Georgia Fintech Academy

Episode 22: Government relations and fintech and the role of the American Transaction Processing Coalition - West Richards, Executive Director ATPC and Enrique Pujals, Georgia State

September 10, 2020 Georgia Fintech Academy Season 1 Episode 22
Georgia Fintech Academy
Episode 22: Government relations and fintech and the role of the American Transaction Processing Coalition - West Richards, Executive Director ATPC and Enrique Pujals, Georgia State
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Georgia Fintech Academy
Episode 22: Government relations and fintech and the role of the American Transaction Processing Coalition - West Richards, Executive Director ATPC and Enrique Pujals, Georgia State
Sep 10, 2020 Season 1 Episode 22
Georgia Fintech Academy

West Richards, the Executive Director of the American Transaction Processing Coalition (ATPC) joins student Enrique Pujals of Georgia State Robinson School of Business. This conversation explores the important role of government relations to the success of fintechs and the fintech industry overall. 

Show Notes Transcript

West Richards, the Executive Director of the American Transaction Processing Coalition (ATPC) joins student Enrique Pujals of Georgia State Robinson School of Business. This conversation explores the important role of government relations to the success of fintechs and the fintech industry overall. 

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Georgia FinTech Academy podcast. The Georgia FinTech Academy is a collaboration between Georgia's FinTech industry and the university system of Georgia. This talent development initiative addresses a massive demand for FinTech professionals and give learners the specialized education experiences needed to enter the fintechs. Hello everybody.

Speaker 2:

This is Tommy Marshall executive director of the Georgia FinTech Academy. And this is episode 22 of the Georgia FinTech Academy podcast on September the 10th, 2020. Welcome everyone. Uh, I've got two guests with me today. I I'm really been looking forward to this conversation. Uh, [inaudible] Joseph join us from Georgia state Robinson school of business and West. Richard's the executive director of HTPC, the American transaction processing coalition. It is great to have you both with us today. Welcome. Thank you, Tommy . Thank you for having us. Uh, let's get into intros , um, West, if you , if you don't mind, I want to start with you and , um, Jim , just give us , uh , give us some background on yourself , uh , how you got interested in FinTech. Uh, and , um, tell us about your career journey.

Speaker 3:

Uh, yeah, so , um, you know , uh, uh, way back in the last century , uh, I , uh, I , uh, attended , uh, Carnegie Mellon university and , um, graduated , uh, from , uh, CMU , uh, and interestingly enough , uh, my, I, I majored in , um, public policy and , uh, information systems management information systems. So I manage basically in government and , uh, the business side of computer science , uh, fast forwarding , uh, a couple plus , uh , say three plus decades. Uh, I find myself , uh, basically, you know, doing , uh , exactly that , uh, which is, which is ironic. I look back , um , on, on my, on my journey. Uh, usually, you know, we, none of us rarely do any of us , um, end up in careers that, that, that are aligned with our undergraduate degree, at least. Uh, but, but in this case , uh, I, it turns out that that's exactly where I'm at today. Um, you know, operating where technology and government intersect. Uh, so I , I, I always look back on that as being , uh , being interesting , uh, but the trajectory starting, you know, for me after, you know, after, after college , uh, actually during college, I interned on Capitol Hill for a member of Congress , um, uh, for , uh, for a semester. Uh, and then , uh, after, after I graduated, I, I worked in the district office , uh, in Youngstown, Ohio, and then , uh, then I transferred to the Washington office , um, started out sort of as a part-time employee and the in Washington office , uh, and , um, uh, held a lot of the different positions on, on , uh, on, on the Hill that folks have. So I was a legislative correspondent. I was a legislative assistant. Uh, I was a legislative director, ultimately chief of staff. And then , uh , uh, at the, at the end of my career on Capitol Hill, I actually was not only cheapest staff, but I ran a, a subcommittee , um, public buildings and grounds. Um, and , uh, in 1991, I was the youngest chief of staff in the United States. Uh, so that was my claim to fame back then. Um, and , uh, you know , uh, two interesting things when I was in Congress , uh, working in Congress as a, as a staffer , uh, one , um, the, the , uh, uh, the, the non-smoking rules, if you can believe this, the non-smoking rules that are out there today , um, did not exist , uh, in the late 1980s and early nineties. And , uh, uh, we were, we were on the committee that, that , uh, was responsible for , uh, federal buildings, public buildings. And there were a lot of reports out at the time that, you know, secondhand smoke. And I know that doesn't have anything to do with FinTech, but it's an interesting story. Um, secondhand spoke had a lot of liabilities attached to it. So , uh, the, the entire non-smoking sort of revolution emanated from our office. So , uh, we , uh, pass legislation, making it illegal for folks to smoke in federal buildings. And it was interesting. We actually, as a staff, we, we advise the member of Iris against this because we just felt there would be too much of a backlash if you can believe that.

Speaker 1:

Right. And West , were you working for a Congress person or an organization, like in your, in your role?

Speaker 3:

No, I was working for a member of Congress specifically. Yeah. So , uh, and this member of Congress was the chairman for the public buildings and grounds ,

Speaker 4:

Um, uh,

Speaker 3:

Committee . And, and what I was going to say earlier is that w you know, we tried to persuade him against this, and he predicted that once we did this and the federal buildings would become off limits, then the airlines would do it and eventually restaurants. And then he predicted that , that the rest of the world would actually adopt non-smoking policies. Uh, and this was very sort of visionary back then, but, and we didn't believe him . Um, and we thought it was a little crazy, but we went ahead and did it and everything he said turned out to be right. So that was one sort of big, big, impactful thing that I was involved in. And , and, and so the reason I tell that story is that I saw the impact

Speaker 4:

That , uh, Congress could have , uh ,

Speaker 3:

On, on our everyday lives. And it made, it made a big impression on me and, and I had a hunch that there was, there was something, there was something similar , uh, industry-wise that existed in Atlanta, which was the payments industry. These are non-bank financial institutions, very similar to reverse mortgage industry , um, with , um , really limited , um, government relations, horsepower in many ways. And so , um, myself and , and Robert Greene and , and Roth Kehoe at Holland and Knight, we, we, we, we decided to look into this , um, and this was , this was around 2013. So, so Tommy , what I did was , um, I , uh, I went around and I talked to all the members of Congress in the, in the state of Georgia to get it , to get a temperature around what their understanding was of the industry and how big it was, how important it was. And, and , uh, the results were that, you know, except for maybe one or two members of Congress , um, there was very little understanding that there was 40,000 jobs associated with this, with the FinTech industry and a big piece of that being a payments industry in Georgia and 80,000 indirect jobs. And then, you know, when we, you know, examined the government relations capabilities of the companies with the exception of maybe two or three, none of them had any internal government relations, operations. They are completely reliant on their general councils and those teams. So , uh , we looked at that, then we looked at the trade association landscape. And , um, you know, at that time it just didn't look like the processors in particular were all that, well-represented it at least in terms of what were their priorities. Right. I get,

Speaker 2:

I wanna come back to this in a sec, cause I think this is the , uh, the kind of seminal moments of , uh , HTPC , right . Um , but Enrique, I want to get you in here and I'm realizing the podcast gods have , uh, have faded YouTube to be together in this conversation. Cause on Rica , uh , just the little I know we've just recently met, but I , I know, you know, just from what you told me, you, you started your education with a real passion for political science and I'm back . I kind of , and I was noticing, you know, you nodding, as Wes was talking about once you've caught the bug, you've kind of got the bug for life. So I , I don't know what that means for your entire future on her game, but , um, but I know you've kinda , you , you I'm sure maintain a real interest in political science, but you've been getting involved with business and have some interest around FinTech, but just tell us a little bit about your yourself and your journey with , um, with Georgia state.

Speaker 5:

Right? Right. Well, first thing I want to thank you, Tommy , for having me on the podcast. It's a real pleasure. Um, just a little introduction on who I am. I am a student, a fourth year senior at Georgia state university, studying accounting and finance with a minor in international business. Um, I actually did switch from political science in 2018 , um, to accounting and then add it on , uh, my finance major and international business minor. After that, I really wanted a skill coming out of college. And I thought that accounting and finance really provided who provided me with those business skills that actually lead me to have a really , um, really good job, something stable. Um , so then to provide me with a good amount of income to make future investments or , um , many anything , uh, basically just be stable financially. Um, although on my political science side , um, I really have related to what , uh , Mr. Richards has been saying, because I, I know the Washington lingo. I know a lot of people who , uh , interact with , um, whether it's can handle or Tom price , um, both by the way are, well, Tom price used to be the Congressman for the sixth district district in Georgia. Karen Handel also used to be a two time , I think. Um, anyway , uh, he did , uh, what , what would you call it, a race coming this, this November between her and , um, Lucy Beth Macbeth. Yep . Uh , so that'll be an interesting race to watch, but that's, that's political. Um, but my interest in FinTech has really started with the Georgia FinTech Academy. It's been a vital resource for me , uh, discovering news, discovering the importance of FinTech in the lives of not only businesses, but also right. A lot of these , uh, products and services are designed specifically for consumers and a lot of people don't know about it. And so I think the Georgia defend deck Academy has really done a lot of good work giving ample , uh , information to students , uh, whether or not they want to go into FinTech as a career, or they just want to be aware of it as , uh, informed consumers. Right. So thank you for the work that you've been doing with the FinTech Academy. Tell me , yeah ,

Speaker 2:

No thanks. And , uh , it's great to have you involved with this honorary gay and , um , I , um, I hope you'd find value out of FinTech Academy and I hope you continue to pursue interest in financial services. And I think you'll find, or I know you'll find there's multiple wonderful intersections between , uh, political science government and this industry and , and part of that, or a large part of it just goes back to the origins of this industry and the fact that it's , um, been , um, I mean, it's, it's rooted all the way back to the famous Alexander Hamilton, our first secretary of treasury and , uh, and there's been a well-regulated industry. Um, and, and it relies on that regulation. Um, and so many, many important ways and , um, is, yeah , and then it's also global, which is one thing that I think is always attracted me to financial services and, you know, it was a place I spent my entire career and I love that fact that it is global in its very core and nature , um, because money flows and , uh, loans and all of that , um, is necessary to power commerce and commerce is a hundred percent global , um , today. And so it's really very many different, exciting elements. And I guess where it's kind of coming back to you, there was a , there was an interesting article that I read this morning, excuse me, in the wall street journal. Um, and there's an opinion piece that's written by , um, a , um, uh, the acting controller of the currency , um, OCC, Mr. Brooks. And it's a , it's a piece kind of making a case for , uh, kind of further , uh, federal oversight of the banking industry and , um, the OCC. This is Brian Brooks and I was one thing that struck me in that , um, in his opinion piece was he was talking about the fact that from a payment standpoint , um, the , the payments industry used to be kind of fully supported and part of , um, multiple national , uh, banks. And so you look back to the inception 50 years ago of the first credit card, which the bank Americard, which was started by what's now bank of America. Um, and, but, but that, that percentage of dominance by these big national banks of the payments industry has, has eroded , um , significantly in the last, I'm going to say 20 years because PayPal, believe it or not is now over 20 years old. And I think PayPal is a good example that of course, under a Ghana you can relate to as a FinTech payments focused FinTech company , um, that has, you know, now hundreds of millions of users. Um, and so it's a good example , uh, that I think we can kind of grasp onto of how these payments , quote unquote FinTech companies have come into this space. And then Wes, you were mentioning how , um, these payment focused in tech companies have , um, been in need of a, of a, of a better , um, kind of representation or voice in , um, in our, at our state government levels and federal government levels. So, so maybe if I could come back to you West , um, on that comment, you know, talk about what you were beginning to talk about, what you were seeing as an opportunity that , um, I guess I'll, I'll , uh, kind of maybe spoil a bit what comes next is the creation of the , uh, American transaction processing coalition. Just kinda tell us about that moment and how that kind of coalesced , um, uh, several years ago.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, thanks time , you know , um, you're absolutely right. Uh, so back in 2013 , uh, we were examining the landscape , uh, and there was , uh , there was a half a dozen, you know, sort of standouts , uh, that , that we observed observed. And that was, you know , um, uh, one since the, the , uh, you know, the financial crisis of 2008, nine, 10 , um, uh, our industry and financial services in general, certainly the banks , uh, uh, recognize the importance of having influence and a seat at the table in Washington, DC as , uh, our government struggled to deal with the crisis. And so you had the , uh, the onset of Dodd Dodd-Frank , um, which, you know, in, in , uh , in our industry, in the, in the, in the processing industry , um, in , in, you know, had some negative effects , uh, in some instances there were actually some positive effects, but what was clear was , um, you know, I think it was , uh , it was a wake up call to our industry that we needed to be more proactive in government, not less. And I think up until that point, you know, our industry, our industry, our companies, the processing folks, not the banks, not the brands, but the processing folks viewed themselves as, as the, the, the plumbers , uh, of , uh, of the ecosystem, right. The technology companies , uh, and they wanted to keep, there was an incentive to keep a low profile, right. Um, you know, they wanted to go about their business. And if there was any kind of public profile was usually bad because it would have meant well, something wasn't working. So , uh, as long as , uh, you know, things were working and, and you weren't really drawing the attention of the government or the media or whatever, or things were all good, then you had Dodd-Frank come about as a result of the financial crisis. And then I think at that time, our right , our, our industry began to think, wow, we, we, we really need a seat at the table because the, our counterparts in the banks and in the network brands had a seat at the table and have had a seat at the table for a very long time. So what was really going on is those two factions were doing more to represent our interests and we were ourselves.

Speaker 2:

And I remember , um, particularly like Dodd-Frank things got real with Dodd-Frank financial crisis needed to absolutely be some sort of legislative response to that. Dodd-Frank was that answer. And then, and then I felt like when things got really real with that for payments was the Durbin amendment, which came and the Durbin amendment as some of you may know, but just to, I guess, at a very simple level, there was, there's a thing in payments called interchange fees. That is a very, very, very, very important thing that all of you as students where are hopefully begin if you're studying in FinTech, you're beginning to understand why that is so important, because it's the, it's the core of the revenue driving. It's a core revenue driver for the payments industry. And there , um, there's, you know, there's debit cards, there's credit cards, the Durbin of it was essentially capping fees, limiting fees , um, in regards to debit cards. And that was having a lot of different ripple effects that , um, honestly, West , I mean, I'm mentioned to your precinct on this. I'm not sure that our, our come , some of our payment industry veterans were kind of ready for it . And , um, you know, I think caught some by surprise . There was a lot of, you know, how do we position here? There's some PR there's important threats to the revenue. Um, and , um, there was a need to make sure , um, uh, the legislators were really thinking as , uh , in a, in a very kind of all encompassing way , um, what the considerations could be. And, you know, there's often some negative unintended consequences of , uh , um, legislation that's put together very quickly. Um, and so wanting to make sure that voice, the voices were being heard , uh , in the , in the legislature effectively.

Speaker 3:

Yes. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Uh, and then, I mean, is it fair to say that those, those dynamics had put a lot of , um, kind of , uh, wind behind the sails of the creation of a group like PC ?

Speaker 3:

Yes. So, so , uh, you know, that, that really was the, was I think the anchor, our timing was good. Um, you know, our industry had just gone through a big, you know , uh, sort of government wake-up call , um, and , um, you know, and I , and I think, you know, our , our industry realized that the , the banks in , in the, in the network brands just had a much stronger and much more influential voice. And then they also were able to observe, you know, the, the powers of, of, of trade associations, like the , uh, the NRF, right. The national retail Federation. Right. Um , and, you know, the , you know, one story I know is, you know , you know, God bless first data. They were, they were up there fighting the good fight for us , uh, as was TCIs, but they were going up against, you know, interrupt members like home Depot, Delta airlines at Walmart. Right. And , and I , and I think that , that, that, that was a , that was another wake up call. Right. So I think you're right. Our , our timing was really good. And then, so that was like, number one. And then number two was, well , um, here we are in Georgia, we have the highest concentration that payments jobs of anywhere, really in the world. Um, and, you know, like I said, just FinTech in general payments, you know, have been a big piece of that. You're looking at 40,000 direct jobs, 80,000 indirect jobs. And our idea was maybe, you know, what, what needs to happen here is let's wake up this delegation. We'll let them know what a powerful , uh, you know, industry, this is globally, nationally, and that it's in their backyard and that it employs all these people. Um, and that it's an industry that's worth their, while looking after much like, you know, the Republicans and the Democrats in Michigan look after the automotive industry, or, you know, you have bi-partisan , uh, scenarios in Texas looking after the oil industry. Um, you know, so , uh, we figured we could make a very similar argument and we did. Um, and , uh, we, we launched in 2014 and by 2015 we had, you know, the congressional, the entire congressional delegation of Georgia, you know, signing letters , uh, communicating concerns on behalf of the industry to the CFPB. So we showed that our , uh, our idea could work. It could be, we could mobilize support from the conventional delegation honoree.

Speaker 5:

I see . You're raising your virtual hand. Yes. I just had a quick question for Mr. Richards. So in your interactions with , uh , Congress , people and public officials, have you seen as, as transaction processing companies have sort of increased in relevance to, I guess, businesses and to the economy of Georgia at large and the world, let's be honest. Um, have you seen a, an increase in interest amongst public officials and what are like the trends, like in terms of , um, legislation or , um, like increased legislation or increased , uh, view from public officials, or like what , what, what are the trends on that?

Speaker 3:

Well, you know, when we will launch the 2014 , uh, and in really started our, our education process , uh, not only on Capitol Hill, but also , uh, our, the first legislative state legislature we focused on was the state of Georgia. Um, th th you know, the, the , the first thing we realized is that very few of the politicians, state, or federal level under understood , uh, the , the, the scale of the ecosystem or how the ecosystem works. So the first thing we started doing was educating them on how the ecosystem operated. Um, now they were being educated by the banks and the network brands all along. Um, but , uh, it , it was high level. They, they, what they were, what they were lacking was, you know, really sort of how does a credit card or a debit card or a gift card really work. Uh, and, and so we thought, you know , if we let them understand those basics of, of how it worked and, you know, we, we, we we'd have them open , you know, we meet with these members of Congress when we have them open their wallets and pull out a credit card, and then we would, we would, we would talk them through how transactions work. So w we did that and light bulbs started to go off and they're there . We, we created some more interests in the other trade associations in DC doing similar things. Um, and so I'd say 2014, there were kind of getting their arms around payments 2015. You started to hear this word FinTech. Um, and they were getting , starting to get their arms around that. We, we, we, we, we did our best to educate them on, you know, what that meant, why , you know, w what was happening , uh, explaining some of the shifts in the trends in the way payments were being made. And , um, and then I'd say by, and I'm getting to your point, I'd say by 2016, FinTech was hot in Congress. It was a hot topic. And in fact , uh, the U S house and the us Senate by the end of 2016, had created special caucuses focused on payments and FinTech, both chambers , uh, and , uh, HTPC probably had more to do. We probably added more congressional members of that Congress , uh, to that, to that caucus , uh, than any other trade association. Uh, the, the , uh, electronic transaction association , uh, probably played the biggest role in inspiring the creation of those to talk assists and , uh, Oxman Oxman. Um, and then, and then HTPC got in behind that. And, and then we started to add a lot of the members , uh, and then, you know, by 2017 , uh, Congress was, you know, it was, it was a term that Congress members of Congress were using , uh , a lot. Uh, there was a lot of excitement around it , uh , you know, around it, there was a lot of media , uh, and suddenly , uh, you know, FinTech became almost as hot as cyber. And, and what was interesting is, is that the cyber aspect to FinTech became its own animal and, and became another piece of the ecosystem that became the focus of Congress. So moving into 2020 , uh, FinTech is at the, is top of mind for most members of Congress in America.

Speaker 2:

Uh, and it's quite a different place in 2013, 2014. Yeah . The , um, I want to , we got to pivot to kind of just FinTech news from the week. Um, but I wanted to just kind of EnCap , well , your comment there West to say that, you know, because these various constituents that are, that have got involved with APPC , you know, also shared , um, a desire to address , um, the war on talent, like how to get access to great talent for their companies. And it was out of those conversations that , uh, the idea that has now become manifest in the Georgia FinTech Academy , um, began. And there was a really , uh, I know a very important role that, that APPC played in bringing about , um, uh , this , the successful kind of taking this initial idea and bringing it to fruition. And what is now the joy of the FinTech Academy, which is a unique , um, program. There's no other , um, there's nothing like it in the world that we know of. Uh, and there's certainly no other system-wide effort at the educational level university system level in the United States. That's gotten beyond behind the, this industry in such a full throated way. So , um, you know, thanks for that. Thanks for the role HCPCS plays continues to play. Um, and we should certainly mention , um, Bruce Lowe , who was a kind of founding board member right up HTPC , uh, as an what he's in , he's also been very influenced he's executive at FIS today runs the banking division. And , um, he was just, has been continuing to be fantastic and was great in terms of getting behind the FinTech Academy as well, not just from, you know, the idea and bring the idea about, but putting the financial resources of FIS into , um, into making the FinTech Academy real from a private sector standpoint. Um, so that's been also really helpful. Um, but let's talk about in closing news, FinTech news, that's caught our attention in the last week. Um, Henri , K what, what do you got? What what's going on, you've seen come across your desk, should I think Tommy ,

Speaker 5:

Uh, so a few days ago, a company called repay, which is located here in Atlanta , uh, announced that they were partnering with the advanced business computers of America. The ABC LA basically what they're attempting to do is to eliminate , uh, payment entry duplications, which is just going to increase or decrease rather the , the rate of , um, or the risk of , uh, basically bad or duplicate payments, which is going to be , uh , really helping to make payment processing and more efficient. So I think that this is a big thing, especially locally because payment processing payment processing needs to be efficient. And when you eliminate , uh, entry duplications, that's gonna, it's gonna help , uh , with that efficiencies. Um, I'm excited to hear more about that partnership and to learn more about what repay is doing.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And I'm glad that you picked up on that and repays a company that I was headquartered here and went out , I'll hear about, but when I'm honestly personally, just not very familiar with, and it's a company I need to , um, just come to understand better. So , um, yeah. Thanks for highlighting that. How about you West news from the past week what's caught your attention? Um, well, I , I see that , uh , MasterCard and TCIs slash global payments of , uh , a partnership , um, that they've created , uh, around , uh , sort of , uh , a newer trend in payments. And that is kind of a , a buy now pay later. Yeah. Um, structure format , uh, for, for, for payments. Um, so it's, it's , uh, it's, it's not, it's not a loan , but it is allowed, right. So it's a , it's a think of it as sort of like a layaway, you know, a little bit. Um, and , uh , there's no way that Enrico remembers that , uh, knows what that term is, but , uh, right. Um, but , um, yeah, it's a , it's a , yeah, it's a, it's a, it's a new, interesting trend and , and it's, it's, it's interesting. I mean, every week there's a new twist on a payments related value proposition. Uh, uh, uh, you know, the, the, the creativity right now in payments is we're , it's like we're in a Renaissance. I mean, it's like, it's like rock and roll and then late 1960s. Right. It's , uh, uh, it's, it's, it's very interesting. And, you know, for folks like Enrique, you know, I, I, I encourage , you know, I encourage the young folks at the FinTech Academy to , to stick with it because , uh, we're, we're living through the biggest revolution in how value is exchanged the biggest money revolution in the history of planet earth . Uh, and it's, it's, it's going to go on for awhile . Uh, it's going to continue on , uh, and it's going to be exciting. And , and it's why I believe the FinTech Academy is just so important. Um, uh, this, you know , this industry is really shaping the

Speaker 2:

Future, what

Speaker 6:

Our world's going to look like.

Speaker 2:

I'm glad you highlighted this magic TCIs global , um, announcement, because I I've been in a couple of conversations with some big retailers in the last month and this buy now pay later. Functionality is a topic that's come up in those conversations frequently as something they're spending a lot of time , uh , working on and developing new partnerships around. Uh, and it's one, it's an area that the I'd say , um , I guess younger fintechs , um, have , um, been doing a lot with, and it makes total sense to me that, you know, global payments is one of the top, you know, certainly top five processors of payments in the country , um, would be looking to offer new capabilities to their clients around. Um, so it's good to, good to see that news and MasterCard given some leadership around. Um, the one just that I'll close out with was that , um, square , um, had their second quarter , um, announcement last , uh, late last week. And it was a remarkable second quarter for square. And I'd say in general, it's been a remarkable second quarter for Finn , all the FinTech companies that , uh , in those that are involved in the space, their , uh, their Q2 revenue , um, was doubled. Um, I think that's quarter on quarter, it was $325 million. Um, and there, as an aside there, it was very much driven by their cash app, the square cash app , um, which has just taken off , um, in the , um, as the pandemic has come on and a big part of that. It's just been around contactless payments and cash app , uh, facilitates that. Um, and as a, as an aside on that there year to date, the stock price for square is up 166%. Uh , so yeah, if you put a dollar in , um, and square of back in, I guess on Jan one, you'd now have , um, $2 and 66 cents in your pocket , um , or in your stock account, your equities. Um, so, and then another thing they mentioned in the, in the announcement was the cash app, just cash out that functionality within square is valued at $40 billion, which is , um , kind of roughly the valuation of all of capital one. Um, so it's , um, it's really remarkable story, but , uh, lots of good news. And then for you, that those of you listening, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Cause we're getting that out , uh , broadly you can subscribe to it on our website, Georgia FinTech Academy , uh, dot org, and , um, we're that comes out every Friday. It's got all of this FinTech news. We were just talking about and more, we also have job openings available through that weekly newsletter and on our website. Uh , and we profile a student every single week. So on Rica , we need to profile you , uh, get me your bio info and your headshot so that , um, we can profile you in the newsletter. Um , but there's tons of good information in that. I'm getting some great feedback on the newsletter. It's been out for about two months now. Uh, so check it out. Uh, and of course , uh , we're always open to have students like Enrique , uh , come on the podcast and be part of these conversations. Just send me a note , um, if you're interested. Uh, so , um, please take advantage of these different digital assets we have now as part of the FinTech Academy, Enrique West. Thanks so much for being part of this. It's been great to have you on. I hope you'll come back , uh, and , um, just continue to engage with us in FinTech.

Speaker 1:

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