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How Janie Gordon Is Making the Whole World Ready for Real-Time Payments

The fintech industry is accelerating money movement, and the incredible pace of development is fueled by real-time payments.

“I think COVID accelerated that transformation on an exponential curve,” says Janie Gordon, ACI’s head of commercial operations. “There’s going to be a whole series of new apps and new ways to pay that are incubating right now that are coming, and we want to be the back end of that. We want to be the processor.”

Janie’s team oversees the experience that begins right after sales has brought new a customer into the partnership.

“As soon as it becomes technical and it becomes real, we deliver it for them all the way through implementation,” she says. This means her operations team works closely with customers on challenges and requirements unique to their company, country and region of the globe.

Janie is new to ACI, but only a few months into her tenure here, she’s already working on two massive and future-making projects.

The first is regionalization. She’s working to align her organization with the sales teams that are driving sales in the same region, as well as with the account managers looking after those customers. Every region has specific needs, and every country has its own rules and regulations, which require unique customizations.

This may sound like bureaucracy, but really, it’s the modernization of banking systems so that they can connect to global networks.

“If you look at the emerging markets, and you look at what I would call the cutting-edge markets – they’re totally different in their needs, their platforms, and their interests.”

As markets mature, countries bleed into regions and regions into continents.

“Look at what’s happening in South America,” she says. “They are beyond emerging. They are starting to operate like a continent, not just a collection of countries. They’re saying, ‘How do we optimize payments between countries, how do we look at this ecosystem holistically?’” It’s Janie’s job to build that ecosystem.

Her next project – and perhaps the most consequential – is scaling the business and leading the way for a new model in real-time payments: software as a service (SaaS). SaaS is not common in real-time payments, and ACI is at the forefront of this technology.

“A lot of banks are deciding how far they’re going to go as SaaS, how far they’re going to go with managing services, how much of the cloud they’re willing to consume,” Janie says.

The appetite is there for managed service in real-time payments, and Janie says ACI is building and evolving as quickly as possible to meet demand.

“Think about it: Do I, as a bank, want to build a data center? Do I want to reinvest and refactor a data center? Do I want to do any of that stuff? Or does it make sense to say, ‘I’m going to go to ACI and let them run the whole thing for me’?”

The speed of development, and the fact that ACI is leading the industry in making real-time payments accessible, is exactly why this moment is so important.

“This is a fascinating time to be in my organization because we’re moving from legacy on-prem to a managed service and, ultimately, to a SaaS platform,” Janie says. “For an engineer or for someone who likes to take that journey end-to-end, it’s a fantastic time to be engaged, to be part of that design process.”

Everyone in the company is pushing incredibly hard right now. Tech teams are moving to the cloud, sales teams are bringing in new clients and operations is making brand new payments technology applicable around the world.

“That passion, and also that skill, is there,” Janie says of her colleagues. “We have an incredibly talented workforce and we have people with such tenure, depths of technical skills, and passion.”

From the first time she met with senior leaders during the interview process, Janie was energized by the ubiquity of the company and the fact that ACI has the power to make individual transactions happen, while simultaneously modernizing whole countries, regions and even contents of financial systems.

“It’s money movement, but really it’s global in nature, and that global focus is what drew me.”

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