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Top 30 Leaders in Credit Cards in Canada for 2023

By Katherine Parent | Published on 01 Jun 2023

    Eager for information on the Canadian financial sector? Here are the 30 most influential individuals making their mark on the credit market in Canada. These seasoned experts, operating in the fields of finance, technology, innovation, and emerging trends, are top decision makers shaping the credit card industry. Get ready to uncover the faces behind the key decisions in this ever-evolving market.

    Adam Vespi

    Associate Vice-President, Canadian Tire Financial Services

    Adam Vespi is currently an Associate Vice President at Canadian Tire Financial Services. He is recognized for his dynamic leadership and proven success in the credit card industry. With a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship, Adam is known as a proud intrapreneur, bringing new ideas and creative solutions to enhance credit card products and services. With his deep expertise in business strategy, team management, and product development, Adam Vespi has taken the success of Canadian Tire’s Triangle program to another level. With various credit cards associated with the program, consumers can easily find a product that suits their needs.

    Alice Reimer

    Startup Founder – Fillip

    Alice Reimer is a dynamic entrepreneur and a recognized mentor in the credit card industry. As the founder of several successful fintech startups, Alice has made significant contributions to the industry by developing innovative solutions for consumers and businesses. Fillip, a company she founded, offers a prepaid VISA card that is issued by Peoples Trust Company. Fillip primarily caters to small and growing businesses, fleet management companies, member associations, and fuel retailers. The primary goal of this new card is to address a specific need: enabling road teams to easily pay for fuel bills hassle free.

    Andras Laxar

    Vice President – BMO Financial Group

    Andras Lazar is currently the Vice President of the BMO Financial Group. With a lot of experience in the credit card industry, Andras has made significant contributions to the sector. As a strategic leader, he has played a key role in developing and implementing innovative credit card programs to meet the changing needs of consumers and offer attractive payment solutions. Andras is recognized for his ability to develop strategic partnerships and maximize profitability of credit card programs. With his strategic vision, expertise in risk management, and in-depth market knowledge, Andras Lazar continues to contribute significantly to the evolution of the credit card industry in Canada and the United States.

    Andrew Wakefield

    Director Bank Partnerships – Air Canada

    Andrew Wakefield specializes in credit cards and customer loyalty. Currently employed at Air Canada, he brings in-depth expertise in designing, implementing, and managing innovative loyalty programs focused on credit cards. Andrew is recognized for his ability to develop effective marketing and promotion strategies to drive customer engagement and strengthen brand loyalty. His experience in the credit card industry allows him to understand consumer needs and develop tailored programs to offer attractive benefits and increase customer satisfaction. Through his commitment to excellence and strategic vision, Andrew Wakefield continues to make significant contributions to the credit card industry and customer loyalty industry at Air Canada.

    Andrew Graham

    Co-founder and CEO – Borrowell

    Andrew Graham is the co-founder and CEO of Borrowell. He has made significant contributions to the credit card industry through his innovative credit management and online lending platform. As a pioneer in the use of technology to offer affordable and accessible credit solutions, Andrew has helped many consumers improve their financial health by managing their debt responsibly. Under his leadership, Borrowell has become a recognized financial technology company, offering tools and resources to help consumers make informed credit decisions and obtain personal loans online with ease. Through his commitment to innovation and financial inclusion, Andrew Graham continues to actively contribute to the credit card industry by helping consumers improve their financial situation and access responsible credit solutions.

    Andrew Chau

    Co-founder – Neo Financial and Skip the Dishes

    Andrew Chau is known for his outstanding contributions to the credit card industry. As the co-founder of Neo Financial and Skip the Dishes, Andrew has played a key role in the creation and growth of these innovative companies. At Neo Financial, he has led the design and implementation of innovative credit card solutions, providing consumers with an exceptional user experience, as well as unique rewards programs and benefits. Prior to that, Andrew cofounded Skip the Dishes, a food delivery platform that has revolutionized the restaurant industry in Canada by offering credit card payment options and providing benefits to loyal customers. His innovative mindset, strategic vision, and expertise in technology and financial services have helped shape the credit card landscape and offer innovative payment solutions to consumers.

    Ann Tebo

    Head of Ampli & Digital Experiences for Avion Rewards at RBC

    Ann Tebo is an executive from the financial services sector, with a strong background in credit cards and rewards programs. As the Head of Digital Experiences for RBC’s Avion Rewards program and Ampli, Ann has played a key role in the development and implementation of innovative strategies for the company’s credit card and rewards programs. Under her leadership, Ampli and Avion Rewards have experienced significant growth. With the Ampli app, it is possible to connect your credit and debit cards in one application. Your purchases are then associated with eligible offers at the merchants you visit, and you receive cash back directly through the app. Her commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, and business growth has positioned RBC as one of the leaders in the credit card industry in Canada.

    Balinder Ahluwalia

    SVP and Group Head, Market Development – Mastercard Canada

    Balinder Ahluwalia has extensive experience in market development at Mastercard Canada. As Senior Vice President and Group Head of Market Development, Balinder has played a key role in the expansion and growth of the company in Canada. His expertise in the credit card industry has been demonstrated through his commitment to promoting the adoption of new payment technologies, creating strategic partnerships, and developing innovative payment solutions for consumers and businesses. Through his vision and passion for innovation, Balinder has made significant contributions to the evolution of the credit card industry in the country, helping to shape the future of electronic payments and deliver more efficient, secure, and convenient payment experiences for Canadians.

    Brett Mooney

    CEO and Country Manager – American Express Canada

    Brett Mooney is an accomplished leader in the financial services sector, currently serving as CEO and General Manager of American Express Canada. With an impressive career, Brett has made significant contributions to the credit card industry. Under his leadership, American Express Canada has experienced exceptional growth through strategic initiatives focused on innovation and improving the customer experience in the credit card domain. Brett is recognized for his visionary leadership, ability to anticipate market trends, and propose innovative solutions to meet the ever-evolving needs of consumers. Through his commitment to operational excellence and passion for innovation, Brett Mooney continues to play a key role in the development of the credit card industry in Canada and strengthening American Express’s position as a market leader.

    Charles Paiement

    Director / Card Payment Products and Solutions – Desjardins

    Charles Paiement is the Director of Card Payment Products and Solutions at Desjardins, one of the largest cooperative financial institutions in Canada. With deep expertise in the credit card industry, Charles has made significant contributions to the sector through his visionary leadership and in-depth market knowledge. He has led the development and implementation of innovative credit card products that have allowed Desjardins to stand out in the market. Charles is recognized for his ability to anticipate changing consumer needs and develop tailored solutions to enhance the credit card holder experience and maximize value for Desjardins members.

    Daniel Eberhard

    Founder and CEO – KOHO

    Daniel Eberhard is a visionary and innovative entrepreneur, recognized for his outstanding contribution to the credit card industry. As the founder and CEO of KOHO, a fintech company based in Canada, Daniel has redefined how consumers manage their finances and use their credit cards. With the goal of making banking services more accessible and transparent, Daniel has led the development of the KOHO app, offering virtual and physical credit card solutions with features such as budget management, automated savings, and real-time expense tracking. His enlightened leadership and expertise in financial technology have opened up new possibilities for consumers in financial management and smart, responsible credit card usage.

    Dave Feller

    Founder and CEO – Mogo

    Dave Feller is the founder and CEO of Mogo. He has led the company in developing innovative technology-driven financial solutions to help consumers manage their money and credit smartly. Through his insight and leadership, Dave has introduced revolutionary concepts such as Mogo credit cards, which offer unique features such as real-time credit monitoring, automatic cashback rewards, and financial education tools to help users improve their financial health. His contribution to the credit card industry is evident through his commitment to innovation and providing more transparent and accessible credit solutions for consumers, thereby opening up new possibilities in the realm of financial services.

    Ernie (Erminia) Johannson

    Group Head, North American Personal and Business Banking – BMO Financial Group

    Ernie (Erminia) Johannson is the Group Head of Personnel and Commercial Banking in North America for BMO Financial Group. She has played a key role in the strategy, development, and implementation of innovative credit card solutions for individuals and businesses. Ernie is recognized for her strategic vision, effective team management, and ability to identify and seize market opportunities to drive business growth. She has made significant contributions to the credit card industry by launching new products, enhancing the customer experience, and optimizing operational processes to deliver credit card solutions tailored to the needs of BMO’s customers. Her enlightened leadership and commitment to innovation have positioned BMO as a leader in the North American credit card industry.

    Jeff Smith

    President and CEO – DC Bank

    Jeff Smith is the President and CEO of DC Bank. He has made significant contributions to the credit card industry through his expertise in strategic management, innovation, and product development. Under his leadership, DC Bank has become a major player in the industry, offering innovative payment solutions and credit card services to customers in Canada and beyond. DC Bank specializes in issuing prepaid credit cards for multiple fintech companies. Jeff is recognized for his customer-centric approach, ability to anticipate market trends, and passion for innovation, which has allowed DC Bank to stand out in the credit card industry.

    Kerry Vincent

    Director, Loyalty and Banking Partnerships – Empire Company Limited and Sobeys Inc.

    Kerry Vincent has proven expertise in loyalty and banking partnerships. As the Director of Loyalty and Banking Partnerships at Empire Company Limited and Sobeys Inc., Kerry has made significant contributions to the credit card industry by developing strategic partnerships with financial institutions to promote the company’s loyalty programs and credit card offers. Recently, Sobeys has adopted the Scene Plus rewards programs, and consumers may expect a new Scene Plus credit card coming soon! In Quebec, Sobeys operates IGA, so it’s now possible to earn Scene points while grocery shopping. Kerry Vincent’s enlightened leadership and expertise in loyalty and banking partnerships have undoubtedly contributed to the ongoing success of Empire Company Limited and Sobeys Inc.

    Laura Scheck

    Vice President / Credit Cards – Scotiabank

    Laura Scheck has deep expertise in the credit card industry. As the Vice President (Credit Cards) for Scotiabank, Laura has made significant contributions to the sector by developing growth and innovation strategies for the company’s credit card products. It’s impossible to talk about Laura Scheck’s influence without mentioning the incredible rise of the Scene Plus rewards programs, as the majority of Scotiabank’s credit cards are associated with it! We understand why Laura is recognized for her results-driven approach, as she has successfully improved credit card portfolio performance, strengthened partner relationships, and increased customer satisfaction.

    Leila Title

    Director, Membership Rewards and Premium Products – American Express

    Leila Title is the Director of Rewards Programs and Premium Products at American Express. She possesses deep expertise in the development, management, and optimization of rewards programs and premium products related to credit cards. Leila has played a key role in creating and implementing innovative customer loyalty programs at American Express, offering cardholders exclusive and personalized benefits. She is recognized for her strategic leadership, in-depth market knowledge, and understanding of consumer needs in the credit card industry. Through her ongoing commitment to excellence, Leila Title continues to make significant contributions to the credit card sector by offering top-notch rewards programs and strengthening customer satisfaction and loyalty at American Express.

    Lisa Swiderski

    Senior Vice President – Distribution Strategy and Personal Banking Solutions – National Bank of Canada

    Lisa Swiderski is a board member of Interac and Mastercard, where she brings high quality strategic and operational expertise. With a remarkable career in the financial services industry, Lisa has played a key role in the development and implementation of key numerous initiatives in the credit card sector. She has been recognized for her outstanding leadership in promoting innovation and growth, as well as her deep understanding of market trends and consumer needs. With her expertise in strategy, risk management, and compliance, Lisa Swiderski continues to make significant contributions to the evolution of the credit card industry and shape the future of electronic payments.

    Lucie Blanchet

    First Vice President, Personal Banking and Customer Experience – National Bank of Canada

    Lucie Blanchet is a senior executive in the Canadian banking sector, with extensive experience in retail banking and customer experience. As Executive Vice President, Personal Banking and Customer Experience at National Bank of Canada, Lucie has made significant contributions to the credit card industry by developing and implementing innovative strategies to offer credit card products and services tailored to customer needs. She is recognized for her dynamic leadership and ability to anticipate customer needs and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Her strategic vision and commitment to innovation have contributed to the growth and success of National Bank in the credit card space, making her a respected and influential figure in the Canadian banking industry.

    Megan Jones

    Vice President, Cards – CIBC

    Megan Jones is a recognized expert in the financial services sector, currently serving as Vice President, Credit Cards at CIBC. She has made significant contributions to the sector through her leadership and strategic expertise. She has played a key role in the creation and implementation of innovative credit card products and programs that address changing customer needs and market trends. CIBC has also become the issuer of the Costco credit card in Canada, offering exclusive benefits and rewards to Costco members. The CIBC Costco card allows members to earn cash back on their purchases and access special offers. This collaboration aims to provide an enhanced shopping experience and foster customer loyalty through this new credit card offering.

    Michaela Garfield

    Vice President, Growth – President’s Choice Financial

    Michaela Garfield is the Vice President of Growth at President’s Choice Financial Services, where she has played a key role in implementing innovative and effective growth strategies for the company. Michaela is recognized for her dynamic leadership, strategic vision, and ability to identify and capitalize on market opportunities to drive business growth. She has actively contributed to the credit card industry by developing strategic partnerships, launching new products, and optimizing processes to maximize business performance. Her expertise in the credit card domain has strengthened PC Financial’s position in the market and achieved outstanding results in terms of growth and business success.

    Miro Pavletic

    GM, Head of Global Banking – Credit Sesame

    Miro Pavletic is the CEO of Credit Sesame, a globally recognized financial technology company. His passion for innovation and strategic vision has pushed the boundaries of the credit card industry. Miro Pavletic founded Stack, a Canada-based prepaid credit card issuer that offers an alternative to traditional credit cards. Stack prepaid credit cards allow users to manage their expenses, earn rewards, and benefit from advanced digital features such as budgeting and real-time notifications. Stack aims to provide a modern and convenient payment experience without monthly fees or foreign transaction fees. Miro later sold Stack to Credit Sesame.

    Nicky Mezo

    Vice President Marketing, Personal and Small Business Banking – TD

    Nicky Mezo is a dynamic leader in the financial services industry, with extensive experience in credit card marketing and products. As Vice President of Marketing for the Personal and Small Business Banking division at TD, she has made a significant contribution to the credit card industry by developing innovative marketing strategies to promote TD’s credit card products. Nicky is recognized for her expertise in identifying customer needs, creating effective marketing campaigns, and managing high-performing teams. She has played a key role in the development of new credit card offerings, maximizing customer portfolio growth, and enhancing the customer experience in the credit card space at TD.

    Patrick Ens

    President – Capital One Canada

    Patrick Ens is the President of Capital One Canada and he is recognized for his strategic vision and passion for helping Canadians succeed with credit. Patrick has transformed the landscape of financial services by offering innovative products that meet the needs of today’s customers. As a staunch advocate for responsible credit usage, Patrick Ens have contributed to promoting financial education and credit understanding among Canadians. His dynamic leadership has allowed Capital One Canada to stand out in the credit card industry, particularly through its secured approval offerings that assist individuals with lower credit scores in rebuilding their credit.

    Rasha Katabi

    Founder and CEO – BRIM Financial

    Rasha Katabi is the founder and CEO of BRIM. As a visionary leader, she has developed innovative credit card products and solutions that offer consumers personalized options and advanced features to manage their credit smartly. Under her leadership, BRIM has become a leading fintech company, providing cutting-edge credit card solutions to help consumers manage their credit responsibly and achieve their financial goals. BRIM is now behind the credit card program for the Laurentian Bank and the Air France card (Canadian market).

    Salil Vijay

    Chief Product Officer – Caary Capital

    Salil Vijay has been an indispensable asset to Caary Capital since 2020. As Chief Product Officer, he facilitated the development of a new corporate credit card platform for SMEs and startups, complete with budget and spend controls, seamless accounting integrations, and automated receipt capture. He played a pivotal role in defining the company’s product vision, driving its expansion from a small team of three to a vibrant group of 65. Previously at RBC, CIBC and HSBC, Vijay led the development of innovative digital lending platforms and drove cardholder engagement. Notably, he was pivotal in managing CIBC’s Aeroplan portfolio and client loyalty strategy.

    Ricky Zhang

    Founder and CEO – Prince of Travel

    Ricky Zhang is a seasoned entrepreneur and a travel expert. As the founder and CEO of Prince of Travel, a leading online platform for travel and credit card rewards, Ricky has democratized the smart use of credit cards to maximize travel benefits. His passion for travel and in-depth knowledge of rewards programs has allowed him to build an engaged and informed community of savvy travelers. Ricky has shared his advice and tips on how to optimize credit card rewards, helping many travelers fulfill their travel dreams at a reduced cost. His contribution to the credit card industry has enabled countless travelers to enjoy quality trips while optimizing their expenses.

    Rob Khazzam

    Co-founder and CEO – Float

    Rob Khazzam is the co-founder and CEO of Float. He has designed and implemented an intelligent credit card management platform that provides users with advanced tools to optimize their credit card usage. Float issues credit cards exclusively for businesses. Float offers an enterprise expense management platform that allows businesses to manage their employees’ credit cards, track expenses in real time, and set customized spending limits. Float credit cards are designed to help businesses streamline their expenses processes, save time, and gain increased visibility into their business expenses.

    Scott Lapstra

    Management Consultant / Payments, FinTech, Banking – Lapstra Consulting

    For over 18 years, Scott has been recognized as a leader in the Canadian credit card market and is currently a leading management consultant who helps banks, credit unions and fintech with payments innovation. In 2008 Scott helped pioneer mobile payments with partners at BlackBerry, Bell, Samsung and MasterCard. In 2015, Scott launched the award-winning Tangerine MasterCard, a program that is still recognized as a consumer favorite in 2023. Through his consulting engagements, he helps clients innovate in product development, improved digital experience and leading payment technology!

    Yvette Edsall

    COO – Fintel Connect

    Yvette Edsall holds a leadership position at Fintel Connect. As the Chief Operating Officer at Fintel Connect, a cutting-edge technology company specializing in affiliate marketing for financial services, she has made a significant contribution to the credit card industry by developing and implementing effective operational strategies to support the company’s growth and expansion. Fintel Connect helps credit card issuers grow through its affiliate network. She is recognized for her strategic vision, inspirational leadership, and ability to optimize operational processes to improve efficiency and performance of the company. Her expertise in the credit card industry has been a key driver of Fintel Connect’s success, strengthening its position as a leader in the financial services affiliate marketing sector.

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    A veteran of traditional media, Katherine has many years of experience in the field of communications and marketing. Her passion for words led her to take a more content-oriented path. She is the co-founder of AKCENT Agency, which specializes in digital marketing and advertising campaigns.