A Seat at the Payments Table: How Bancard Is Working for Community Banks

By Tina Giorgio

Jan. 24, 2022

As we usher in 2022, community banks face a new sense of urgency around their payment products. From cryptocurrency deepening its roots in infrastructure to the rise of the super app, upping the table stakes for community banks seeking to secure their seat at the payments table.

That’s where ICBA Bancard comes in. We stay apprised of industry developments and seek out the solutions that match our members’ business models, but we don’t solely react to the change around us. We help to shape it. We are engaged and ensure that community banks’ voices are heard in the places where decisions are made.

Meaningful Industry Representation

When it comes to cards, we represent you on EMVCo, providing input on initiatives like 3-D Secure and next-generation standards for tokenization. In addition, participating in the PCI Global Forum allows us to influence the development, enhancement, and dissemination of security standards for payment account security on your behalf. We also sit on the FIS Card Executive Group to help them devise a strategic road map for their card products and ancillary tools with community bank needs in mind.

ICBA Bancard also maintains a presence at the network level. We participate in the Mastercard Connect User Advisory Group, offering input on existing, planned, and conceptual services, and on both the Visa Community Bank Payments Roundtable (CBPR) and Risk Executive Council to raise issues of importance and stay apprised of developments affecting community banks. We also are tapped into ACH and are active participants on the ACH Network Business Advisory Board and on Nacha’s Payments Innovation Alliance Leadership Team, supporting community banks’ needs as relates to payments innovation and opportunities with the ACH Network.

Emerging networks, like RTP and FedNow, also have captured our attention. We serve a key role on The Clearing House’s RTP Advisory Group and have banker representation on its Business Committee, providing input on its strategic execution, rules and related initiatives, and we also have signed up to be a FedNow Service Advisory Group participant in the near future. We also have several ICBA Bancard client bankers currently serving on the Visa CBPR. And when it comes to faster payments in general, we have extensive participation in the U.S. Faster Payments Council, with staff members on most Work Groups and representation at the Board level.

But these engagements just scratch the surface. To keep pace with change, we also have invested additional resources in industry relations, hiring Nick Denning to represent community bank interests as new operation standards and technology are developed. In addition to participating in a broad range of industry discussions, Nick’s been hard at work developing a soon-to-be-released white paper with the U.S. Payments Forum outlining recommendations to ensure community banks are not adversely impacted by the chip card shortage.

We do all of this because we believe having a seat at the table matters and gives community banks a say in what’s next. We are not standing by while things shift beneath us; we’re actively working to guide the path forward on your behalf.

There’s no doubt that 2022 will be a wild ride, but rest assured, Bancard will be there to support you in driving your payments strategy. Because while there is uncertainty, there is also opportunity: Now is the time for us to collectively put a stake in the ground and define the future of payments.