Tuesday, March 2, 2021
In opening remarks, Jodie Kelley, chief executive officer at ETA, noted that COVID-19 changed the commerce ecosystem. "We've all heard the statistics, the number of users of mobile payments increasing by 32 percent to almost 87 million, the growth of ecommerce doubling and that same trend anticipated from mobile wallet usage," she said. "At ETA, we have been supporting the industry as we navigate these changes, and we too have had to pivot to find new ways to support the ecosystem and our members and help businesses thrive during the tumult."
Kelley expressed the hope that ETA members, sponsors and followers will reassemble in person in the near future, a sentiment shared by Guy Harris, head of merchant services at Bank of America and president of the ETA's board of directors. After working at home for a year, Harris remarked that the payments industry has mirrored changes in consumer behavior in many ways, particularly the increasing use of online and mobile ordering and delivery services.
Harris also noted that more than 40 million customers are accessing Bank of America digitally, and traditional service providers are partnering with fintechs to bring products and services to consumers. AmEx acquiring Kabbage and Cross River Bank partnering with Intuit to deliver PPP loans are recent examples of these collaborations, he added.
"As players in that space, [we] have to adapt our value proposition in our delivery capability to ensure that we remain relevant to our customers, and they remain relevant to their customers," Harris said. "But I think the additional impact of COVID-19, particularly, has shifted things in many ways. If we think about the millions that have been delivered by the PPP, we've all played a part of that. At Bank of America, we've delivered around 343,000 PPP loans to our customers."
Harris, who recently became president of the ETA's board of directors, went on to say that Buy Now Pay Later, which was in its infancy a year ago, has accelerated during the pandemic. In addition, he noted that cases of online fraud and identity theft reached nearly 100 million in 2020, underscoring the need to protect merchants and customers. Overall, some positives have come out of the pandemic, especially for organizations making efficient use of technology and data, he stated.
The half-day event provided a diverse agenda of payments industry leaders and specialists, including the following highlights:
Noting that Stripe and PayPal have recently joined the ETA's board of directors, Kelley acknowledged the commerce ecosystem is changing; companies once considered disruptive are moving the industry forward. She added that the ETA is more than just a show; it's a cross section of traditional card brands and processors and startups that are innovating together.
"We're focusing on how we as an industry can influence and help the industry address the issues," Kelley said, adding that this includes talking about what's going on in Washington, how we can regulate and control bad actors and how regulatory issues impact our industry. ETA represents a spectrum of views from banks and fintechs, which are widely differentiated and compelling, she stated.
"We don't have to agree on everything, but we can discuss and share our thoughts about these issues," Kelley said. "My goal is for the ETA to continue to be the go-to resource for the entire industry, to be inclusive, and to try to make a difference for our members, our industry and our ever-evolving infrastructure."
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