was considered internally to oversee this growth – taking a company that’s very good and making it great, to borrow from the title of the Jim Collins business book.
I’m looking to maximise that growth in 2018 by making our processes even more effective. This involves us better understanding our clients’ business needs to then address those needs as efficiently as possible. Under my leadership, I’m planning for Income Access to not only keep its number-one spot in the gaming marketing tech space – but consolidate it.
IA: Given your background, can we expect more IA business initiatives with our Paysafe business units?
TW: My relationships at Paysafe – across payment processing, account management and other business units – are helping us to build more cross-Group synergies. Going forward, we’re looking to more deeply integrate the Income Access technology with other Paysafe products, including our NETELLER and Skrill digital wallets. We now have the opportunity to serve a client with many different products, services and features.
IA: Looking at Income Access specifically, what are your plans over the next year?
TW: We have a very solid foundation in place, and are partnering with many new merchants each month. But there are areas of opportunity for us to improve by investing in building on our processes and systems.
Over the last three months, the so-called “first 90 days” of management, I’ve been scoping areas of improvement, such as enhancing our CRM tool.
This company has a strong reputation for customer service, and I’m also here to invest in our people. That means ensuring our team are focused on business goals, but also that they have fun at work, and enjoy their workday. If you invest in your employees, the rest will follow, including stronger client relationships.
Success in a business comes from the people in that business being engaged and feeling they’re part of the solution. A recent article I read argued that just 5% of employees’ time should be spent on the problem and 95% on the solution – I want us to keep being that solution-oriented company.
IA: What sort of a leader are you?
TW: The reason I feel that people trust me and follow me is that I’ve sat in every one of their seats – I’m not someone who rolled-out of college and immediately got an executive position. Because I come from there, I relate to people from the frontline as well as middle and senior management.
IA: You’re heading to ICE and the London Affiliate Conference this week. What are your thoughts ahead of the events?
TW: It’s my first time at ICE and LAC! I’m really excited for the opportunity to meet our loyal clients and newer partners, and get a pulse on what’s working for them as well as feedback on their business needs and how we can better support them.