Harnessing Data: The Inspiring Journey of Keren Ben Zvi

Keren Ben Zvi’s path to becoming the Chief Data Officer at PayU GPO is nothing short of inspiring. From her early days at Ben-Gurion University to her impactful roles in major tech firms like eBay, Keren’s journey is a testament to her dedication and expertise in data analytics and fintech.


Read the full interview with PaymentExpert here or check out the highlights below.


Building a Strong Foundation in Tech

Despite notable progress, women remain underrepresented in STEM fields. As of 2024, women constitute about 26% of the STEM workforce in the UK and 29% globally, underscoring the lingering disparities in a sector critical for innovation​ (Stem Women)​​ (IET – Home)​. These figures reflect both the strides made and the long road ahead for achieving gender parity in STEM industries.


Keren Ben Zvi’s educational background in Information System Engineering laid the groundwork for her successful career. Her time at Ben-Gurion University provided her with the technical skills and critical thinking abilities essential for navigating the payment industry.

A Passion for Data and Problem-Solving

Starting as a Student Software Engineer intern at Comverse Technology, Keren developed a passion for data analytics. Her career at eBay further honed her skills, where she worked on machine learning algorithms and data integration, making significant contributions to business analytics and data architecture.


Transition to Fintech

Innovation in fintech is critical for maintaining a competitive edge, with technologies like AI driving advancements. PayU GPO leverages AI-powered decision-making engines to ensure cutting-edge quality and efficiency in their operations.


Keren’s move to PayU GPO allowed her to merge her expertise in data with the dynamic world of financial technology. “The fintech industry is constantly evolving – just look at the advancements in payment methods, machine learning, and AI. Innovation will always be present, and I find that thrilling.”

Overcoming Challenges with Data

Securing data integrity is a significant challenge, with a report from IBM stating that the average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million in 2021.


Keren thrives on overcoming challenges in the fintech industry, particularly in maintaining data integrity and utilizing data to drive business growth. “Demonstrating data’s practical value and potential to drive business growth has been an ongoing challenge throughout my career, but one I truly enjoy overcoming.”


Transferable Business Skills

Keren advises aspiring professionals to step out of their comfort zones and showcase their transferable business skills. “Your sector expertise is only part of what makes you employable. While you should look to become an expert in your field, you will always have important transferable business skills, and you must show them off.”


Examples of these skills include project management, critical thinking, and communication, which are valuable across various industries.


Empowering Women in Fintech

Keren Ben Zvi’s journey is a powerful example for women aspiring to enter the fintech sector. Despite being traditionally male-dominated, the fintech industry is seeing more female representation, with women making up 30% of the fintech workforce globally, according to Deloitte.


Leaders like Keren are paving the way for more women to join and excel in this field. Her success underscores the importance of diversity and inclusion in driving innovation and business success.

The Role of Data in Career Growth

Keren’s experience highlights how crucial data skills are in today’s job market. Understanding and leveraging data can significantly enhance one’s career prospects, opening doors to various opportunities in different sectors. For those in tech, continuous learning and staying updated with the latest data trends are essential for career advancement.


Keren Ben Zvi’s journey is a powerful reminder of the importance of passion, dedication, and continuous learning in achieving professional success. For a deeper dive into her career and insights, read the full interview here.