ETA | Electronic Transactions Association

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ETA Payments Next Zone Competition Advances Startups Serving the Underbanked

Winner Will Receive E-Pay Innovation Award and $10,000

WASHINGTON, DC ─ The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), the trade association of the global electronic payments industry, in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today announced an innovative start-up competition at its annual Strategic Leadership Forum (SLF). The Payments Next Zone (PNZ) will showcase game-changing technologies that empower the underbanked. The payments industry’s premier annual networking forum, ETA SLF will take place at the Montelucia Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., Oct. 15 – 17.

The Payments Next Zone (PNZ) and the E-Pay Innovation Award are the result of a generous grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This “Shark Tank”-like live competition will showcase innovative new electronic payments technology products that help underserved communities. The showcase will culminate with a judging panel presenting the E-Pay Innovation Award – a check for $10,000 – to the product with the most profound impact on the global market.

“The ETA Strategic Leadership Forum is the premier event for networking with top executives from payments and technology industries, and provides great exposure for new entrants,” said Jason Oxman, CEO of ETA. “The Payments Next Zone and E-Pay Innovation Award will help bridge up-and-comers and established industry players by providing an unmatched platform for companies to showcase new innovations.”

After the huge success of the Payments Next Zone (PNZ) and the E-Pay Innovation Award at the 2013 ETA Annual Meeting & Expo, ETA and the Gates foundation decided to include it at the 2013 Strategic Leadership Forum (SLF).  Janine Firpo, deputy director of Financial Services for the Poor at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will present the E-Pay Innovation Award and deliver a keynote address at the Strategic Leadership Forum.

Startup companies are encouraged to apply for the Payments Next Zone and E-Pay Innovation Award online.

To register or for more information, visit For media inquiries, contact Meghan Cieslak at 202-677-7406, or


International Acquiring Forum
Millennium Gloucester Hotel and Conference Center
London U.K.
September 17 – 19, 2013

2013 Strategic Leadership Forum
Montelucia Resort & Spa
Scottsdale, AZ
October 15 – 17, 2013

2014 ETA Annual Meeting & Expo
April 8-10, 2014
Mandalay Bay
Las Vegas, NV


The Electronic Transactions Association is an international trade association representing more than 500 companies that offer electronic transaction processing products and services. ETA’s mission is to advance the payments industry profession by providing leadership through education, advocacy and the exchange of information.

For media inquiries, contact Meghan Cieslak at or 202.677.7406.
For more information on ETA, contact Del Baker at