Fintech South 2023 is a world-class summit with its nexus in Atlanta live and in-person, a global financial technology hub that is home to more than 200 fintech companies. The top 15 public fintech companies in Georgia alone generate more than $100 billion in revenues. On September 12th & 13th, 2023, at the Georgia World Congress Center, we welcomed fintech leaders from around the world for an amazing experience designed to help you make the most of the opportunities of the fintech revolution.
Larry Williams, TAG
Intro: Broadcasting live from the beautiful Georgia World Congress Center for FinTech South. 2023. It’s time for Atlanta Business Radio. Now, here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: Lee Kantor here broadcasting live from FinTech South. 2023, where we’re celebrating fintech leaders from around the world. Our first guest today is the head honcho at TAG, Larry Williams. Welcome, Larry.
Larry Williams: Good morning. Delighted to have Business RadioX back here at FinTech South.
Lee Kantor: We’re excited to be here. Tell us a little bit about, why don’t you preview FinTech South for the folks who aren’t familiar.
Larry Williams: You know, FinTech South is the largest fintech conference in the Southeast and it really has national and global appeal. So we’re delighted to be here. This is our sixth annual FinTech South, and I think y’all have been with us all along. When we started it, Mercedes Benz Stadium, and continued it throughout the pandemic in a virtual environment. And now we’re back. And this is our second year back live and in person since the pandemic, but our six year total. So we’re delighted to be here.
Lee Kantor: So tell folks about what happens at FinTech South. What what can they expect?
Larry Williams: You know, you really got to think about fintech South as the nexus of all things that are fintech and all the things that really create this great vibrant ecosystem and really make Georgia the global hub of fintech. And so let me tell you what that means. So I think we all know and familiar with the stat about 70% of all debit credit and reward card transactions are processed through Georgia. That’s an incredible, incredible stat. You know, 51%, you’re number one, 70%. You dominate and we dominate in this field globally. And what you’re going to see here today is everything that helps facilitate from the point of sale from B2B transactions, how the latest technology, everything from frictionless payments, how artificial intelligence is going to affect this, the importance of privacy and cybersecurity, all the major themes that are extremely important to us. But I think what really happens here, though, is the connections, the connections that people make. And it’s going to be these B2B people that are actually that have the great creative solutions that other people can use to help drive their business. But also what you’re going to see here this year is a lot of talent. So we’ve partnered with the FinTech academy, we’ve partnered with several universities in the area, and they’re bringing their students here because one of the great things that our ecosystem has and what continues to keep us at the forefront of the fintech ecosystem is we have the world class talent to be able to build new businesses and drive the ones that we have here.
Lee Kantor: So there’s people who are attending. They’re coming from all over the globe, right? This is an event that is kind of a must attend event if you’re in the fintech industry. You know.
Larry Williams: I’ve already seen, you know, our friends from Britain are going to be here. Our friends from Canada are here. And I know that there are a lot of other countries that are being represented here. Ireland is here. So, yes, definitely very, very important. You know, we really went global with the global appeal of FinTech. South really started from day one, and we’ve continued to have that appeal from around the globe as well as around the country.
Lee Kantor: So now talk a little bit about some of the speakers.
Larry Williams: Well, you know, Robert Park, I think is one of the stellar ones that is just absolutely incredible. He’s one of our keynotes. He’s really going to talk about what’s driving AI, artificial intelligence. He just flew in from New York. He’s a leader in this, so super excited about his keynote, super excited about yokes, and I’ll just call him Yokes, The CTO at Deluxe, who has really been at the forefront of driving innovation. And as that whole company is going through an innovation, innovative change, we’ve got great representative from Truist, but also we get to induct a new member of the Georgia FinTech Hall of Fame. And we’ll be I’ll be chatting with Jeff Sloan, the former CEO of Global Payments, as we induct him into the global the Georgia FinTech Hall of Fame.
Lee Kantor: And then from an education standpoint, is there an opportunity for folks to kind of learn from experts as well?
Larry Williams: By all means. So, you know, we’re looking forward to our students being a part of all of the sessions and being, you know, benefiting from the mainstage speak speakers. We’re also working very hard to make sure that we can facilitate introductions not only of students in the workforce, but also the B2B. We’ve launched something called Brain Date. It’s a wonderful app and partnership that we have with this company. We’ve got tables set up that are going to facilitate a couple of things. It can be one on one meetings where people can meet and talk, but we’re also having some some power brain date sessions that will be thematic and just check the app and you’re going to see some. Credible content about people getting together and have larger 10 or 12 people discussions about everything that’s driving fintech today.
Lee Kantor: And then if you’re a fintech company and you’re right now located anywhere in the world, you should really consider kind of moving to Atlanta because it’s rare to find kind of the synergies that you have between the universities in terms of talent, upcoming talent and the opportunities to work with some of the biggest players in fintech from around the world.
Larry Williams: You know, Georgia’s where fintech and where technology meets the real world. There’s no doubt about it. It’s, you know, it is the names, the main names that are in fintech are here. And so if we think about global payments, we think about fiserv, fis, tsis, all of these important companies here in transactions 11 they’re all important, but all of the ecosystem that’s supporting that is here. So yep. Lee you’re 100% right. If you want to be in fintech, you need to be in Georgia because that’s where it’s happening and that’s where the next generation of ingenuity is coming from. And these are the people that are leading the industry globally.
Lee Kantor: So what do you think? The community needs more to keep the keep going and keep thriving?
Larry Williams: You know, glad you asked that. It’s really about staying at the forefront of innovation. And so we do something called our fintech challenge once a year where we actually work throughout the year with some of our great entrepreneurs and people that are really thinking about, you know, what is going to help drive this industry, what are the trends, what are the new technologies that we can incorporate into solutions? How do we protect our data? How do we protect the privacy of our of our customers? All of this happening. So we do this great innovation challenge and we’re going to we’ve been through the process. We’re going to get it down to three companies and we’re going to have a great competition. We’re going to vote on it. And one of them is going to walk away with a non-dilutive check for $25,000.
Lee Kantor: Wow.
Larry Williams: You know, and I got to tell you, there’s a story a few years ago about one of these companies coins and the CEO, They have done great things. And they were on stage, I think, four years ago. And they had actually said to themselves, hey, we’re either going to win this or we’re not going to go right.
Lee Kantor: That’ll be it.
Larry Williams: That’ll be it. And they did win it. They got they got the $25,000 and it meant a lot to them. But what meant more was that vote of confidence. Right. That pat on the back. Yes, we have a relevant solution and so delighted they’ll actually be here on site today. And it’s such a great story and a great turnaround story.
Lee Kantor: Yeah, it’s so important for especially those emerging firms. You know, you the mouse has to get the cheese sometimes or else, you know, they stop searching for it. So you got it exactly right. So now for folks who are in Georgia and they want to plug into tag. Tag is a must, an association that everybody should be a member of and should be taking advantage of all of the resources that you provide. So how would somebody kind of plug into tag if they’re not?
Larry Williams: Well, please go to tag online.org. My contact information is on there. Please reach out to me or just any of the great team at Tag is a great connection point. We’d love to have you. We’ve got 20 societies talking about everything from data science and artificial intelligence, data governance, fintech, digital health, cybersecurity. There are so many critical areas of discussion that really help position Georgia be the top and the leader in a lot of technology areas and really makes us one of the top three technology states in the country.
Lee Kantor: Good stuff, Larry. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Larry Williams: Thank you. And thanks for being here again. Good to see you all.
Lee Kantor: All right. This Lee Kantor, we’ll be back in a few at FinTech South 2023.