The AFP 2019 Treasury and Finance Conference didn’t waste any time moving into full throttle. With an inspiring Sunday night keynote session headlined by Good Morning America’s Co-anchor Robin Roberts. Delivered to a standing room only, rapt audience, AFP 2019 started with a bang. The keynote was followed by an exhibit hall kick off that continued the momentum with live music, local sports team caricatures, and a floor buzzing with exhibitors and attendees.

You may ask, what does Robin Roberts have to do with a treasury and finance-themed conference? Surprisingly, her presentation fit into the “Where the Hype Meets Reality in Treasury and Finance” theme very well. She spoke of her journey to reach her current success and revealed the accomplishments and challenges she’s had to overcome, both personally and professionally, along the way. As she spoke, it was clear that the road to becoming the polished journalist she is today was not as smooth as one might expect.

And that’s how her presentation dovetails with the AFP theme. Today’s payments landscape is rapidly changing and full of twists and turns that treasury and finance professionals must learn to navigate. Faster payments, machine learning, global regulatory mandates – how does one sort through the hype and figure out what’s really important to their organization?

That’s what this year’s conference is all about.

The Future of Treasury

Consider this, Kelvin Ang (Director, Treasury Group, Americas Head, Citi) he asks the question, “Are we there yet?” in regards to the digital transformation of treasury. He took us on a journey, reminding of us of long past innovations like pagers and fax machines which now seem obsolete and more recent, significant innovations like the Cloud and e-commerce, that are now business as usual – and even technologies such blockchain that are still emerging…making the point that the journey to digital transformation is constantly evolving and the destination keeps shifting. Which continued the conference theme of determining what technology trends treasury professionals need to pay attention to (‘reality’) and those that might be transient (‘hype’).

Stay-tuned to SmartPayments for an expanded recap on Kelvin’s session, along with case studies presented by Rob DeCamp (Director Corporate Finance, Assistant Treasurer, Caterpillar) and Lisa Wagner (CCM, Group Manager, Treasury, Microsoft Corporation).

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Posted by Germaine Lang

Germaine Lang is the Managing Editor of SmartPayments with a strong creative and technical writing background across many industries. She also works to engage customers and relate their experiences with vendor products and services, positioning them as innovative thought leaders.