Tuesday, October 10, 2017
The inaugural conference of the P20, a new transatlantic payments initiative comprising 20 of the most influential leaders in the global payments industry, convened in London from Oct. 9 to 10, 2017. Leadership delegates representing the P20, along with invited U.K. and U.S. government officials and regulators, industry advocates and fintech innovators, participated in scheduled panel meetings and briefings.
"We are extremely proud to be hosting P20's first conference in London, bringing together payments industry leaders, government officials and head regulators to discuss the future of the sector," said Peter Radcliffe, P20 Chairman. "The P20 mission charter is being crafted to address the improvement of regulation, innovation, cybersecurity, education and financial inclusion on a global scale."
Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and P20 board members from Cielo S.A., Evertec Inc., First Data Corp., FIS, Elavon Inc., Ingenico Group, InComm, JP Morgan Chase, Paysafe Group PLC, TSYS and founding member Worldpay, were among those participating.
"The main accomplishment of the inaugural conference will be to create and legitimize the platform to be an ongoing rotating conference," said H. West Richards, Executive Director of the American Transaction Processors Coalition, whose organization helped spearhead the formation of P20 as an international outreach program, following the coalition's role in the CyberForum and Fintech Atlanta economic development initiatives.
Founded in 2013, ATPC represents over 70 Georgia-based companies who support the technology needs of the financial service industry. Atlanta, which has been coined Transaction Alley, annually processes about 75 percent of all U.S. payments and Georgia claims 60 percent of payment companies with a U.S. presence have quarters in the state.
According to Richards, Atlanta has over 100 fintech companies. He additionally stated that the area's fintech legacy dates back to the 1960s, making it the original fintech city. To continue the legacy, he said, the ATPC is currently working with the University of Georgia to create the first university system-wide fintech curriculum program.
Playing an active role in Washington, D.C., ATPC sought to partner outside Georgia in a region with a complementary economic vision. After ruling out other cities, the organization approached London officials about forming an alliance, from which P20 emerged earlier this year.
Richards noted that London's anchor position in the financial services sector and Atlanta's role in fintech and payments fit the profile for partnership. During foundational meetings, it was pointed out that over the last three years in particular, governments from across the globe have reached out to London and Washington for guidance on regulatory frameworks to accommodate massive innovations in payments – Brazil, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, to name several.
"The reason is our two countries have been regulating financial services very well for 125 years," Richards said. "We have by far the greatest institutional memory that exists on the planet," noting that the two countries share the spotlight in terms of business-friendly regulatory frameworks.
"The idea for the P20 is to bring the 20 top industry thought leaders into the mix to think about the future of payments and to not only improve the regulatory frameworks in the U.K. and U.S., but how to do it worldwide to inspire the rest of the world to put together open frameworks that are business friendly, boost financial inclusion and expand the scope of who can transact electronic payments globally."
About 1.5 billion people have access to electronic payments, but billions of others do not, Richards said. "That is the big vision that has emerged out of this process that we started almost two years ago. The P20 conference will provide an ongoing thought leadership platform intended to help shape the future of safe and secure payments across the globe," he noted.
The annual conference will rotate between London and Atlanta, with next year's event expected to draw about 250 attendees.
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