FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Head of Customer Success, Tracey Hsu
Moving to the U.S. is a life-changing journey that can come with hurdles like establishing a U.S. credit score. This partnerships expert is determined to bring her background in financing governments and nonprofits to Nova Credit, a fintech company that enables immigrants to apply for financial services using their own international credit history. Tracey Hsu, Head of Customer Success, has driven ARR, counseled many clients, and most importantly is mentoring, inspiring, and leading a growing team at Nova Credit, within less than a year of joining.
Full name: Tracey Hsu
Job title: Head of Customer Success
Company: Nova Credit
Current location: NYC
“We’re in the business of systems change - which takes resilience, collaboration, and a safe space for challenging and refining solutions at every level of the company."
Tracey Hsu has devoted her career to fostering financial inclusion from various vantage points: as a former World Banker lending to countries in Latin America, an impact investor at Social Finance designing public-private partnerships to scale non-profits, and a strategy lead within New York City government actively re-positioning the City’s tech training portfolio to facilitate a rapid – and equitable – recovery from the economic impacts of COVID19.
Tracey joined Nova Credit last year as an individual contributor and now manages a growing team focused on post-sale customer success. Tracey and her team focus on nurturing and growing revenue from the company’s enterprise partnerships spanning credit card issuers, tenant screening services, auto lenders, telco providers, and more. While brokering and nurturing multi-stakeholder partnerships is not new to Tracey, doing so with a bottom-line, venture-backing, and a start-up mentality has been an invigorating way for her to tackle financial inclusion at scale.
“As I was searching for my next professional home, it was important for me to find an organization that valued my past experience in the government and non-profit sectors while giving me the platform to continue expanding my skills. Nova Credit offered just that -- the chance to build complex partnerships with a deepened focus on the newcomer segment, and the opportunity to shape a growing post-sales function at a fast-paced tech start-up.”
Tracey’s current focus is on growing Nova Credit’s customer success team to lead their next frontier of expansion opportunities - across functions (specialized roles focusing on business insights and customer adoption), industry verticals (auto lending and telco in particular), business lines (cash-flow underwriting atop bank transaction data), and even geographies since the company is going global.
“We’re in the business of systems change - which takes resilience, collaboration, and a safe space for challenging and refining solutions at every level of the company. One of the many things I love about Nova Credit is our diversity - not only representing the various countries our end users come from, but also the various functions (tech, data science, and go-to-market) that need to come together in order to disrupt financial services.”
According to Tracey, finding creative ways to foster inclusion has been a key part of Nova Credit’s culture as the team continues to evolve. “I joined Nova Credit in a fully remote environment and found myself feeling closer to Novans I had worked with for weeks, than to former colleagues I had worked with for years. Nova Credit takes inclusion seriously and makes it fun -- we have a #thanks Slack channel, where all Novans are encouraged to shout out their colleagues on a regular basis. We have a “novazns” employee resource group that I’ve particularly cherished, from organizing a Mid-Autumn Festival celebration for the company to creating a safe space to process the hate crimes that surfaced across the country this past year. And now, a year later, as we navigate a hybrid, and increasingly distributed workforce beyond our physical presence in SFO and NYC, we are continuing to explore ways big and small to stay connected. Let’s just say (virtual) happy hours take many forms at Nova Credit, from Airbnb wine tasting experiences to draw battle!”
More on Tracey
Currently lives: Yorkville, NYC
Hometown: Rego Park, NY
Favorite hobby: Exploring a new trail in the Hudson Valley.
Favorite part of your day: Winding down my day listening to a vinyl record and reading a good book.
Favorite show to binge: The Great British Baking Show - because it’s just so wholesome!
6:30 am: Wake up to NPR. Make my morning french press coffee, with a touch of cardamom to kick off the day. I water my herb garden and pick some fresh mint which I blend into my morning smoothie.
8:30 am: Arrive at the office. I quickly scan my inbox and prioritize immediate to-dos for the day.
9:30 am: I check in with my team to put finishing touches on a performance read-out for one of our newest launched accounts. Our customer - one of the largest property management software companies in the industry - will be joining us in the office shortly. It’s one of the first in-person client meetings for both organizations since the pandemic. We proceed to touch up the conference room where we will be hosting our guests, and lay out a selection of cold brew and seltzer (our office lifeline..!)
10:00 am: Our customer arrives. We interview a number of first adopters of our product across their property management network (via Zoom). The customer shares that the first month of product adoption has exceeded expectations - music to our ears.
12:00 pm: Go on a walk and talk with my team to debrief the customer on-site, as we pick up lunch from one of the many salad/bowl establishments in the Flatiron area.
1:00 pm: Meet with our marketing and product management teams to align on our next round of user research - this time focusing on newcomers’ cell phone needs. We know this is a day 1 item for many who are new-to-country. We’re curious to learn - how do they decide on a carrier? Do they bring their own phone, or are they willing to purchase a new device?
2:30 pm: Catch-up with our Global Partnerships Lead to get the latest on our strategy regarding bank transaction data suppliers. She walks me through the nuanced differences from various angles - data quality, regulatory compliance, pricing, and customer considerations.
3:30 pm: Sync up with our consumer operations lead. We live-edit our Q3 insights report and notice an increase in consumer support case volume, driven primarily by one account from this past quarter. We chat through areas for further analysis as well as potential solutions, which we’ll present to our Product team next week.
4:00 pm: Make an offer to a candidate to join our growing CS team. He is elated! I share more about Nova Credit’s growth trajectory and chat through the opportunities that abound if he were to join as our team culture carrier on the West Coast.
5:00 pm: Review our CS account tracker to surface issues for escalation and/or problem-solving, which I add to our team meeting agenda for discussion.
6:30 pm: Back home for a break. I make some fresh pesto and use it to make roasted chicken and fall vegetables. Dinner means no screen time and catching up on my favorite podcasts. Today on “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend”, Conan is interviewing a dermatologist from his hometown of Brookline, MA, which brings back fond memories of my time living in the Boston area.
8:00 pm: Sign back on to sort through my inbox and prep for the next day. I timebox an hour to work on onboarding documentation for my newest hire, who is starting next week.
10:00 pm: Watch an episode or two of 30 Rock to wind down my day.
8:00 am: Wake up and workout to Jason and Lauren - a Boston area-based couple whose youtube channel kept me active during the pandemic. I do a 30 min kettlebell workout and feel energized for my weekend!
10:00 am: Brunch down in the West Village with close friends who relocated to Toronto around the same time I moved back to NYC, just before the pandemic. With the border closure recently lifted, we are giddy to finally see each other!
12:00 pm: We go window-shopping in the Village, slowly making our way up Hudson River Park towards Little Island, NYC’s latest public attraction. We end our day strolling through the High Line, people-watching and snacking from local vendors as we go.
3:00 pm: Back home for a quick nap - my body is still playing catch-up from sedentary pandemic life!
5:00 pm: Catch up on reading for book club. This time, we are reading “The Sum of Us” - a reflection on how a zero-sum view has worn us away from collectively enjoying public goods across healthcare, education, and other areas of life.
8:00 pm: Meet friends at the Queens Night Market where we eat to our heart's content. We learn that 8 is the magical number of people to beat the lines and ensure a steady stream of delicious bites. Taiwanese popcorn chicken, Portuguese egg tarts, and Burmese tea salad stand out as some of our favorites.
11:00 pm: Home - belly satiated, heart full, and ready for a great night’s sleep!
Reach out to Tracey on LinkedIn.