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December 15, 2015
Leadership and members of the ATPC have had a busy end to the calendar year.
The Venture Atlanta conference October 20 – 21, featured ATPC Board Chair and Worldpay US President and CEO Tony Catalfano speaking on behalf of Transaction Alley payments companies. This year’s conference programming was originally focused on health IT, another of Atlanta’s top workforce sectors, but ATPC was able to persuade conference organizers to emphasize FinTech and payment processing instead because of its recent growing prominence and impact.
The industry’s largest trade show and conference, Money 20/20, took place the next week in Las Vegas. The ATPC partnered with the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) to hold a dinner with invited guests in the payments industry, both ATPC members and non-members. The dinner included a video message from Governor Nathan Deal and was considered a great success. In the video the Governor commended the ATPC for its efforts to organize the industry and educate Georgia’s state legislature and the Georgia Congressional delegation on the payments industry’s vital role in the economy.
The second PeachPay meeting was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on November 3, 2015. The primary speakers were Peter Gordon, SVP Payment Strategies, GM PayNet at FIS and Sean Rodriguez, SVP & Faster Payments Strategy Leader, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Both also serve on the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Taskforce. Sean Rodriguez gave an overview of the Faster Payments Taskforce work up to the present date and Peter Gordon focused on the work he and FIS have done to bring Faster Payments to the UK. Both agreed that faster payments in the US would come via a market driven solution. They also agreed that the Taskforce cannot agree on the exact cost for US conversion to Faster Payments. The event was well attended and well received. The other major PeachPay update is that a Federal Reserve White Paper on the Prepaid Ecosystem is in the works between the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, InComm, TSYS and Brad Fauss, president and CEO of the National Branded Prepaid Card Association (NBPCA).
Throughout the interim prior to the 2016 legislative session, the ATPC team was working to build and strengthen relationships with key influencers in state government. ATPC Executive Director West Richards testified before the Joint Study Committee on Cyber Security, co-chaired by Representative Ed Setzler and Senator Brandon Beach. Richards presented an overview of the important role that financial technology companies play in Georgia, and presented the group with a compelling case for why cybersecurity issues should be top-of-mind with legislators.
The Georgia General Assembly will convene on January 11th, 2016. The 2016 legislative session is the second year of the current biennium, which means that any legislation that did not pass or fail in 2015 will still be eligible for consideration this year. The ATPC is actively monitoring and reviewing legislation that is pre-filed before the 2016 session. For instance, the team is reviewing the “Georgia Personal Data Security Act,” which was pre-filed by Senator John Albers (R-Alpharetta). We are confident that the relationships that we have built through our efforts across the state will continue to serve us well as we represent the interests of the the ATPC at the State Capitol.
West also participated in Global Atlanta’s “Paying Atlanta Forward” event, discussing the history and future of payments in Atlanta, and presenting the threats and opportunities of the regulatory environment.
Finally, Robert Green organized an event with Atlanta Trend and Holland & Knight that featured U.S. Sen. David Perdue. Georgia’s junior senator spoke highly of the ATPC and their work both in Washington, D.C. and the state.