As we close out the 2018 calendar year, I look back on all the successes in the FinTech and payments community here in Atlanta, and beyond, as part of Georgia’s “Transaction Alley.” We are truly seeing collaboration between companies, industry partners, and the public sector that is unprecedented and moving the needle – with more to come in the future!

But reminiscing, I can’t help but think how 2018 was a milestone as Atlanta hosted its first P20 conference in October. The second annual event (the first was in London October 2017), the P20 brought together an international audience of more than 150 payments and FinTech industry leaders from the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Canada, and China. In addition, more than 50 international government leaders and supporters joined to exchange ideas on the opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

The P20 is a payments initiative for thought leadership and action – linking together Atlanta’s “Transaction Alley” and world financial capital London to make payments accessible, affordable and secure for all. Designed to be the “Davos of Payments,” P20 unites top global executives in payments technology, business, economic leaders and government regulators to advance the expansion of payments worldwide. The annual forum alternates between London and Atlanta and is focused on moving the payments industry forward around key initiatives in cybersecurity, regulatory uniformity, innovation, and financial inclusion.

The 2018 event was kicked off by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal at an elected officials’ breakfast. His remarks reminded the group that Georgia is the number-one state in the country to do business for the sixth year in a row, and the payments and FinTech industry are a shining and tangible example of that. It will be his last appearance as Governor at a P20-related function before he leaves office following his term limit in January 2019. This state has never seen a governor bring as many jobs as he did to our economy, and we thank him for being a champion for our industry during his leadership.

While the P20 conference on October 10 was highlighted by speakers and panelists from a U.S. member of Congress, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Secret Service, Financial Conduct Authority, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, U.K. Consul General and Trade Commissioner for North America and many more from our industry during the day, the buzz deservedly centered on former prime minister David Cameron headlining the closing dinner.

It was an impactful two days thanks to those that participated and attended. We hope and believe that everyone took away learnings and will continue to work in the spirit of collaboration to make the payments industry an increasingly important piece of the global economy.

Special thanks to our conference chairman, Bruce Lowthers, whose day job is chief operating officer of FIS. Without him, his dedication and leadership, the P20 would not be a success. Stay tuned for more about the 2019 conference in London and its return to Atlanta in 2020, and for more information visit the P20 website.

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