A US federal task force operating in cooperation with the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will invite to its discussions Israeli companies specializing in protecting financial payment systems from malicious hacker attacks. The Israeli companies will advise on setting firewalls to secure the ongoing operation of online payment services, other financial transactions and digital banking. This market is worth a 150 billion annually.
This cooperation was announced during a conference, the first of its kind, of companies specializing in financial technology (FinTech) development, held by the Israeli consulate in Atlanta last week. Assistance in organizing the conference was provided by Ministry of Economy representatives in Houston, the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Region, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta FinTech Task Force, the American Transaction Processors Coalition, the HA&W accounting firm and the Greenberg Traurig law firm, which hosted the conference.
In her speech at the conference, , Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer, consul general of Israel to the southeastern United States emphasized Atlanta's centrality for FinTech and the advantage it presents for Israeli companies: "Atlanta is a national center for FinTech, a market with more revenue than the US film industry. About 70% of US financial transactions pass through Atlanta daily. About 71% of companies dealing in management of payments from consumers to banks and traders are located in the city."
At the conference, West Richards, executive director of the American Transaction Processors Coalition- Greater Atlanta Area, said that electronic payment operations were highly vulnerable to hacker attacks, since the government cyber service and threat monitoring system did not understand the way financial systems work. "A case of a deliberate, large-scale attack may result in a catastrophe that will last for weeks until the federal system realizes how financial systems work," West said. "Therefore, we are acting to establish a federal task force and will invite representatives of Israeli FinTech companies to its discussions."
15 Israeli companies participated in the conference, including Sapiens, SplitIt, Amaryllis and Earnix. Their representatives met with the representatives of the top ten companies in this field in the US, including Global Payments, NCR, Equifax (which specializes in checking consumer credit), WorldPay, credit-card giant Visa, computer services giant WIPRO, six regional banks including SunTrust, Wells-Fargo and JPMorgan, as well as venture capital funds. Israel was represented in the conference by Adv. Karin Mayer Rubinstein, CEO of the Israel Advanced Technology Industries organization.
As is customary in such events, each Israeli company was given the opportunity to present its unique products for five minutes, followed by one-on-one meetings with US counterparts.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 3, 2016
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