London, Atlanta fintech firms create 'Davos of Payments' forum

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Citing the need to expand Transatlantic commerce, U.K. and U.S. officials have agreed to create a payments forum featuring leaders from the tech hubs of London and Atlanta.

Government, business and payments leaders have created P20 to stress the importance of payments and fintech to the world economy, with an emphasis on the roles London and Atlanta play in the industry.

P20 gets its name from establishing that annual meetings will bring together the top 20 influencers in payments, technology, business and government to address issues. Organizers have called it the "Davos of Payments" in reference to its similarity in structure with the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland.

P20 will hold its first meeting Oct. 9 and 10 in London, seeking to establish regulatory clarity, consumer security and innovation collaboration as it applies to payments and fintech. Its annual meetings will rotate between Atlanta and London.

“The P20 is the latest platform intended to provide greater access to talent, technology and business opportunities for Atlanta’s transaction alley companies," H. West Richards, American Transaction Processors Coalition executive director, said in a Feb. 2 press release. “The unified support for P20 from Georgia’s political leaders will ensure that both the public and private sectors are pulling in the same direction as we collaborate with new partners in London on critical issues for our industry, the economy and global payments best practices.”

One of the ATPC's founding sponsors, Holland & Knight LLP, had a key role in getting the initiative off the ground, Richards added.

Organizers say the P20 will serve as a forum for thought leadership and action, along with best practices across many areas including regulatory and compliance frameworks, and issues like cybersecurity, innovation and how fintech can achieve greater financial inclusion for people in developing economies around the world.

P20 "leadership delegates" will conduct the first meeting, which will include approximately 120 invited senior leaders representing relevant government agencies, industry advocacy groups, academia, fintech innovators and payments industry executives worldwide.

“Gathering together the top global payments companies with regulators and legislators from the UK and the U.S., the P20 will be a valuable forum for payments executives to discuss the biggest issues facing the industry," Mark Garnier, parliamentary under secretary of state at the U.K. Department for International Trade, said in the release.

With more than 20 British companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the two nations "share a strong business bond and this kind of collaboration in key sectors will help further strengthen these ties,” Garnier said.

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