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Emerging Payments Award Winners Announced: Lloyds Bank, Global Processing Services and Airtel Uganda Win Big

The Emerging Payments Association (EPA), which promotes collaboration and innovation across payments, has announced the winners of the 13th annual Emerging Payments Awards at its first fully virtual ceremony.

The Fintech Times sponsored the award for the Best Partnership Initiative, which was open to any company/fintech that could demonstrate how they had collaborated with one or more industry players to achieve a significant market or business benefit for one or both parties. The judges were particularly interested in how large and small companies might have collaborated, or where a younger company may have worked with a more established player.

Mark Walker, Editorial Director of The Fintech Times, said: ”I was lucky enough to be nominated by the team to present the award for Best Partnership Initiative, the virtual event worked really well and the team behind the EPAwards were able to inject the same enjoyment and celebratory spirit into this event as they have done previously.

My congratulations go to Lloyds Bank for the I-Safe partnership along with all the other worthy winners including Neil Harris, who picked up the Industry Contributor of the Year award.”

Hosted by comedian Sara Pascoe, with star appearances from Elijah Wood, Gloria Gaynor and David Hasselhoff, the event was streamed live to over 1,000 guests from the global payments community.

Fintech has been the UK’s top-performing sector in tech for several years, which contributes more than £130bn to the economy annually. In such a burgeoning industry, the EPAwards attracted some of the most influential fintech companies at this year’s ceremony.

Tony Craddock, Director General of the Emerging Payments Association, said: “I am always truly astounded by the innovation, creativity and passion of our UK Fintech and payments sector. All of our winners are truly deserving of their accolades and it’s inspiring to see the quality of entries grow on a yearly basis.”

The judges praised this year’s winners as demonstrating high-quality and innovative payment solutions that benefit the industry as a whole.

Among the winners were Global Processing Services (GPS) that picked up 5 awards, including the Industry Contributor of the Year award for Neil Harris, Group Chief Commercial Officer at GPS. Airtel Uganda and Comviva picked up three awards, including Best financial inclusion, merchant services and mobile or financial services payments awards. With a 50% increase in entries from 2019, it was the most competitive year for the esteemed judging panel who reviewed hundreds of submissions from across the world to select its final winners of the 20 awards.

Speaking on the award wins, Chief Executive Officer of GPS, Joanne Dewar, said: “I feel overwhelmingly proud of the GPS team and our ability to collectively work towards the common goal of accelerating the delivery of better financial experiences for every customer.”

The elite panel of over 40 international judges from renowned organisations such as Mastercard, UK Finance and Deloitte, recognised GPS’ central role as a strategic partner and trusted advisor within the fintech ecosystem. The judges were also impressed by GPS’ strategic decision to expand into APAC in order to support the international growth of its customers, as well as meeting the needs of up-and-coming fintechs in the region.

Scooping two awards with its customer, Currensea, GPS has supported the company to overcome the biggest barrier to consumer adoption of fintech travel money services. In solving this problem, Currensea has been recognised by the FCA as the UK’s first Open Banking card-based payment instrument issuer (CBPII).

To conclude the event, GPS’ Group Chief Commercial Officer and Chairman of The Inclusion Foundation (TIF), Neil Harris, was singled out as this year’s Industry Contributor of the Year, as a result of his key focus, whether in his work with GPS or various financial inclusion initiatives, on driving positive change within the industry and globally.

The full list of winners for 2020 is as follows:

  • Best International Payments, Remittance or use of FX: Ebury – Faster and Smarter Global Payments
  • Best Financial Inclusion Payments Programme: Airtel Money Uganda by Airtel Uganda and Comviva, Easypaisa by Telenor Microfinance Bank
  • Best B2C Payments Programme: Stocard
  • Best B2B Payments Programme: Bottomline – Bottomline PTX
  • Best Banking or Open Banking Initiative: Currensea & Global Processing Services (GPS)
  • Best Partnership Initiative: Lloyds Bank – I-safe
  • Best Use of Payments Data or AI in Financial Services: Visa Europe – Visa Advanced Authorisation
  • Most Innovative Mobile or Financial Services Payments Solution: Airtel Money Uganda by Airtel Uganda and Comviva
  • Most Innovative Merchant Services Solution: Airtel Money Uganda by Airtel Uganda and Comviva
  • Best Back Office Innovation: Mastercard – Threat Scan by Mastercard
  • Best Customer Facing Experience: FIS – Premium Payback
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year: Fame & Fortune in Fintech: Launching Tribe Payments by CCgroup
  • Leading Financial Services or Payments Start-Up: Currensea & Global Processing Services (GPS)
  • Leading Emerging Payments Organisation: Global Processing Services (GPS) – The Super Processor™
  • Best Use of Blockchain in Financial Services: Nuggets
  • Best Direct Account to Account Solution: mobiquity® Money – COVID-19 Response by Comviva
  • Best Lending Initiative: Starling Bank
  • Best CSR or Charity Initiative: allpay – Herefordshire Flooding – Prepaid Programme
  • Best Market Expansion: Global Processing Services (GPS) Launch of APAC Hub in Singapore
  • The Industry Contributor of the Year – Neil Harris, Group Chief Commercial Officer at Global Processing Payments

To find out more about the EPAwards, please visit their website. 

To donate to the EPA’s chosen charity for 2020, Mind, please click here.


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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