Leading payment organisations came together to celebrate innovation in the financial sector last night at the Emerging Payments Association’s (EPA) 14th annual Emerging Payments Awards (EP Awards) ceremony. Held at JW Marriot Grosvenor House Hotel, London, the event was attended by over 750 individuals from the most influential companies in fintech.

Along with the awards winners, the EPA also announced its rebrand to The Payments Association during the ceremony, with the name change taking effect throughout October. The association has seen significant growth over the past few years, welcoming names such as Nationwide, J.P. Morgan and KPMG to the community, and the new name reflects the breadth and diversity of payment businesses that are represented; unifying the entire ecosystem, catering for all things payments.

The UK’s fintech sector is booming, raising $5.7bn in the first half of 2021, more than doubling the total investment secured in the industry in 2020. Such success is down to the innovation and commitment performed by each individual fintech. Meanwhile, the EPA has increased its volume of members by 20% in the last year alone, with evolution and progression at the heart of the payments industry.

At the EP Awards, Comviva Technology Ltd were among the winners, celebrating two award wins for Best Direct Account to Account Solution and Leading Financial Services or Payments Start-up. Banking Circle took home the prize for Best Back Office Innovation for its real-time clearing and settlement global network, and Alison Donnelly, Director of fscom, came away with the Industry Contributor of the year Award.

With a record number of submissions for this year’s awards, the judging panel, made up of independent experts, had a tough job in reviewing the hundreds of submissions from across the world to select the final winners of the 20 awards.

Tony Craddock, Director General at the EPA, said: “Having hosted the awards for 14 years, it is incredibly exciting and motivating to see the growth journeys of companies big and small. This is especially true after the year we have all experienced, as we are learning about the new, innovative ways in which they are performing to evolve our payments sector. As our members have grown, so too have we and this rebrand will serve to further enrich the opportunities for our members within the payments industry.”

He continued: “The community that we have built since we were established is our most valuable asset and our aim in becoming The Payments Association is to empower the most influential community in payments, where the connections, collaborations and learning shape an industry that works for all.”

The full list of winners for 2021 is as follows:

  • Best International Payments, Remittance or Use of FX: Currensea
  • Best Financial Inclusion Payments Initiative: India Post Payments Bank and Financial Software and Systems (FSS)
  • Best B2C Payments Programme: ACE HollPeiser – MuchBetter
  • Best B2B Payments Programme – B2B Wallet: PartnerPay by Amadeus
  • Best Open Banking Initiative: Konsentus Verify
  • Best B2B/B2C Banking Initiative: Bankily by Banque Populaire De Mauritanie (BPM) and Comviva
  • Best Partnership Initiative: ClearBank Tide Business Banking
  • Best Use of Payments Data or AI in Financial Services: Sentinels
  • Most Innovative Mobile or Financial Service Payments Solution: Refreshed PayMaya App by PayMaya Phillippines, Inc
  • Most Innovative Merchant Services: Skiply by RAKBANK
  • Best Back Office Innovation: Banking Circle
  • Best Customer Facing Experience: ID-Pal
  • Leading Financial Services or Payments Start-Up: MOVii by Movii and Comviva Technologies Ltd
  • Leading Emerging Payments Organisation: PayMaya Philippines, Inc
  • Best Use of Crypto in Financial Services: Seamless Crypto Spending by Contis
  • Best Direct Account to Account Solution: MOVii and Comviva Technology Ltd
  • Best Lending Initiative: Oxbury Bank Plc
  • Best CSR or Charity Initiative: Worldcoo’s Charity Rounding Up – Worldcoo
  • Best Market Expansion Programme: Marqeta
  • Industry Contributor of the Year: Alison Donnelly, Director, fscom

The Emerging Payments Awards celebrate innovation, collaboration and emerging payments by recognising companies that have made significant advances in how we pay today. The celebrity host of this year’s awards was Hugh Dennis, who kept the audience entertained throughout the evening.