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Joint Study Committee on FinTech Reconvenes to Talk Workforce Development and Education
October 6, 2016
The Georgia General Assembly Joint Study Committee on Incentives for Financial Technologies and Payment Processing Industry gathered for its second meeting at Elavon’s headquarters in Atlanta on Thursday, September 29. This convening considered topics of workforce development and education to grow the FinTech and payments processing industry.
Art Recesso, Chief Innovation Officer for the University System of Georgia’s eCampus kicked off the morning program providing an update on the FinTech curriculum progress within the state’s four-year universities. The ATPC incubated this initiative with Mark Lytle, Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, and the entire University System of Georgia Board of Regents nearly one year ago. And efforts are already underway to create the first companion technical college certificate programs. As reported during the meeting, the University System has interfaced with industry companies to identify talent needs and expected program requirements. Preparations are underway to launch a High Demand Career Initiative to meet industry workforce needs.
An emerging sector of the payments industry was also introduced to the study committee and others in attendance. Lara Hodgson, President and CEO of NOWAccount Network Corporation, presented on the industry opportunity in “trade credit” – or the credit given by a business to other businesses and government customers, rather than consumers. This sector has the potential to be 10 times the size of the consumer payments space that Atlanta already dominates as “Transaction Alley.” Ms. Hodgson asked the committee to consider why Atlanta shouldn’t also strive to be the hub of this undiscovered portion of the industry. Finally, she introduced three legislative opportunities to advance the payments processing and broader finance industries by sending a clear signal that Georgia wants to lead in this space: a set of adjustments to clarify existing statutes; the adoption of a business fraud protection that currently exists in other states; and recognition by, and support of the General Assembly for a program successfully being operated by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Also presenting during the session were: Kyle Johnsen, Director of the Georgia Informatics Institutes and Associate Professor at the University of Georgia College of Engineering; and Thiago Olson, Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), specifically the FinTech Accelerator that is funded by Worldpay US’s $1 million gift in 2015. Finally, the meeting included impromptu remarks from Peter Radcliffe, a special guest visiting from the U.K. whom is Innovate Finance’s global payments ambassador. He gave his full support for the ATPC’s P20 concept, and took questions on the impacts of Brexit.
The initial meeting of the joint study committee was held at the state capital complex in downtown Atlanta on August 11, and included industry testimony from ATPC Board Chairman Scott Meyerhoff, board member Chris Justice, and Executive Director H. West Richards. A full recap of that meeting can be found here.
Study committee co-chair Sen. Brandon Beach has expressed interest in holding one additional meeting at the state capital prior to gathering the committee to draft a report and recommendations for presentation at the 2017 General Assembly session. More details will follow, so stay tuned to the ATPC website and @TransactAlley Twitter account for announcements.