Editorial Advisory Board
Editor of InstaPay
Neil Ainger is an experienced editor and journalist. He was formerly the editor-in-chief of the AFP-owned gtnews & bobsguide titles, covering corporate treasury and financial technology (fintech) respectively, used to edit FSTech & was the deputy editor at Banking Technology, so he is very familiar with the instant payments arena going back to the launch of the Faster Payment Service (FPS) in the UK. In the past, he has written for CNBC.com, Global Finance, Computer Weekly, Finextra, Dow Jones’ Financial News, IBS, ACT’s The Treasurer, SWIFT’s Sibos Issues, Daily News at Sibos, Thomson Reuters, and so on as a freelancer, and written about the launch of RTP schemes in Singapore, India, Australia, etc.
Neil’s areas of expertise after 20+ years in journalism include: real-time payments; treasury and cash management; correspondent banking; retail/investment banking; technology and operations; mobile financial services; regulation; cloud computing; ‘big data’; AI; blockchain; and cyber-security. Neil has a BA Hons degree in English Lit from Leeds University. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Deputy Editor of InstaPay
Lauren is an experienced payments expert with a particular specialisation in standardisation, regulation and industry engagement. She was formerly Head of Standards at the UK payments association, Payments UK where she led the UK delegation at ISO TC68 and the ISO 20022 RMG, the highest assignment body for ISO 20022. She also represented the UK within European and global instant payment forums. She also sits on the ISO 20022 Real Time Payments Group. Within her previous roles she has been influential with government and regulators on issues such as standardisation for blockchain and APIs. Lauren has a BA Hons degree in Political Science from the University of Nottingham. She can be contacted at Lauren.firstname.lastname@example.org She is currently investigating the payments market in Latin America.
Editorial Advisory Board
The editorial advisory board determines the direction of InstaPay, it is chaired by our Editor. They meet quarterly to discuss the latest instant payments trends and ensure that the content of the site is directed towards these developments. This ensures that the content remains current and independent. Members of the board are listed below:
Head of Engagement, New Payments Platform Australia
Katrina Stuart is Head of Engagement at New Payments Platform (NPPA), where she is responsible for talking to all relevant market participants that use the new Australian instant payment platform launched in 2018. NPPA is the operational body that runs the platform after SWIFT and its partners completed the build. She works with financial institutions (FIs), prospective overlay service providers and other interested parties to grow volumes and services on the New Payments Platform (NPP). She will advise InstaPay about the scheme, operational issues and acquiring volumes in multiple markets across Southeast Asia. She has also worked for National Australia Bank (NAB), managing their self-service channel around the world, and was a management consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton in their financial services (FS) practice in London and Melbourne. Katrina has over twenty years of experience in FS and extensive global expertise in identifying and developing business and growth strategies, development and relationship management.
Head of Group Payments (GDS Cusa), CaixaBank Group
Xavier Herrero is the Head of Group-wide payments (GDS Cusa) at Spain’s CaixaBank Group, since April 2016. He is also a member of the EBA Clearing Instant Payment Working Group; European Central Bank’s (ECB) TIPS Contact Group; and Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) WG on Payment Initiation Services (PIS), Identification and application programming interface (API) Subgroups.
This well respected senior instant payment industry professional has also worked as Director of Correspondent Banking, Trade Finance and Supply Chain Finance at CatalunyaCaixa from July 2010 – March 2016 and held other prior jobs at Caixa Manresa and Caja Madrid. He started his career at Banco Sabadell in 1990 serving in various banking and payment roles there for 17 years after emigrating from Russia where he was trained as an economist. Initially he was Area Manager for the former USSR Republics, Turkey, Middle and Far East.
Xavier has a diploma from the Universitat de Barcelona in economics and similar qualifications from Saint Petersburg State University and the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU).
Executive Advisor, Icon Solutions
Gene Neyer is an Executive Advisor at Icon Solutions and advises financial and technology companies on various aspects of Payment Modernization. He is a current member of the GFFT (successor to the Fed Faster Payments Taskforce) and the president of Supplier Committee at BAFT. Previously, Gene was a Head of Industry and Regulation for Finastra, and an SVP, Head of Product Management for D+H and Fundtech.
Gene has almost 30 years of experience in product management and IT Leadership at some of leading financial services vendor and banking organisations. He is a past representative to EBA, Fed, IPFA, TCH and other industry organisations. He has written and lectured on various aspects of global payments, real-time payments and blockchain and is a regular speaker and commentator at business seminars and conferences.
Head of Industry Engagement and Payment Change, Metro Bank UK
As Head of Industry Engagement, Becky Clements is responsible for Metro Bank’s payment and card change activity. An ex-head of payment systems operations and former RBS banker too. Becky has extensive experience of working with payments IT, but she now focuses her work on engaging with third-party suppliers, the new UK Payment System Regulator (PSR), Scheme providers; Bank of England (BoE); Cards UK & Payments UK trade bodies; and so on. She was responsible for all the bank’s major recent payment change projects such as delivering SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT) and direct access to the UK Faster Payment Service (FPS), which is itself currently undergoing a technology overhaul after 10 years of operation.
Becky sat on the PSR Advisory Panel and predecessor Payment Strategy Forum (PSF) where she advised on how best to implement the UK’s New Payment Architecture (NPA). This will be delivered by the UK’s New Payment System Operator (NPSO) which consolidates the country’s three retail payment schemes into one. She represents small and middle sized financial organisations to the body, where she is a non-executive director. Becky is a current member of the BoE Advisory Board for the replacement of the UK’s Real-time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and is closely involved with many UK industry projects designed to improve customers’ payment experience.
Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company Inc
Liz has 20 years’ experience in payment systems both in central clearing and settlement systems and in bank payment systems design globally. This includes work on the design of payment systems such as SEPA, Faster Payments and Bacs in the UK, and work with a number of other national payment infrastructures including Australia, India, Singapore, Sweden and the USA.
Liz is an active participant in the global payments community and is a regular speaker at industry forums including Sibos, Money 20/20 and payments conferences in the UK, Europe and U.S. She regularly writes on payments issues and is quoted in media including the Financial Times and the BBC and in trade press on payments and cash management related issues. Liz participates in a number of industry forums and is a founder member of the Whitechapel Think Tank exploring opportunities for new technology approaches in areas such as blockchain in payments.
Partner, Payments Advisory Group
Fred Bär is a seasoned European payments professional with a broad background in general management, IT, marketing, consulting and business development. As a partner in Payments Advisory Group since 2013, he specializes in strategic business advice, to payments processors, banks and corporates.
From 2007-2012 he served on management teams in Paris and London with payments processors EBA Clearing and Vocalink. He has been Secretary General of EACHA since 2012. As Executive VP at Interpay, the largest Dutch payment processor he helped bring about the merger which created Equens. His early career was in management roles at KPN Mobile, DEC, and Royal Dutch Shell.
Fred has a degree in Econometrics from Erasmus University Rotterdam. He works and lives in Europe.
Leo J. Lipis
Chief Executive, Lipis Advisors
Leo Lipis is the founder of Lipis Advisors, and has nearly 20 years of experience in payment systems management, consulting and research in most countries in Europe and the Americas. Prior to founding Lipis Advisors in 2007, he held positions in payments strategy and analysis at with commercial banks, clearing houses, and central banks.
Leo works chiefly in corporate and transaction banking and is responsible for the Global Payment Systems Analysis, a landmark study that compares the features and functions of dozens of payment systems around the world. Under his leadership, Lipis Advisors has completed engagements for over 100 clients on topics ranging from payment product strategy, payment system analysis and design, operational improvements, risk management, and many other topics.
Senior Vice President Product and Strategy, The Clearing House
Steve Ledford is a well-known and highly regarded thought leader in the payments industry. At The Clearing House, he works with payments leaders on strategic issues facing our banks today and leads initiatives to address them.
Mr. Ledford has advised leading banks, financial services firms and payments organisations in the US and globally for more than 30 years. His work focused on payments, advising clients on business strategy, product development, IT and infrastructure planning, operations and the deployment of new payment systems.
Prior to joining The Clearing Hosue, Mr.Ledford was a partner with Novantas, a financial services consulting firm. Before that he was a leader in McKinsey’s global payments practice, and was President of Global Concepts, a consulting research firm specialising in payments and cash management.
Immediate Payments Service Director, VocaLink
George has spent the last 15 years driving technology innovations, leading product and strategy developments across emerging technologies and enabling digital banking channel transformation. He is a huge advocate of providing more businesses and consumers with access to immediate payments.
As Immediate Payments Service Director, George oversees the international development of VocaLink’s real-time payments proposition and associated mobile payments solutions. He has pioneered the development of international strategies for VocaLink in the US, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.