In a growing recognition of Atlanta’s place in the fintech universe, over 200 business leaders with electronic transactions companies from around the world as well as political and regulatory leaders from the U.S., England and Canada met in Atlanta for the P20 Conference on October 9th and 10th.
The P20 is an effort by business and political leaders in the US and UK to unify the laws rules and regulations on payments between the two countries and then spread them around the world. It is made up of the 20 most important payments companies in the world plus political leaders from the United States and Great Britain. “We are preparing for the day when every person in the world has access to electronic payments of some kind, instead of the under 2 billion people who have access today,” said West Richards, President of the P20. “That day is coming sooner than many people think.”
Former British Prime Minister David Cameron enthusiastically endorsed the P20 and encouraged a broadening and deepening of the fintech relationship between Atlanta and London while speaking at the close of this year’s conference in Atlanta.
“I think we can certainly call the Atlanta conference a success,” said Bruce Lowthers, COO of FIS and conference Chairman.
Payments are a critical and often overlooked part of the global economy. Georgia is the payments capital of the U.S., processing some 70 percent of all debit, credit and gift card transaction in the nation each year, according to the American Transaction Processors Coalition. London is a global financial hub and also bills itself as the financial technology, or FinTech, capital of the world.
“Our two countries are natural allies in this effort,” said Richards, “and I want to thank all the political and business leaders from the US, UK and around the world who came to Atlanta to participate.”
The P20 forum, which alternates between London and Atlanta, is also moving the industry forward across four pillars: cyber security, regulatory clarity, fintech innovation and better access to payments around the globe. This year’s event not only showcased the region’s FinTech muscle, it also covered a lot of ground, including:
Cyber war games event: For the first time, more than a dozen major payment companies from the U.S., U.K., Canada and Brazil participated in a cyber war games exercise at the IBM X-Force Command Center in Cambridge, Mass. – the results were revealed in Atlanta during the conference.
The first-ever FinTech Academy: How Georgia is spurring fintech talent to drive the economy. The conference highlighted the academy and demonstrated how it will be a model for others around the globe.
“Open banking:” How open is the U.S.? Throughout the conference, industry experts discussed the current state of open banking and how the EU is moving ahead of the U.S. with the U.K enacting it last January.
Highlighting the growing relationship between US and UK business and political leaders were the were a number of other distinguished speakers at the conference in addition Mr. Cameron. These included Georgia Governor Nathan Deal; Antony Phillipson, British Consul General of New York and Trade Commissioner for North America; Andrew Staunton, British Consul General of Atlanta; Alastair Lukies, U.K. Prime Minister’s Global Ambassador for Fintech; Nadia Theordore, Consul General of Canada; Kipp Kranbuhl, Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Services- U.S. Department of Treasury; Michael D’Ambrosio, Deputy Assistant Director of the U.S. Secret Service and Pat Wilson, Commissoner of Economic Development, for the State of Georgia.
Designed to be the “Davos of Payments,” P20 will continue to bring together top global executives in payments technology, business and government – to help advance the industry in Atlanta – and to make payments more accessible, affordable and secure worldwide.