Washington, D.C. (Sept. 15, 2023) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) hosted its first ThinkTECH Solutions Forum yesterday. This forum, which was designed to foster industry collaboration in support of community bank adoption of faster payments, is the first of three such forums planned for this year. This member-exclusive event featured presentations from select payments providers followed by a rapid-fire Q&A round from a panel of community bankers.

During the 90-minute session, presenters addressed questions central to instant and real-time payments capabilities, including pricing models, integration and implementation processes, and security and regulatory implications, and they offered use cases and success stories to suit a diverse set of business objectives.

“A central piece of executing on our mission—to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish—is connecting our members with companies that understand the community banking business model and offer solutions that deliver on the promise of responsive and personalized service for which community banks are known,” ICBA Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Charles Potts said. “Through our ThinkTECH Solutions Forums, we’re helping community banks stay at the forefront of innovation and establish a path as they evolve their offerings to anticipate their customers’ diverse payments needs.”

The ICBA-curated list of presenters included: Allied Payment Network, CSI, Euronet, Fiserv, Jack Henry & Associates, Neural Payments, Nuvono and Pidgin. ICBA Bancard Senior Vice President of Payments Industry Relations Nick Denning joined as an industry expert along with an esteemed panel of community bank thought leaders, including:

  • Richard Beall Jr., president and CEO at $141 million-asset Peoples Bank of Velva in Minot, N.D.

  • Joshua Hofer, chief risk and information security officer at $2.7 billion-asset Stearns Bank, N.A., in St. Cloud, Minn.

  • David Long, executive vice president of correspondent banking at $2.3 billion-asset Bryant Bank in Birmingham, Ala.

  • Christian Ruppe, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at $704 million-asset Colony Bank in Atlanta, Ga.

“With the launch of FedNow and the ever-evolving payments environment, we wanted to address our members’ questions directly,” ICBA Senior Vice President of Innovation Programs Wayne Miller said. “Through this Solutions Forum, we’re helping to solve for community bank pain points while creating opportunities to help them innovate, enhance cash flow management, reduce risk, and improve efficiency.”

Earlier this year, ICBA announced year-round programming to support community bank innovation, including:

  • Expanded educational content via its demystified webinar series, with a focus on artificial intelligence use cases in October. (Previously covered topics include cryptocurrency and banking-as-a-service.)

  • A showcase of community bank-centric offerings through its ThinkTECH Solutions Forums, with AgTech and fraud-related topics to follow.

  • Plans to open an innovation center in Atlanta and bring its acclaimed accelerator program, which is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis, in house.

For more information about ICBA’s innovation programming, visit icba.org/solutions/innovation.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.

With 45,000 locations nationwide, community banks employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding $5.9 trillion in assets, $4.8 trillion in deposits, and $3.9 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers' dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA's website at www.icba.org.