Visa's Ellen Richey wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Award honors executive's 40-year career in law and risk management

March 18, 2019, 6:00 PM Eastern Time

Visa Vice Chairman and Chief Risk Officer Ellen Richey was recognized with the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award by PaymentsSource as part of its annual Most Influential Women in Payments list. The award honors Richey's 40-year career in law and risk management and highlights some of her work at Visa since 2007.

In a feature story titled “Lifetime achievement honoree: Visa's Ellen Richey,” Ellen is credited for helping transform Visa from a company simply stressing Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance and firewall protection to one that integrates risk management throughout its business.

The award notes, “In her time at Visa, Richey set out to erase the mindset that its network was a Fort Knox that needed to be protected with stronger walls. Instead of simply defending Visa's data, Richey chose to devalue it. Her goal was to make sure that any payment card information—whether held by a bank or merchant, or written to an individual consumer's card—became worthless if it was ever stolen. This was a major shift in Visa's approach to security.”

The award also gives credit to Visa for having an industry-wide impact on the conversation and approach to fraud prevention and risk management during Richey’s tenure—being instrumental in the migration to chip cards in the United States, a key player in the launch of mobile wallets through tokens, and a multilayered defense strategy for protecting payment data, with payment fraud disruption among the most recent.

Julie Conroy of the Aite Group offered a third-party perspective and said, “It is not difficult to track the pace at which cybercrime has exploded in the past decade, and what it has meant to have Richey in place to protect payment data. With 13 billion data records lost or stolen since 2013, the fact that Ellen and her team have overseen a steady reduction in payment card fraud really is quite remarkable."

The article also includes stories about Ellen’s mentors over the years, her career and her plans for life after Visa. Read the award profile in its entirety.

Visa congratulates Ellen Richey on the well-deserved recognition of a truly unparalleled career.