What inspired you and/or your company to get involved with the Innovative Payments Association?
Paysign joined the IPA in the spring of 2017. But previously I was involved with IPA through my role with another member organization. Our organization is similar to other members of the association, dedicated to bringing innovation and efficiency to the payments industry through prepaid. With the IPA, Paysign has been able to connect with banks, processors, network providers and others across the financial services landscape.
How has your membership in the IPA most benefitted you, and what are some of our events and resources that have proven most helpful and valuable?
Our association with the IPA has allowed us to expand our knowledge of what’s going on in the industry. We’ve been able to keep tabs on everything changing in federal government relations and the changing regulatory space. Resources such as the IPA’s Government Relations Working Group and Financial Crimes Task Force are two important groups to our company. My colleagues and I participate in both, as they provide opportunities to share new information which is critical for a company like us that is always looking to learn and grow. These wider conversations have allowed us to learn from others’ experiences and identify areas we need to focus on. The IPA’s blog, podcast, and webinars also allow our employees to grow professionally. We try to utilize as many of IPA’s resources as possible and encourage our employees to do the same.
What has your experience been like as being a part of the IPA?
Personally, it has been wonderful, and I have really enjoyed it. I have met a lot of people sitting on the board, and the ability to call on industry executives and the IPA team for their expertise and advice has been very helpful. The IPA brings together individuals each with their unique talents and provides them with an opportunity to learn from each other.
The annual conference and compliance training events are also tremendously beneficial and give our employees the opportunity to network with other individuals who they share a similar job or background with. During COVID-19, times are weird for everyone, and everything is webinar-based, which can make networking difficult. But the IPA’s commitment to offering consistent educational and networking resources online through webinars and trainings has been very helpful.
On another note, the IPA has provided me the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill and meet with legislators, regulators, and other industry decisionmakers on a regular basis. I have found these meetings very exciting and helpful personally and professionally.
What’s one thing - either payments-related or not - you learned in the last six months?
Over the past six months, I have been encouraged to see the resilience in the prepaid card sector, as well as from Paysign’s workforce. Even with the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, IPA member organizations have stepped up to provide financial help around the country. All the people I have met through the IPA have continued to come together and help people out. It’s a common theme we all have.
Like others, I have tried to find new ways to maintain strong health during these unprecedented times. Personally, when working from home, I learned I can walk several miles per day, and I have enjoyed incorporating that into my new daily routine
Incomm Health Care recently won the IPA’s Payments Innovation award. In this episode, we talk with Rod Kersch from InComm about how its system makes delivering health care benefits easier for insurers, retailers, and recipients.
Few areas of payments are more complicated than health care benefits delivered to individuals. While health plans want to give consumers more control over how they spend their dollars, the tax code restricts how those dollars can be used.
For years, health plans that wanted to provide consumers with money for over-the-counter medicines and incent behaviors like healthy eating or getting a flu shot, had to resort to an assortment of payment tools. Checks and gift cards might be distributed before or after the fact. Consumers might need to use a prepaid or debit card, but then report what they bought and prove it fit within a plan’s guidelines. Whatever the methods used, the process was cumbersome and not always effective.
InComm Health Care has developed a system that can streamline these payments. The company’s system combines point of sale services and a multipurpose card to make the payment process as easy as any card payment. The system can filter eligible items down to the SKU level, and automatically pull from different pools of funds available to the cardholder for everything from medicines to healthy food.
While the topic of financial services regulation is not being by the campaigns, nevertheless, the outcome of the election will determine the shape and tone of the regulatory landscape.
In this episode, we talk with Dee Buchanan and Gordon Taylor, principals at Ogilvy Government Relations, about the various ways the 2020 election could go and what each outcome might mean for the regulatory environment.
This episode was recorded before the news broke about the President’s COVID19 diagnosis, so we did not discuss its effects on the campaign. However, the analysis in this conversation remains the same.
Although most of the attention is going to the presidential election, the struggle for the control of Congress also will play a role in the future of regulations. State races and political attitudes are also discussed as we look ahead to the vote.
In addition to this podcast, the IPA will continue to monitor the election and host an election update webinar for its members on October 14, and a discussion about potential regulatory threats to fintechs on October 21.
What inspired you and/or your company to get involved with the Innovative Payments Association?
What sticks out first, and differentiates the IPA from other industry organizations, is inclusivity. The IPA represents a wide range of members within the payments ecosystem, including banks, fintechs, suppliers, providers, and processors. Given the rapidly evolving industry landscape—especially within the digital economy—the IPA represents firms and products that touch all consumers with varying levels of access to banking services.
Specifically, the IPA’s connections with card companies, banks, service providers, and processors were very compelling for my company and have been a great way for us to connect with banks and other firms, as well as with federal and state government agencies. When InComm became a member over a decade ago, our industry was navigating through the government’s response to the financial crisis, which included Dodd-Frank, the Durbin Amendment, and other major legislation and regulatory measures at the federal and state level. The IPA’s connections with lawmakers and regulators and knowledge of the legislative and regulatory process, was invaluable during those years that were so difficult for our industry and consumers.
What specific efforts have you been most involved in, and what role have you played?
InComm was not actively engaged in government affairs on either the state or federal level before we joined, and the IPA has helped us to get plugged into that process, including providing a forum for us and other IPA members to meet with key decisionmakers over the years, including former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, Representative Sanford Bishop, and various U.S. Senators and regulators—leaders at the CFPB, FDIC, and FinCEN, to name a few. Fostering as many connections as we can with federal and state lawmakers and regulators is a main area of focus for us, especially when it comes to educating them regarding various networks and payments processors, and the wide and evolving payments landscape.
Through the IPA, InComm and other IPA members have been able to meet with multiple CFPB Directors, FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams, and other key staff at all major financial regulatory agencies. Given the interconnectivity within prepaid, we also prioritize meeting and partnering with other member companies to learn from them and drive the industry forward for consumers.
What has your experience been like as a member of the IPA?
Our experience has been terrific! The opportunity to meet with key legislative and regulatory officials, send joint letters alongside other influential IPA members, and tap into the IPA’s industry resources has allowed us to carry significant weight in front of key decisionmakers and given us a leg up in accomplishing policy and business priorities.
Our annual conference is something that comes to mind when I think of some of the greatest benefits of our IPA membership. Each year, the Innovative Payments Conference allows us to network with industry leaders and key decisionmakers. Past speakers have included Senator David Perdue, Representative Sanford Bishop, heads of the CFPB, IRS, and FDIC, and congressional committee chairmen. The conference offers wide-ranging opportunities for members and is always bipartisan in nature. It is also great to see the various products and services IPA members offer to consumers all over the world.
What is one thing—either payments-related or not—you learned in the last month?
Over the past month, I have reinforced my understanding of the cycle of production, influence, and efficacy within the payments ecosystem. For us, banks, networks, and payment processors interface with lawmakers and regulators who govern and control the use of our products and services. The IPA provides the bandwidth, infrastructure, and scope that brings each of these elements together in order to advance members’ priorities. From digital wallets to traditional prepaid cards to consumer-protection products and everything in between, this all gets absorbed by the IPA and disbursed to the benefit of members. Having a trade association with such broad representation carries significant weight and authority. For example, the Atlanta Fed tapped the IPA and our members for help in producing a white paper on how payments companies can become more inclusive to unbanked and underbanked Americans. Engaging in this type of research, improving financial literacy and working alongside the federal government to innovate and reach more consumers is one of the most rewarding elements of IPA membership.
What is your company’s role in the payments industry (program manager, issuer, processor, service provider, etc.)?
PayActiv provides holistic financial wellness including employer-sponsored earned wage access (EWA) to users. PayActiv verifies earned wages, and makes on-demand earned wage disbursement to employees directly to: the Payactiv Prepaid card, any Visa/MC debit card, any bank account through ACH, or users can pick-up EWA in cash from Walmart. Users can also pay bills or make online purchases on Amazon through PayActiv-disbursed EWA.
Payactiv is also a program manager for a General Purpose Reloadable & Payroll Visa prepaid card.
What kinds of payments do you support?
What kinds of special features do your products and services offer?
The Payactiv platform provides several benefits including timely access to earned wages, budgeting and savings tools, pharmacy discounts, and financial counseling.
What kinds of companies are you looking to partner with?
In addition to its own enterprise clients, from small businesses to Fortune 100 employers, PayActiv looks to partner with payroll processors and industry leaders to offer EWA to their employer clients.
What do you think the future of payments holds in the next five years?
Payactiv predicts nationwide acceptance of earned wage access as an employee benefit and vital consumer protection against the challenges of living paycheck-to-paycheck.
The IPA recently held its first Fintech Elevator. The online event gave participants a chance to make industry connections and win a membership in the Innovation Payments Association.
In this episode, we talk with the founder of one of our winners, Invest Sou Sou, about how being more social with our household finances can lead to greater success. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Fonta Gilliam was a diplomat who have worked in a number of countries around the world. She saw a different approach to managing money than what is common in the United States. She believes that getting people to share more about their finances will help them achieve their goals.
To this end, she founded Invest Sou Sou, which offers financial institutions a platform that their customers can use to create social networks to help them reach goals. The use cases can range from individuals saving to buy a house to groups savings towards a common goal.
Rather than offer the product directly to consumers, Gilliam found that her reach would be increased by creating a product to help banks attract and retain customers by offering them this value added service.
You can learn more by visiting the company’s site at: https://investsousou.com/. If you want to create a Sou Sou wallet of your own, visit: https://investsousou.com/elementor-55/how-sou-sou-works/.
Member Spotlight: Kelley Knutson
What inspired you, and Netspend, to get involved with the Innovative Payments Association?
The IPA is an impactful organization with a solid track record of accomplishment. They are a vocal, and influential, advocate for the industry and prepaid customers, both at the state and federal levels. At Netspend, a part of the Global Payments family, we have an obligation and commitment, to help the IPA, lend our voice to industry-wide matters and be advocates for the broader payments industry, as well as our clients and customers. In today’s rapidly changing environment, it’s important now, more than ever, to stay proactively engaged and to be conscious, and respectful, of how the prepaid industry impacts Americans each and every day. I believe IPA’s mission, and vision, represents sensible rules, enthusiastic promotion of payments innovation, open communication and most importantly, high industry integrity.
How does your membership in the IPA assist your professional and organizational goals?
The IPA has provided the opportunity for me to talk with peers across the industry. Setting competition aside, we hold collective discussions on the challenges our businesses are facing and how we need to work together, in a unified manner, to address regulatory issues our industry faces. Proactive engagement is fundamental with the upcoming election, and we welcome IPA’s leadership representing the industry, with one voice, regarding the role of prepaid within the payments ecosystem; but, also on behalf of the end consumer.
What future accomplishments do you hope to achieve with the IPA?
My personal goal for the IPA is to assist them in growing, and diversifying their membership base by encouraging new payment organizations to join and encouraging them to bring their own perspectives and insights, to the table to help drive the industry forward. Now is the critical time to build on our solid foundation and establish new solutions in preparation for a post-pandemic world. We can only raise the bar in terms of expectations and success if we work together to learn, and share, from each other and our respective business models. I look forward to continuing to work with my peers and enhance the reputation of our industry with regulators across the payments landscape and with American consumers.
What’s one thing - either payments-related or not - you learned in the last month?
Despite all the challenges of the pandemic, I’m continually impressed by our team’s resilience, engagement and commitment to come together to address our new reality. Additionally, I’ve been encouraged with how active the IPA has been to ensure our customers are treated fairly, from both state and federal agencies, during the essential economic stimulus window. Amidst all the challenges and confusion, the IPA has stepped up their communication and lobbying efforts and have been a practical, vocal, and balanced advocate for our industry when it matters most to US households.
In the latest episode of the IPA Payments Pod, Brian Tate, the IPA’s CEO, and our members talk with Brian Brooks, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency.
In a wide-ranging discussion, they talk about regulating during the COVID19 pandemic and beyond. Looking to the future, they discuss fintech charters, small dollar lending, and digital dollars.
The Comptroller also brings up the social justice issues that the country has been facing. He describes how the OCC has launched a new effort “Project REACh,” to address structural issues that affect the ability of Americans to build wealth. You can learn more here.
This is an edited version of the audio portion from the IPA’s Summer of Learning session. The IPA will be holding a ‘Day of Payments’ training day on August 19 and its first Fintech Elevator pitch event for start-ups on August 26.
Interested in becoming an IPA member and helping to shape the future of payments? Reach out today and talk to us about the benefits of joining.
COVID19 has led to speculation that the pandemic could be the catalyst for the arrival of the cashless society, but research suggest that our assumptions on how the pandemic is shaping payments may need revisiting.
Stay-at-home measures and pandemic fears have led to an increase in online shopping. At the same time, some brick and mortar merchants are refusing cash as a defense against germs. Nonetheless, consumers haven’t abandoned cash just yet.
Rachel Huber, senior analyst in payments at Javelin Strategies and Research completed a study on the health of cash for ATM provider Cardtronics in late 2019. Given the pandemic, the company thought that she should do another survey to see how the pandemic changed things.
To give you a sneak preview, it might be too soon to call it a day for cash payments just yet. And our assumptions about who is using cash and why may not be correct. In looking at cash in the context of other payments, Huber learned a few things about contactless adoption as well.
You can hear about how things are playing out in the episode and find the complete study online.
Interested in becoming an IPA member and helping to shape the future of payments? Reach out today and talk to us about the benefits of joining. Go to www.ipa.org to learn more.
Listen to this episode now.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today filed its motion for summary judgement in the PayPal case. This filing comes in response to PayPal’s own motion for summary judgement from May. In brief, the Bureau is urging the Court to deny PayPal’s motion for summary judgement and to consider its motion for summary judgement. The Bureau also defends the Prepaid Rule in its entirety and argues that PayPal’s challenges distort the governing statutory framework, the Bureau’s reasons for adopting the Rule, and the scope of the Rule itself, and asks the Court to reject them.
Specifically, the Bureau lays out the following arguments in defense of the Prepaid Rule:
In addition, the Bureau argues that even if the Court concluded that some of PayPal’s challenges had merit, that would not warrant the wholesale invalidation of the Rule that PayPal seeks. The Bureau, therefore, requests that if the Court rules one portion of the rule is invalid, the court should “sever and affirm” the remainder.
PayPal will now have the opportunity to file a reply in support of its motion for summary judgment and opposition to the Bureau’s motion for summary judgment, which is due by August 21, 2020. We will discuss this development further our Monthly GRWG call, which will take place on Thursday, June 9th at 2 PM ET.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.