People of WePay: Jennifer Parker, Chief Revenue Officer
Jennifer Parker, Chief Revenue Officer for WePay.
You’re joining WePay after leading several JPMorgan Chase teams, most recently a large Business Development and Relationship Management team, at a time that WePay is significantly expanding its value proposition with Chase benefits. What excites you most about this?
The JPMorgan Chase brand is a powerhouse. When I joined the bank approximately nine years ago, I was an individual contributor in sales. It was not uncommon when cold-calling prospects that the name recognition itself would be a door opener.
With the acquisition of WePay, you have this power as a global leader in the financial industry backing you with the combined power of an industry-leading integrated payments provider. This is a real differentiator in the market and when you combine the two, there is no other player in the space that can compete with us. To be at the forefront of this partnership is really exciting – I am really looking forward to watching this collaboration evolve in the near and long term!
As someone who knows the power of Chase well, what’s something you think may be unknown or under-appreciated about what Chase can do for ISVs and platforms?
The breadth and depth of the firm’s collective relationships and expertise should not be underestimated when it comes to how we can serve businesses. Chase consumer bank is in approximately 61 million U.S. households which means nearly half of all U.S. households do business with our bank and this is including 4 million small businesses.
Our Commercial Banking (CB) organization has physical presence extensively throughout the United States and globally which means the CB banking organization is deeply entrenched in the business communities across the globe.
By partnering with our colleagues successfully across the various Lines of Businesses, we will be able to leverage their relationships with leaders in the technology and emerging growth industries to provide best in class integrated payments solutions. When you package this with our overall JPMC comprehensive solutions, global capabilities, local teams and industry expertise the WePay team can be a part of successfully helping organizations accomplish their goals.
What does customer or client focus mean to you?
To me, customer or client focus means that through every step of your process and your day, you literally imagine yourself as the customer or end user. You constantly challenge yourself by asking the question, “would I be happy if I was the customer through this process or interaction?” If the answer is no you should speak and challenge the current process, or change the way you are interacting with the client. It’s essential that we are constantly treating our customers the way we would want to be treated. If there are challenges, delays, or hurdles, a quick “no” is always better than a “long” maybe. Or at times, it’s as simple as initiating frequent check-ins with status updates. By doing this, it really can change the dynamic of the client interaction and be the difference in a satisfied customer.
Whether you are in customer service, sales, product, ops, or engineering, we should all take a moment to ask, what is the impact of my decision to the customer?
What metrics matter the most to you and why?
Customer success is the single most important metric. It applies to every part of the business. Customer success is much more than the customer being happy. A happy client may like the people they work with and have a good relationship, but their business may not be maximizing its potential through our product offering. Customer success also means we are providing, implementing, and supporting our products that are assisting in significant growth in their business. We are helping them achieve their priorities for the business. Customer success looks like different things in different types of businesses but once defined, I believe all goals in the organization should be aligned to customer success.
How do you think WePay is going to affect Chase and how it operates (if at all)?
In just the past eight months since the acquisition, it is already starting to happen.
WePay has done a phenomenal job of creating a strong people and customer-centered culture not allowing process and bureaucracy get in the way. If something doesn’t make sense, employees are encouraged to speak up and leaders are encouraged to change it for the better. This always starts at the top, and Bill [Clerico] and Rich [Aberman] have built this really cool company that exudes this in their company’s DNA. Bill and Rich have been culture carriers and that is evident in many of the WePay policies and how they conduct business every day. Many of our Chase colleagues are asking the WePay leadership team about their process through different parts of the business to build similar models or leverage best practices that could benefit the broader JPMC organization. I know there have been a few things changed and in the works since these knowledge share sessions have occurred. It is really neat to see how a smaller company like WePay can have such a positive influence of our larger banking organization.
What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy being outdoors and most outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and running. I ran all my life. I ran track through college and was a sprinter, but since it’s difficult to sprint competitively all your life, I have been forced to become a distance runner. I love spending time with my husband and our two children, ages 6 and 11. I also love to travel! So much so that even in the middle of this move to the Bay Area I wanted to take a trip, as insane as that seems to most. For me, it is just peaceful to travel – it gives me stress relief. The other thing I love to do – although I shouldn’t – but it is also a stress relief, just not a healthy one, is retail therapy. I love to shop.
You’re relocating from Houston to the SF Bay Area. What are you going to miss most and what are you most looking forward to?
I will miss friends, family and my favorite restaurants. We’ve created deep friend circles in Houston over the years so it was difficult to leave all of them. Not to mention, the food is unbelievable!
What I will enjoy the most in the Bay Area is the climate. It’s simply incredible with the access to do so many things outdoors. Being surrounded by humidity, heat, and bugs for so many years was my number one complaint in Houston. Every day here I go outside and the weather is phenomenal!
What is a lesson you have learned that impacts how you operate every day?
I think the biggest lesson was my senior year, where I was an accounting major and was looking for internships where I could have fun. I was looking for the coolest accounting job and found it extremely difficult to find something that seemed exciting. There seemed to be nothing. But there was a really cool production media internship in New York at the “Late Show with David Letterman” and I thought, “How could I parlay my accounting major into this cool internship?” So I sent what I was hoping would be perceived as a really compelling email to them and said, “Do you need an accounting intern? I’ll do for it free – just give me college credit.” They said, “Absolutely.”
As a result, I got this really cool internship that turned into a job offer as a staff accountant with the “Late Show with David Letterman”. The lesson I learned from that is that you have to be creative in your thoughts and approach in everything you do. There is always a way to get something done. There is always an opportunity to get to the goal you want – you may just have to be creative to get there. With customers, if they say ‘no’ then we aren’t being creative enough. If you get a ‘no’ in business, then you have to rethink your approach and keep moving forward.