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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

ETA CONNECTS envisions future commerce

The Electronic Transactions Association launched ETA CONNECTS on Feb. 25, 2021, a digital conference series featuring multiple perspectives from across the payments value chain. Billed as a must-attend event for executives looking to stay ahead of the curve, the series opened with "Future of Payments, Reshaping the Payments Landscape Through Continued Innovation."

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.

Digital banking growth

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.

Inclusive agenda

The half-day event provided a diverse agenda of payments industry leaders and specialists, including the following highlights:

  • Fireside chat: Jim Magats, senior vice president, omni payments at PayPal, shared his views on the need to meet customers where they are, across all channels.

  • Outlook for payments: Joan P. Cheney, managing director, treasury & liquidity risk management at Deloitte & Touche LLP and Ravneet Randhawa, senior manager, payments and digital banking, Deloitte Consulting LLP, discussed emerging commerce trends.

  • Diversity and inclusion: Nicole Sanchez, managing director, head of underbanked and mass segments, JPMorgan Chase, provided an in-depth progress report on workplace initiatives.

  • 5G impact on payments: Dr. Lov Kher, managing principal and master architect, 5G & enterprise solutions, Verizon, explained how 5G can drive efficiencies and facilitate more data collection.

  • Connected commerce: Mario de Armis, senior director, payments, Walmart and Brad Goad, vice president, digital experience and solutions growth, Fiserv discussed advancements in the IoT and connected payments-enabled devices.

  • Digital identity: Sarah Clark, senior vice president, digital identity at Mastercard and Jeremy Grant, managing director of technology business strategy, Venable LLP discussed ecommerce and mobile fraud prevention trends.

  • Faster payments: Raja Gopalakrishnan, executive vice president, global real time payments, FIS, discussed the payments industry's mandate for real-time transactions and how the industry is innovating.

  • Slowing fraud through innovation: Mike Lemberger, senior vice president, chief risk officer, North America, Visa and Michael Moseser, senior analyst, PaymentsSource, discussed how the industry is innovating to produce next-generation fraud prevention tools and resources.

  • Open banking: Ginger Baker, head of financial access, Plaid, and Kelvin Chen, senior associate general counsel at Capital One, discuss how banks and fintechs are sharing information to enhance the customer experience.

  • Digital assets: Leah Bressack, senior director, legal, Coinbase; J.C. Boggs, partner, King & Spalding and Laura Fontana, product strategy lead for distributed ledger technology, Wells Fargo, examined how rising use of digital assets will impact the financial system.

  • Digital payments: Timothy E. Chiodo, CFA, equity research payments, processors & fintech, Credit Suisse; Greg Cohen, operating partner, Lovell Minnick Partners; Ian Drysdale, executive in residence, Great Hill Partners; Dan Rosen, founder and general partner, Commerce Ventures and Angela Zhang, principal, GI Partners, discussed the market's view of digital payments and where they are placing their bets.

Common goals, future

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." end of article

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