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Payments at AFP 2018: Focus On Innovation

  • By Andrew Deichler
  • Published: 9/24/2018

If there’s one area in corporate treasury that has seen an eruption of innovation over the past decade, it’s payments.

From real-time payments to application programming interfaces (APIs) to cutting edge cybersecurity solutions, payments is one of the most exciting aspects of treasury today. That’s why the Payments track at AFP 2018 is particularly focused on new technologies.


If there’s one technology that’s become synonymous with innovation, it’s blockchain. Financial institutions the world over are investing billions in the technology that gurus say will reshape payments forever. So it’s no surprised that this year’s Payments Breakfast will feature a discussion on blockchain with noted expert Alex Tapscott.

Alex is the co-author (along with AFP 2017 speaker Don Tapscott) of the bestseller, “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World.” In 2017, Alex and Don Tapscott founded the Blockchain Research Institute, a think-tank for investigating blockchain strategies, opportunities and use cases. Join Alex as he discusses how treasury and finance leaders can use blockchain to combat fraud in this new digital age.


The Payments Hub is back this year. Here’s you’ll find all the payments content at AFP 2018, conveniently located in one place. This is ground control for the very best in the payments industry.

Don’t miss the Payments Roundtable. This annual event is an interactive discussion between treasury practitioners and some of the most important voices in the payments industry.

Also, be sure not to miss the Payments Mixer. Here you will be able to network with fellow practitioners who are focusing on payments.

And back by popular demand is the Payments Hub Challenge. This competition gives solution providers 15 minutes to present a strategy to reduce a fictional company’s yearly payments fraud losses. AFP 2018 attendees will pick the winner—and may even find a solution that can be implemented back at the office.


Payments speed is top-of-mind for many treasury practitioners these days, and so multiple sessions in the Payments track this year focus on faster and real-time payments. From discussions on whether recent initiatives by The Clearing House and NACHA will drastically change B2B payments in the United States, to a look at how faster payments services are impacting the global economy, attendees will have multiple opportunities to weigh the pros and cons of speeding up transactions.

“The benefits to real-time payments are significant,” said Charles Ellert, head of payments strategy Verizon and a member of the AFP 2018 Planning Task Force. “Payments represents 2 to 6 percent of the bottom line of most companies. Think about the opportunities to save money through straight-through processing that can be implemented through the use of some of the faster payment schemas.”

Ellert added that while treasury practitioners now have many faster payment solutions to choose from, not every service will be appropriate for every enterprise. “You need to find the right payment method for your use case, and optimize it to enable straight-through processing,” he said.

This year’s payments track also features sessions on how cutting edge technologies apply to corporate treasury. We have sessions on how artificial intelligence (AI) can optimize payment processing, how APIs can enhance corporate-bank communications, and how blockchain can be used for reconciliation and audit.

So if you’re looking to innovate, then the AFP 2018 Payments track is where you need to be. Don’t miss out on a chance to bring your payments practices into the 21st century—and beyond.

See the full list of Payments sessions here. Register for the conference here.

The Payments Breakfast and Payments Mixer is sponsored by FIS, Fiserv and NACHA.

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