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Monday, November 23, 2020

ETA explores post-election landscape

Political uncertainties and a global pandemic were top of mind during Politics and Payments, a Nov. 17, 2020, event hosted by the Electronic Transactions Association. The virtual half-day program offered diverse perspectives on the election's outcome and its potential impact on financial services and commerce. Existing and aspiring ETA Certified Payments Professionals (CPPs) were eligible to receive two ETA CPP Continuing Education credits for attending the event.

On Nov. 8, ETA CEO Jodie Kelley had congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, stating that the ETA will closely cooperate with the Biden–Harris administration and Congress to strengthen the U.S. economy and competitive marketplace.

"When President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Harris are sworn in in January, they will face the historic challenge of addressing the pandemic," Kelley said in a statement. "During this crisis, the electronic payments industry has worked tirelessly to assist consumers and businesses."

However, nine days after the ETA's congratulatory statement, election results remained unattested due to ongoing vote recounts and legal challenges. In the absence of having a fully certified incoming administration, Kelley and participating speakers analyzed the shifting terrain while looking ahead to probable outcomes and their impact on legislative trends.

What's new, what's next

Keynote speaker Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report, observed that in the polarized post-election climate, opinions about the pandemic and politics have been equally at odds. "The next phase that we're in, between now and the winter months, is going to really test us," she said. "And I'm hoping that changing the conversation about [COVID-19] and what a stimulus bill would look like might make things better. There are still members in the Senate who want to get to yes."

Walter's address was followed by post-election analysis by Isaac Boltansky of Compass Point Research & Trading LLC and Jaret Seiberg of Cowen and Company LLC, as well as concurrent roundtable discussions on a variety of topics. Attendees heard from subject-matter experts on how the incoming administration may address legislative and regulatory issues related to consumer privacy, cannabis, cryptocurrencies, faster payments, and workplace diversity and inclusion.

A breakout session focused on what's next for fintech featured Andrew Bigart, partner at Venable LLP; Phil Goldfeder, senior vice president of government affairs at Cross River Bank; and Obrea Poindexter, partner at Morrison & Foerster. The panelists discussed potential near-term impacts by U.S. government leaders in executive, legislative and judicial branches on financial technologies and the payments ecosystem.

"FinTech has already transformed the ways in which individuals and businesses conduct financial transactions and engage in the marketplace," ETA event organizers wrote. "As innovation proceeds at breakneck speed, the legal and regulatory environment has struggled to keep up. This session will explore the ways in which the next administration is likely to view FinTech, what that means for ongoing legal and regulatory activity, and what impact that will have on the ability of the industry to continue to provide innovative, secure products and services."

end of article

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