Name: Terrie Smith
Title: Co-founder & CEO at DIGISEQ
Pronouns: She/Her

Bio: Terrie Smith – has over 20 years in the industry, and her experience in the payments world is unparalleled. In 2019 she was awarded the IET Achievement Medal, she was crowned as one of the 20 MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN in payments by PaymentsSource in 2020.

She has a proven track record that speaks volumes and is included in fundamental patents related to provisioning and tokenisation. She was instrumental in shaping the Mastercard Digital Enable System, used to support Apple Pay.

Terrie co-founded the award-winning IoT platform DIGISEQ in 2014, she now serves as global ambassador bringing her passion for the IoT and contactless wearables to the masses linking physical and digital objects together. DIGISEQ simplifies delivering payment accounts securely and enables almost anything to support contactless payments, grant access, secure ID, reward loyalty, and much more – unleashing the power of IoT – without disruption to the existing manufacturing and distribution process.

Name: Susan M. Barton
Title: Director | Client Executive EY
Pronouns: She/Her

Bio: Susan is a Director at EY in Milan and a strategic leader with a deep understanding of the Italian financial services market. With over 15 years of experience, she works with financial services clients to keep them at the forefront of what is happening in the market.

Susan is passionate about Fintech and Payments having been one of the founding members of the EY Italy Fintech team and worked in a South African instant payment Fintech. Susan regularly speaks at payments events or contributes to publications about Financial Services. Susan is also a Board Member of RiseUp at Money2020 enhancing leadership skills for women in the industry.

Susan was born in the United States and has lived in Italy since 2003. She holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Juris Doctor – and is a licensed American attorney.

Name: Sarah Gottwald
Title: Investment Manager, at
Pronouns: She/Her

Bio: Sarah Gottwald is investment manager at Munich-based venture capital Cryptofinance. Founded only in January 2022 focusing on equity investments to participate in the success of early-stage ventures developing blockchain applications. With the aim to empower founders to build for the next billion users in crypto by deploying access to capital, network and expertise.

Sarah Gottwald is an early-stage crypto investor and internationally active in various programs and events. She is part of the Frankfurt School of Blockchain Center Talents Programs, participated in Lugano’s Plan B summer school and is active in the Unit Network. In addition, she is a member of H.E.R. DAO, part of the Munich Women Web3 community and a mentor for young (female)talents in web3.

Previously, she spent 9 years at BMW working in the financial sector and on the strategy for fully autonomous driving while negotiating various collaborations with startups, other corporate companies and closing several M&A deals.

Name: Sandra Mianda
Title: Founder & Co-Director,
Pronouns: She/Her

Bio: Sandra is the Founder and Co-Director of, a payments consultancy that helps merchants and Fintechs source, select and implement reliable payments solutions across a trusted panel of local & global acquirers, issuers and platforms. From core consulting services, to full end to end project management or designing tailored payments training programmes, operates across multiple segments e.g. ecommerce, retail and travel etc.

Prior to setting up, Sandra held a number of commercial roles over the last 12 years working in established payments organisation like Barclays, Paypal and Elavon/ US bank, where she developed core payments expertise working on large scale projects supporting merchants to streamline their back end processes, reduce their operational costs and drive incremental revenue growth through optimised payments strategies. Truly enthused about the ongoing learning and opportunities that new innovation brings to the payments landscape, Sandra regularly share insights through articles contribution, podcasting, panel discussions and blogging.

Name: Rukayyat Kolawole, CFA
Title: CEO/ Founder at PaceUP Invest GmbH
Pronouns: She/Her

Bio: Ms. Kolawole is the founder and CEO of PaceUP Invest in Germany, France, and Nigeria; a Fintech start-up whose mission empowering women and underrepresented communities financially and help with wealth-building irrespective of their income towards attaining a responsible and sustainable future for themselves and their generation.

Ms. Kolawole has over 15 years of experience in the financial industry: Investment banking, Investment Management, and Capital Markets in Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, Reuters, and BMCE International London. She was a former VP Capital Markets and Treasury at BMCE Bank International London covering EMEA, Americas, and APAC. She is a transcultural communicator and leader having worked on international assignments throughout her successful career.

Ms. Kolawole is currently on the board of Kassavex, a social impact agricultural company in Nigeria; Founding committee board member of 100 Women in Finance Germany; Chair of Mid-Career Bridge 100 Women in Finance, Germany; and a mentor at &ahead, Germany.

Ms. Kolawole earned an MSc in Finance and Investment Management with a Distinction. In 2020, she earned a double Diploma Executive MBA at Mannheim Business School, Germany, and ESSEC Business School, France. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst. She loves playing golf, travelling, reading, and playing silly games with her 4-year-old.

Name: Richard Valenti
Title: COO AT Stern Consulting
Pronouns: He/Him

Bio: Over 30 years of senior management experience in leading European financial institutions. Recognized for his strong expertise in strategic projects (mergers, restructuring, start-ups, innovation) and known for his efficiency and ability to handle sensitive and complex situations. Former Group CIO of BPCE, Former CIO and MD of Generali France, Former CIO of BNPP Assurance, Former CEO of BNPP-Korean Asset Management and Former COO of BNPP Australia.

Name: Petra Plompen
Title: Senior Manager at EBA CLEARING
Pronouns: She/Her

Bio: Petra Plompen has been working in transaction banking since 1997. She was responsible for the implementation of euro payments infrastructure developments within international banks such as ABN AMRO Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland, both for high value and commercial payments.

She joined EBA CLEARING in 2015 as a Senior Manager in the Service Development and Management Unit with a focus on the EURO1/STEP1 Services and the RT1 Instant Payments Service. Currently she is leading New Initiatives at EBA CLEARING, including the R2P Request to Pay Service and immediate cross-border payments (IXB), meeting the needs of PSPs and their customers in the evolving payments landscape.

Name: Patrick Wheeler
Pronouns: He/Him

Bio: Patrick is a cybersecurity expert, educator and practitioner originating from California’s Silicon Valley and San Francisco, focusing on programs securing the global financial sector. A naturalized Belgian he contributes to alleviating the critical cyber skills shortage and building a diverse next-generation cyber workforce via CyberWayFinder. He lectures for the Solvay Executive Masters in Cybersecurity and guest lectures and contributes to cyber pedagogy delivered in universities such as University of Namur, London School Economics and etc. Patrick also leads business and executive ‘cyber-uplift’ programs and masterclasses, is active in the international speaking circuit speaking to business leaders at international conferences such as Euromoney, Treasury Nordics, COSAC. As a past CISO and Security Architect he is responsible to protecting major portions of Europe’s financial infrastructure with clients include BNP Paribas Group, Euroclear, SWIFT and more. His credentials include the (ISC) EMEA ‘Senior Practitioner of the Year 2017. Industrial credentials and certifications such as Environmental Engineer and California Registered Civil Engineer (C5088042), a BSCEE, and MBA and job titles including IS Director, VP of Operations, Security Architect and Chief Security Officer.

Name: Nadia Edwards-Dashti
Title: Chief Customer Officer – Harrington Starr
Pronouns: She/Her

Bio: Nadia Edwards-Dashti co-founded the Harrington Starr Group in 2010, a leading Financial Technology recruitment business with offices in London, New York, and Belfast. In 18 years in the financial services technology sector, she has been responsible for helping over 2000 people find jobs and has grown from a trainee to a Chief Customer Officer.

She runs the Podcast Series ‘FinTech with Nadia: The DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Discussions’ to story tell the challenges and successes of this industry. Nadia has written a book through Palgrave Macmillan, ‘Fintech Women Walk the Talk: Moving the needle for workplace gender equality in financial Services and beyond’ and within it quotes 100+ of her podcast interviewees. Winner of Investing in Talent 2019 Awards – Most Inspirational Recruitment Leader, Innovate Finance: Women in FinTech Powerlist, FinTech Magazine Top 100 Women in FinTech 2022, Industrial Fellow at the University of East London: Centre of FinTech.

Name: Miranda McLean
Title: Senior Director, Global Head of Sustainability at Banking Circle

Bio: Miranda McLean, Senior Director, Global Head of Sustainability at Banking Circle Group and founding member at ground-breaking payments bank, Banking Circle, has built a considerable reputation for developing and executing successful marketing strategies for a wide range of financial services businesses over more than two decades.

In 2015 Miranda was appointed by payments start-up Saxo Payments (now Banking Circle) to create the brand identity and marketing strategy which took the cross-border payments bank to a multi-million-dollar business within three years.

Miranda is also on the Executive Board of the European Women Payments Network which has the primary objective of championing diversity and inclusion in the financial sector.