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 has been highly influential in the development of retail payments for more than 30 years. He was one of the driving forces behind the phenomenal growth of Visa in a 17-year career where he was Executive Vice President and latterly ran the European processing business. He also spent 5 years working with First Data in global strategy and business development roles. He is an adviser to Helios Investment Partners, the African private equity fund, and is a board director of major payments companies in West Africa and Egypt. He has advised national payment schemes and regulators in 5 continents. He also works with several leading industry players and is a Board director of a number of earlier stage fintech companies. He is the organiser 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. The last report was published in April 2017.


Amy Zirkle
Interim CEO, Electronic Transaction Association (ETA)

Amy Zirkle is the interim CEO for the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), the global trade association for the payments technology industry. Zirkle joined ETA in 2014 and previously served as ETA’s vice president of industry affairs. She is an acknowledged thought leader with robust experience in business and government relations issues of the payments industry and represents the association before external organizations including industry forums, think tanks, and standards setting organizations. She was recently elected to represent ETA on the PCI Security Standards Council Board of Advisors.

Prior to joining ETA, Zirkle spent 17 years working as a senior economist for an international consulting firm focusing on technology matters including mobile payments in the developing world. She has extensive experience in both the financial services and technology sectors, including work in government and regulatory affairs for American Express and at the former MCI Communications (Verizon). Zirkle has been a past officer with Women in Government Relations and a member of Women in Housing and Finance.

She holds an S.M. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she served as a Research Associate at the MIT Media Lab as well as at the Sloan School of Management.

Angelina Kouznetsova
Partner, Deloitte

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.

Anne Pieckielon
Payments SME and Independent Consultant

Anne’s track record of achievement as a Director and senior leader with We Are 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, Direct Credit, Current Account Switch Service and Cash ISA 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.

Recognised as a senior leader under the Innovate Finance Women in PayTech Powerlist and shortlisted for the Emerging Payments Awards’ Industry Contributor of the Year, Anne champions diversity; leading the highly successful EPA Women in PayTech project.  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.

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.

Cenk Temiz
Executive Vice President, BKM

Cenk Temiz, as EVP of Card Payment Systems at BKM, is responsible for strategy and national payment scheme. BKM was established in 1990 in order to handle clearing and settlement operations of domestic card payments in Turkey. He joined BKM in 2012 in order to set up strategy function that focuses on card payment industry strategies and regulation management. He has taken a significant role within the management team that led the transformation of BKM; a company that acts as a driver for innovation with digitalization of card payments with mobile wallet, contactless, mobile payment solutions on top of the operational excellence enabling daily clearing and settlement operations. He has managed all the development phases of national payment scheme – Troy from the very first day of initiative. His current focus is to increase penetration of Troy by expanding product umbrella through innovative mobile solutions with Troy Innovation Center. Prior to joining BKM, he worked for more than 15 years in the banking industry, where he has deep experience in retail banking and banking strategies.

Christophe Bitner
CEO, Arkéa Banking Services

Over the past 15 years, Christophe has contributed to the fast and deep changing retail banking industry in France and in Europe by transforming the distribution models of banking products and services. First, he was part of the successful start of online banking in France with ING Direct, and then more recently with Arkéa Banking Services, bringing its expertise and banking platform to fintechs contributing in the disintermediation of financial services in Europe. His focus is to create value by the transformation of organizations by the innovation, the continuous improvement and the alignment of the processes and the tools on customer expectations. Skills: Fintechs, innovation, online banking, value creation, change management, continuous improvement, customer satisfaction, retail banking and business unit management.

David G.W. Birch
Global Ambassador, Consult Hyperion

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).

David Parker
Director, Polymath Consulting

Polymath Consulting works on projects and advise organisations across the Cards & Payments industry and David is also an active mentor, NED and advisor/observer to boards Cybertonica, 3s Money Club, Bee Good, Trezeo and Curve along with others. His most recent project is the launch of a new company called Konsentus that facilitates checking the identity and regulatory checking of Third-Party Providers enabling FIs to be PSD2 open banking compliant. 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.

Dimitrios Fountas
Client Director, Sir John Cass Business School, City, 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.

Erik Porter
Acting Chief Executive Officer, The Money Charity

Now acting CEO Erik joined the Money Charity in September 2017 as Head of Workplace and Community programmes.

Erik has experience working within operations, governance, and debt collections in global retail banks. Originally from the US, Erik has lived in Germany, UAE, Russia and now the UK; he has had the opportunity to work in over 40 countries during his career. He has also worked with charities including Citizen’s Advice and Southwark Foodbank. In addition to his work, Erik is a trustee for Fair Money Advice, an East London debt advice charity.

Erik enjoys helping organisations understand how financial capability can improve their products and services while also supporting the wellbeing of their employees.

Outside of work Erik can be found running (slowly) around Burgess Park training for his next half-marathon which he uses as an excuse to travel and check out the food scene of other countries.

Francesco Burelli
Partner, Arkwright

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.

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 and is Supervisory Board Chairman at Paylane – Polskie ePłatności S.A. Poland’s 3rd largest acquirer, owned by Innova Capital, and Chairman of the Committee of Polish Acquirers. He has provided payment consulting and advisory services on M&A projects, market analyses and funding for payments business and start-ups. He’s a Supervisory Board Member 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.

Jessica Hardy
Assistant Director, Dunedin

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.

Juliette Souliman
Early stage VC Investor, Octopus Ventures

Juliette is an early stage VC investor at Octopus Ventures. She sits in the FinTech, InsurTech and Blockchain investment team where she focusses on identifying, assessing and investing in new seed, series A and growth deals in the UK for investments between £500,000 to £25 Million. Juliette is currently a mentor at the London Business School and at the London & Partners growth programme. Prior to joining Octopus, she set up and scaled an endurance events marketplace company and worked in the Netherlands, the UK and France as a capital fundraiser in several early ventures in the Aerospace, SaaS and VR sectors. Juliette holds a BSc in International Business Administration from Rotterdam School of Management. She specialised abroad in new venture financing at Babson College in the USA, and earned an MSc in Strategic Entrepreneurship from Cass Business School.

Kamran Hedjri
Board Member, 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.

Kevin Harrington
Chief Marketing Officer, The Panoply

Kevin Harrington is CMO of The Panoply, a digitally native technology services company designed for the “fourth industrial revolution”, where technological disruption has become widespread across all sectors. The business was founded in 2016, with the aim of identifying and acquiring best-of-breed specialist information technology and innovation consulting businesses across Europe, to form regional clusters of group companies positioned to deliver services that help clients digitally transform their businesses for the automation age. The Panoply was listed on AIM on 4 December 2018. Kevin is also NED of D/SRUPTION, an established publishing and events company. Previous roles include: COO at Tungsten Network; Chairman at Results Through Digital, MD at the Emerging Payments Awards and the Prepaid Awards; MD at Gx; Director at Sodexo Motivation Solutions; Global Marketing Director, Director Live Entertainment and Marketing Director Consumer Publishing at BBC Worldwide; Product Group Marketing Manager with Sony UK.

Kieron Guilfoyle
Managing Partner, Rockfield Advisors

Kieron is a seasoned entrepreneur having built and exited three Fintech businesses in the past 15 years. His previous companies include online and mobile payments company 3V (sold in 2015 for $20 million) Snapcount Ltd (sold 2008, undisclosed), a company specializing in fraud and control solutions for the credit card industry and GNET (sold in 2002,undisclosed) a retail banking “white label” online share trading platform. He has raised over $50 million in venture and private funding to build Fintech businesses in Europe and N. America. In 2016 he established Rockfield Advisors Ltd. a boutique Fintech M&A advisory service. He has led and influenced many of the key developments in payment card processing systems design. He is an accredited inventor of a number of major innovations in the industry in the past decade. In particular the technology that underpins Mastercards InControl technology that was purchased from Orbiscom in 2009 for $100 million and the development of VISA’s payments system for the London 2012 Olympics. Kieron has over 30 years international senior executive experience in manufacturing, telecoms and financial services working with companies such as VISA, Paypal, Telefonica, Lloyds, Tesco, Orange, and Alcatel Lucent.

Luis Koberg
Head of Strategy, Choice Money

Mark McMurtrie
Director, 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.

Markos Zachariadis
Associate Professor in Management & Information Systems (FinTech & Digital Finance), Warwick Business University

Currently Visiting Professor in FinTech at Ivey Business School and the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab, Western University – Dr Zachariadis is an Associate Professor of Information Systems Management & Digital Innovation at Warwick Business School, and a FinTech Research Fellow at the Centre for Digital Innovation (CDI), University of Cambridge. My research sits at the cross section of economics of digital innovation, financial technology studies, & digital strategy, and have 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 & financial markets. I’ve published in top academic journals such as MIS Quarterly, Research Policy, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, and Business History and have been awarded the NET Institute Award (NYU Stern) for my study on the economics of payment networks, and the SWIFT Institute and GRI Awards for my research on open banking. I’m also co-author of “SWIFT: Cooperative Governance for Network Innovation, Standards, and Community” (London: Routledge 2014), and co-editor of “The PAYTECH Book” to be published by Wiley (2020).

I’ve been a board advisor, mentor, & international keynote speaker and have presented my research to various international conferences and organizations (UK Parliament, SIBOS, Money2020, GRI Summit, Bank of England, Microsoft, Innovate Finance Global Summit, SWIFT, IBM, Financial Times Leadership Series, EY, Bank of Cyprus, etc.). Organizer of an international conference at WBS on PayTech innovation funded by Gates Foundation, MasterCard and Capco. Commentator for the Times, World Finance, WIRED magazine, FT’s Banker Magazine, Bloomberg, Fortune Magazine, BBC, CNN, The Telegraph, Sky News, USA Today, ITV News, The Conversation, etc.

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 Deputy CEO responsible for 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 till 2018.

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

20+ years in financial services and technology made Neira believe in change through innovation & partnerships. Regularly invited to advise organisations of all sizes on payments, fintech, regtech, cybercrime, information security, regulations and digital innovation. She always strives to demystify the hype surrounding current issues. She likes engaging on social media and regularly addresses global audiences as a keynote speaker as well as being a regular press commentator.

She is a NED for Cyber1 and chairs the Advisory Board for Ensygnia. She is a partner at Global Cyber Alliance and Ambassador for the Emerging Payments Association. She appears on the Planet Compliance Top 50 RegTech Influencers, the Thomsons Reuters UK’s top 30 social influencers in risk, compliance and regtech 2017, the Jax Finance Top 20 Social Influencers In Fintech 2017, and the Innotribe Femtech Leaders list, amongst others.

Nick Hewett
Investment Executive,

Nick is an investment executive at Bowmark Capital, a leading mid-market private equity firm specialising in UK growth companies valued at up to £250 million. Nick covers payments and fintech within the broader financial services team and has been involved in investments across a range of industries including The Instant Group, a global leader in independent flexible workspace solutions. Prior to Bowmark, Nick spent three years at Nomura, where he was a member of the M&A team, working on acquisitions and capital markets transactions in the UK and Europe. Nick has a first-class degree in theology from Cambridge University.

Nicolas Adolph
Chairman, European Association of Payments Service Providers

Nicolas Adolph is the Chairman of the European Association of Payment Service Providers for Merchants and has been since 2005. He is also the Manager for Compliance and Association Activities for InterCard AG, Taufkirchen in Munich, Germany. In addition to these roles, he is the board member for two esteemed German associations; electronic cash – network operators (BecN e.V.) and ZVT-Host interface users (ZVT-Host e.V.).

Niki Akhurst

Niki’s career includes over 14 years in senior positions in payments working for both international corporates and start-up organisations. Having taken a career break to work on a game reserve in South Africa in 2017, she is now an Ambassador for the EPA, delivering the Women in PayTech initiative, an Ambassador for the Armed Forces Para-Snowsports Team and Project Manager, Visa Global Sponsorship responsible for the delivery of the POS network and payments solution for FIFA’s Women’s Football World Cup in France in 2019. Previous roles include Business Development Director for The Pennies Foundation, Global Sales Director (Prepaid) for Western Union, Visa’s Global Sponsorship consumer projects for the London 2012 Olympic Games and European Commercial Director for 3V Transaction Services, where she launched Europe’s first prepaid Visa products with eBay, PayPal and bebo. Prior to joining the Payments industry, Niki held senior positions working for the UK Government on the Millennium Date Change Y2K Programme, Gtech Europe on European Lotteries and Camelot (twice!) and with Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising on global accounts.

Nilixa Devlukia
Head of Regulatory, Open Banking

Nilixa is an experienced regulatory expert who has worked with industry, regulators and legislators to drive changes in the payments ecosystem for a payments landscape that is secure, transparent and inclusive. Nilixa is a well know public speaker and Head of Regulatory at the UK Open Banking Implementation Entity. Prior to this Nilixa was at the Financial Conduct Authority as the policy lead on all EU payments related matters and in particular the negotiation and transposition of PSD2 . Nilixa has worked with the EBA, ECB, European Commission and EU regulators, publishing the EBA Consultation on the Guidelines for an exemption under the RTS and leading work on PSD2 eIDAS certificates. Prior to joining the FCA from Barclays in house legal team Nilixa supported various Barclays business units including receivables and trade finance; retail mortgages and cash management.

Paul Anning
Partner, Financial Institutions Group, Osborne Clarke

Paul founded Osborne Clarke’s Financial Institutions Group in 2005, leads their International Payments practice and is well known for his market-leading expertise in Payments and FinTech. With over 25 years’ experience as a lawyer in the Financial Services sector, Paul works with international and UK domestic clients from across the whole Payments ecosystem, from wholesale banks and infrastructure service providers to new non-bank market entrants and FinTechs providing technical services. Paul is well versed in the complexities of the Payments industry’s network arrangements, and has a deep knowledge of legal and regulatory developments affecting the Payments industry.

Paul Bartholomew – Keen
Strategic Commercial Partnerships, Elavon Europe

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 has 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.

Philippe Bertinchamps
Owner, Berfi Management

Philippe Bertinchamps spent 33 years as an International Executive at Accor Group, in different countries and different businesses including Hotels, Tourism and Service Vouchers. The last positions were, at the same time, Chairman of Prepay Solutions Ltd in London and Deputy Managing Director of Edenred Worldwide at HQ Paris until January 2010. Now owner of Berfi Management SA based in Belgium, a company selling consulting services and investing in E-payment. Philippe was also Chairman of Prepaid Exchange France, bringing together corporations involved with by e-money and prepaid services.

Raymond Lee
Commercial Manager, Consult Hyperion

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 Commercial Manager at Consult Hyperion he works with many leading payment organisations who are looking to launch new innovative payment systems that meet the needs of today’s demanding businesses and consumers.

He has helped develop strategies for new entrants in the payment emerging payments sector as well as work with existing payment companies bring to market new innovations such as “Pin on Glass”.

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.

Robert Courtneidge
CEO, Moorwand

Robert was appointed CEO of international payments business Moorwand Limited following a distinguished career in the card and payments industry.

He has been regularly featured in the prestigious Payments Power 10 (including being ranked #1 in 2015), a highly competitive ranking of the most influential contributors in payments.

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 currently NED Director/Strategic Advisor to over 15 diverse payment and payment related companies.

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, and is co-host of the podcast ‘Fintech Unplugged’.

Sarah Francis

Sarah works as an advisor for a number of clients on a global basis. Having worked in roles as diverse as Issuer Compliance Director, Fraud Product Manager, Group Fraud Prevention Officer, Market Development and Sales Director, Sarah has covered the scope of ‘business promotion’ and ‘business development’. Over 16 years working in the payments industry with e-money licensees, card issuers, acquirers, PSPs, schemes, operators and mobile companies. Sarah’s experience covers 200 countries, 28 currencies and payments including cash, cards, cheques, mobile, wallets, contactless and bank transfers. Sarah is focused upon the mechanics that enable companies to access money in the consumers pocket and return that funding or send it elsewhere for p2p, bill payment, payroll, money remittance and general spend, enabling the delivery of consumer-friendly products that minimise risk.

Scott Abrahams
SVP Business Development UK and Ireland, Mastercard Worldwide

Scott Abrahams is responsible for developing and executing the UK&I Acceptance sales and marketing strategy to drive Acceptance growth and increase revenue performance. 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.

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.

Simonetta is a NED at FTSE250 wealth management firm Brewin Dolphin, and MD of her own consultancy, On Tap CMO UK, through which she provides on-demand CMO services to start-ups and scale-ups.

Stephen Quinn
Group Chief Strategy Officer, OpenPayd

Stephen serves as Group Chief Strategy Officer, developing partnerships, new markets and strategy to deliver business growth. He joined OpenPayd in 2017. 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.

Suresh Vaghjiani
CEO, Tribe Payments

Suresh is CEO of Tribe Payments; the first certified card payments platform in Europe offering Visa, Mastercard and Union Pay. Issuer agnostic, the Tribe processing platform utilises the latest technology to allow customers the ability to add and choose the modules that are function rich, flexible and put the customer in control. In addition, Tribe can provide acquiring technology, a payment gateway, a digital wallet solution and banking functionality. Suresh was previously Managing Director & President of Global Processing Services (GPS) and has represented the fintech sector and the UK Government on a number of trade missions. Suresh brings a wealth of knowledge in global payments with prior roles at FTSE companies Paysafe Group PLC and Kalixa Payments Group. Suresh was voted #1 in the Payments Power 10 and, in 2017, Suresh became the first non-American in its history to be awarded the prestigious Industry Achievement award by PAY magazine.

Svetlana Hoffmann
VP – Head of Development (Global Business Solutions) Bottomline Technologies

Seasoned and internationally experienced manager whose 19 years of professional tenure spans across pharmaceutical, environment protection and financial service industry. She successfully led teams through complex, disruptive and innovative product designs, business and technology changes, turning ideas into deliverables by applying an adaptive and customer focused approach and high business ethics. Svetlana creates and delivers solutions for banks, payment networks and start-ups in today’s digital world. She enjoys launching innovative products and services to the market, always striving to achieve maximum value for clients and a positive user experience for customers. She is an EPA Ambassador and actively supports existing and emerging financial services providers.

Timothy Poole
International Trade Adviser, Department for International Trade

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 and investment advisory technology companies in their international growth.