Georgia Fintech Academy

Episode 28: Kim Goodman, President, Merchant Joint Ventures & Acquiring Processing, Fiserv joins Ayesha Munnaza, graduate student Georgia State

November 13, 2020 Georgia Fintech Academy Season 1 Episode 28
Georgia Fintech Academy
Episode 28: Kim Goodman, President, Merchant Joint Ventures & Acquiring Processing, Fiserv joins Ayesha Munnaza, graduate student Georgia State
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Georgia Fintech Academy
Episode 28: Kim Goodman, President, Merchant Joint Ventures & Acquiring Processing, Fiserv joins Ayesha Munnaza, graduate student Georgia State
Nov 13, 2020 Season 1 Episode 28
Georgia Fintech Academy

Kim Goodman, President, Merchant Joint Ventures & Acquiring Processing, Fiserv joins Ayesha Munnaza, graduate student Georgia State to discuss leadership approaches to thriving in these uncertain times. The conversation also explores the Fiserv Back2Business initiative and important fintech themes related to platform openness and partnerships.

Show Notes Transcript

Kim Goodman, President, Merchant Joint Ventures & Acquiring Processing, Fiserv joins Ayesha Munnaza, graduate student Georgia State to discuss leadership approaches to thriving in these uncertain times. The conversation also explores the Fiserv Back2Business initiative and important fintech themes related to platform openness and partnerships.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Georgia FinTech Academy podcast. The Georgia Vintech 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 FinTech sector.

Speaker 2:

Hello everybody. This is Tommy Marshall executive director of the Georgia FinTech Academy. Welcome to episode 28. This week. We have Kim Goodman, president of merchant joint ventures and acquiring processing at Fiserv, along with Ayesha Manasseh, who is now a master student in actuarial science from the Georgia state university Robinson school of business. Welcome to you both.

Speaker 3:

Thank you, Tommy . It's a pleasure to be here.

Speaker 2:

I've really been looking forward to this time today. Um, we've got , uh, an exciting , uh, discussion agenda , uh, but before we get into that, Kim share with us your career story,

Speaker 3:

I'll try and do this , uh, in some reasonable time period. Um, but I , I was born and raised on South side Chicago. I actually , um, went to Stanford where I got an undergraduate degree in political science, but fortunately for me, I got a master's degree in industrial engineering at the same time. So that industrial engineering is kind of a good cross point between business topics and engineering and technical topics , uh, because my family didn't have any background in business. I actually spent my first 11 years of my career in consulting. I was a strategy consultant at Bain and company all on the West coast, all on San Francisco. And I spent 80 plus percent of my time during those 11 years in our telecom and technology practice area. So I consider myself a first and foremost, a technologist by training both academically as well as in terms of how I learned business and applied my capabilities in the first decade of my career. Um, I, even though I had the great fortune of , uh, you know, being a partner at Bain and company, which is a tremendous organization, knew from the first I'd say year or two, that I always wanted to be an operating executive that I wouldn't want to spend my entire career advising, which is a wonderful thing. And I've hired plenty of advisors in my career, but I did want to spend a good chunk of my career. In fact, the majority of it actually , um, you know, being a true business leader and doer , um, and you know, when you need to make the quarter or you need make the year, or as I'm sure we're going to talk about here, when you need to satisfy customers through difficult times like a pandemic, I wanted to be someone who was really on the front lines of making that happen. So , uh, 20 years ago in 2000, after 11 years at Bain and company, I adjusted my career and I went into real operating leadership. And , uh, I joined Dell, the computer company. Now the multifaceted technology company , uh, worked for Michael Dell for a period of time and led several businesses at Dell, which really kind of , um , you know, complimented my sense from consulting with operating experience, but it also solidified my , uh, perspectives and capabilities as a true kind of technology leader. Uh, after seven years there, I was recruited away from Dell by American express and that's really ha and this was now , uh, 13 years ago. So that's how I really kind of entered what I considered to be the more classic , uh, financial services business , uh, because , uh, 13 years ago, we, you know, we weren't at the moments of massive transformation and integration that we are now. Uh, but I, you know, went into the payments business. I led the merchant business for American express for just under five years and then led a global travel business for them for a couple years. Um, the last four years of my career , uh, I've been in what is classically defined as FinTech. And, you know, to be honest with you, I have just been very fortunate that , um, you know, I was a technology, a technology just by training, by consulting and then by leadership and technology inner . And then I went into financial services and the two completely intersected, and now we have this massive industry, massive, exciting industry called FinTech. So as those two came together , um, you know, it just provided really wonderful career opportunities for me. So for the last four years I've been in a FinTech, I spent , uh, just , uh, uh, just under a year and a half as the CEO of the Worldpay business in the U S and then the last , uh, uh, two and a half years I've been at Fiserv and I've led two diff different businesses at Fiserv . I've really been tremendously advantaged in my career. Um, not only did kind of financial services and technology merge into FinTech, but I've also now had deep and meaningful experiences as a strategist and an advisor . And now, you know, 20 years as a operating executive and I'm able to kind of utilize both now. So , um, you know, I've looked at two different businesses at Fiserv because given my , uh , consulting background, I'm quite good at assessing situations, understanding new businesses, understanding new setting strategies and getting business businesses moving, but based on my operating background, I really know how to execute. Um, so that is the, that's the quick summary of my experience.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's fantastic. I'm interested Kim, like when you made that transition from Dell to , uh, to financial services, American express , um, any , I guess at face value to me like that's , uh , there's a, there's a pretty significant jump there. Um, like w what were, what were kind of the key drivers as you look back in terms of like, what are you looking for and hoping , um, as they were putting, bringing you in for that leadership role in merchant services?

Speaker 3:

Yeah . Um, one of the things I've noticed in my career is you have all different cultures at different companies. Um, and I've been fortunate again to be at not, not a ridiculous number of companies, but literally , uh , five companies. And in many ways they have some similarities, but they have differences. American express. When I went to join, it was over 150 year old company, very, you know, a Dow , a Dow 30 company then as it is now a very , uh, uh, you know, impressive and storied company , uh, with regards to the products and services that it had, it provides to customers of top flight quality in terms of , uh , particularly the service element of what they do, but also a very storied company in terms of how it had evolved. Because most companies, frankly, don't even survive 150 years let alone thrive 450 years. One of the elements of their culture, at least at that time, was that they tended to promote extensively from within , um, and we , we could have a whole podcast on the benefits of that versus not , um, you know, in general. Uh , and so when they look to bring me and they were at a period of time where yes, they had a lot of wonderful internal leaders, but the world was already clearly starting to change. The bar was already clearly going up Chimp business at American express. They dealt with dealt with all customers large and small across all industries. So they needed a, they generally needed some leadership and breath of fresh air from the outside to mix with their internal talent and capabilities, but they also needed more dynamic, cutting edge , um, perspectives on how to truly lead go to market teams. Uh, and at Dell, one of the things I had done there was lead , um, you know, one of our billion plus dollar businesses , uh, go to market teams. I'd done product work across all our go-to-market teams. I was with Dell from the time it was 30 billion to 60 billion, which was greatly driven, not just by our products, but driven by how we very creatively went to market in-person on the phone catalogs and then eventually website. So American express was really looking for kind of the next generation leadership and perspective on how to work with co with millions of clients in their merchant base in a way that was , uh , effective and innovative. Um, and, and, you know, I felt very fortunate that they, that they found me and that they , uh, you know, granted me that responsibility.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, thanks for that . That, that makes a lot of sense to me. Um, Ayesha, tell us about you.

Speaker 4:

Thank you, Tommy . Um, uh , my name is Ayesha and I'm pursuing my master's in industrial science currently from Robinson college of business at Georgia state university. I'm also in training as an insurance analyst at a tech startup called layer, which is based out of Atlanta. Um, and I also work as a graduate research assistant executive MBA program at Robinson college of business and serve on the advisory board of FinTech Academy. It's an honor to be here with you, Kim and Tommy for this podcast.

Speaker 2:

Are you sure ? It's great to , uh , to have you back again with us on the podcast, we've enjoyed our discussions in the past and we're looking forward to today. Um, well, let's get into to our topics. Um, I think the first one I wanted to start out with is just Kim hearing from you as a leader. Um, thoughts and lessons about really thriving in these kind of remarkably uncertain times that we're in the midst of , um, thriving from a , from a business perspective. Um, tell us, tell us about that or give us , give us some thoughts on that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I would, I would say , uh, two , two major themes. First is it is stunning yet consistently true that times of uncertainty and difficulty for businesses are also times of opportunity. And , um, you know, I now am at a point in my career where, you know, I've not only seen this period of , uh, you know, uncertainty, but I've also seen three sessions pre this. There was one in 92 that I remember quite clearly , uh, one in 2000, and then obviously the great recession in 2008. And , um, you know, when you look at all of these periods, the natural instinct of people and therefore organizations is to hunker down , um , and to kind of hunker down and survive the , uh, uncertainty and, and , uh, the uncertainty can, you know, quite great , um, in reality, right, method for a business is to spend about one minute or as little time as possible. Yes, you have to hunker down. Yes, you have to be lean and efficient. Yes. You have to be. Clear-eyed about the change in your customer base in the economic environment, et cetera. You want to do that. You want to do that as quickly as possible. And if you're a good business, you kind of already had contingency plans in place that you can operationalize. And then as quickly as possible, you want to use the fact that you are a strong organization and you are a strong business to actually find opportunities. What do I mean by that? Um, you know, there will be, you know , you know, we know because the world and businesses cyclical that just like we go into times of uncertainty and difficulty, we're going to come out of that. So you want to be very good about detecting. What kinds of things are customers going to need on the other side of the uncertainty , um, you know, right now is a perfect example where , uh, in our business, in payments, Fiserv is, is being, of course, is being very focused on making sure payments can still happen. People can still process, you know, people's car payments get made. People can go to do take out , um, you know, and our merchants can still collect their revenue, but we're also being very thoughtful about what is happening now. What does that mean for the future? So you see a rise in e-commerce spending, as an example, you see a rise in contactless, and we just at five serve with our Clover product line, introduced a , um, you know, a contactless, a completely contactless , um, capability through our restaurant capability where people can order off the menu and do completely contactless and pickup . So you, so when you're at a period of uncertainty, you're looking for opportunity, you're finding that opportunity. Number one, in what are people going to need , uh , in the future, you're all still quite frankly, finding that opportunity in terms of, are there new business areas? Are there, is there consolidation opportunity? Um, uh , again, I , I think a great example of that is if you look , uh , in the 2008 great recession, you saw quite a lot of consolidation in the banking , uh , area , um, because not every bank was going to survive that downturn, but frankly, some of the ones that came out , uh, you know, survive that downturn even stronger. And if I serve, we have a merchant business, which is a business I'm in, but we also are a major provider , uh, to financial institutions. So we're constantly watching the dynamics there. So we can be , uh , an effective company there. So thriving in uncertainty really requires , um, you know, looking hunkering down so that you are strong during the period of uncertainty, but then as quickly as possible, really looking for your opportunities as you come, as you come through the uncertainty and you see what opportunities may be available.

Speaker 4:

And , um, a question for you from students' perspective , um , you talked about like finding opportunities in times of uncertainty and stuff. So what kind of advice do you have for students who are looking for opportunities in these uncertain times?

Speaker 3:

Yes. Um, it's interesting. Cause I was in business school was in business school and that first recession that I just cracked , um , you know, I would say a couple of things. Number one, you know, as a student you're always sharpening and honing your skills. However, you know, my advice would also be to be clear about trying to demonstrate your skills , um, because, because businesses, whether the , whether it's on a certain times are uncertain growth, the recession, they still have major needs. And example of this that I often give people is, you know, I haven't been in a business in the last 10 years. It didn't have acute needs for better digital marketing capability. If you are a stew , even if you're a professional, but if you are a student, you don't just have to take a class in that. You don't just have to kind of know the best terms you could actually demonstrate your prowess at that. Uh, actively you can write B you can do that through your own, whether it's your own, how you handle your own social media and write what you attract to that. You could do that as it regards to your own small business and how you manage that and are very knowledgeable about that. Um, but you can actually have a portfolio just like, just like artists have portfolios of what they've done. People in digital marketing, there's no boundary to it. So you can have a portfolio of those things. So one piece of advice I would give students in times of uncertainties , don't just be about learning. Also be about demonstrating. The second piece of advice I would give students in times of uncertainty is to be attentive yourself, to what models you think are going to evolve. Um, you know, hindsight is always 2020. I would tell you in my career , um, you know, there are plenty of times that I, you know, I talked about, Oh, I feel fortunate that I was a technologist. And then I went to financial services and the two merged, but there are many things that I, you know, that I wish I had seen in, or been more attentive to. Now, in retrospect, you know, I'll give a perfect example in the merchant space at Feiser , we work very diligently and collaboratively with , uh, something called [inaudible] , uh, you know, integrated software vendors. Well , um, you know, these integrated software vendors, they're now thousands of them and they have been, and they're , you know , large and small, but a lot of them are frankly, small and medium. They've been very attentive to what will small businesses need, not just to accept payments, but to integrate those payments into the fundamental stack of how they manage their business. Yeah . That's an example of, you know , an emerging trend that we see clearly now, but while do I wish I had kind of seen that, you know, all the way back in my Amex days when I was working in the merch and merchant business. So I would advise students to be very attentive to what do they see emerging in these times of uncertainty. Um, and then based on that, that will help you find your opportunity, whether it's a product you want to develop or a company you want to join or certain industry you want to join.

Speaker 2:

I'd add to that too, that , um, Iyisha, you're this demographic that you're sort of on the beginning edge of gen Z is going to be a really remarkable group of demographic coming through. And, you know, you're digitally native, you've been on a mobile phone, your entire life, as long as you can probably remember. And , um, there's likely some very important behaviors that , that you have your friends have as , uh , gen as , uh , as digital natives that are going to really have some remarkable impacts on a variety of different experiences in the economy. And , um, I get really excited about that. And I think there's , um, things that you may know, or you and your friends may know or have a sense of that could be very impactful on new disruptions that can emerge , uh , and become productive. I think there's gonna be lots of opportunities , um, for, for you all in that context,

Speaker 3:

For sure. And if I could just add an example here, I mean, imagine if you, or one of your colleagues came to me or any of my colleagues at Pfizer for an interview, you can walk in with a resume degrees, a lot of great credentials, which would be, which would be wonderful and you'd be considered strongly I'm sure. I imagine if you walked in, you said, well, actually I've started my own small business and I've used your Clover devices and I've compared, or , or your Clover product solution, and I've compared it to X others. And right . Let me tell you, it's fantastic, which right. We believe it's fantastic for reasons a, B and C, but I also see opportunity X, Y, or Z , um , or so, so I mean, that's just a fundamentally different way to walk in. And I would, I would say to students, it's a better way.

Speaker 2:

Just, I love that thought and it just triggers for me that there's. So there's, you know, there's been this arc towards openness , um , in terms of openness to organizations like Pfizer , but I'm thinking from a business model standpoint, like your example to engagement with ISV Kim , um, from a technological standpoint, like how can we , uh, provide vehicles for small business or just single sole proprietors, even to be able to come and experiment or explore the different platforms. And so, because of this, you know, emerging openness, there's all these great for those curious students that kind of come and engage that , uh, those, those portals, or are those capabilities. There's also that opportunity to learn and find ways to demonstrate. That could be very powerful.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Yeah. You know, it's interesting hearing you talk about this arc towards openness, because again, in my experience, what I see for example with , uh, you know, we're , we're talking about ISV in payments and , um, you know, we are, we have, Fiserv are very , um, you know, are , have world-class capabilities to work with ISV and that's something we've invested in. Um, it , I actually see it though as not that dynamic as not that different than way back when , uh, which, you know, students might study these days, I lived it. Um, if you looked at kind of, how did , um, you know, Microsoft, how did the Wintel platform when in the beginning it was because they allowed developers to come in and write , develop, and then link into their capabilities. And lo and behold, there were thousands, if not over time , millions of developers who could develop capability, that was much better than what any narrow system could do. So you saw that arc toward openness all the way back then you seen it now in the mobile world, because there are app stores everywhere. And all of these interesting technology companies develop an app stores. And now we see it also in FinTech with all kinds of , uh, you know, and that's one of the things frankly we do at Pfizer , we work with a multitude of channels. I mean, my job is , um, you know, merchant joint ventures, that's us working with banks so that you can, you can utilize our five surf capabilities, even if you're, you know, a merchant that comes through say, bank of America, Wells Fargo, or PNC, or one of those, or if you're a merchant that comes through , uh, an ISB, we have, we have scale compute , uh , scale processing capability of payments, and we make that available across many different. And that's all part of, I like your term arc toward openness, because this is part of what you see as a winning model, no matter what the industry and time period is.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. It's exciting. And it also has felt, I'm just thinking more so recently, we've seen our regulatory environment kind of beginning to embrace this in a more meaningful way. Um , which, you know, of course we're dealing in an important, a very importantly, highly regulated environment. And , uh, so I have to take a lot of care in regards to innovation. Uh, so it's been encouraging to see, you know , regulators really not only embracing, but also beginning to encourage more experimentation and more development , um, on these kind of more open platforms.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I mean, I have a strong view actually, of a regulation in the financial services and FinTech space. Um, you know, as you mentioned, it's obviously important and necessary. And I draw for people the picture of, you know, my oldest daughter, she had her first communion , um, and she collected kind of at the end of that first communion, all the gifts she had gotten as kind of a seven, eight year old and all the gifts she'd gotten ever since she was a baby. And we marched her down to kind of our town and New Jersey at the time to , um, uh, to one of the bank branches. And we opened my daughter's account. And when that, what our , I can't even remember, I think it was four or $500 when that money went in, it was the most important four or $500 in the history of the world to her and to me, and it , we needed a good collaboration. We needed a institution that would protect it, and we needed, frankly, you know, a government that would in from a regulatory standpoint would ensure that institution protected that four or $500. So all of us in FinTech and financial services, we're dealing with, people's hard earned money we're dealing with right scholarships that students have gotten, we're dealing with, sorry, there's a plane flying overhead. We're dealing with , um, you know, gifts that, that people have gotten for their birthday and Christmas. It must be protected. And , um, you know, we as technologists and FinTech, yes, we will innovate, but we will innovate in a way that will protect people's dollars and cents. And we should be proud of that. Um, that being said, there's a lot of innovation, well underway and a lot of innovation that I see regulators when you look at worldwide, definitely starting to participate in

Speaker 2:

The , um, Kim, tell us about how you've been managing your business in the midst of this pandemic. I mean, you've hit on a few things where I contacted some contact with some Clover, et cetera, but , um, this , uh, you know , w what would you say have been sort of the top three things , um, you've either learned or felt you really have, you've done well, and these past , um, six or seven months as we've been in this , um, really very disruptive , uh , environment due to the health crisis.

Speaker 3:

Um, yeah, I would say a couple things first , um, as with any great business, the focus must be on delivering for clients and for customers. And as we just talked about, because we're in FinTech, delivering for clients in a way that is safe and reliable. Um, and so, I mean at serve , you know, I'm a leader there, but I would speak, you know , for my whole, from all of my colleagues, it has been stunning and remarkable how quickly we have responded in a way that we have allowed all of our customers across all our products and services to actually continue to operate and do business. Um, and that's been vitally important. You know, some, you know, some businesses have been impacted by this pandemic more than others. I imagine if you're a restaurant, if you're a restaurant, you are, have been deeply impacted, but my gosh, whenever someone calls for takeout order or pickup order, it's vitally important that you're still able to operate and operate well. Um, so we moved very quickly operationally and functionally to protect our people , uh, thousands of people within a matter of 30 days, moving from working onsite to working from home, all of the technology and capability that was required for that and those thousands of people continuing to make sure that all of our data centers were operating. All of our transactions were processing. I have an organization , um , that works with me actually here in Atlanta, that still goes into the office. They are the ones that ship out, you know, things like Clover devices to businesses as businesses are forming. Um, they have been doing that in the midst of a pandemic. Uh, so you can imagine , uh , you know, all of the , uh , PPE and safety measures that we had to put in place right away. So, you know, many times people think about businesses, especially , you know, large businesses that , you know, five serve . Um , you know, we are a , uh , you know , fortune 200 business. They think about businesses as ocean liners, and it's tough to move them and change them. What I see in this pandemic is no , actually, when it is necessary, you can move on a dime and you move dramatically on a dime and your clients require that. And frankly, your business requires that. Um, um, the second thing I would say is exactly what I described earlier, which is you need to, during this pandemic also be looking for ways to do goo , you know , be your fundamental business, but as a business also do good. So at Fiserv, we actually initiated months ago, now something called back to business campaign where, you know, we , you know, our CEO was on calls with business leaders in places like New York that had been under total shut down. And as the shutdown was starting to Wayne was hearing from the community about what is needed. And what we heard from the community is that businesses need people with technology, with capability, with payments to really be on the ground, helping some of these small businesses come back to business. Um, and we right quickly organized and right, started putting our people into specific areas and burrows in order to go door to door and help businesses come , come back up, whether they were our customers or not. We quickly put in place, not just an announcement of, Hey, we'll dedicate this amount to people coming to back to business, but we activated immediately a grant program , uh, which we've already awarded grants to , uh, primarily , uh, you know, African-American and minority owned businesses, because those are some of the hardest hit, but a grant program for those, some of those businesses to get direct assistance from us. And we're doing that across multiple cities now. So what we found in the pandemic is we can move quickly. We can stay very reliable and operational for our clients. We can do that, whether we're onsite or offsite , um, we can respond and find opportunity. And frankly, we can respond by being a good community partner as well.

Speaker 2:

That , um, I love that program. It just makes total sense to me from a , from a business perspective, I'm sure your employees and partners take a lot of pride in being, you know, seeing Pfizer, responding in that way as well, which , uh, I think critical in terms of like really keeping that sense of community as an organization in place , um, as we're also dispersed , uh, and, and working in that virtual way as well. So that's , um, yeah, it's tremendous. Um, and I'm , I'm glad, I'm glad you all of 'em are doing that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And I would add, I mean, I'm personally very proud of five serve in this program. I mean, we all went through, not just, we're not just going through a pandemic, but we all went through our own sets of experiences as well. Uh, um, you know, when unfortunately George Floyd died and there was , uh , a call for , uh , you know, greater levels of understanding and justice across our country. And I got lots of emails from all kinds of organizations, and I actually sent a letter directly to my own CEO saying, let's just not send emails. Let's take action. Let's make a difference. And he called me directly that within 48 hours and said, you know, what you're saying is also things that I'm hearing in the community, and this is how we galvanized. And we started to actually really do something. Um , and we're talking to our partners about it. You know, we , uh , you know, in the part of business, I do, we have bank partners because there's a lot of eagerness. Um, and, and, and dedication, we need to turn that into focus and action. And we've started doing that five serve , and we're always looking to work with our partners and customers to expand this because we fundamentally believe we can be a great business and we can be a great entity in our community, which is part of why I feel honored also to be a part of this , uh , podcast. And hopefully I can be helpful to , uh, uh , to the Georgia FinTech Academy as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Any other , um, questions from you?

Speaker 4:

No. I just want to like , um, say things to Kim, because looking from my perspective as being a student, like where we got involved during this certain times for protest and stuff, I'm looking at how organizations took a stance and how from internally they impacted. Yeah. It's , it's, it's good to see that way.

Speaker 3:

Um, and you know, I would encourage, I would encourage students listening to the , to the podcasts. I mean, and it's also part of what I see is very exciting about , uh, you know, gen Y and gen Z. I see it in my own company, which is you will be good at what you do. You will be a good business person, a good engineer, a good innovator. You also can bring, right. You can bring to companies and realize within companies, if you choose the right ones, you know, your whole right, right . Multiple parts of what matters to you. Um, because we need our companies to not just be good in terms of the products and services they provide, but we to be good corporate citizens and it's people inside the companies that make that happen. Um, and I, and I do fundamentally believe are your generations will help take that to the next level and I encourage you to do so. And, you know, we, we, you know, we hope to have some of you at five serve helping us do that as well.

Speaker 2:

We've had , um, uh , we had an , uh , a couple of events , uh , with Pfizer. We, we hold weekly events for the FinTech Academy , um, every Thursday night. And we've had a couple of different employee research resource groups from Pfizer representatives from BRGs employee resource groups from Pfizer, come in and , uh, and talk, which has , have really been really amazing stories of how that community building occurs and how the community engagement occurs through those ERG . Um, I've really found that as I've learned more about the organization to be really remarkable , um, well, let's turn to , um, our current events, FinTech news of the last , uh, week that's caught our attention. Um, Ayesha , I'm going to start with you. Um, what what's , uh, what's caught your attention in terms of FinTech news

Speaker 4:

Will tell Tommy the one that really caught my attention was the end group's upcoming IPO, which was suspended , um, after the Chinese struggle, if your authority is met with the CEO. So it was, it was really sick, significant, I would say it was really interesting how the IPO was suspended.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I I'm with you this one really , um, it honestly surprises me , uh, this, this IPO for those of you that might not be aware , um, was planned to be the largest ever globally, which is, I mean, a big statement. True. Uh, there was a very remarkable that some of you may, may attract , uh, Aramco of the big kind of oil conglomerate did , uh , an IPO, I think 18 months ago, two years , maybe two years ago, maybe less. I can't remember, but it was that , that was then the largest. And so this, this FinTech company really largest in the world was gonna eclipse. And so Jack ma who you've probably heard or had exposure to is the real, I ran Alibaba and Alibaba, aunts kind of related to it's a subsidiary of Alibaba. Um, you know, so clearly like, I'm like, what's going on here? We got Jack ma who's on the verge of launching the largest IPO in the history of humankind. And then he came out very aggressively in a speech last week, really just kind of speaking in very stern tones towards the regulatory bodies within the , the Chinese communist party. And so, and then they just turned right around and were like, you know, stop, shut down. I was like, Holy cow. So I'm like, I'm still very interested to see how this story evolves. And I still kind of have this big question of like, why did Jack ma do this? Um, so yeah, no, I think that's a , that's a, that's a great story to, to bring up. Um, Kim, how about you? What caught your attention? Um,

Speaker 4:

So one of the things that caught my eye

Speaker 2:

Tension was , um, there were ,

Speaker 3:

Um, announcements from Zelle , which is the PTP , um, the P D P network that , uh, has been established basically by the consortium of , uh, some of the larger banks. Um, and it caught my attention because, you know , obviously I'm in the merchant acquiring business. We do a whole lot of processing of payments between consumers, businesses, and their merchants to enable them to, you know , sell things. And, you know, still the vast majority of what we do is the processing of payments on credit and debit cards. Um, however, we have seen an evolution of PTP , you know , uh, things like , uh, Square's cash app and Venmo, and now Zelle . Um, and this, these alternative ways of making transactions has been very interesting from a technology from a technology standpoint, because they are quote real time , but it's also frankly grown over time. And the Zelle announcement , um, you know, was really quite stunning with regards to the double digit growth that they're seeing and the volume of transactions and payments , uh , that they're seeing being made. And, you know, we see in technology businesses, inclusive of FinTech things go through phases. Then, you know, you go through phases where you have a lot of, you have a new capability that emerges, and that new capability leads to a lot of innovation and a lot of players. And then over time you see a consolidation. Um, and so we're kind of in this very interesting phase where things have consolidated to a great degree with credit and debit and maybe even some ACH. And now we're getting a lot of innovation , um, in how transactions are passed , uh, including in this P2P space. That seems to only be continuing to, to bloom and blossom and how it will evolve relative to credit debit relative to ACH, relative to all the payment products will be interesting, you know, at fast serve . We, you know, we work across many of these different payment methods. We happen to be the largest employer of Zelle working with our , uh , thousands of financial institutions. So we do have a horse in that race and, you know, it's, it's fascinating to see, you know, consumers starting to use it in businesses starting to use it. Yeah,

Speaker 2:

I've been, I mean, in my sense too, has been that this P2P space and certainly this cell recent announcement shows , um, this is one of those that the pandemic in a way has really helped to accelerate adoption perhaps in some, some new and or additional meaningful ways. Um, and I think your point's a good one. Cause I was thinking like Zelle , I'm trying to think like, okay, how old's Zelle now on the , I think if we go back to it's kind of first iteration, which was called Clair exchange that started in , um, um, 2006, 2007. Um, so, you know , it's really, that's kind of 10, 10, 12, 13 years old , um, in terms of its growth, you know, you compare that against square. That was one of those companies born in that financial crisis of 2008, 2009. So kind of 11 year kind of old, you know , PayPal, believe it or not. I think it's over 20 years old now it is popping . We lose sight of these facts, you know, the facts of the , kind of the age of these offerings, you know, and then of course there's still much, relatively much younger compared to the credit card and the debit card, which go back multiple decades. But it's a , I think you're right where , you know, I think it's very possible. We're at a very important inflection point with that , uh, kind of this remarkable kind of PTP kind of mobile mobile focus or does certainly digitally focused , um, uh, modality.

Speaker 3:

And I, I often tell, you know , it would apply to your students, but I often tell kind of innovators, business leaders, entrepreneurs, you know, one of the things to keep an eye on is payment networks are exp . They are, there's a lot of them, you know, there's more and more of them. Sometimes people like to fixate on maybe one or two payment networks that have been around a while that maybe are prominent that maybe, you know the name, but if you actually, you know, at , at five , for example, we own the XR, the star and Excel debit network. And there are at least, you know, I don't know, five, six, seven different debit networks. Um, we own a surcharge free network. Um, we, we were just talking about Zelle . I mean, there is a bifurcation and a fragmentation of many different networks. And you know, if you're thinking about doing any kind of business in FinTech, you want to be very thoughtful to know the various ones and really make sure you're putting your products and services on the right network and not overly relying on one or two. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, I'm going to wrap up there. Um, Iyisha thanks so much for being with us, Kim, thank you so much for being part of this discussion today. Thank you to Pfizer for Pfizer's ongoing engagement with the Georgia FinTech Academy, your spin, a fantastic partner , uh, and thank you very much for being part of our conversation today.

Speaker 3:

It's my pleasure is very informative. Thank you for having me.

Speaker 1:

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