Payments Professionals Gather for First-Class Payments Conference in the Buckeye State

Last month, 181 payments travelers from near and far gathered in Columbus, Ohio for EPCOR Payments Conference – Spring 2022. The ETA for Faster Payments is NOW, and so everyone fastened their seatbelts and spent three days soaring through faster payments and other important topics impacting the payments industry. During our flight, we cruised through topics such as ACH Origination, fraud, cannabis banking and more!

To kick off our flight, attendees gathered for a warm welcome from conference emcee Kevin Olsen (AKA The Payments Professor), EPCOR's President and CEO, Susan Doyle, and EPCOR Board Chairperson, Marlene Barkheimer of Farmers Bank. Then, we were ready for takeoff with our first general session, ACH State of the Union: The Evolution and Modernization of the ACH Network with Nacha's Jane Larimer. This session gave attendees a preview of upcoming Nacha initiatives, use cases for both traditional and Same Day ACH, new ACH Rules initiatives and current trends in ACH risk management and fraud prevention.

Following the session with Jane, attendees were able to choose their adventure with six sessions departing throughout the day including ACH Origination: Mitigating the Risks of the ODFI with Samantha Werner, AAP, CTP of Commerce Bank and A Review of RDFI Obligations, Risks and Potential Losses from Fraud with Scott Jones of Adams & Reese LLP.

The final general session of the day was The RTP® Network - What We've Learned in the Past 4 Years, and What's Next? With Steve Ledford of The Clearing House. During this session, Steve shared how U.S. businesses and consumers are using the RTP® network, what kind of products financial institutions are offering and what lies ahead.

Our first day concluded with an A-List caliber Gala Reception, filled with delicious hors d'oeuvres and plenty of networking.

Our second day began with a warm breakfast and an early flight into security with Jim Stickley of Stickley on Security. Jim, who has been robbing banks, hacking government computers and stealing confidential information from businesses for over 30 years (yes, you read that right!) took us on a journey through The Evolving Security Landscape for 2022. From credit card exploitation to online account takeovers, this session covered a large range of attacks that put both home users and corporate employees at risk and provided useful tips and tricks to help prevent falling victim to these attacks.

During the Recognition Luncheon, EPCOR President & CEO, Susan Doyle, AAP, presented the 2022 Payments Innovation Award to RIBBIT for leveraging the recency and accuracy of bank behavior to power lenders, billers, banks and Fintechs to make smarter decisions, expand financial inclusion and reduce fraud. To read more about RIBBIT's award and contribution to payments, click here.

Day two's sessions continued to bring insights from experts at the forefront of the payments industry. In addition to vendor showcases, our sessions included Virtual Currency, Cryptocurrency, Digital Currency… Oh My! with Angela Lucas, CCBP, CTCE of MVB Bank; Risk Assessment and Due Diligence for Cannabis Banking with Dena Somers of Finreg Partners; Right Time for Real-time: Operational Considerations for the RTP® Network with Toby Thomas of Corporate One Federal Credit Union and more.

We also heard from our keynote, motivational speaker Chad Porter, during his session Becoming a Better You. During his session, Chad shared his story of overcoming a horrific tragedy to not only survive, but to defy all odds and turn what most would find to be insurmountable obstacles into a life of inspiring people across the globe for over 20 years.

Day two's itinerary wrapped up with a general session, An Update on FedNow with Pilot Participants featuring moderator Dan Gonzalez, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and panelists Tristan Thompson, AAP of Arvest Bank; Charles Harkness of Corporate One Federal Credit Union and Angie Pavlich, AAP of Commerce Bank. This session gave conference attendees insight into the Pilot Program and what to expect when FedNow goes live.

Upon the conclusion of day two, attendees were invited to join some EPCOR staff and other conference attendees at our Dining with Strangers event at a few restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. This event allowed participants to network and share a delicious meal with people they may not have met otherwise.

On day three, we made our final descent beginning with a general session featuring David Behen, La-Z-Boy, Inc. During David's session, Cybersecurity 101, attendees learned the basics about cybersecurity from a CIO and IT/cybersecurity expert. David discussed the cybersecurity landscape and provided ideas and suggestions about how to protect the attendees' organizations, employees, loved ones and themselves from a cyber-attack.

Next, attendees picked their travel destination from three different concurrent sessions including Educating Your Originators with EPCOR's Brandie Thacker, AAP and Amy Donaghue, AAP, APRP, NCP, Building a Risk Management Program – JENGA Style with Nanci McKenzie, AAP, APRP, JM of Affirmative Technologies and David Behan, La-Z-Boy Corporate and Cryptocurrency and Your Digital Asset Custody Program – One Bank's Experience with Stephen Taylor of Vast Bank N.A.

Our final general session was LMK Why People are Using Payment Apps… and other FAQs with moderator Kevin Olsen, AAP, APRP, NCP, CHPC, MSCE, The Payments Professor and a group of panelists. This session gave our attendees a chance to ask average Joes and Janes why they choose to use payment apps and how they choose which one to use. This session was essentially a live focus group for the audience to ask the burning questions they wanted to know about consumers using their phones to make payments.

After our final session, it was time for prizes! Our popular Passport to Prizes contest challenged attendees to tour the exhibit hall throughout the conference, receiving signatures from each exhibitor so they could be entered into drawings for many generous prizes. Attendees were eligible to win a variety of goodies including accreditation frames, a vast number of gift cards, discounts to our Prep Programs, free event registrations, discounted services, Echo Dots and more.

Upon the conclusion of the conference, attendees then parted company, traveling back to their respective organizations with a carry-on filled with the newfound knowledge and connections they formed during their time in Columbus.

Our sincere thanks go to the sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees of the EPCOR Payments Conference – Spring 2022, as well as the conference planning committee – our conference wouldn't be such a huge success without their contributions. Stay tuned to our social media pages (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) for pictures from the conference.

We missed learning with you in person so much and we're already looking forward to next time! Please come back and see us next year in Columbus. If you weren't able to journey through payments with us in Columbus, join us this fall in Overland Park, Kansas. We look forward to exploring the latest payments industry trends and challenges together again!