Valley powerhouses come together to create the new Arizona Fintech Council
Phoenix-based CCG Catalyst Consulting has partnered with the Arizona Bankers Association to create the Arizona Fintech Council.
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The goals of this new body include encouraging economic growth, attracting financial technology companies to the state and helping new companies flourish by making industry connections in the state’s so-called regulatory sandbox.
“The unique nature of our state’s fintech sandbox law and our relationship with the national consultancy of CCG Catalyst put us in a position to maximize this economic development opportunity to bring these transformational companies to Arizona,” Paul Hickman, president and CEO of the Arizona Bankers Association, said in a statement.
Scarlett Sieber, the CCG Catalyst Consulting’s chief strategy and innovation officer, will lead the fintech program and Miranda Jenkins, the firm’s COO, will manage the project. CCG has additional offices in New York, London and Singapore.
Arizona was the first state in the nation to create this type of relaxed-regulatory environment for financial technology companies when Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2434 into law in 2018. Companies must apply through the Arizona Attorney General’s office, and those accepted are exempt from obtaining full state licensing and other authorization normally required to operate in the state.
Successful applicants get two years in the sandbox with the ability to apply for up to an additional year. There are currently three companies in the sandbox and the Attorney General’s office is accepting new applications, according to its website.
The council will be joined by other Valley players such as the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Technology Council, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Arizona State University, and Sun Corridor Inc., an economic development agency in Tucson.
“Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, Arizona was the first state in the nation to establish a fintech sandbox program, demonstrating our commitment to embracing the emerging technologies that will shape our future,” Sandra Watson, president & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, said in a statement. “The Arizona Fintech Council will further advance our state’s reputation as a hub for innovation in the financial services industry, and the ACA is proud to participate in the effort alongside partners statewide.”
In a statement, ASU president Michael Crow said the university’s involvement will help students prepare for jobs of the future.
“The plans for advancement and the work that will be done through the Arizona Fintech Council is exciting because of what it can do to help companies prepare and new companies emerge to meet the opportunities ahead and the kind of talent and skills needed to drive successful outcomes,” Crow said. “Cultivating a mindset of transformation helps growing areas of our economy, such as Fintech, prosper and we look forward to working together.”
The council will listen to fintech company pitches during quarterly meetings in an effort to connect budding companies with established financial institutions.