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In case you could not attend FIS Connect 2018 and The Payments Summit, you missed one of the financial industry’s most informative learning and networking events. If attendance is one measure of success, this year’s Connect set a record with more than 3000 clients, partners and FIS employees congregated during the week of April 9 at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Client attendance increased from 2017 by 31.2% and overall it is up by more than 150% since 2016.
In addition to total attendance records set, there were also approximately 250 breakouts and user sessions. Clients had the opportunity to see demonstrations and meet with FIS experts either at the breakout sessions or during the FIS Solution Showcase. The Showcase also set a record with 61 companies participating this year. The focus was on key FIS initiatives including FIS One (unified solutions, delivery and support,) Code Connect (a comprehensive API library,) and Apex (modernization of all FIS payment platforms.)
The theme for Connect 2018 was Empowering Success. FIS and its more than 53,000 global employees are working tirelessly to help our clients succeed. FIS clients and employees are empowered with the expertise, technology and tools to advance with confidence. FIS is driven by central business ideas of unification, modernization, acceleration and innovation motivated by the idea that the company changes people’s lives every day.
The Payments Summit starts Connect with a roar
The Payments Summit, new in 2017, saw attendance climb by 217% this year with nearly 500 signed up to hear what FIS payments leadership and NASCAR Racing legend, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., had to say about how speed, performance, and agility on the track equate to the way FIS is leading the industry in building a high-performance payments ecosystem. Jim Johnson, President of Financial Institution Payments covered the current competitive landscape that FIS, our partners and others in the industry face. Following Jim, Serena Smith (International Payments), Dan Brames (Retail and Corporate Payments) and Bob Legters (Payments Product Strategy) – shared their insights on a variety of topics, such as market expansion, international use cases, innovation, fraud/cybersecurity and loyalty. Earnhardt, Jr. was interviewed on stage by FIS’ Bob Legters where he shared insights into his career, what it meant to be an Earnhardt and his history in the sport. The room was packed with attendees waiting to have their pictures taken with Dale.
FIS leadership takes center stage
FIS President and CEO, Gary Norcross, and Co-COO’s Marianne Brown and Bruce Lowthers, took to the main stage to kick-off Connect. Here are some of the key themes they shared with attendees:
Gary Norcross discussed the pace of change, and the impact on the markets we serve, emphasizing it will require bold leadership from FIS and its clients to adjust to an environment that will change more in the next 5 years than we’ve experienced in the past 50 years. To make sure FIS is ready to meet these challenges, the company will leverage its accelerator strategy (inviting in early stage companies to participate and work with FIS to help nurture their growth); look at the broader market for areas to invest, and look within as FIS continues to develop and expand existing products and services.
Gary went on to call-out four specific areas of focus:
- Serving Markets – serving FIS markets and aligning solutions to each distinct market’s buying and delivery preference
- Innovative Solutions – driving continuous innovation (new) and the modernization of existing solutions
- Service Delivery – enhancing the FIS infrastructure and continued focus on security
- Investment in People – developing, hiring, and ensuring FIS has the best team in the industry
From a Global Financial Solutions (GFS) perspective, Marianne Brown shared that GFS is in growth mode, but must be aware of the broader implications of what is happening around the world including market volatility, general uncertainty related to BREXIT, impact to consumer sentiment considering Trump election, war threats, etc.
In addition, Marianne outlined the steps that FIS is taking to be a trusted strategic partner:
- Provide a strategic vision
- Enable the way forward
- Be safe and sound
- Make it easy to do business with FIS
Bruce Lowthers talked about the pace of change and the speed at which various technologies have been adopted. He continued to establish a foundation of expectations for IFS – Integrated Financial Solution clients by noting that FIS is striving to:
- Provide the best client experience
- Offer the biggest product set while creating convenience for the consumer
- Take and drive automation and to do so quickly
Cal Ripken: Keynote Speaker
FIS is celebrating 50 years in business this year. An impressive milestone. To help make the point about the importance of perseverance, Cal Ripken, Jr. closed-out the conference by providing a keynote address. Ripken played in 2,632 games in a row, besting Lou Gehrig’s long-time record that no one thought possible to beat. As Connect 2018 came to a successful close, attendees enjoyed a concert by Darius Rucker and his band. Now a country music star, he is formerly known as “Hootie” from Hootie and the Blowfish fame.
See FIS leadership:
See FIS’ Gary Norcross, Marianne Brown and Bruce Lowthers interviewed during Connect 2018 by Emmy Award winner reporter Betsy Stark. Tune in to hear what they had to say about Connect, why it is a great time to be in Fintech and where FIS is heading to meet the evolving needs of the financial industry. https://www.youtube.com/user/FISTVToday.
Tags: Technology, Digital Innovation