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Three Takeaways from Fintech South 2022 in Atlanta

Forvis Mazars was proud to sponsor the 2022 Fintech South conference. Read on for highlights from notable sessions at the conference.
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Held in Atlanta and hosted by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), Fintech South 2022 touts itself as the “Center of the Fintech Universe” with a goal to “shine a spotlight on the Georgia financial technology ecosystem while hosting the global fintech community.”1  Forvis Mazars was a proud sponsor of Fintech South 2022 and has published this article to highlight a few notable sessions from the conference.

Identity, Security, & Privacy

The Fintech South sessions—related to identity, security, and privacy—provided context for where identity and access management (IAM) has been, current challenges organizations may be facing, and where identity is going in the future. (Forvis Mazars’ Ben Sady participated in a panel discussion on this topic.)
Over the past few years, corporations have shifted from decentralized identity storage to centralized identity management. With the inclusion of identity governance and administration (IGA) tools to improve workflow, automation, and audit trails, opportunities exist to simplify identity management approaches, adopt multifactor authentication (MFA), and implement IAM/IGA solutions more broadly across the enterprise. Additionally, since identity is a core competency of information security and zero-trust principles, the speakers discussed a need for further education, training, and process improvement in order to deliver on the future capabilities of identity management. 
For customer identity management, we are seeing more “edge” authentication where companies are allowing reliance on other entities’ customer authentication services, e.g., Google, Facebook, Apple. Additionally, we are using technology to enable a trusted digital transformation from physical government ID documents to digital documents, e.g., mobile driver’s license. The combination of “edge” authentication and trusted digital government ID is expected to alter the way we approach customer identity and authentication. The recent announcement by Apple to incorporate mobile driver’s licenses into their Apple Wallet is expected to provide a boost to user experience, as well as broaden adoption across the country. Arizona is the first state to adopt the digital government ID. Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio, and the territory of Puerto Rico are next to follow in Arizona’s footsteps.2   

POS & E-commerce

The point of sale (POS) and e-commerce session provided a healthy debate on the impact of Apple’s entry into the buy now, pay later (BNPL) market space. BNPL is not new and technology-enabled lending has existed for a long time. However, it is a new option for many consumers, and given Apple’s considerable reach, there could be widespread adoption by consumers to take advantage of their extended payment terms and bypass the use of existing payment channels. Additionally, it could lead to increased adoption of digital wallets. 
There are potential negative impacts to consumers who change buying habits enticed by the luxury of spreading out payments across time. With the ease of using BNPL services, some consumers might make purchases they typically would not and become financially overextended. Financial institutions may need to monitor the developing situation to understand the BNPL impacts on consumer buying behavior and credit scores.

Digital Health

Healthcare is a booming industry for fintech. Since the 2004 creation of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, there has been a focus on establishing a common or national electronic health records (EHR) system to support the continuity of care for patients across providers. Outside of encouraging practitioners to have an EHR system, there has not been much movement toward a shared system.3 

Remittance data in a patient system is far more complex than a typical accounting system. A retail system has debits and credits going and coming into an accounting system. In healthcare, this is complicated by multiple payment streams. A patient may prepay for an outpatient surgery based on estimated costs after insurance. Then the insurance company submits a payment to the patient’s account, followed by the final payment (or a payment plan is established) of the patient after insurance. 

Undoubtedly, digital healthcare payment systems need simplification and there is movement toward enhancing the customer experience. An example is the introduction of transparency via “patient wallets” or patient portals, where patients can check medical records, request prescription refills, view lab reports, or send secure messages to the doctor. The hope is that if the patient has a positive experience despite the lack of continuity, they will see the provider as a trusted source and return to that provider. 

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