Preview: Prepaid Power Players to Gather in D.C.
Prepaid stakeholders from around the U.S.—and beyond—are set to converge on Washington, D.C.’s Mayflower Hotel next week for the NBPCA’s sixth annual Power of Prepaid. This year’s event comes at a critical time for the industry. The CFPB’s final (final) rule on prepaid accounts is still up for grabs, never mind possible arbitration rules. Meanwhile, the House has passed a bill that would roll back many aspects of Dodd-Frank, and providers are facing unprecedented consolidation and significant pressure to innovate.
“Knowing the prepaid industry experts that are already registered to attend, it’s going to be an event not to miss,” says NBPCA Chairman and InComm Executive Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs Bob Skiba. Voted one of the Smartest People in Payments by Paybefore readers last year, Skiba is co-chairing the conference along with Meta Financial Group’s Brad Hanson and The Bancorp’s Jeremy Kuiper. “The Power of Prepaid Conference is the only forum that concentrates on all forms of prepaid products and features the best and brightest prepaid subject matter experts, regulators, lawmakers and payments firms,” Skiba adds. “Attendees will walk away with key insights and connections to drive their businesses forward.”
After a day of pre-conference workshops, Power of Prepaid will kick off on Thursday, June 22, with an agenda featuring a keynote address by U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), who in January 2017 was named to the House Financial Services Committee—among the most influential Congressional committees when it comes to shaping financial services legislation. The governmental theme will continue throughout the event, with additional panels focused on forecasting the impact of the Trump administration on the payments space; weighing the uncertain future of the CFPB; and—skipping across the pond—how Brexit will impact the prepaid and fintech industries in Europe.
Straight Talk with Streit
Meanwhile, the NBPCA’s former CEO Brad Fauss, who recently joined Wirecard North America, will welcome Green Dot Corp. Founder and CEO Steve Streit for a fireside chat about what’s on the horizon of prepaid innovation. The two industry veterans have likely seen it all and will have a candid conversation about the current state of consumer expectations for prepaid products—which have evolved into much more than simply a way to store a few bucks, Streit notes.
“Prepaid cards are well into their evolution as bank accounts,” he tells Paybefore. “And the most important trend influencing our business is the marriage of banking and technology and thinking of a bank account as a consumer technology product.”
Industry consolidation and the impact of regulation are also likely topics, Streit says. “We may even tell a funny story or two as we look back at prepaid’s first 15-plus years and what’s to come,” he predicts. If you’ve been in the industry a long time and think you know all there is to know about Streit, check out our sidebar for a few surprises.
The conference program concludes on Friday with some valuable hard data on consumers’ payments behavior, with Auriemma Group and the Federal Reserve presenting results of their latest respective studies, alongside industry analysis of the findings.
“This data will shed new light on prepaid use cases and the myriad ways consumers are evaluating the utility of prepaid products,” said Jaclyn Holmes, director of Auriemma’s payments insights practice, which conducted its study in partnership with the NBPCA. “The session also will give directional insight into consumers’ understanding of program elements like fee structures, which is particularly useful in this regulatory environment.”