Photo Coverage: ETA University on Capitol Hill

ETA hosted its annual ETA University on Capitol Hill this week, part of our ongoing series of educational policy events that connect payments advocates and experts from ETA members across the country to policymakers.

The payments technology industry is a complex ecosystem that delivers a wide range of products and services to American consumers. ETA University brought payments experts from a wide variety of ETA members to bring a holistic look at the past, present and future of payments technology to Capitol Hill.

The audience included staff from Congressional offices, regulatory staff,  law enforcement, think tanks, sister trade associations, ETA members, and law firms.

After a brief welcome from ETA CEO Jason Oxman, attendees were given a comprehensive overview of the payments system by expert payments attorneys. The panelists, Ed Marshall of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP and Andrew Bigart of Venable LLP, covered the mechanics of transactions, the current landscape of the industry and the current opportunities and challenges payments technology companies are experiencing.


Panelists Sam Taussig of Kabbage Inc, an online small business lending service, and Steve Boms of Allon Advocacy for Yodlee, a data software company, discussed data aggregation and its role in developing new and innovative fintech products across the world on the second panel of the program.

The discussion on how data-driven insights inform new fintech products lead nicely into the third panel, which gave policymakers an overview of the online small business lending market. Megan Hannigan of PayPal, Melissa Netram of Intuit and Erich Wurst of OnDeck, leading firms in the online small business lending space, discussed how new ways to access capital can benefit small businesses and the economy.

The fourth session of the day focused on new innovations like contactless and mobile payments, as well as innovation in data security and fraud prevention. Panelists included Amanda Slater, a policy expert Visa, Jaclyn Blumenfeld, a cybersecurity expert from First Data and Bill Cohn, an eCommerce expert from Vantiv, now Worldpay.

Session five featured a perspective on the way fintech and other technological innovations are changing the way consumers and retailers are thinking about payments from Mamta Rodrigues, Senior Vice President of Business Strategy and Development at Synchrony Financial, a financial services firm that partners closely with retailers to offer payments products. Session six took a look at cyber security threats and the ways ETA members in the payments ecosystem are working to address them. Panelists included Jack Key, Chief Information Security Officer at TSYS, Michael Morrato of Vantiv, now Worldpay, and Brett DeWitt of Mastercard.

The final session of the day was a presentation from Noah L. Spaulding, interim general counsel at Circle Internet Financial, on a hot topic in the payments technology world: bitcoin and blockchain.

ETA University provided a key opportunity for ETA members to educate and interface with lawmakers and policy experts here in our nation’s capital. The annual event is part of ETA’s ongoing series of educational events designed to help advocates and policymakers come together to learn about payments technology and policy. ETA’s next policy event is the FinTech Policy Forum, taking place September 6th, 2018 at Google’s DC office. Click here for more info and to register.