Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency – Initial thoughts on an exciting new chapter


Everyone I have spoken with this week is buzzing about Libra. My parents are in Dublin, Ireland on a college-sponsored trip and I received a text from my Mom on Wednesday asking what I thought about Libra! Clearly there’s hope for payments experts like me that our families may yet figure out what we do for a living.   If you are just coming up to speed on the news – like the rest of us, since details remain fairly scarce – here are a few basics.   Point 1: Libra is the name of Facebook’s planned digital currency. Designed…
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Global Payments/TSYS Deal Completes FinTech Trifecta


They say big events happen in threes. If that’s the case, are we due for a breather?   Global Payments’ $21.5 billion acquisition of TSYS announced last week marked the payments space’s third major consolidation in the in the first half of 2019. In January Fiserv upended the status quo with its similarly sized acquisition of First Data. FIS followed suit in March with an even larger transaction, absorbing Worldpay. All three deals are subject to regulatory approval, and are targeting closure later this calendar year.   Both Global Payments and TSYS are headquartered in Georgia, as is First Data….
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HOPE Global Forum- Now with FinTech Inside!


(spoiler: read to the bottom for a discount code)   We’re nearing the end of a busy conference season, but a unique and quite special late May event remains on the docket- especially for those in the Atlanta area. I attended (and spoke at) my first HOPE Global Forum last spring, and it delivered the most remarkable blend of content, star power and inspiration I have ever experienced. The 2019 edition, May 29-31 in downtown Atlanta, is poised to up the ante on all three dimensions.   Operation HOPE’s stated mission is to advance financial dignity and inclusion by equipping…
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Top Takeaways from FinTech South


If you’re one of the 1,500 professionals who attended FinTech South at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta last week, like me you’re probably still absorbing the wealth of insights delivered across an action-packed 24 hours.   Leafing through my notebook, here are some of my favorite nuggets captured on Tuesday. Bear in mind this list reflects only items I heard personally- with four content tracks I was able to attend only a sliver of the breakout sessions. Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments field below.   (By the way, you can also hear my coverage of FinTechSouth,…
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Second/Third/Fourth Acts – Chip Mahan To Receive TAG FinTech’s Lifetime Achievement Award


It’s notoriously difficult to find a consensus definition for FinTech. Broadly speaking, however, it involves the application of technology to address financial services challenges.   Based on this criterion, few people have demonstrated as much repeated FinTech success as Chip Mahan. It’s therefore fitting that Mahan will receive TAG FinTech’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. He we be honored during a lunchtime presentation at FinTech South at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Tuesday, April 23.   Mahan is the Chairman and CEO of Live Oak Bank, one of the nation’s leading small business lenders, with a stated mission of providing customers an unprecedented…
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Where Has All the Data Gone?


In today’s financial services organizations, 90 percent of the data stored is never accessed. That’s a lot of data gone missing that could offer unique insight into how to improve operational performance and generate new revenues.   Many financial services organizations do not possess the foundational technologies needed to analyze data properly. Here is a short list of weaknesses that plague many organizations: Core computing infrastructure Network and data security Management commitment to be data centric Qualified data scientists Corporate-wide analytical software   Those who follow Gartner’s Hype Cycles (how a technology or application will evolve over time) know that…
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