Where IT and Security Meet

First Data's New CIO on the Evolution of Secure Payments
Where IT and Security Meet
Christopher Augustin, CIO, First Data

Christopher Augustin, new CIO at First Data, brings both a Wall Street and a start-up perspective to this role. How does he expect to incorporate security to enable the next generation of payments technology?

Augustin, who joined the payments vendor in July, leads First Data's software development work, as well as the company's engineering processes and software and application development strategy. It's a unique role for which he believes he is uniquely qualified.

"I think my experience in both large firms and startups has given me a perspective, you might say, on what it takes to effectively meet market needs," Augustin says. "In my history, as I grew up on Wall Street, the importance of high-performance applications, with tremendous stability and security built into those applications ... is critical in the payments industry."

Security, Augustin says, is his top priority.

"When it comes to being able to provide both tactical and strategic products for the merchants and for the financial institutions - our clients - it's important that security be thought of throughout the process," he says. "We have products like TransArmor, that provides encryption and tokenization, and you see the market moving toward EMV ... We will be there - we already are in Europe, and we will be in the U.S. in order to satisfy the security needs of merchants."

In an interview about his new role at First Data, Augustin discusses:

  • How security impacts his role;
  • The future of secure payments;
  • Necessary education and experience to launch a career in IT today.

Augustin has nearly 30 years of industry experience and joined First Data from Marked Private LLC. At Marked Private, Augustin served as chief information officer and senior business advisor, responsible for designing the private messaging and social networking site for immediate market acceptance and future business growth.

Prior to Marked Private, Augustin was co-founder and chief information officer for Javelin Capital Markets LLC, where he was involved in all aspects of growing that business. At Javelin, Augustin built technology and client integration teams responsible for designing, developing, deploying and supporting a cutting edge Swap Execution Platform for IRS and CDS.

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