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Is There REALLY a Market for Mobile Payments in the U.S.?

Mobile Payments is one of the hottest industries globally today. Join us to learn the more about the US dynamics around mobile payments and for an invigorating panel discussion - an exclusive gathering of leading executives from the mobile payments indus

Is there REALLY a market for mobile payments in the US?
Monday, October 5, 2009

Join the Wharton Club of Northern California and the Harvard Business School Technology Alumni Association to learn the more about the US dynamics around mobile payments and for an invigorating panel discussion - an exclusive gathering of leading executives from the mobile payments industry.

Menekse Gencer, Founder of mPay Connect, is the Moderator for this event. We are extremely fortunate to have amassed top-notch panelists for this event who bring the perspectives of executives in financial services, mobile operators, and research firms for this discussion who address both the banked and unbanked customer segments.

The panel includes:
  • Dion Lisle – EVP Citi Growth Ventures – Citigroup
  • Arjan Schutte - Associate Director, The Center for Financial Services Innovation
  • Dhidha J. Timona – President, Shaka Mobile, MNVO targeting immigrants remitting to Africa
  • Scott Shaw – Board Member AliasWire, Previously Senior Executive VP Kessler Financial Services
  • Gabriel Torres – Vice President of Business Development, Affinity Global Services

Register Online
Thursday, October 5, 2009
Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm Networking Reception.  7:00pm-8:30pm Presentation and Panel Discussion
Location: [NOTE VENUE CHANGE!] Google Headquarters, 1600 Amphitheater Parkway,  Building 43 (not Bldg. 40), 2nd floor, Seville Tech Talk room. Mountain View, CA
Cost: WCNC members, members of affiliate clubs and their accompanied guests: $20 per person. Non-member alumni and other guests: $40 per person. Registrations after 4:00pm Friday, October 2nd an extra $10 per ticket, if available. Cancellations after 4:00pm Friday, October 2nd at the discretion of the WCNC. No charge for Wharton Club Gold Ticket Members (but remember as always to register via the above 'Register Online' link.)

Mobile Payment Series
Co-hosted by Wharton and Harvard Business School Tech Alumni.  Mobile Payments is one of the hottest industries globally today. The advent of electronic money movement, coupled with the ubiquity of mobile handsets in the market promises convergence of two industries which will lead to a transformation in certain segments of the financial services space. Mobile Payments is attracting professionals from divergent industries… from experts in technology to wireless and handset providers to microfinance, alternative payments and banking professionals. Some people claim that the intersection of mobile and finance has already, and will continue to, transform people’s lives, change the way business is conducted, and significantly impact GDP growth on a global scale. The industry is nascent, offering the opportunity for new innovations. It is also complex, providing challenges around regulatory constraints, consumer adoption, ecosystem relationships, and business models.

The goals of the Mobile Payments Series are three-fold: 1. To provide an overview of this market to Wharton and Harvard alumni as well as other Bay Area professionals interested in learning about this industry; 2. To bridge the gap between the innovations occurring abroad and the U.S.; and 3. To provide a opportunity for networking and future innovation in this area.

For those who missed our Kickoff event where we presented Mobile Financial Services 101, a webinar can be viewed as a primer before Event #2. To register for the webinar, please go here: http://mpayconnect.eventbrite.com/

Panelists for the October 5th Is There REALLY a Market for Mobile Payments in the U.S.? event

Arjan Schütte, Associate Director, The Center for Financial Services Innovation Arjan Schütte is an Associate Director of The Center for Financial Services Innovation. He manages the Center's investment and grant programs, identifying candidates as well as counseling and supporting investees, grantees, and other promising innovators. He also oversees the Business Match event series, which introduces financial service provider decision makers to selected solution providers determined by CFSI to be best in class. Prior to joining CFSI in 2004, he led an array of enterprise technology development projects for clients such as Bank of America, Intel, and Target. In 2000, Mr. Schütte founded DoTheGood, Inc., a for-profit philanthropy management company, which innovated online workplace giving for clients including 3M, St. Paul Travelers, Lawson Software and Wells Fargo, creating an outsourced donor-advised fund platform for financial services intermediaries. In four years, DoTheGood raised funds for almost 5,000 nonprofit organizations, serving 15 corporate clients in 7 countries. As CEO, Mr. Schütte developed the organization's strategic direction, and led the management and sales teams. Mr. Schütte received an MS from MIT's prestigious Media Laboratory, where he was an Interval Fellow. Here, he worked with companies such as Philips, Kodak, Sony and The Tribune Company, researching next generation technologies in interactive cinema, tangible media, and epistemology and learning. A pioneer in interactive learning technology, he produced one of the first interactive higher education CD-ROMs in 1993 and led a team which produced a series of award-winning titles in various subjects for the K-12 market. Arjan Schütte is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College, where he received a BA in Philosophy and Communication.

Dion Lisle, Executive Vice President, Growth Ventures and Innovation, Citibank Dion Lisle is an Executive Vice President of Citibank’s Growth Ventures team within the Innovation office. After a 20 year career in high technology, Dion joined Citibank’s Growth Ventures team from a Silicon Valley startup called Obopay to drive innovation in the area of mobile financial services. Dion’s responsibilities cover working with Citibank’s vast array of business and geographic leaders to drive innovation within mobile financial services.

For the previous 10 years Dion has helped connect major FS providers to new initiatives by developing partnerships between Silicon Valley startups and major financial services providers. Prior to his role as a technology conduit to major banks, he was a sales and marketing contributor for leading technology companies including Compaq, 3Com and Documentum. He received a BS degree from Cal-Poly, Pomona in the mid-80’s.

Dhidha Timona, President, Shaka Mobile Timona is a telecom visionary with great insights on the African market. He is the founder of Shaka Mobile and has experience in start-up telecoms and ethnic markets. He has been focusing on the African market for the last five years with the deployment of Frontier Telco that provides tailored voice, video and data plans to Africans.

He currently serves as the President of Shaka Mobile. Timona has put together a winning solution for the Africans in the Diaspora. Shaka Mobile will be the first ethnic MVNO in the US to target the African niche market. Shaka Mobile will offer bucket voice packages to home country, cross-border MMT, domestic and home country bill pay, domestic and home country airtime top up.

Scott Shaw, President Aliaswire After serving as a Board Member for the past 5 years, Scott has recently joined the Aliaswire executive team to drive domestic and international growth of Aliaswire's electronic payment "Platform as a Service".

Aliaswire's platform supports a myriad of electronic bill payment for both bank (credit/debit) and underbanked (prepaid, PayDay loan) populations; patented multi-modal personal electronic payments (PEP's) to move money securely across an array of networks including credit card, ACH, debit, ATM, etc. via Web, WAP, SMS and Voice; and Transaction Services as a certified low cost router of PINless debit transactions.

Scott came to Aliaswire after serving 20 years with The Kessler Group in Boston - most recently as Senior Executive Vice President and Managing Director - reporting directly to the Chairman and leading strategy and emerging payments initiatives with many of the top financial institutions in North America. Over the years, Scott was instrumental in helping Howard Kessler in the buyout of the Company from its prior owner and successfully managed businesses in the credit card, consumer loan, web portal and telecommunications areas.

He sits on several boards including Pertuity Direct, and is a major owner of Ozumo LLC - a group of award winning Contemporary Japanese restaurants in California. He received his BS degree in Biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire in 1987.

Gabriel Torres, Vice President of Business Development, Affinity Global Services Gabriel Torres has over 20 years of domestic and international sales, marketing and business development experience in turnaround and high growth environments, and is highly experienced in identifying and capturing opportunities for increased revenues, profitability and growth. Most recently, Gabriel has been collaborating as Senior Business Development VP/Consultant with Affinity Global Services, a pioneer in mobile money transfer, mobile payments and mobile financial services working with mobile network operators and financial institutions worldwide. Gabriel has developed strong expertise in building complex mobile financial services, mobile remittances (international money transfer) and mobile payments ecosystems to reach unbanked and underbanked consumers in developing and underdeveloped economies. Prior to his latest project, as part of Gabriel’s Telecommunications/Wireless industry experience, he was VP of Wireless Retail Operations at RadioShack, VP/GM for the Southwest Region for Helio Wireless MVNO, West Region VP for Sprint Nextel, and General Manager for Sprint in the Caribbean. Gabriel spent 10 years with Microsoft in several senior positions in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. Gabriel holds an undergraduate engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He also completed an executive education program at the INALDE Management and Business School of Universidad de la Sabana in Colombia. Gabriel is fluent in English, Spanish and conversational in Portuguese.

Menekse Gencer (Moderator), Founder of mPay Connect: Mobile Payments Consulting Firm.  Menekse Gencer began her career consulting to mobile network operators in Europe and later worked with high tech companies in Silicon Valley, followed by global financial institutions. With the convergence of these three industries for Mobile Financial Services, Menekse is able to draw on her sixteen years of experience to provide unique perspectives around this complex ecosystem.

She has focused exclusively on the mobile financial services industry since 2005. Her clients have included banks, alternative payments companies, mobile network operators, technology companies, and NGOs. She led PayPal’s mobile business development group for North America for two years during which time she secured PayPal’s first mobile network operator deal and launched the “send money” service on Sprint’s mobile wallet. As a consultant to their Joint Venture, she assisted Citigroup in the development of its mobile payments blueprint for its global Fortune 500 business customers and provided strategic input around mobile payments to SKTelecom Americas corporate development.

Her most recent area of focus is serving unbanked and under-banked consumers with mobile financial services. To that end, she developed the mobile financial services product strategy and roadmap for a prepaid mobile network operator (MNO) in the United States whose customers are predominantly unbanked and created the mobile banking plan for EARN, a non-profit seeking to break the cycle of poverty by matching savings of low-wage workers and helping them invest in assets that build wealth.

Menekse has an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Harvard University with expertise in high tech, wireless, and financial services industries and was previously featured on the cover of Fortune Small Business Magazine. She is the founder of the Mobile Payments Series initiative in San Francisco/Silicon Valley with Harvard Business School and Wharton MBA Alumni Clubs and a speaker at Money Mobile Transfer conferences abroad. She is also a board member of Mobile Money Africa.

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