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MPC22: The Currency of Change, a Snapshot of the Show

MPC launched its first post-pandemic, in-person show in Atlanta, GA, Aug 22- 24, 2022, attracting business leaders and executives from across the payments and digital commerce ecosystem. Throughout the three-day conference, banks, fintechs, technology companies and service providers shared perspectives on trending topics, including the following:

Build, Connect, Innovate: Peter Gordon, Head of Enterprise Money Movement at U.S. Bank, kicked off the show with the slogan “build, connect and innovate,” the foundation of informative sessions presented by U.S. Bank. U.S. Bank executives Madison Donnini, Vice President, Working Capital Consultant, Ken Gruber, Sr. Vice President, Embedded Payments Sales, Bryan Schneider, Product Head, FinTech Strategy & Partnerships, covered topics from real time payments (RTP) to “for benefit of” (FBO) as we move from a card world to an account world, walking us through several use cases and fintech solutions that highlight the importance of building partnerships with technology providers such as Microsoft. The interactive sessions, spread over several days, were highly informative to the audience.

Invest in Fintechs: Given we are in a fast-growing world, we rely on partnerships to achieve business success. According to Allen Merrill, Senior Managing Director of Joint Ventures and Partnerships practice at Ankura, a consulting firm, non-equity partnerships have been the biggest drivers for financial service success in recent years, with more than 70 percent of non-equity partnerships involving one or more fintechs. Merrill attributed the success of these partnership to three factors: how partnerships are structured; governance and leadership; and lastly, delivering and optimizing partnership value.

Evolve Monetary Structures: In terms of what the future holds for payments, Nitin Gaur, Global Head of Digital Asset & Technology Design at State Street, led an inspirational panel discussion with industry leaders. Ryan Gugg, Head of Digital Assets TTS at Citi, mentioned the future of money will require upgrading traditional rails to enable large institutions to manage cryptocurrency transactions. Fintech Strategist Rajesh Venkatraman observed that the next generation spends 99 percent of its time in the digital world, where real time payments are required. Russell Moore from Global Payments emphasized the next evolution of payments will be owning personal identities and data in the metaverse and Web 3.0. Panelists agreed the rate innovation is accelerating but backend latencies in larger financial organizations will need to be addressed.

 Leverage DeFi, Blockchain Capabilities: Jeff Gapusan, Vice President of Strategy at Ledgible, shared a supply chain finance use case that leveraged blockchain accounting capabilities. Dan Nunez Cohen noted DeFi applications accelerate cryptocurrency to fiat conversions. Robert E Daniel, FinTech Catalyst at ATDC, mentioned smart contracts add intrinsic value to a wide variety of applications. Linda Odom, Partner at K&L Gates LLP, shared a client’s experience managing cross-border employee payouts in wartime Ukraine, where traditional methods failed but cryptocurrencies transferred millions of dollars successfully.

Embrace Decentralization: Ganeshram Ramamurthy, Solutions Architect at Relevantz, a technology company, introduced payments in metaverse, describing how blockchain bridges the gap between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, which has opened new opportunities for creators in a new frontier of decentralized technologies and programmable micro payments.

Build Secure Frameworks: Casey Zenner, Vice President, Global Direct Sales at Kount, an Equifax Company, opened the fraud protection discussion, stating that data is a critical component of fraud detection. Kount has seen numerous use cases across its global base of customers, helping more than 20,000 companies in over 75 industries establish end-to-end protection across the entire customer journey.

Advane Beyond Public Key Infrastructure: Henry Yu, a retired investment banker and current active global leader in FinTech and Technology who is experienced in risk and compliance management, led a panel discussion on data-driven security, in which experts shared approaches to encryption, tokenization and post-quantum cryptography (PQC). Andy Deignan, Vice President, Global Marketing and Strategy at MagTek, and MPC’s 2022 Visionary Award winner, said, “all payment data should be protected from the point of its issuing due to the nature that all the data are already breached. We should tokenize all the information from the point of transaction.” Mansour Aaron-Karimzadeh, Co-founder, President and COO at Vality Corp., stressed that the threat of quantum computing is already here and leveraging quantum randomness instead of relying on traditional encryption and tokenization can mitigate the risk. Ruihua Liu, Ph.D., Co-founder at CB Bank and CB Payments, said she has dealt with cross-border payment transactions and expects to see more multidimensional approaches to fraud prevention in the future.

Based on these and other discussions throughout MPC’s 12th annual conference, it’s clear the currency of change will continue to drive the future of payments for years to come. Special thanks to all who participated. I look forward to our continuing discussions and getting back together in Atlanta for MPC23!



Tracy Lai

MPC Strategist, FinTech Consultant

Partner at LYSTAR GROUP 

Tracy Lai provides strategic and business development solutions to executives, and entrepreneur. Her professional experience includes work at Fortune 500 companies including Intel and RBS, and startups. Her expertise covers business development, risk management, project management and investor relations, in Financial Services, FinTech, Innovation, Technology and Education. As management consultant and FinTech advisor, she holds multiple senior roles with focus on cross border and cross industry collaboration, including projects in US, Asia and Europe.