Director, North America Innovation & Design

  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

As the world's leader in digital payments technology, Visa's mission is to connect the world through the most creative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company's dedication to innovation drives the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and fuels the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.

At Visa, your individuality fits right in. Working here gives you an opportunity to impact the world, invest in your career growth, and be part of an inclusive and diverse workplace. We are a global team of disruptors, trailblazers, innovators and risk-takers who are helping drive economic growth in even the most remote parts of the world, creatively moving the industry forward, and doing meaningful work that brings financial literacy and digital commerce to millions of unbanked and underserved consumers.

You're an Individual. We're the team for you. Together, let's transform the way the world pays.

Job Description

As part of the global product organization, Visa Innovation & Design is a client facing organization that sets Visa’s public innovation agenda, supports our clients accelerate their innovation agenda and transform their consumer digital experience.  We promote hands on incubation and rapid prototyping to demonstrate the impact of new product concepts with consumers for clients and partners. Innovation & Design operates innovation centers in various global offices; this function focuses on Visa’s North America region.

The Innovation & Design team (I&D) is looking for a talented individual to lead and support to our client Innovation Engagements (Co-Creations) in North America as well as work on new product development projects. The individual should be able to work independently on large responsibilities within critical client or business projects. 

The successful candidate will be responsible for working across functions (e.g., design, technology, products, etc.) and with Visa’s client issuers, merchants, end consumers and partners. This role will be highly client facing. This role reports to the Senior Director of Innovation and Design in the North America Innovation Center.

The Director will be responsible for specific human centered design projects (from inception through testing). The role requires the person to be part of a holistic approach to product design that begins with the customer and rapidly iterates solutions to deliver customer experiences that are simple, powerful, and exceptional.  In addition, the individual will be part of a team that brings a structured approach and the ability to communicate highly complex information to both a technical and non-technical audiences. The team believes in curiosity, creative confidence, experimentation through making, continuous learning, respectful collaboration, inclusion, empathy, resiliency and fun! 

Lastly, the person should be a “SWAN” – someone who is smart, works hard, ambitious and nice!


  • Lead client engagements end-to-end (from selling, scoping, research, client delivery and go-to-market)
  • Take leadership of project, team, and client relationship
    • Lead and inspire large and diverse teams of 10-20 client + Visa staff during client co-creation sprints, providing clear vision, direction, and allocating roles based on skills, strengths and need
    • Provide guidance and oversight for junior team members assigned on project (e.g, Analyst & Manager) assigning specific tasks, defining timeline, and reviewing deliverables 
    • Coordinate support and inputs required from Visa Sales team, senior team members and Visa SMEs 
    • Coordinate with Innovation Ops team logistics of client engagements (e.g., Venue, Agenda, etc.) 
    • Active facilitation of co-creation in person & virtual workshops
  • Lead immersions to gain user insights
    • Define, design, and execute qualitative research (e.g., format, scope, candidate, interview guides, survey content, etc.)
    • Lead synthesis and summarizing of content for executive audiences
  • Use exceptional project management, facilitation and leadership skills to inspire the joint Visa + client / partner team to deliver their best
  • Work with clients and interdisciplinary teams of product, design, and engineering in the development of new products, using a digital-first mindset and the contemporary product management techniques of digital native companies (e.g., human centered design, minimum viable product, rapid prototyping, etc.  
  • Leads the business perspective on relevance to Visa, business modeling/case/reason to invest.  Articulates the “Business Design Challenge” at the beginning of the project to ensure potential user and business impacts are relevant and defined early (e.g., what problem are we trying to solve? What impact do we want to have? What are possible solutions? What context and constraints do we need to keep in mind?)
  • Participate in the delivery of a range of projects that could vary based on user, problem/opportunity defined and/or globally. 
  • In partnership with design and technology determine what work should be done to explore, test, refine, and recommend a final solution and that brings a holistic approach to product design that begins with the customer and rapidly iterates solutions to deliver customer experiences that are simple, powerful, and exceptional.  Works with designers + design technologist to make things tangible/real versus theoretical
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of Visa’s capabilities and has the ability to think holistically about the design of a new offering and the implications related to both the customer’s experience as well as the organization’s ability to implement and scale.   This includes working closely with our partners to develop strategies, timelines, and operational models that appropriately consider the organizational needs, aspirations, business realities
  • Articulate the possibility, viability and feasibility of recommendations.  This includes crafting the story of how the design recommendation fits into a company’s overall strategy, the underlying business model, and any implementation risks.
  • Energize and improve the status quo using creativity and intelligent, calculated risks to deliver new products and processes that surpass clients’ expectations, demonstrating new methods, capabilities, and mindsets.
  • Establish compelling business-based reason for change that mobilizes others to adopt new product development process that more effectively and rapidly deliver growth and improve Visa’s competitive differentiation.
  • Embrace opportunity to develop appropriate process/approach based on each project including setting up parameters that feel defined but not overly restrictive



  • 10 years of work experience with a Bachelor’s Degree or at least 8 years of work experience with an Advanced Degree (e.g. Masters/MBA/JD/MD) or at least 3 years of work experience with a PhD


  • 10+ of experience in payments, new product design, or financial services product development and/or consulting
  • Must have a mindset that embraces creativity, optimism, ambiguity and failing-fast
  • Comfortable interacting, interviewing and iterating with people through exploration of new concept, prototyping (low and high) and testing
  • Strategy or innovation or digital consulting experience a plus
  • Payments industry/fintechs/digital tech experience or similar relevant experience a plus
  • Product design/development experience, with a strong focus on innovative product development a plus
  • Proven ability to work on complex and often ambiguous problems, to drive results
  • Ability to be client-facing, specifically to design, facilitate and execute on complex client engagements

Additional Information

Essential Functions:

  • Must have a mindset that embraces creativity, optimism, ambiguity and failing-fast

  • Proven ability to work on complex and often ambiguous problems, to drive results

  • Analytical thinker, team oriented, collaborative, diplomatic, and flexible, with excellent presentation skills, including strong oral and writing capabilities

  • Must have a client-first mentality and demonstrate maturity when interacting and leading client workshops

  • Excellent project management skills, organization, and ability to manage multiple workstreams at the same time

Physical Requirements:

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, reach with hands and arms, and bend or lift up to 25 pounds.

Travel Requirements:

Up to 20% travel required

Work Hours:

Incumbent must make themselves available onsite during core business hours 

Visa will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with EEOC guidelines and applicable local law.

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