The good news for 2024 is that payments professionals have a slew of substantive conference events to choose from. The curse is that it will be hard to pick just a few, especially if budgets are tight.
Of course, there’s always Money20/20, which hasn’t even taken place yet this year. That October conference in Las Vegas offers a vast sea of speakers, booths and events, but its sheer size may leave payments professionals feeling like the event is less on point. And while the conference rolls out top speakers, like Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra at last year’s event, the agenda is packed with a string of C-suite presentations that can feel like an endless loop of ads.
In 2024, there will be plenty of payments-specific conferences to choose from, even some that drill down into sub-categories of payments. Here’s an overview of the 2024 conferences the Payments Dive staff and their contacts found most compelling, though it’s by no means an exhaustive list.
Keep in mind that journalists typically don’t pay registration fees so we may have a different calculus than industry professionals with respect to cost factors. Also, we limit our review here to those events taking place in the U.S., even though there are appealing options elsewhere in the world.
Having attended the Nacha Smarter Faster Payments conference in 2023, that’s one we’d point to as featuring timely topics and providing purely payments-focused information. Last year, presentations covered everything from real-time payments to buy now, pay later to business-to-business payments fraud. Its speakers typically include a balanced mix of influential federal officials, company executives, regulators and consultants. That conference convenes in Miami on May 6.
Speaking of federal officials, the Federal Reserve banks also host symposiums and other events that zero in on payments. The Chicago Fed’s Payments Symposium typically picks a theme and builds its forum around it. For instance, this year’s symposium, “Accelerating Innovation and Inclusion in Payment Networks,” focused on instant payments, digital currencies and cybersecurity, among other topics. The bank hasn’t presented a theme for next year yet, a spokesperson said.
The Philadelphia Fed hosts a fintech conference every year that’s also highly relevant to payments, with an exploration of how new technologies and startup enterprises are changing the payments landscape. Like the Chicago Symposium, that event has typically taken place in autumn.
Similar to the Nacha conference, but with more of a banking perspective, is The Clearing House’s annual conference, which this year is occurring in November. That confab considers the state of payments as a part of the broader banking market and the current economy, with a heavy dose of regulatory and policy-making talk. Recent banter has centered on real-time payments in the wake of the Fed’s recent launch of a new instant payments system called FedNow.
Payments professionals particularly interested in real-time payments may want to attend meetings offered by the Faster Payments Council. With one get-together in spring and another in the fall, that organization’s gatherings touch on cross-border payments, checkout technology and open banking, among other themes related to faster payments. The next meeting in Orlando begins on March 27, but to join in you must be a member.
Big associations host many of the most valuable payments conferences. The Electronic Transactions Association’s Transact conference, beginning April 17 in Las Vegas, features mainly payments processing executives as speakers. This year, they included NMI CEO Vijay Sondhi, Fortis CEO Greg Cohen and Global Payments CEO Cameron Bready, just before he stepped into that top post.
The Innovative Payments Association will host its conference in Washington, D.C. on May 5. That trade organization focuses on the new technologies that payments players are providing and that consumers are encountering in daily commerce. In the past, its discussions have zeroed in on prepaid cards and digital wallets, among other subjects.
More specialized events include the Women in Payments Symposium in Washington, D.C., starting Feb. 28. It’s sponsored by the Global Association of Women in Payments and features female leaders in the industry offering perspectives on gender parity as well as diversity issues in payments. Of course, its agenda also delves into a range of other payments topics.
For an event focused on payments security, there is the Secure Technology Alliance’s Identity and Payments Summit, starting Feb. 26. The theme for next year’s conference in Tucson, Arizona is “Trust, Security and Privacy in a Hyperconnected World.” This year’s event featured Visa’s chief risk officer for North America as well as the Atlanta Fed’s head of payments product management. The STA also holds a fall payments forum beginning Nov. 7 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Some trade associations in the industry, including acquirer and clearing organizations, also have regional chapter conferences. They’re particularly beneficial for regional networking as well as updates on local payments technology and strategies. For instance, the Northeast Acquirers Association has a conference beginning April 3 next year in Albany, New York, followed by additional events hosted later in the year in different places by the Midwest Acquirers Association, the Southeast Acquirers Association and the Western States Acquirers Association.
Automated clearinghouse associations across the country have their own local gatherings, including those hosted by the New England ACH Association, which meets beginning May 20 in Ledyard, Connecticut, as well as the Upper Midwest ACH Association.
We didn’t spot any universities digging into the payments space for conferences (email us if you see one), but Georgetown University Law Center’s DC Fintech Week, starting Nov. 6 this year, will likely again feature speakers from companies and trade groups operating in the payments sphere. It also attracts politicians and regulators influencing policy who give their views of issues related to the industry.
As far as conferences hosted by media organizations, Payments Dive doesn’t offer one, but some outlets do. American Banker hosts a payments conference annually in May with next year’s conference taking place beginning May 6 in Hollywood, Florida. Its Payments Forum draws professionals from a variety of industries that touch payments. Also, The Economist this year is sponsoring the CPI Global B2B Payments Summit starting Oct. 17 in New York, though it’s not clear if it will take place next year as well.