Q&A with Christine A. Moore, Managing Director, North America at FirmDecisions

Christine A. Moore, Managing Director, North America at FirmDecisions has over 20 years of agency and in-house experience in commercially driven roles. Her global knowledge is complemented by an in-depth understanding of the US market and an extensive marketing procurement background. Christine has also served in CFO and COO roles across the agency business and has held roles at the likes of PepsiCo Inc., Interpublic, Dentsu International, MDC Partners and WPP during her career.

In a world of innovation and fast-evolving agency services, there has never been more of a need to ensure accountability and delivery and ensuring contractual terms reflect the current status.



MEDIA 7: Could you please take us through your professional journey?
CHRISTINE A. MOORE
: While my career has taken me to several different industries, the red thread has been financing and operations. I have had the opportunity to be trained by and work for strong brands such as Merrill Lynch (now Bank of America), General Motors, and PepsiCo on the client-side, and at agencies such as McCann, IPG Mediabrand (both IPG), McGarry Bowen (Dentsu International) as well as Kinetic WW (WPP). In addition to a wide industry coverage, I have been lucky to work and live in three continents and have conducted business in many, many more countries. And this has led me to become a true chameleon, being able to decipher opportunities and challenges from not just a work-related angle but also a cultural angle. The latter part of my career has been spent within advertising, across front office and back office, and different holding companies. It has prepared me extremely well for the role I have now, working alongside clients who want to better understand and manage their marketing spend.


M7: What are some of FirmDecisions’ key areas of specialization that you offer to your clients?
CAM:
FirmDecisions work with clients to help them better understand and validate the way their marketing funds are being spent. We help the brands focus on the right questions to ask their partners to drive transparency and thus better trust in the relationship. We ensure that their marketing partners - across the gamut – deliver what the contract stipulates and that they uphold the great corporate governance they claim they do. It is an industry with constant innovation, and this drives a lot of complexities on all levels – we support our clients in ensuring that their negotiations are delivered through regular audits of the contractual obligations. This is relevant in both an ongoing relationship and once that relationship has ended where an exit audit is required to tie up all parts of the commercial side of dealings.


For many clients, the future of marketing changed, and we will see a large agency pitch spree coming out of COVID-19 as clients re-assess the requirements of their agency partners to deliver on their need to be more digital, nimble and offer new services such as e-commerce, data access, and new platforms to reach the client base.



M7: What do you see as the most noticeable change right now happening in the industry, encouraged by the rise of digital technologies?
CAM:
Due to COVID-19, the industry leapfrogged the natural migration to digital media that we have witnessed over the past decade. This means a lot of the services offered to clients that may not be ready for prime time just yet, however, because there is a demand for it, the marketing industry is pushing product development to drive sales and create client stickiness. The rush is being driven by consumer demand but also the FOMO (fear of missing out) on both the client-side and the agency-side. Here, FirmDecisions can help make sure transparency is upheld and that the client receives what they paid for and was expecting in the relationship. In a world of innovation and fast-evolving agency services, there has never been more of a need to ensure accountability and delivery and ensuring contractual terms reflect the current status.


M7: What are some of the big impacts upon advertising and as a result on client-agency relationships due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
CAM:
FirmDecisions had a lot of anecdotal evidence that the marketing industry underwent a lot of change during COVID-19. To add to that, we commissioned a study among marketing procurement leaders with more than 250MLN USD under management, across 12 industries. The research indicated that while there were a lot of changes to the commercial terms, many client-agency relationships worked together to brace the COVID-19 storm. For many clients, the future of marketing changed, and we will see a large agency pitch spree coming out of COVID-19 as clients re-assess the requirements of their agency partners to deliver on their need to be more digital, nimble and offer new services such as e-commerce, data access, and new platforms to reach the client base. Another area of impact on advertising due to COVID-19 is client demand for nimbleness and measurable effectiveness. This appears to be translating into a demand for more specialized skills, particularly in digital, data, and research. This may put pressure on agency scopes, though the jury is out on whether this means a trend toward consolidation or decentralization.


Giving back to people who are less fortunate than you is such a great way to utilize your skills in a completely different manner. Only your imagination can limit the help you can provide, and it allows you to explore areas of yourself that you didn’t think existed.



M7: When you are not working, what are you seen doing? Would you like to share your hobbies with us?
CAM:
I have a lot of energy, so I tend to move around a lot - I enjoy running. It allows me to let my thoughts flow freely and many times it helps me think outside the box and come up with new ways of thinking of things. I also try to do horseback riding once a week when time allows me to – I am not a great rider, so I must focus on what I do and trust the horse and my own instincts. It’s a good counteractivity to problem-solving and having your brain “turned on” constantly. During COVID-19, I have taken on a lot of volunteering. Giving back to people who are less fortunate than you is such a great way to utilize your skills in a completely different manner. Only your imagination can limit the help you can provide, and it allows you to explore areas of yourself that you didn’t think existed.

ABOUT FIRMDECISIONS

FirmDecisions is the largest independent global marketing compliance specialist. It provides financial transparency in the client-partner relationship to the world’s biggest advertisers. Intent on balancing the books again, FirmDecisions has spent the last 23 years ensuring advertisers are paying only what they should for marketing partner services, and that all partners are complying with their contracted terms of business. The FirmDecisions team comes from finance, procurement and commercial divisions in marketing and media agencies, and have all actively worked in the space they now audit. FirmDecisions has offices on five continents, with people on the ground across America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, with local knowledge to provide context and expertise across all markets.

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VoPay Unveils Instant Micro-Transaction Service for Bank Account Verification, Marking a First in Canada and the US

VoPay | January 11, 2024

VoPay, a leading provider of embedded financial technology solutions, has launched VoPay Verify, an Instant Bank Account Verification solution via microtransactions - pioneering the first-of-its-kind service in Canada and the United States. Recognizing the escalating adoption of bank account payments as a credit card and paper cheque alternative, the demand for a steadfast bank account verification method has become imperative for businesses. VoPay’s innovative solution empowers enterprises to rapidly authenticate and confirm any US or Canadian bank account, eliminating the protracted waiting times of up to 24 hours or more for micro-transactions to finalize. Micro-transactions, a stalwart tool for confirming bank account ownership over the years, entail crediting or debiting a nominal amount into the account. They offer several advantages for businesses, encompassing heightened security, improved user experience, regulatory compliance, and reduced chargebacks. However, the current process is notoriously slow and disruptive to users' experience, with transactions typically spanning at least a day to complete. By leveraging VoPay's real-time transaction capabilities, companies will reduce the risk of reversals, NSFs, and transaction failures, ultimately improving their bottom line. VoPay Verify offers a fully managed account verification experience by providing a pre-built user experience and intellectual logic that determines the transaction amount considering many different risk criteria. “This initiative gives our clients an out-of-the-box method for account verification. It means that they don't have to stitch together a solution and can utilize an optimized set of endpoints for micro-transaction verification,” says Hamed Arbabi, VoPay Founder & CEO. “Fast and easy account validation has become a crucial component in customer onboarding, and enterprises are struggling to find a fast, reliable, and cost-effective way to validate new accounts. VoPay's new Instant Micro-Transaction Verification tool does just that.” VoPay's latest offering further strengthens the company's position as the leading provider of Fintech-as-a-Service tools and a go-to provider for businesses looking to integrate embedded financial services into their offerings. VoPay Verify will be available to new and existing customers from February 1st. Sign up here for early access. About VoPay At the core of VoPay's offering is a multi-tenancy architecture, seamlessly integrated with a comprehensive payment engine and financial services solutions, epitomizing the concept of Fintech-as-a-Service. For software enterprises seeking to accelerate growth, expedite time to market, reduce operational costs, and enhance efficiency within their core platform, VoPay provides an embedded payment solution.

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