Judging Panel

We have brought together a broad spectrum of independent experts, who either specialise in a particular field, or who have experience and insight into different aspects of the industry. A selection of the judges will review and score all the qualifying entries and compile a short-list and an overall winner from each category.

All judges of the Emerging Payment Awards are bound by a Code of Conduct covering confidentiality, conflicts of interest and contact with entrants. The judges’ decision is final and there will be no opportunity for appeal, discussion or correspondence.

The judges will rely exclusively on the information provided by the Award entrant. Our judges will be looking to see how the programme/product has been a success against the objectives, taking into account how it stands out from the rest of the market. Entries will also be judged on creativity and how clear and concise the entry is. Judges will also have the right to make nominations, except those in any way connected with their own organisation, that they believe are relevant and missing from the available judging selection.


John Chaplin

Chair of Judges
Emerging Payments Awards


John Chaplin is one of the most influential figures globally in retail payments. After successfully holding senior executive positions at both Visa and First Data for many years, he is now heavily involved in investing in payments. He is an adviser to Helios Investment Partners, the African private equity fund, and is a board director of their portfolio payments companies in West Africa and Egypt. He is Chairman of Global Processing Services, a Dunedin portfolio company, which is based in UK and he is also a Board director of a number of earlier stage fintech companies. He has advised national payment schemes and regulators in 5 continents on how their payments infrastructures should be developed. He is the organizer of the Global Payments Innovation Jury, a prestigious group of 70 industry leading CEOs, that convenes every 2 years to look at the state of innovation in the payments sector.


Scott Abrahams

SVP Business Development UK and Ireland


Scott Abrahams is responsible for developing and executing the UK&I Acceptance sales and marketing strategy to drive Acceptance growth and increase revenue performance. He is also responsible for Mastercard’s Fintech and Commercial Payments customers. Before joining MasterCard, Mr. Abrahams was VP and GM of Global Supplier Relations EMEA at American Express. He was responsible for revenues from suppliers such as British Airways, Emirates, Air France and Hilton. Earlier on, he also held the positions of VP of Client Management UK and General Manager Nordics at American Express. Prior to this, Mr. Abrahams was Head of Relationship Management at Barclays Bank, leading 100 sales people with a focus on implementing innovation, change, motivation and culture within his team. Mr. Abrahams began his career at Sainsbury’s as a Graduate Trainee Manager, rising to Deputy Store Manager and then moving to Project Management where he was accountable for the movement and banking of all Sainsbury’s physical and electronic turnover.

Paul Bartholomew–Keen

Strategic Commercial Partnerships (Europe)
Elavon Merchant Services


Paul is a financial services’ innovator and payments leader, currently managing strategic relationships and partnerships at Elavon. From 2010 to 2018, Paul provided interim leadership and product expertise for banks, payment networks and emerging challengers. Recent highlights include: Proposition and merchant acceptance lead for a digital wallet in the Caribbean, delivering consumer and third-party requirements as the subject matter expert for cards, e-wallets and prepaid at Open Banking, leading a Lloyds product workstream for a digital payment initiative with Mastercard and managing the card scheme relationships for commercial card issuance at Barclaycard. During his five-year business leadership role at Mastercard, Paul was at the forefront of European prepaid product development, market expansion and innovation. He also been responsible for managing key elements of the current account portfolio at Lloyds TSB, headed customer management at Barclays for medium-sized businesses and led various strategic and development-based roles at The Woolwich, Bank of Scotland and Barclaycard.

David G.W Birch

15Mb Ltd.


David G.W Birch is an author, advisor and commentator on digital financial services. He is a Global Ambassador at Consult Hyperion (the secure electronic transactions consultancy that he helped to found), Technology Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (the London-based think tank), a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey Business School and holds a number of board-level advisory roles. Before helping to found Consult Hyperion, he spent several years working as a consultant in Europe, the Far East and North America. He graduated from the University of Southampton with a B.Sc (Hons.) in Physics. Dave was named one of the global top 15 favourite sources of business information (Wired magazine) and one of the top ten most influential voices in banking (Financial Brand); was found to be one of the top ten Twitter accounts followed by innovators, along with Bill Gates and Richard Branson (PR Daily); was ranked in the top three most influential people in London’s FinTech community (City A.M.), was voted one of the European “Top 40” people in digital financial services (Financial News), was listed of the world’s top 100 most influential FinTech leaders (Hot Topics) and rated Europe’s most influential commentator on emerging payments (Total Payments).

Alistair Brown

Global Head of Payments


Alistair has over thirty-five years of experience in Payments and Management Consulting. Career highlights as follows; Global Head of Payments at EPAM, selling and delivering consult-design-build programmes worldwide in neobanking, instant payments, merchant acquiring, payment gateways, prepaid VP at American Express – developed and directed Corporate Purchasing Card solution and its team for UK and Europe, building a $1 billion business in four years Visa Global Strategy group – deputy in team developing white papers on M-Commerce and the future of Payments worldwide for the Visa International Board MasterCard Advisors – Head of B2B Europe and retail banking Europe lead, developing new retail banking products for BancoPosta, enhancing card portfolio profitability for European banks FirstData – Head of B2B card processing Europe enhancing the VisionPlus platform for Corporate card users CapGemini – Senior Client Partner leading consulting drive into BarclayCard and HSBC, focussing on Payments processing rationalisation in the retail bank, and the consistent absorption of regulatory change across the bank Currently building alliances between EPAM and key Payments technology organisations in order to add value to new and existing Financial Services clients.

Francesco Burelli



Partner at Arkwright. Digital and Open Banking, Payments and Platforms Economy subject matter expert. Over 21 years of payments/digital financial services industry and advisory experience across six continents after transitioning from an earlier focus on telecoms. Before his advisory career, Francesco worked at Midland Bank (later HSBC). Francesco complements his industry executive profession with industry research, publishing and think-tanks positions. Advisory board member at Global Data / Verdict, FT/TheBanker’s Transaction Banking Awards and Emerging Payments Association Awards judging panels member. Fellow of the London Institute of Finance and Banking, INSEAD Alumnus, Francesco was awarded Fintech Startup Bootcamp’ Best Fintech Mentor of the Year Award 2015, ATM Industry Association’s Industry consultant of the Year 2014.

Robert Courtneidge

Independent Industry Advisor

Robert is a valued and highly respected industry expert with a distinguished career in the card and payments industry. Robert has deep expertise in e-money, and is highly skilled in all aspects of consumer finance issues, including consumer protection, banking regulation and compliance and anti-money laundering. In the UK, he works closely with The Payments Services Regulator, HM Treasury and Financial Conduct Association, and other compliance and industry bodies globally. He is also Non Executive Board Director/Strategic Advisor to over 15 diverse payment and payment related companies. He has continuously been named a key player in the Payments Power 10 (including #1 in 2015), a highly competitive ranking of the influential contributors in payments. Previously, Robert achieved success as a senior legal professional specialising in matters relating to cards and payments. He regularly speaks on issues facing the European Payments’ Industry including laws relating to Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Rebecca Clements

Director of Payments
UK Finance


Becky is responsible for leading and formulating payments industry policy matters, overseeing the sector engagement and advocacy, and driving change and innovation opportunities on behalf of members. Becky joined UK Finance from Metro Bank where she held the role of Head of Industry Engagement and Payment Change. Prior to joining Metrobank in 2014, Becky also held senior payments roles at RBS and Coutts. Becky brings a wealth of payments experience to the organisation, along with an in-depth knowledge of compliance, industry requirements and risk policies. She is well known and respected by payments providers, regulators and consumer advocates across the payment’s community and this combination of experience and respect will prove invaluable to UK Finance going forward.

Thibault de Barsy

Vice-Chairman & General Manager
Emerging Payments Association EU


Thibault is the Vice-Chairman & General Manager of the Emerging Payments Association for the European Union since December 2019. Thibault de Barsy was formerly CEO of Keytrade Bank Luxembourg for 5 years and has over 20 years of experience in the financial and ICT sector. Thibault is a guest lecturer at the University of Luxembourg on “Managing Financial Brands in the Digital Era” and at the Solvay Brussels of Economics and Management. Since October 2019, he has participated as a weekly guest speaker on the Belgian news TV channel LN24 as an Economics columnist. Before settling in Luxembourg, he held different marketing & sales positions across banks, insurance, telco and credit card companies. Thibault holds a Master of Science in Management from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and a CEFA certificate from the Belgian Association of Financial Analysts.

Nilixa Devlukia

Payments Solved

Nilixa is the founder of Payments Solved a regulatory consultancy advising on the regulatory framework for payment services, digital banking, fintech and open banking both in the UK and globally. Nilixa is an experienced regulatory expert and lawyer with a Masters in European Competition Law and over 20 years of banking and payments experience gained from her time at Barclays, the FCA, the EBA and as Head of Regulatory at the Open Banking Implementation Entity. Nilixa was the policy lead at the Financial Conduct Authority on all UK and EU payments and e-money related matters working together with HM Treasury on the negotiation and transposition of PSD2 and EU agencies on the PSD2 RTS. Nilixa has been seconded to the European Banking Authority and has also worked extensively with the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the World Bank, EU and other regulators across the globe. Nilixa has represented the UK and FCA on various EU and UK level committees including the ECB SecurePay Forum, the EU API Evaluation Group and the UK Payment Strategy Forum and lead on the publication of the FCA Approach Document on Payment Services and EBA Consultations. Nilixa is a well know public speaker and works with industry, regulators and legislators to drive changes in the banking and payments ecosystem for a payments and open banking landscape that is secure, transparent and inclusive.

Salim Dhanani

COO & Co-Founder


Salim Dhanani is COO & Co-Founder of BigPay. Prior to BigPay, Salim was responsible for the EMEA division of Carta Worldwide, a digital payments platform, and worked for the World Bank Group in South America. Salim has built his career in financial services, focusing on banking and payment technology for a diverse range of companies – including established banking players and fintech unicorns.

Janusz Diemko

Strategic Advisor Payments Consultant

Janusz has 20+ years in payments at Euronet, First Data, Polskie ePlatnosci, in roles from finance, sales, business development, to M&A and management, in Poland, CEE, Baltics, Ukraine, Russia. He’s worked in many areas of payments including; POS acquiring, card issuing, e/MCommerce, ATM outsourcing. He was CEO, Supervisory Board Member then Chairman at Paylane – Polskie ePłatności S.A. Poland’s 3rd largest acquirer, owned by Innova Capital. He has been Chairman of the Committee of Polish Acquirers and a member of the National Bank’s Payments Committee. He has provided payment consulting and advisory services on M&A projects, market analyses and funding for payments business and start-ups. He also hols Supervisory Board Member positions at Warsaw listed Ipopema Securities, & IQ Partners, and Storic (a loyalty coupon redemption business), and is a Partner at Hedgehog Fund investing in ecommerce / ICT. Born and educated in the UK – he has a BSC Geography from UCL, and is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers.

Brian Dunne

Managing Director
Giftcard Consulting

Known as Mr. GiftCard Brian has a lifetime achievement award from the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association – UKGCVA, a Fellow of IMA – Incentive Marketing Association Europe where he served as President for eight years. He also holds the Karen Renk award and fellowship of the Global IMA where he was recognised for his service to the prepaid/ gift card and incentive industries. As a consultant, Brian has worked with most of the world’s largest retailers and is a well-known speaker, judge and expert in this arena.

Dimitrios Fountas

Client Director
University of London

University of London

Dimitrios works in partnership with senior leaders and HR professionals around the world, to develop customised learning solutions that link each organisation’s talent strategy to their business goals, enabling them to better adapt in times of uncertainty. A qualified accountant, his experience includes financial management and operations roles across Europe in trading and manufacturing, including three years based in Athens as Operations Manager for Hermès. With a background of also working in the Square Mile, he represents the University on financial services client engagement. He has a successful track record of building and growing relationships in Asia at the highest levels, including with several global systemically important banks. A PRINCE2 Practitioner, he has driven large-scale projects for over a decade, most recently in collaboration with the Payment & Clearing Association of China, to develop a draft blueprint for the country’s evolving payments architecture, with a focus on innovation. Driven by an appetite to go digital in an existential way, as well as the desire to get the process of learning to be something wonderfully exciting and transformative, he is currently developing a digital strategy for the University, tied to City’s Vision & Strategy 2026.

Jessica Hardy

Assistant Director


Jessica Hardy is an Assistant Director for Dunedin, a leading private equity firm who invest UK-wide and helps business leaders achieve their growth ambitions. Jessica specialises in financial services and has spent the last few years focused on building her knowledge and network in the payments sector. Before joining private equity, Jessica worked as a strategy consultant at Accenture.

Kamran Hedjri

Board Member
PXP Financial

PXP Financial

Kamran has 20+ years’ experience in holding C-level roles in the fintech & payments industry. He had built companies across the payment value chain in Europe, North and South America and is currently member of the board at PXP Financial. He has always been focused on driving innovation, accelerating growth and building a great customer experience.

Nick Hewett

Investment Manager
Fidelio Capital


Nick is an Investment Manager for Fidelio Capital – an investment company based in Stockholm – focusing on a range of sectors including financial services and technology, with a particular interest in payments. Prior to Fidelio, Nick worked at Bowmark Capital in London, a private equity firm specialising in the UK mid-market.

Peter Ibbetson

Journolink Limited


Peter Ibbetson has over four decades of experience in the world of financial service, latterly also being the face of Small Business in the media for RBS and NatWest. His media experience and passion for small and growing businesses took him to the creation of JournoLink, an online intelligent PR platform built for SMEs and journalists interested in them, but without the burden of eye watering PR retainers. He is particularly interested in the fintech and payments areas, and the changes that they are bringing to UK banking.

Neira Jones

Payments, Digital Innovation, Fintech, Information Security, Regtech, Fraud, NED, Advisor

An independent advisor, Neira was previously Barclaycard Director of Payment Security & Fraud. She sits on the Boards of cyber security & payments firms & is an Ambassador for the Emerging Payments Association. She is a payment security expert witness and advises on M&A cyber due diligence. She has won numerous awards and her profile is at www.linkedin.com/in/neirajones/ Championing payments, fintech, regtech, innovation & security, Neira’s no-nonsense approach keeps her clients coming back as she will always go the extra mile with clear, actionable advice – from a regulatory application, to the best strategy for securing a mobile solution, or developing a start-up investment pitch. Tirelessly monitoring trends, she is a sought-after public speaker and industry commentator, writer and trainer (e.g. her popular Payments 101 course). With her global reach & large digital network, she is a mentor for many.

Richard Jones

Partner | Head of Payment Services - Europe
Eversheds Sutherland


Richard leads the firm’s International Payment Services Group and is recognised as one of the leading lawyers in the payment services sector. His work includes advising issuers, acquirers, e-money issuers and other payment institutions on issues relating to the development of new products, drafting associated terms and conditions and licensing and other compliance issues. He has particular specialisms in PSD2 and Open Banking, merchant acquiring and e-money, having worked on large projects for a wide range of UK and international providers in these areas. He has a lot of experience of delivering international expansion projects for payment service providers and in recent times has done a large amount of PSD2 related work for some of the largest psps in the UK (both in terms of compliance and taking advantage of the opportunities which the expanding ecosystem brings).

Hugh Kingdon

Fintech expert and Advisor

Hugh is a fintech expert and advisor to fintech clients including Revolut and BCB Group, and to VCs and Private Equity firms. He is well known in Fintech circles, especially from his time working for Visa and Mastercard where he partnered with leading fintechs and helped them grow, pioneering many major improvement initiatives, built a substantial revenues stream and won a CEO award. He is also familiar to EPA members as the sponsor behind the highly successful Emerging Payments Association Women in PayTech project. Now working as an advisor in the area of card payments, remittances, e-commerce, lending and fintech, he is working with leading companies to help them grow and scale profitably.

Nicola Koronka

Co-Founder & Managing Partner


Nicola is cofounder and managing partner of Missive, an award-winning technology and fintech communications consultancy. She has more than 15 years of experience working with established financial services providers, tech startups and challenger brands that are disrupting the market. Nicola specialises in messaging and positioning, PR and content marketing programmes that deliver business impact. Her work has driven increases in sales, VC fundraising & M&A, talent acquisition projects, and improved brand awareness through best in class communications.

Angelina Kouznetsova



Angelina is a Partner in the Deloitte Financial Services Corporate Finance team and specialises in advising on deals in the FinTech and Financial Services sectors, with over 15 years of experience including being an Associate Partner in the EY Financial Services Mergers & Acquisitions team. She has strong expertise throughout out the FinTech sector, having advised on a large number of funds raising, full sell and buy side transactions. Her clients include founder, Venture Capitalist and Private Equity owned businesses, as well as public companies. She has led deals across a diverse range of sub-sectors including B2B and B2C payments, mobile enabled payments, remittance and FX, as well as transactions in other segments of the FinTech and Financial Services industry. She has also worked on FinTech sector related thought leadership assignments for the UK government and trade bodies. She is passionate about the innovation in the industry and maintain an extensive network of fast growing FinTech businesses. Angelina is a qualified accountant and has started her career at PwC.

Raymond Lee

Head of Technical Partnerships


Raymond Lee is an experienced Business Development Manager working in the payments and security market, with a particular focus on emerging payment systems and technology. As Head of Technical Partnerships at PHOS. With over 15 years’ experience in payments, Raymond has worked with many leading leading organisations to bring new and innovative payment solutions to the market.

Julian Little

Commercial Director MENA Verrency
Fintech Consultant
Cofounder TicknPay

Julian is based in Dubai and is Commercial Director MENA for Australian financial technology platform and marketplace Verrency. He is also consulting to Fintechs in the region and is cofounder of TicknPay Technology. Over the last 25 years Julian has had leadership roles in management, product, business development, and operations across both payment startups and large corporates. These roles have been in multiple segments of the payments ecosystem including prepaid card issuing, processing, distribution, acquiring, loyalty, core bank and retail technology. Julian led the Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Finance prepaid card business in UAE from concept to the largest portfolio of programs in the region issuing over 1.2 million cards in the 4 years from launch. Following this, Julian consulted to large scale prepaid programs in Europe and successfully launched the TicknPay mobile first purchase management platform in 2018. Both the MAF and TicknPay programs have been recognised by winning multiple awards in the MENA region.

Michael Maier

Member of the Board
Fidor Solutions AG


Co-Founding Board Member of Fidor 2004, COO of Fidor Bank 2010 to 2016. Currently @ Fidor Solutions AG CEO leading Product Management, Engineering & Delivery. Previous career steps: DAB Bank from 1994 to 2004 as Head of Business Development and Head of Retail Business. PHD in Branding for Retail Banks, Head of Research group of Financial Services Marketing Institute of Marketing Munich. Member of the PSR Strategy Forum from 2016 until 2018.

Claire Maslen

Chief Marketing Officer
Consult Hyperion


Claire Maslen is Chief Marketing Officer at Consult Hyperion responsible for creating and delivering the marketing plan and strategic partnership engagement, to support the growth of the organisation and the success of our clients, bringing with her, 30 years’ experience at the forefront of the telecoms industry and a number of blue-chip technology organisations. Prior to Consult Hyperion, Claire led the creation of two of O2’s new business areas – O2 Digital’s Fraud and Identity Management business, and O2 UK’s NFC market entry. Claire is passionate about fostering collaboration and has extensive experience of stakeholder engagement working with mobile operators, regulators & policy makers, banks, payment networks and Fintech companies. Claire has been recognised in the industry with various awards including: PC Pro Top Ten Women in Tech 2011, Mobile Magazine Power 50, Mobile Awards Key Influencer 2009. Claire created the ‘Women in Technology’ programme at O2.

Mark McMurtrie

Payments Consultancy Ltd


Mark McMurtrie is an award-winning Payments and FinTech consultant. He advises financial services companies, acquirers, payment service providers, technology companies, retailers, hospitality providers and investors. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies including the largest retailers, eCommerce merchants, hospitality providers, PSPs, retail banks, merchant acquirers, card issuers, payment schemes and payment service providers. For the last 8 years he has been providing a range of high-level payment advisory services focusing on strategy development, market assessments, investment support, commercial due diligence, technology reviews, competitive analysis and supplier selection. His payments experience is broad and covers mobile, face-to face, ecommerce, Omni-channel and instant bank payments. Mark is a regular industry commentator, conference chairman and speaker. He is proud to be an Ambassador for the Emerging Payments Association.

David Parker

Polymath Consulting

Polymath Consulting works on projects and advise organisations across the Cards & Payments industry. David is also an active mentor, NED and advisor/observer to boards including: Cybertonica, 3s Money Club, Bee Good, Trezeo and Curve. He is a co-founder of Konsentus that delivers TPP identity and regulatory checking for PSD2 open banking compliance. He has worked across the complete value chain helping banks with their overall E-Money/Prepaid and Emerging Payments strategy right through to market entry analysis; as well as working with telcos, processors and programme managers on segment analysis, certification and membership applications. His client assignments have covered Russia, South Africa, Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Anne Pieckielon

The Inclusion Foundation CIC

The Inclusion Foundation

Anne’s track record of achievement as a Director and senior leader with Pay.UK (formerly Bacs) and across the wider EPA community as an Advisory Board member brings a unique perspective to a range of industry challenges faced by the Fintech ecosystem. Anne constantly challenges the traditional payments model across a range of services and supports stakeholders to achieve step change in their business. At Bacs Anne led the strategy and steered product development of the UK’s retail payment products and services such as Direct Debit, Bacs Direct Credit, Current Account Switch Service and Cash ISA account switching services. Anne’s entrepreneurship and influence shaped the future of these highly successful initiatives which have been adopted by the financial services industry, consumers and businesses globally. Anne is the Chief Executive of The Inclusion Foundation CIC, a not for profit company seeking to help under-served customers get the best from their finances through use of the most effective payment products and services. TIF is seeking to mobilise the paytech industry to address financial inclusion effectively. She is also a Trustee of the Money Charity. Recognised as a senior leader under the Innovate Finance Women in PayTech Powerlist and winner of the 2019 Emerging Payments Awards’ Industry Contributor of the Year, Anne champions diversity. She is a judge for the European Women’s Payment Network (EWPN) Awards and an advocate for HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, although Anne canvasses contributions from the broadest audience possible to further develop the industry.

Timothy Poole

International Trade Adviser
Department for International Trade

The Inclusion Foundation

Timothy has many years’ experience in International Financial Services. He spent nearly 20 years with a number of global commercial banks focusing on the corporate marketplace. Timothy’s focus has consistently been on supporting companies in many industries with their international trade and financial needs, originally towards the Middle East; his first visit to Saudi Arabia was in 1981 and has been to the Gulf region many times. More recently he spent 10 years with Standard & Poor’s Ratings in London, responsible for business development and client management of Companies in the UK, Middle East and South Africa. Timothy is now a member of the Department for International Trade’s Financial & Professional Services team in London, supporting fintech, insurtech and regtech firms, payments businesses, foreign exchange, investment advisory and other financial technology companies in their international growth.

Stephen Quinn

Experienced payment professional

An experienced payments professional, his career spans 15yrs with C-level and management positions with Inpay, Ukash and ClickandBuy. He is a sought after contributor within the payments industry, an active speaker and panellist, NED and payments evangelist. He is passionate about helping influence and shape the future of banking and payments globally.

Simonetta Rigo

CMO, board member and start-up mentor

Senior marketing, product and strategy executive with 20+ experience across global cross-border payments, remittances, health insurance and luxury travel. She combines a strong understanding of customer behaviors, brand purpose, traditional and digital marketing, with a rigorous strategic and commercial analysis and creative problem solving to help companies optimize their business model and grow. She started at McKinsey & Company, and since held a variety of roles in cross-border payments and FIs from American Express, where she spent 10 years in strategy, planning, product management and product development, Bupa International, as Director Strategy and Market Development function and a member of the Executive Board, and recently Western Union, as SVP Global Brand, Marketing and Customer Engagement and served on the Board of their Foundation.

John Ryan

Director General
EPA Asia

EPA Asia

John Ryan is the Director General and head of Policy of EPA Asia. He is a qualified management accountant who spent more than 20 years in financial technology or fintech as it is now know, for the financial markets. He has worked for more than 20 years in Australia, but originally comes from Ireland. His passion is innovation and also using technology to solve real world challenges. He is a contributing author to the Paytech Book.

Warren Russell

Founder & CEO


In 2011 Warren founded W2 and has built it into a dynamic, cutting edge platform provider offering a simple plug in solution to facilitate digital onboarding and ongoing customer risk management. The proprietary software W2 offer simplifies the complex process of compliant due diligence incorporating all elements of Know-Your-Customer, Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Fraud required to maximise customer conversion. Warren’s ability to adapt to new and challenging situations with commercial acumen means W2 now has over 100 users of its platform, spanning 3 continents and processes well over 200m transactions per month. A consummate professional with extensive expertise in many complimentary areas Warren is no stranger to speaking in front of large audiences or bringing together intimate round table collaborations on topics such as Age and Identity Verification, Affordability, Fraud prevention and AML.

Julian Sawyer

European Managing Director


Julian Sawyer is the European Managing Director for Gemini, the New York Regulated Crypto Exchange and digital asset Custodian. Prior to joining Gemini to lead the European operation, Julian was a co-founder and former COO of Starling Bank for over four years with was responsibility for running customer services, AML & Fraud, Payment Operations, HR and Supplier Management. He also held P&L responsibility for the B2B business – Starling Banking Services. Prior to Starling he worked as a management consultant at Accenture and EY and set-up and ran his own financial services consultancy, Bluerock, for 13 years before selling it. Julian is also an Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow at CASS University in the Faculty of Management and a member of the Emerging Payments Association Advisory Board. He is also an Advisor at Volt Bank Limited, the leading Australian Challenger Bank.

Samer Soliman

Managing Director – Middle East
Network International

The Inclusion Foundation

Samer Soliman is the Managing Director for the Group’s Middle East, and is responsible for all aspects of the Acquiring and Issuing business of the Group in the Middle East region. He is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to drive the growth of the company’s business in the region. Samer is also the chairman of Network Jordan, a Board member and Managing Director of Network Egypt, and Board member of Diners Club Egypt and Levant. He sits on the product advisory board of UnionPay International, representing the Middle East region. Samer has contributed significantly to the inorganic growth of the Group by identifying investment opportunities and designing effective business and operations models. Samer brings more than 20 years of experience in retail business, cards issuing, acquiring and third-party processing. Prior to joining the Group, Samer was part of the team that set up the consumer business at Citibank Egypt. Samer holds a Master’s degree in Leading Innovation and Change from Robert Kennedy College in Switzerland, in partnership with York St John University, a Certificate in Management from the University of Wollongong, and a degree in business management from the Ministry of Higher Education Sinai. Samer was appointed as Managing Director in 2016

Juliette Souliman

Chief Commercial Officer
Cred Investments


Juliette is a General Partner and the Chief Commercial Officer at Cred Investments, a UK based hedge fund, specialised in alternative investments. Juliette is also a mentor for the Department of International trade’s Women in FinTech Initiative and at the London & Partners London Mayor’s growth programme. Prior joining Cred, Juliette was a Fintech VC investor at Octopus Ventures, investing in new seed, series A and growth deals in the UK for investments between £500,000 to £25 million. Juliette holds a BSc in International Business Administration from Rotterdam School of Management. She specialised in new venture financing at Babson College in the USA, and earned an MSc in Strategic Entrepreneurship from Cass Business School, London.

Rachelle St Ledger

CEO - Australia


Rachelle St Ledger brings to the EPA judging panel over 20 years of prepaid global experience. Her introduction to the industry was the launch of the Coles Myer Gift Card – Australia’s first Gift Card back in 2005. Rachelle, tenaciously pursued and landed herself a role with PrePay Solutions (PPS) where she worked her way up from a Corporate Sales Manager to their Chief Commercial Officer. During her 10 year tenure at PPS (Australia and UK) she also served 4 years on the board of UKGCVA, including Co Chair and was listed as one of Paybefore’s ‘Top 10 most powerful women in prepaid.’ Rachelle moved back to Australia in 2016 with her husband and two young boys to be both closer to her family and to take on the role of CEO of EML Australia. EML is an ASX listed financial services who issue mobile, virtual and physical card solutions to some of the largest corporate brands around the world, processing billions of dollars in payments each year and manages more than 1500 programs across Australia, Europe and North America.

Michael Walters

Advisor, Entrepreneur and Non-Executive Director Specialising in Cards and Payments

Michael is a globally experienced financial services and technology professional specialising in card and payment products and technologies, with particular recent experience in transport, x-channel and commercial payments as well as tokenisation and identity. Over the past decade, Michael has advised a wide range of clients, from global ride hail providers to national transport authorities, closed loop card issuers to international payment schemes, strategic investors to global PE funds. He founded and led littlepay, a payment gateway for public transport authorities and operators, which supports contactless EMV on half of all UK buses outside of London. Michael has also managed a global fintech fund, been the COO of a major travel payment provider, a Director (Partner) of Edgar, Dunn & Company, and has a Non-Executive or Advisory Director of numerous ‘paytechs’ internationally. Michael is currently working on his next start-up, consulting to clients in Asia and Europe, and is an Independent Director of PayNet, Malaysia’s national payments systems and financial infrastructure operator.

Markos Zachariasdis

Greensill Chair in Financial Technology (FinTech) & Full Professor of Information Systems
Alliance ManchesterBusiness School, University of Manchester

Professor Markos Zachariadis holds the Greensill Chair of Financial Technology (FinTech) and is Full Professor of Information Systems at Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS), at the University of Manchester. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Financial & Monetary Systems and a FinTech Research Fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Digital Innovation (CDI), University of Cambridge. Professor Zachariadis’ research sits at the cross section of economics of digital innovation, financial technology studies, and network economics, and has studied extensively the economic impact of ICT adoption on bank performance, the diffusion of payment networks, and the role of data & standards in payment infrastructures (SWIFT), financial markets (LEI), and digital banking (Open Banking), among other things. His research has been published in top academic journals such as MIS Quarterly and Research Policy and has been awarded the NET Institute Award (NYU Stern Business School) for his study on the economics of payment networks, and the SWIFT Institute, SMS, and GRI Awards for his research on Open APIs and Digital Transformation in Banking. He is also co-author of The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT): Cooperative governance for network innovation, standards, and community (London: Routledge 2014), and co-editor of The PAYTECH Book published by Wiley (2020). Prof. Zachariadis is a board advisor, mentor, and international keynote speaker and has been invited from various global organizations to present his research insights, give talks at international events, and judge at international competitions (Bank of England, UK Parliament, World Bank, SIBOS, Money2020, GRI Summit, Microsoft, Bank of Canada/Payments Canada, SWIFT, Innovate Finance Global Summit, Central Bank of Seychelles, Open Banking World Congress, FINTECH Connect, IBM, Financial Times, EY, APIdays, etc.). He was also the organizer of an international conference in London on PayTech innovation which was funded by Gates Foundation, MasterCard, and Capco. As a recognised expert, Markos often shares his work and perspectives with media outlets such as The Times, World Finance, Financial Times’ Banker Magazine, Bloomberg, Fortune Magazine, BBC, CNN, The Telegraph, Sky News, Wired Magazine, USA Today, ITV News, The Conversation, among many other. Prior to joining AMBS, Prof. Zachariadis was Associate Professor in Management Information Systems & Digital Innovation at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick – where he also directed the Executive Education Diploma in Digital leadership – Visiting Professor in Financial Technologies (FinTech) at Ivey Business School, Western University, Research Associate at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, Visiting Scholar at London Business School, and Research Economist at the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics. He studied economics at the University of Patras, Department of Economics and holds an MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics, Department of Management. Before turning to academia, Markos worked for multinational companies in the technology and financial services sector such as Hewlett Packard Inc. and UBS Investment Bank in Greece, Spain and the UK. You can follow Markos on Twitter @MarkosZach and on Linkedin.