The definitive source of global instant payments intelligence

Editorial Advisory Board


Lauren Jones
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 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:


Conrad Sheehan
Managing Director, Accenture, North America Payments

Conrad leads the Core Payments practice in North America for Accenture and is based in Chicago. He works directly with financial services clients on an array of strategic, operational and technical initiatives. Conrad began his career at Accenture and re-joined in 2017. Prior experience includes product executive positions at JPMorgan Chase &Co. in Treasury and Merchant Services. Conrad was also Founder & CEO of mPayy, Inc. a mobile P2P and C2B payment acquired by NTT DATA and was head of product and development for C-SAM, Inc., a leading digital wallet company acquired by MasterCard.



Katrina Stuart
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.

Xavier Herrero
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).

Gene Neyer
Executive Advisor, Payments, Icon Solutions

Gene Neyer is Executive Advisor, Payments, 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.

Fred Bär
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.

Steve Ledford
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.

George Evers
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.


Chris Hamilton
CEO, BankservAfrica

Chris Hamilton is the CEO of BankservAfrica. During his time as CEO of the Australian Payments Clearing Association, APCA played a central coordinating role for many aspects of the Australian payments evolution, with the country now deploying one of the most advanced payment systems in the world.

Hamilton was born in Sydney, Australia and worked as a solicitor there specialising in Security Industry Law and has wide-ranging industry policy experience in the Australian Financial Services – this includes 11 years with the Australian Stock Exchange where he was the Executive General Manager responsible for clearing and settlement.