Letter from the Editor: Prepping for the Year’s Biggest Industry Event
Where has 2017 gone? It seems like I was just preparing our “2016 Payments in Review” and prognosticating on what the year ahead would bring. I can scarcely believe we’re approaching the halfway point. But honestly, I can’t think of a better time for the year’s biggest event for the prepaid industry.
On June 21-23, the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association will host its sixth annual Power of Prepaid conference in Washington, D.C. My only excuse for missing this one-of-a-kind event is childbirth, and I have the certificate to prove it.
This year, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with industry pioneers and meeting newcomers, both of whom are bringing fresh ideas about how to balance the sometimes-competing priorities of compliance and innovation.
The business of compliance—not to mention keeping up with technology trends—is keeping everyone on their toes, but it’s vital to stop, take a breath and reflect with colleagues about the state of the industry and the future we’re all working toward. It’s also critical to come together and actually talk to those shaping the legislation and regulations that determine the rules of the road.
This time last year the big stories were the CFPB’s final rule on prepaid accounts and the contentious presidential election. As it turns out, we’re still talking about both. I’m happy to say that the bureau has heeded industry concerns, opening the door for further changes and extending the timeline for implementation of the final prepaid accounts rule. That fact alone is worth the price of admission because many questions still need to be answered, not to mention comment letters to file. One panel I’m particularly looking forward to is one on the bureau’s future—and that of financial services—in a Trump administration.
For me, one of the most valuable aspects of being at the Power of Prepaid is the opportunity to hear directly from lawmakers and regulators. U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) is scheduled for a keynote, while other Hill insiders will share insights on what’s ahead for the rest of 2017 as Congress looks to reform Dodd-Frank and President Trump continues to press for regulatory rollbacks.
Learning from experts in the beltway and beyond—not to mention finding common ground with regulators, policymakers and consumer advocates—is critically important to fostering an innovative industry that’s able to tap technology to help consumers, businesses and governments meet payments challenges.
Prepaid didn’t become the fastest-growing financial services product globally by industry leaders keeping to themselves. The industry was built by entrepreneurs who, though they compete fiercely, know how to come together to champion innovation and find ways to meet compliance and security challenges.
No matter where you are in the value chain, my invitation to you is to be part of the conversation. I hope to see you in D.C. Claim your seat at the table, here.