Pam Villanova is a financial services professional who, at one time, wanted to be an artist. While she is no longer pursing a career in fine arts, she regularly uses her creative skills at the credit union, whether it’s developing an event, a team-building program, or something else entirely. Outside of work, Pam remains a devoted student of arts and culture.
She learned the importance of a positive attitude at a young age, and she brings a spark of positivity to the people and projects she manages. Future-focused and hard working, Pam loves to make work fun.
During her interview, Pam brought a smile to our face, too.
Here are the highlights from our conversation.
NEACH: How did you get involved in financial services?
PAM: I’ve been working in financial services since 1987. I was hired as a wire transfer clerk and an ACH Specialist at a regional bank in Harford, Connecticut. From there, I worked my way up through the department to become a supervisor. After leaving to work the retail side for a few years, I landed back in operations. I came to American Eagle Credit Union in 2009.
NEACH: What do you think will be the biggest changes in payments over the next three to five years?
PAM: I think it’s the continual build out of digital, migrating everything banking related over to digital, whether it’s a mobile device, your phone, a watch, or something else.
Because of the move to digital and self-service, I see an increased need for support services for customers and members, whether that’s a call center, a video chat, or other chat services, so that we can support people using the technology.
NEACH: What business topic keeps you up at night?
PAM: Security. While we recognize that digital and mobile is a direction we need to go, and we have, security is one of those areas that concern us. What gaps don’t we know about? How could fraudsters potentially exploit those gaps? It’s a concern to our membership, and it’s a concern for our credit union.
NEACH: What excites you most about the industry and your role in it?
PAM: I think the exciting thing right now is the pace of change we are experiencing. Technology has really driven us into a place where there is no downtime anymore. We are working on projects continuously to expand and grow our business. But I think the digital space is most exciting for me, because it is constantly changing.
NEACH: How do you engage with our organization? >
PAM: We’re members and, of course, we use NEACH services. Their educational services are excellent.
One of the good things that NEACH has done more recently is that they’ve expanded their conferences to include much more information about payments in general. That’s very helpful. We’re hearing about the Faster Payments Task Force the Fed developed over the last couple of years along with the Secure Payments Task Force. NEACH is also good about providing up and coming information and staying on top of Same Day ACH and real-time ACH capabilities.
NEACH: What book are you currently reading?
PAM: I am currently reading The Dove Keepers by Alice Hoffman. She’s one of my favorite authors. It’s a book about the fall of Masada to the Roman Empire. If you like to read, I highly recommend it.
NEACH: Who has been your biggest role model? Why?
PAM: My biggest role model in life was my grandmother, Alice. No matter what happened or where she was, she always had a kind word for someone. But most important, she taught me to have a positive outlook. She taught me that no matter what is going on, there’s always something you can find to give you peace of mind or bring a smile to your face.