WIA Profile: Mia Zhu

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.

Mia Zhu is the founder and CEO of Mobius Payments Inc., a Los Angeles-based organization, which specializes in merchant account activations in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. Zhu has worked with several organizations and companies, including The Royal Bank of Scotland — Lynk, Comerica Bank, and many others. She has helped hundreds of companies through the years with their electronic payment solutions, and currently serves as a member on the board of directors for the Western State Acquirers Association.

The most rewarding part of my work is being able to help those around me both personally and professionally.

Zhu has been an active member with the ETA (Electronic Transaction Association) and has served on the committee for (Women of Financial Services). She is frequently called upon to provide insight and promote discourse in the area of online payments, as well as merchant rules and regulations, specific to MasterCard and VISA brand compliance. Her business passions include building and leading world-class client-facing organizations, fostering team engagement, and enhancing the creation and execution of innovative solutions for a wide array of clients.

How did you get into the business?

I have always been fascinated with the latest web technology and e-commerce solutions. Early in my payment career I discovered that the adult industry was always on the cutting edge of B2C technology and would take the risks with new ideas that mainstream companies would not. As soon as I made the decision in 2000 to work with clients in the adult entertainment space, I never looked back.

What in your background prepared you for what you are doing now?

Years ago I would have told you it was my graduate degree in Psychology. Today I realize it gave me confidence. I still believe my previous life as a therapist taught me about the human condition and understanding the instruments of change, which has helped in life. But in the warm light of consciousness, I realize now more then ever that my father prepared me. He was an international patent lawyer with a practice in Seoul and in San Francisco. Every summer from when I was 12, we would travel to his office in Korea and I would fetch water, coffee, and make copies. As I got older I would help in both offices translating and typing dictations. He would let me sit in his meetings sometimes and observe his creativity and brilliance; he was a lawyer, turned entrepreneur.

When I decided to leave the mental health profession in the early 1990s, I answered an ad and got a job with Lynk not knowing where it would lead. At Lynk I learned the merchant processing business from the ground up. The Royal Bank of Scotland later acquired Lynk for $525 million. This was a wonderful starting point where I learned the basics of what the merchant processing business was all about. From there I was able to grow into roles with larger spans of influence including my current role as the founder and chief executive of Mobius Payments Inc.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The most rewarding part of my work is being able to help those around me both personally and professionally. If I can make someone’s day just a little bit better, it’s all worth it. I am grateful and know that I am fortunate to be able to do what I love everyday. I have fun, meeting the next generation of webmasters and entrepreneurs to work through their business process and help where I can with my knowledge, experience, and network. No one said building a company would be easy but it’s such a great pleasure in life to see people succeed with an idea and gumption.

Do you have a motto or slogan that you follow?

If you are about to lose it, ask for help!


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