Insights from 10 selected sessions from Fintech South 2021
Missed Fintech South or wanted a recap of key sessions? Here is a good outline to keep you in the know.
Atlanta and Georgia are effectively the nation’s main hub for fintech and payment processign companies. It’s also where some important industry associations established their footprint. During the week of June 21-25, the ecosystem came together to host and attend the Fintech South 2021. In this year’s virtual format, the event attracted more than 2,000 fintech leaders from around the world – including both incumbents and emerging startups from banking, payments, commerce, wealth management, insurance, and more. Produced by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the world-class summit featured 250+ speakers, all providing insights on the most important trends and how to thrive in the new normal.
Briteris and our holding company, Iteris, were represented at the event. We’ve highlighted key conversation topics from these selected 10 sessions:
- The Fundamental Revolution in Financial Services: Tommy Marshall, Executive Director of the Georgia Fintech Academy, moderated the session, discussing how technology evolution, generational habits, and the pandemic impact all play a role accelerating digital transformation. Speakers Michael Giorgio, Bladimir Estevez, and Tara Lacey reminded us that focusing on customer experience is still the underlying force to shape innovation and change. They also highlighted the importance of agile development to deliver on digital transformation.
- In the Next Normal, Every Company is a Payments Company: Richie Serna and Matt Harris enumerated examples of companies, seemingly belonging to “other verticals” that have been building their own digital payments platforms to improve their customers’ experience. Very much in line with what we’ve experienced serving our clients and “productizing” payment experiences.
- Payments Innovation funding Small Businesses: Lara Hodgson and Erin Schilling went much further than the topic, to also cover technology, history of credit scoring, inclusive entrepreneurship, and the vibrance of payments ecosystem in Georgia.
- Payments Trends for the Next Normal: Jordan McKee and Jasma Ghai conversed and shared these important takeways: a) Adaptations to deal with the pandemic, such as touchless payments, will carry on as part of the new normal. b) Digital payments will continue to grow, in a variety of forms such as ewallet, P2P, pay later, QR codes. c) Along the complete payments value chain, companies will need to deliver on expectations of simplicity/easy to use, convenience, security, agility.
- Reshaping the Revenue Cycle: Mia Huntington and Maggie Dickenson (Wollman), from Elavon, emphasized how consumer behavior pressured retailers to pivot their physical and digital operations, quickly, in this last year. Payments system had to catch up to enable frictionless experiences.
- Main Street Fintech – Success Stories of Community Banks Serving Small Businesses: Charles Potts, SVP and Chief Innovation Officer at ICBA, hosted Jill Castilla, James Capolongo, and Kimberly Kirk. Impressive to hear about their banks extending PPP loans to hundreds of thousands of small businesses. Their client-facing teams had to understand the needs of dozens of verticals. Their IT teams ended up building dedicated platforms to offer a favorable experience for clients to apply and manage their loans.
- You Down with Real-time payments (RTP)?: Ben Milne, Connie Theien, Rachel Pike, Scott Harkey conversed about Driving Adoption of Real-Time Payments. They agreed that the US payments systems infrastructure is due to be modernized. It is still largely based on developments of decades ago, and optimized around acceptance of slower settling cycles. Accelerating payments will open opportunities at the macro- and micro-economic levels. Nice practical examples, with deeper dive in insurance space.
- The 2021 Update to the Georgia Fintech Ecosystem Report: The actual report is linked from TAG’s press release. Local luminaries talked about the vibrant ecosystem, talent availability, M&A activity, and recent trends in the industry. Thank you Esther Pigg (SVP Product Strategy, FIS), H. West Richards (Executive Director, American Transaction Processors Coalition – ATPC), Don Campbell (President, RightCourse), Glen Sarvady (Editor in Chief, Fintech South 2021; Managing Principal, 154 Advisors). The ecosystem now has over 200 companies, employs 39,000 people, and drives multi-billion dollar volumes in revenue, corporate valuation, and VC deals. Larry K. Williams, CEO of TAG, highlights that the “fintech community accelerated the move toward contactless payments and further removed friction points from our financial systems.”
- Brazil and LATAM sessions: the Brazilian ecosystem for payments and fintech is recognized as one of the most advanced in terms of technology innovation. The event fetured prominent speakers to present cases of success. Bianca Lopes gave an overview of the Brazilian and LATAM markets; Creditas, our client, was profiled as case of successful growth; Bianca Lopes came back on stage, this time with Dan Faccio, to talk about Zoop and iFood case in open banking.
- Transforming Product Design: How Cloud-Native Enables Secure Products: Equifax brought their very own Cecilia Mao (Global Chief Product Officer) and Adam Gunther (SVP Global Identity and Fraud) to talk about the increasing need for scalable systems, across departments, companies, countries, laws, and regulations. Great insights about technology development as an orchestrated operation, and an ongoing journey, not a finite destination. Our mantra and guidance to customers in payments industry is more applicable than ever: Reinvent Relentlessly, Deliver Ambitiously ™ .
We’ve also enjoyed the virtual receptions. They’ve surfaced the incredible culture and history of an Atlanta that is much more than the one of the world’s most vibrant and important hubs for financial technology. We are proud to be doing our part to steer innovation in this ecosystem.
All and all, Fintech South 2021 was a great event. It was a good window to showcase the software solutions we’ve built in open banking, gateway systems, ewallets, smartPOS, chatbots, and service portals. More importantly, the conference and networking reinvigorated our sense of purpose: helping fintech and payments companies accelerate their digital transformation, for the good of businesses, consumers, and society at large.
What about your impressions of the event? Which sessions and takeways called your attention? Share in the comments or contact us.
Briteris is the trusted software development partner for IT leaders in Financial Services. We bring the necessary industry experience and technical talent to build payments systems and extend IT teams. Our holding company in Brazil, Iteris, has been attending large multinationals for more than 12 years. With a current team of more than 500, we work recurrently with prominent leaders along their complete application lifecycle. From helping design their digital transformation vision, to developing and maintaining solutions – and ultimately assisting them to stay competitive and customer centered. More info at https://www.briteris.com/payments/.