The American Transaction Processors Coalition (ATPC) recently held a very important and timely “Payments 101” Congressional briefing on financially inclusive products for the unbanked and underbanked, on Tuesday, June 30th. The realities of COVID-19 moved this event from a planned live presentation on Capitol Hill to what turned out to be an impactful webinar format that allowed Congressional staffers to experience a unique sampling of various efforts by our industry to promote financial inclusion, including EBT assistance, utility payment mobility, salary payroll assistance programs, and more. While many of our member companies have financial inclusive products, we chose our initial presenters with an eye towards representing various aspects of the ecosystem by selecting a large payment processor, a niche fintech solution, a prepaid card processor and a payroll enterprise. The key theme across presentations was to highlight the growing need for inclusive products for vulnerable Americans and the significant efforts being taken by the industry to address the crisis through innovation.
Webinar speakers included the following ATPC member companies:
- Kim Bynan, SVP, Head of Prepaid and Government Solutions, FIS
- Jeff Weiser, CEO, PayGo
- Bob Skiba, EVP, Head of Government Relations, InComm
- Anita Ward, Chief Development Officer, Salary Finance
There was only room for a few speakers, so the ATPC selected a range of offerings to accurately reflect the breadth of efforts. Kim Bynan highlighted FIS’ EBT products used by a large grouping of states across the country emphasizing the rapid adaptation of technology developed to help EBT recipients cope with the difficult circumstances presented by COVID-19. Jeff Weiser and Bob Skiba discussed PayGo and InComm’s unique solution allowing underbanked individuals who pay their utilities in cash, to do so more efficiently at their local CVS, Family Dollar or other neighborhood retailer by utilizing prepaid methodologies and technologies. Anita Ward explained Salary Finance’s wide-range of wage assistance solutions. Presentations are available here.
Webinar attendees included staffers from Congressional offices on the House Financial Services Committee, Senate Banking Committee, and Georgia’s Congressional Delegation, among others. Andrew Duke, Policy Associate Director for the CFPB, also joined the call as a special guest and shared his perspective on the COVID-19 crisis and the elevated importance of industry’s efforts around financial inclusion. Twenty-plus Congressional offices were represented in the meeting, despite a key House Financial Services Committee hearing hosting Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and FED Chairman Powell the same day, massive infrastructure legislation moving through Congress that week, and the general state of the world right now.
This event reinforces ongoing ATPC efforts to promote the importance of financial inclusion in the payments and fintech industry on Capitol Hill. The ATPC is working closely with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to provide access to information on our members’ financially inclusive products and services for a White Paper they are writing on the topic. The White Paper is being scheduled for release in the next month. ATPC leadership has been actively sharing its role with this Federal Reserve Bank initiative with influential state and federal policymakers, to ensure that they are aware of the emerging public/private partnership around financial inclusion efforts that will serve to connect the currently unbanked and underbanked into the digital economy. The ATPC plans to host a larger “Payments 101” with members of Congress themselves in 2021.
About the American Transaction Processors Coalition
The ATPC was created to protect, promote and preserve the interests of this critical Georgia industry through proactive public relations and government affairs activities. The ATPC focused on Georgia’s Congressional Delegation to build broad Congressional support for protecting the payments processing industry, and ensuring Georgia and the U.S. are recognized as the global center of the digital economy in its first two and a half years. Successfully providing an industry voice and becoming a resource to those stakeholders has allowed the ATPC to expand its reach to other members of Congress on key committees and in positions of influence. In addition, the ATPC works with member companies, community leaders, and government officials to raise the profile of the payments processing industry in a positive light.