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  • Writer's pictureAnli Valdez

FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Patricia Yun, Head of Digital Commerce at TD Bank

Patricia Yun is Head of Digital Commerce at TD Bank where she leads product development and commercialization for digital payments. She has been in financial services for over 10 years, making the leap from Finance and M&A in the auto and manufacturing industry to Banking. She is a multiple recipient of Money 20/20's leadership program as one of 30 women in North America in fintech. Patricia’s community leadership includes Women in Payments' Global Community Council and mentor for ACCES, a nonprofit that helps newcomers in Canada. 

Patricia is a customer-focused leader with deep experience as both a strategist and operator. Trained originally in finance as a CPA, Patricia went from complex financial modeling to product management and design. Her breadth of experience across product, acquisition, large scale tech implementations, M&A, and business development allow her to think laterally and strategically across functions. In her previous role, she led the product launch of Costco credit cards, a $3 billion+ portfolio, and built digital acquisition across Costco’s 105+ warehouses in Canada. 

Today, Patricia leads the Digital Commerce business at TD Merchant Solutions, TD Bank’s merchant payments services, which provides end-to-end payment processing solutions at both point-of-sale and online. Her team serves a range of customers from small businesses to the largest corporate merchants, providing tailored services to each client.

One of the greatest pain points for small businesses is getting paid for the services they provide. TD strives to continually build better, easier, and more scalable solutions – including integrated tools – that allow small businesses to get paid faster using digital payment solutions. As businesses grow and their needs change, so do the services and solutions that TD offers to help them thrive.

As Head of Digital Commerce, Patricia often partners with fintech companies to offer innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of TD’s customers. These partnerships enable merchants to access a wide range of features that integrate easily with their payments and allow them to better manage their business. Now more than ever, Patricia believes it is important for banks and fintechs to find new ways to partner and provide incredible customer experiences. 

Lastly, from a career perspective, especially in the rapidly changing payments industry, Patricia shares this piece of advice on what has helped her make career choices in an industry of constant change:

The first is getting to the heart of understanding yourself and what drives you. The second is really understanding others and how you relate to them. The last is courage, which as Maya Angelou once said, "Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently." When you understand this, and you have the courage to make the right choices for yourself and others, it allows you to take bigger risks and calculated leaps of faith.

More on Patricia

Where you currently live: Toronto, Canada

Family at home: Spouse and two twin boys 

Hometown: Vancouver, Canada 

What is one piece of advice someone told you that resonated with you that can give to other women in FinTech?     

Someone once told me about the Luck Surface Area*, which is the idea that we can influence the amount of luck we have. It is defined loosely, as the amount of action we take, on something we are passionate about combined with the number of people we effectively communicate it to. This drives the number of chances we have to be lucky. 

If I had one piece of advice, success is still a direct function of hard work and the relationships we have. Keep hustling, keep the faith, since as we all know, sometimes, it just takes one yes.

What's the best job decision you ever made? 

When I was 25, I moved to Chicago from Vancouver. It was a new city where I was doing M&A and finance advisory for private equity and corporate buyers on both sell-side and buy-side. I moved there to prove something to myself and to someone who had told me the career limits of what I was capable of.

This move turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life as it broadened my horizons. I also had the opportunity to work on some of the largest US automotive restructurings when the industry was in crisis. It transformed my career, but most of all it taught me the importance of really understanding yourself and how adaptable and capable we really are – if given the chance.  

Can you tell us about a time someone encouraged you to try a task or take on a project you didn’t think that you would know how to do/or be good at? 

After having my first child, an incredible leader named Donna Lue-Atkinson changed my career trajectory by offering me a role in a business I knew nothing about but fell completely in love with. It was payments and loyalty. 

I started my career investing in technical skills and honing my craft and expertise. But my most pivotal career moments have been working with and leading incredible teams, giving me the opportunity to cross paths with amazing leaders. The largest leaps of faith I took were based on my passion for an industry or my belief in a person. I’m grateful to the incredible leaders who have changed my life for the better – Athena Varmazis, as well as Trevor van Arragon and Christine Hunter from TD Bank. 

Do you have any productivity hacks?  What keeps you motivated? How do you maintain a work/life balance? 

My most important hack is on how I switch gears to be in the moment. Someone once saw my calendar and was surprised by the amount of color-coding in it. During the day, I am in back-to-back meetings on different topics with different people and contexts. I color code my calendar to help me quickly orient to the audience (client or partner facing, team, critical decisions, networking). If I can, I reserve 2 minutes before each meeting to reset and switch gears, allowing me to think about what we want to achieve in the next meeting. Having even just a few moments to reset, allows me to be the most effective I can be – even in very difficult situations.

Daily Diary

5:00 am: Wake up with a cup of coffee

5:30 am: Start my work day. I think the clearest in the morning so I tackle the toughest parts of my day then 

8:00 am: Make bagels and strawberry smoothies for my twin boys 

9:00 am - 5:00 pm: Meetings ranging from partner and business development, to product backlog reviews and marketing collateral, 1:1 catch ups and team meetings. I generally reserve Friday afternoons for anyone reaching out for mentorship or advice and it's a nice way to end the week

5:00 pm: Leave work and head home to have dinner with my family

7:00 pm: Spin class – I try to go 4x a week

10:00 pm: Some reading and then bedtime!

*Luck Surface Area is a concept developed by Jim Collins in his book Great by Choice. 

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