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The payments and security evangelist

Aviva Klein, BComm 97
November 6, 2023
By Samantha Rideout, GrDip 10

Portrait of a smiling woman with shoulder-length curly hair wearing a navy blazer and white collared shirt.

With nearly 18 years of experience in the credit-card industry, Aviva Klein is leading the charge when it comes to making Canadian payments more modern, seamless and secure. As vice-president of Digital Payments and Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard in Canada, she optimizes digital ways of moving money, including payments through smartphone apps or direct transfers from one bank account to another. 

“My team’s mandate is to focus on products and solutions beyond the card, like cybersecurity and new and innovative ways to pay,” says Klein. 

Protecting these systems from fraud is paramount. Drawing on cybersecurity innovations developed at Mastercard’s Global Intelligence and Cyber Centre of Excellence in Vancouver and around the globe, Klein tailors solutions to the Canadian market. 

“I get to see my work adopted by businesses and cardholders,” she says. “It feels meaningful to watch that change happen.”

The payments of tomorrow

“It’s an exciting time. The physical credit card is going to disappear eventually. There are already so many new ways to pay for things. But it’s interesting: compared to consumer payments, business-to-business payments are far behind in terms of digitization. There are still a lot of paper-based, manual processes, so there’s a huge opportunity for Canadian businesses to gain operational efficiencies and improve cash flow.”

Recent projects include

“Mastercard Track, a suite of services designed for businesses that allows them to make payments to one another without sharing and storing credit-card numbers.”

Concordia connections

“In my very first marketing class, I sat next to somebody who became my first boss years later. University is a great chance to meet people and exchange ideas with them. I encourage current students not to take those opportunities for granted: you never know where they could lead.”

Learning on the job

“When there have been opportunities for ‘stretch assignments,’ I’ve put my hand up. A good management team will want to give you a challenge and see if you can do it.”

On clear communication

“In my industry, and in general, people like to overcomplicate things. As I’ve grown, I’ve realized that nothing is actually that difficult if you present it in straightforward language, without acronyms. I encourage the people I work with to do that, so we can really understand what we’re talking about.”

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