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Women in Payments: “Make Failure Your Fuel”

Darcy Locke Women in Payments

ACI’s Darcy Locke, new business development principal, was recently appointed Chair of the American Financial Services Association (AFSA), Business Partner Board. During her two-year term, Darcy will preside over the AFSA Business Partner Board meetings, and concurrently serve as a member of the AFSA Board of Directors and Chair of the AFSA Business Partner Task Force.

A 16-year payments veteran, Darcy has been a member of AFSA for over a decade and was accepted into the AFSA Women’s Leadership Council in July 2016. In April 2020, Darcy will begin her tenure as Chair. I spoke with her to learn more about her appointment and her role in the AFSA Women’s Leadership Council.

Nidhi Alberti: Congratulations on your recent appointment as Chair of AFSA! Tell me about your new role.

Darcy Locke: Thank you! Sure, as Chair of the Business Partner Board, I’ll be responsible for executing the program’s objectives, presiding over board meetings, appointing members to task forces and performing any other duties as prescribed in the association bylaws. Primarily, I’ll work with others to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our business partners, driving membership recruitment and promoting member involvement in the AFSA political action committee. I’ll also serve as part of AFSA’s 56-member Board of Directors, which includes representatives from commercial finance companies and the Chairs of AFSA’s other advisory councils. As a member of that group, I’ll play a role in shaping AFSA agendas and topics to be discussed at the association’s larger meetings and events as well.

NA: Well, that’s a lot. I’m curious about your role in AFSA’s Women’s Leadership Council. Can you tell me a little more about the Council’s mission?

DL: AFSA’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) fosters executive leadership and mentorship of top female talent and shares knowledge to identify, promote and retain female leaders in the financial services industry. Through the WLC, I’ve been able to create strong personal relationships, built on mutual respect, with top female leaders from some of the nation’s largest consumer credit companies, the majority of which are ACI clients and industry partners. The stories that are shared within the WLC help its members to survive and thrive in the fast-paced, largely male-dominated financial services industry. I have certainly benefited from these learnings and can only hope some of the personal stories and advice I have shared lift up my female industry peers as they face similar opportunities.

NA: Interesting! Have you been part of any major initiatives that you’d like to talk about here?

DL: I was accepted into the AFSA Women’s Leadership Council in July 2016. Shortly thereafter, several of our fellow AFSA members were directly affected by the Louisiana floods. Two dozen organizations are headquartered in LA with at least seven in Baton Rouge, which was hit the hardest. I proposed a fundraiser to help victims and was able to partner with some of our fellow ACIers and AFSA. We were able to exceed the AFSA goal of raising $10,000 and ACIers were responsible for donating approximately 41 percent of what was collected. Through the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the funds were distributed to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care and necessities to flood victims, including women's shelters and many nonprofit groups.

NA: As we look to promote women in the payments industry, we’re proud to have you on ACI’s team, and the work you’re doing with AFSA is impressive. Are there are words of advice you would like to share with other women in the industry who may be struggling, or looking for some encouragement?

DL: Yes, I received Abby Wambach’s commencement speech to Barnard College from an AFSA WLC committee member. I found it truly inspirational and refer to it often. Abby’s speech pointed out that we can be grateful for what we have while also demanding what we deserve. Some “rules” from the speech that I’ve actively embraced and would like to share, include:

Rule #1 – Make Failure Your Fuel – Fail up. Blow it and win!

Rule #2 – Lead from the Bench – Wherever you’re put, lead from there.

Rule #3 – Champion Each Other - Her Victory is your Victory. Celebrate it.

Rule # 4 – Demand the Ball – Give me the effing ball.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series to find out how governments can support the development of FinTechs in Latin America. We will also dive into how traditional financial institutions can join forces with FinTechs and play a significant role in driving forward banking trends and technology.

To find out more about Darcy Locke’s appointment as Chair of AFSA read the press release, ACI Worldwide’s Darcy Locke Appointed to Chair of American Financial Services Association Business Partner Board.