Sr. Director & Head of Risk Canada

  • Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Full-time

Company Description

Common Purpose, Uncommon Opportunity. Everyone at Visa works with one goal in mind – making sure that Visa is the best way to pay and be paid, for everyone everywhere. This is our global vision and the common purpose that unites the entire Visa team. As a global payments technology company, tech is at the heart of what we do. . Our VisaNet network is capable of handling over 65,000 transaction messages per second for people and businesses around the world, enabling them to use digital currency instead of cash and checks.

We are also global advocates for financial inclusion, working with partners around the world to help those who lack access to financial services join the global economy. Visa’s sponsorships, including the Olympics and FIFA™ World Cup, celebrate teamwork, diversity, and excellence throughout the world. If you have a passion to make a difference in the lives of people around the world, Visa offers an uncommon opportunity to build a strong, thriving career. Visa is fueled by our team of talented employees who continuously raise the bar on delivering the convenience and security of digital currency to people all over the world. Join our team and find out how Visa is everywhere you want to be.

Job Description

The Vision

Visa owns the most recognizable global brand in the financial services industry. The Chief Risk Officer’s (CRO) key responsibilities in Canada will be to maintain trust in that brand, championing security in the industry and differentiating Visa in the eyes of clients and key stakeholders. As a key member of the Canadian Leadership Team, the CRO will advise the Canada Country Manager, the Canada Leadership Team and global functional leads on strategies related to complex operational, financial, legal and regulatory risk exposures. Externally, the CRO will be the industry spokesperson with clients, government and key industry stakeholders regarding risk trends in payments and Visa’s holistic strategy with respect to improving the payments ecosystem risk performance.

The successful candidate will lead a small team of Risk professionals, including one client-facing Risk Services Manager (Director) based in Toronto and have indirect responsibility for all second Line of Defense functions (Compliance etc.). Additionally, the CRO will draw upon the resources of the North America Risk function across the wider region. These resources range from other Regional Risk Managers, in-market Risk Service Managers, analysts and highly skilled Risk specialists in the areas of compromise management, data security and fraud analytics.

The Role

Reporting to the North America Regional Risk Officer and the Canada Country Manager, the CRO will be entrusted with a broad portfolio of responsibilities including Strategic Risk Management for the business, Credit Settlement Risk and Ecosystem Risk (Fraud & Data Security) across Canada. The CRO will also be part North American Risk Leadership Team helping to advance risk strategies & practices across North America and Globally. The Canada CRO will interact with and represent Visa to Government, Banking and Law Enforcement agencies across each market, including the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Bank of Canada, Canadian Bankers Association and Payments Canada. In addition, the CRO will interact with Issuing, Acquiring and Merchant clients, with the goal of providing insights to improve overall ecosystem risk performance.

The payments industry continues to change rapidly, as new entrants and alternative network players continue to enter the market. Regular monitoring and assessing of this risk and ensuring our business initiatives are operating effectively to mitigate and reduce risks is a key strategic focus or the CRO.

In addition to overseeing Strategic Risk Management, the CRO will have responsibility for championing security in the industry and maintaining the integrity of the payments ecosystem. The CRO is responsible for negotiating and executing on comprehensive industry security roadmaps to ensure our clients make investments in data security, authentication and consumer empowerment to protect cardholders, merchants and all stakeholders in the industry.

Canada is a leading market globally in the adoption of new payments technology. Open Banking, Retail Payments Oversight and related regulation will have substantial bearing on risk management in these markets and across the region. The Canada CRO will play a lead role in representing Canada on a digital identity working group with Global Risk, industry and Global Product. The CRO will contribute to development of interoperable and secure digital identity standards, which work with Open Banking, leveraging Visa’s network assets and create a value proposition for Visa’s clients.

The CRO will develop comprehensive Country Risk Plans, security priorities and execute strategies to prevent fraud, enhance user authentication, safeguard sensitive data, identify and respond to data breaches and prevent the misuse of the payment system for unlawful purposes. The CRO will also be responsible for representing Visa’s Credit Settlement Risk policy to protect Visa against financial loss in the case of a failure of an issuing or acquiring client.

Key Responsibilities

- Develop and execute a comprehensive risk plan that is consistent with local market landscape, country priorities and global risk strategy.

  • Execute both internal and external risk management programs
  • Lead client forums (Canada Risk Councils, working groups, etc.)
  • Promote & support client adoption of Visa risk products  / solutions / initiatives
  • Identify new, creative "win-win" methods to reduce and mitigate payment system risk, fraud and cardholder data security risks.
  • As a member of the Canada Leadership Team, serve as a trusted & strategic advisor to the Canada Country Manager on all risk issues.

- Prepare reports, briefings and other written products to update executive management on risk activities, issues and opportunities.

  • Convey risk-related trends and developments to local country manager and leadership team through regular reporting
  • Synthesize marketplace feedback regarding the effectiveness of Visa’s risk management strategy and programs; benchmark Visa’s performance relative to other payment networks and participants.
  • Guide Visa’s proactive risk communications and collaboration across all of these stakeholders so as to advance the safety, security and long-term growth of the Visa payment system.

- Lead the responsible innovation initiative by assisting Visa and its clients to mitigate risks and embrace new technology improvements.

  • Assess emerging/innovation risks and new business models through the NBIA process
  • Leverage local insights to contribute to Risk thought leadership
  • Guide clients through payment innovation complexity

- Manage relationships with issuers, acquirers, merchants, payment processors, service providers, regulators and law enforcement to:

  • Resolve fraud & data breach events
  • Provide stakeholder training
  • Respond to ad hoc queries & analytics requirements
  • Identify opportunities to enhance the payment ecosystem and advance risk management best practice through training, education and speaking engagements 
  • Support constructive relationships with local market regulators and law enforcement agencies

- Responsible to build and manage an Enterprise Risk Management Framework for the Canada market that provides a consistent and pragmatic approach to identify, assess, treat, monitor and report risks at Visa.

- Participate in a cross-functional Visa Canada team that is exploring a Pilot program to license Non-Bank entities as issuers and/or acquirers in the market in order to drive innovation, promote the fin-tech sector and support international entities who would like to participate in the evolving issuing and/acquiring marketplace in Canada.

  • Maintain the safety, soundness and security of the Visa payments system
  • Confirm the Non-FIs: ability to manage risk, security and fraud and operate the business in a comprehensive, safe and sound manner; PCI compliance; ability to address anti-money laundering (“AML”) and anti-terrorist financing (“ATF”) in accordance with Canadian law and Visa requirements; ability to comply with Visa Rules


Required skills:

- 12 years of work experience with a Bachelor’s Degree; or 10 years of work experience with an Advanced degree (e.g. Masters/MBA/JD/MD); or a minimum of 5 years of work experience with a PhD

- Track record for successfully identifying and mitigating enterprise and operational risk for a complex, global company in a regulated industry.

- Experience protecting consumer and corporate data through the development and implementation of rigorous compliance & rules management processes.

- Demonstrated approach to risk management contributing to brand and business growth. Understands both at a strategic and operational level the myriad risks facing the business; drives down to root causes to assess the severity of the risk, the cost of remediation, and develops an appropriate action plan.

- Proven ability to influence (e.g. senior level decision makers), lead, collaborate, and work in matrix environment.

- Works effectively with clients and external stakeholders – banks, processors, regulators.

- Intellectually curious; finds stories in the data, asks the right questions, demonstrated track record of mining data & intelligence for game-changing insights that generate big impacts.

Preferred skills:

- 15-18 years of experience with a Bachelor’s Degree or 12 years of experience with an Advanced Degree (e.g. Masters, MBA, JD, MD or PhD)

- Experience in the payments industry (network, processors, financial institutions) or within multi-national, technology based, transactional businesses (e.g. large retailers)

- Extensive international experience or work experience in a multinational corporation

- Solid general management background, with proven track record in strategic thinking, financial planning, risk management, relationship building and project leadership.

Additional Information

Visa is an EEO Employer.  Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.  Visa will also consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with EEOC guidelines and applicable local law.

This position will be performed in an office setting.  The position will require the incumbent to sit and stand at a desk, communicate in person and by telephone, frequently operate standard office equipment, such as telephones and computers, and reach with hands and arms.

This position requires the incumbent to be available during core business hours

This position requires the incumbent to travel for work 0-20%  of the time, when safe to resume travel.

Work Authorization: Authorization to work in Canada is a precondition of employment for this position. Visa will not sponsor applicants for work visas in connection with this position. No relocation will be provided for this position.

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