Who We Are

A large portion of the US card transactions are processed here. The Atlanta Chapter was started in 2015 to bring more networking opportunities to the Atlanta Area by bringing executives and industry processionals together to speak about important and relevant topics in payments, commerce and fintech.

Our Mission

The BayPay Forum Atlanta Chapter aims to act as a facilitator connecting fintech entrepreneurs, bank executives, industry regulators, investors and others in order to let the financial services ecosystem flourish.Together with the growing global community of payments, commerce, fintech and banking experts, we will create a value-adding network of entrepreneurs and executives who are focused on innovation and collaboration.

Meet Our Chapter Leaders


David Abouchar

Digital Banking New Products & Biz Dev Executive
David has worked in the Banking & Payments space throughout his career, holding various product and partnership positions in companies ranging from early-stage to Fortune 500 including FIS, BearingPoint Consulting, ControlScan and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.  David has a track record of identifying and delivering innovative solutions through productive FinTech partnerships and achieving competitive advantage.  Career achievements in mobile technology for digital banking, fraud prevention, PCI compliance, and emerging technologies.  David holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Lynn University, were he graduated Magna Cum Laude.  He is a Certified Payments Professional™ (CPP) by the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA).  David resides in Peachtree Corners, GA with his wife and two children.   

Tommy Marshall

Executive Director, Georgia Fintech Academy of the University System of Georgia
Tommy Marshall, Fintech Executive in Residence, Fintech Catalyst, Georgia Tech Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) - Tommy has spent his 20+ year management consulting career focused on digital financial services and fintech. He works to bring his depth in payments, banking, capital markets, finance & regulation together with the Atlanta fintech ecosystem participants to craft meaningful capabilities for financial services industry participants. He also leads the annual Fintech South Innovation Challenge for the Technology Association of Georgia. Tommy is a graduate of Davidson College and holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University. He has called Atlanta home for the past ten years.

Andrew B. Morris

Founder & CEO, The Fintech Agenda
Andrew is an expert in the technologies and trends shaping the future of financial services, payments and commerce. For the past 5 years, he served as Chief Content Officer for the Money20/20 conferences, helping to build the leading fintech events globally, with editions in Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Singapore and Hangzhou, China. Prior to Money20/20, Andrew founded and led Morris Advisors Inc., an independent consultancy that advised retailers and other industry stakeholders on payments and commerce strategy. Prior to his consulting career, as VP of Internet Program Development for Prudential Bank and Trust, Andrew spearheaded the development of Prudential Financial’s first online banking platform and led several strategic initiatives to open new channels for the bank’s products. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Transylvania University and a Master of Business Administration, cum laude, from the University o Kentucky. He is based in Johns Creek, Georgia.

Thad Peterson

Senior Analyst, Aite Group

Thad Peterson is a senior analyst with Aite Group, focusing on the evolution of the payment space, the customer payment experience, and merchant acquiring.

Recognized as a global thought leader in payments, Thad has a proven track record of identifying and developing new opportunities and technologies in payments and financial services. He has relevant expertise in applying customer behavior to the payments ecosystem in both corporate and startup environments. Thad’s consulting background includes engagements on credit and debit cards, mobile payments, airline payment platforms, consumer and merchant loyalty, payment technology evolution, stored value, and product innovation. He holds patents in customer authentication and real-time mobile-enabled loyalty.

Prior to joining Aite Group, Thad led the mobile commerce practice at inCode Consulting and was managing director of Maritz Real-Time Rewards, leading the company’s mission to build a new industry standard at the nexus of transactional marketing and consumer engagement. While at Maritz, he also served as a division vice president, sector strategy, heading up strategy and solutions development for Maritz’s financial sector. Before joining Maritz, Thad was a partner with global financial services and payments firm Edgar, Dunn & Company, where he led the retail banking, loyalty, and emerging technology practice areas, working with retail banks, card issuers and processors, airline consortiums, new payment technology providers, payment associations, and prepaid card issuers. Thad has also worked as a C-level executive at retail banks and held positions in advertising and customer communications.

Thad served as an officer in the U.S. Navy for four years and holds a degree in Special Education from the University of Idaho.



Charles Potts

SVP and Chief Innovation Officer, ICBA
Potts is a recognized leader in financial technology with 25+ years of hands-on experience in building, growing, leading and nurturing organizations. In addition to starting his own companies, Potts’ ability to achieve profitable revenue growth and exceed business objectives in a combination of start-up, early-stage and public-companies has landed him Executive roles at Jack Henry, Goldleaf, Fiserv and most recently First Performance, where he led the start-up's Business Development activities. His expertise in mergers and acquisitions, corporate strategy, business development and product management as well as his international leadership success brings important insights to investors and management teams on crucial matters dealing with the evaluation, integration and deployment of financial services and emerging payments-related technologies with a key focus on digital and mobile channels and their related operational efficiencies. A frequent industry speaker and author, Potts is an active member and former board member and past president of The Association for Financial Technology Providers (AFT), former director for The Financial Managers Society and former board member of PROFORMANCE. Potts currently serves on the advisory boards of several start-ups. Specialties: Corporate Product Strategy, Business Development and Product Marketing, Corporate Development and M&A, International Business Development and Strategic Channel Management

Jeffrey Shoap

Owner & CEO, Shoap Technical Services
Jeffrey Shoap has owned and successfully operated Shoap Technical Services since 1986. When he’s not running the business, he still enjoys editing the work of the rest of the team with his notorious red pen. He taught college-level English writing for several years and continues to work with organizations and students in a similar capacity. He lectures on technical writing issues and provides senior-level supervision to all projects and personnel. As the person holding overall responsibility for all projects, Jeffrey oversees the design and development process, steers project teams, oversees budgets and timelines, checks project quality, and monitors client satisfaction. Jeffrey and his teams are extremely experienced in the design, development, and completion of technical documentation and training. Jeffrey earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts.

Kenneth Achenbach

Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Ken Achenbach solves problems. Ken’s deep experience in the regulated financial services industries as well as his experience with the tools of risk mitigation make Ken uniquely positioned to assist his clients in overcoming obstacles and meeting their business objectives - particularly, to: Identify, evaluate and manage regulatory risks through periods of regulatory change and uncertainty; Counsel and advocate for clients facing scrutiny from financial services regulatory authorities; Develop implementation strategies for novel financial products and services to allow his clients to address regulatory requirements while meeting business goals; Evaluate and implement fintech, regtech and other technological solutions to practical challenges in the financial services space; Counsel and advise clients with respect to director and officer indemnification, advancement, and insurance matters in anticipation of or in response to liability claims; Diligence business practices for regulatory risks in connection with the purchase of or investment in financial services companies; and to Negotiate and structure complex corporate indemnity provisions for both buyers and sellers, including the use of transactional insurance products such as representations and warranties insurance. Ken’s practice routinely involves colleagues across a variety of traditional industry verticals and Ken’s background and depth of experience allows him to understand and to be responsive to the needs of his clients, regardless of whether they are a commercial bank, non-bank financial service provider, financial technology company, or non-financial company exploring opportunities in the financial services space. Ken has spoken to a wide range of groups and trade associations on diverse topics affecting the financial services industries.

Barry Hester

Banking and Payments Counsel, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Mr. Hester specializes in regulatory compliance, financial technology (Fintech), bank operations, and payments laws. He is solution-oriented and leverages years of experience as in-house counsel for a leading financial institution where he was the lead attorney for deposit, credit card, broker-dealer, and wealth management lines of business. As Associate General Counsel at EverBank and Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), Barry supported contract, vendor management, new products, BSA/AML/OFAC, advertising, sales practices, and governance functions. He counsels clients on Regulation E (Electronic Fund Transfers Act), Regulation DD (Truth in Savings Act), Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act), Regulation CC (Expedited Funds Availability Act), Regulation V (Fair Credit Reporting Act), Regulation B (Equal Credit Opportunity Act), debit and credit card network rules, NACHA rules, FINRA rules, FinCEN rules, Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), privacy, and cybersecurity matters as well as money transmitter licensing and securities matters. His practice also reaches bank operational compliance matters relating to overdraft protection, deposit sweep products, safe deposit boxes, powers of attorney, trusts, guardianships, garnishment, levies, probate, complaints, returned mail, unclaimed property, public deposits, brokered deposits, check fraud, elder abuse, authentication, interactive voice response (IVR), W-8/W-9s, 1099s, record retention, the E-Sign Act, and the wire room. Representative experience includes website review & account applications; core processing and other technology agreements; mergers and acquisitions; OCC, FRB, CFPB, SEC, and FINRA regulatory exam and enforcement management; compliance training; and new product development and launch. During law school, Mr. Hester was Symposium Editor for the Georgia State University Law Review and a member of the school’s Public Interest Law Association. He also worked for the Georgia State University Office of Legal Affairs, where he supported university administrators and researchers on intellectual property, personnel, and real estate issues. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Hester earned a Ph.D. in Forestry at North Carolina State University. His dissertation research focused on machine learning and satellite image interpretation for land use mapping purposes. Mr. Hester has a background in agriculture and natural resource management.

Rob Lystad

Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Rob Lystad is a corporate and M&A lawyer who regularly advises public and private companies, private equity sponsors, ESOP participants, and others in connection with domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, debt and equity financings and other corporate and commercial matters. He has represented clients in a variety of industries, with an emphasis on FinTech, technology, creative advertising, and food/agribusiness. Mr. Lystad represents companies in all phases of the corporate life cycle, including initial formation and capitalization, restructurings and recapitalizations, corporate governance, and significant commercial transactional matters. As a result of his broad corporate and commercial practice, Mr. Lystad regularly serves as “outside general counsel” to growing privately-held companies. With respect to employee stock ownership plans (or “ESOPs”), Mr. Lystad regularly advises clients in the utilization ESOPs for shareholder liquidity, including the sale of stock to ESOPs (both partial sales and complete change of control transactions) and mergers and acquisitions of ESOP companies. Mr. Lystad’s practice also includes strategic advice and counsel regarding the commercialization of products and services and the negotiation of various domestic and international agreements for financial technology companies, merchants, brand owners, food and beverage manufacturers, and professional services companies. Mr. Lystad has been a registered lobbyist for over 12 years. There, he provides local governments, public and private companies, and business associations with regulatory and legislative representation in the State of Georgia.

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