There are some well-known businessmen who have distinguished themselves through their unparalleled contributions to the industry. One of these individuals, who has achieved success in the payments sector, has been recognized as a 2022 Business Elite ’40 Under 40′ Honoree, one of the top 40 exceptional young entrepreneurs in North America, for his contributions to payments. This prestigious award highlights game-changers in the payments industry, and Sumit Arora is truly humbled to be among such an inspiring group of professionals.
Sumit is serving as a Senior Vice President and Senior Leader, Enterprise Payments Strategy and Planning at Wells Fargo Bank since past two years. In this role, he is responsible for crafting and executing strategies with payments industry bodies like the Federal Reserve System to advance the bank’s payments initiatives. He was born and raised in Delhi, India, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Delhi Technological University, one of India’s most prestigious engineering institutions for over 75 years. In addition to his professional duties, he enjoys writing, public speaking, and contributing to numerous articles, papers, podcasts, and conferences on payments and banking. He also serves on the boards of several national and regional business associations and charitable organizations.
Sumit comes from a humble middle-class north-Indian family where values like hard work, discipline, and education were instilled in him from a young age. His father, a former banker himself, taught him the value of diligence and perseverance. “He showed me that with focus and determination, you can achieve whatever goals you set for yourself,” says Sumit. “My mother, a homemaker, taught me the importance of kindness, generosity, and putting family first. Her selfless love and care shaped my understanding of what truly matters in life.”
Sumit was introduced to the payments industry when he began his first job at Infosys Limited as a Software Engineer in 2005. One of his first projects involved coding mainframe programs for consumer and small business credit cards in European markets for the world’s leading credit card company. In this role, he interacted with key industry stakeholders and immediately realized that payments are the timeless pulse of global economic growth. He was jonesing for payment innovations, endless possibilities, and a positive impact on the government, businesses, and consumers. “Payers would have more options than ever before, with no segment of the population left behind. Ensuring unbanked and underbanked consumers were empowered with new options to send and receive money. I wanted to be part of this exciting ecosystem, part of the payment’s evolution journey, and drive and enable more innovations that did not exist—at least not at scale—as recently as 18 years ago,” says Sumit.
As with any industry expert, staying up-to-date with industry trends is crucial for Sumit to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve. His approach to staying up-to-date with industry trends involves active participation in conferences, reading industry-specific publications, leveraging digital resources and online communities, and continuously seeking knowledge through insightful books. By combining these approaches, he ensures that he is equipped with the latest information and insights necessary to make strategic decisions and drive innovation in the dynamic payments landscape. He prioritizes reading materials that enhance his leadership skills, foster innovation, and provide strategic insights. He is influenced by the work of writers, which includes ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’ by Clayton M. Christensen, ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Ries, and ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman. These books offer valuable lessons on disruptive innovation, lean methodologies, and decision-making processes, which are highly relevant to his role in the payments industry.