The Innovation Project 2013, spearheaded by, has established the Payments Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Award to honor the giants of the industry on whose shoulders all innovators stand. These are the men and women who have created the foundation of the payments industry and have made it possible for new innovators to pursue what’s next in payments.

We proudly announce the 2013 inductees into Payments Hall of FameTM.  Each of them will receive their award in person at the 2013 PYMNTS Awards Ceremony, which will be held at Annenberg Hall at Harvard University on March 21, 2013. The Awards Ceremony is emceed B.J. Novak, writer, producer and star of The Office, and is the capstone of the two day, invitation only convening of the elite innovators in the payments and broader commerce ecosystem.


2013 Payments Hall of Fame Inductees


James Goodfellow is the genius who among other things came up with the idea of using a personal identification number (PIN) to verify the identity of the person trying to take out cash with their card. He came up with the idea of the PIN and other core aspects of ATM technology in 1966. Today, the PIN is used at ATMs and POS devices around the world and is used to authenticate billions of consumers every day.

Goodfellow is a Scottish-born engineer. Working at Smith Industries, Ltd. In the mid 1960s Goodfellow was assigned a project to develop an automatic cash dispenser in 1965. In 2006, the Queen of England award Goodfellow the Order of the British Empire for his development of the PIN and his service to banking. 


Max Levchin is one of the founders of PayPal and was the key architect of many of the innovations that helped make it the most widely used web-based payment method.  Fifteen years after starting the company PayPal is the most successful electronic wallet, with more than 100 million active users, and what everyone else is chasing.

Levchin founded the predecessor to PayPal in December 1998 with Peter Thiel.  After pursuing a few other innovations in payments they settled on web-based payments. They found a natural application on eBay. The rest as they say is history.  Born in the Ukraine, Levchin emigrated to the US in 1991, and was trained as a computer scientist before starting PayPal.


Philip J. Purcell conceived, started, and successfully ignited the Discover Card which, in 1986, was the first new general purpose payment card brand started in the United States in two decades and in 2013 the last. A senior executive at Sears at the time, Purcell saw the potential of leveraging the Sears proprietary store card into an innovative general-purpose card with no fee and cash back on spend.  It grew quickly and within five years established itself as a significant competitor to the three major brand brands.

Today, after acquiring Diners Club—the first general purpose card system—Discover Card has become a global brand.  It has also opened its network to key innovators in payments including Google and PayPal and is helping these innovators pursue their own visions.

Born in Salt Lake City, Purcell graduated from Notre Dame and the University of Chicago Business School.   


2013 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

We will also announce the Winner of the Payments Lifetime Achievement Award to the individual who has contributed the most to payments over a long term career. The winner is:


Dee Hock conceived and helped give birth to the modern bank-card association which has become the model for most payment card systems around the world and which helped fuel the rapid and widespread deployment of cards worldwide.

Hock convinced Bank of America, in the face of strife between it and the banks that had franchisees to issue the BankAmericard, to move to an association model in which Bank of America and the other banks would all be members. He then led the creation of governance model and operating procedures for this bank association. He went on to lead many of the early innovations in payments in terms of products and information technology.

While his work helped turn Visa into the most widely used card brand in the world, his achievement lies in business model, product, and technological innovations that are at the foundation of the payment card industry globally.

Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients!

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