TheBridge profile: Brian Tate
Name: Brian Tate
Current city: Washington, DC
Current job: President and CEO of the Innovative Payments Association (IPA)
Past job: Vice President of Banking and Securities, Financial Services Roundtable
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Starbucks—it’s easy and everywhere.
Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. Listening. Being able to work with a variety of different individuals, each with a different background and working style, and to listen and learn from their experience is critical to my work now as the leader of the IPA. Our member companies each bring something unique to the table, and through the years, I have learned the importance of listening to our members concerns and fostering collaboration among individuals and groups to work toward our common goals.
Q. Job advice in three words? Believe in yourself.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? The Innovative Payments Association is a leading voice in the electronic payments sector, and that includes prepaid products, mobile wallets and person-to-person (P2P) technology for consumers, businesses and governments at all levels. Our goal is to encourage innovation and a smart approach to regulation by educating legislative and regulatory bodies on these emerging payments technologies. We’re working each day to help create an environment that cultivates financial inclusion and helps consumers.
Q. Why are you part of TheBridge community and why do you think it's important this community exists for tech, policy and political professionals? In recent years, we’ve clearly seen how tech can influence policy and vice-versa. Fostering a dialogue between these two areas is essential to ensuring innovation and progress continue in a way that puts the needs and concerns of consumers front and center.
Q. What can innovators learn from policymakers? Innovators move fast by design—they have to in order to stay ahead. Policymakers on the other hand take a far slower, methodical approach. There’s benefits to each, but innovators would do well to understand and appreciate the intricacies of regulatory and oversight organizations in order to provide the best products possible that comply with safety and security parameters.
Q. What can policymakers learn from innovators? They can learn to believe in the big idea of what is possible, and how to act more nimbly in the face of our changing technological landscape. Keeping up with the fast pace of innovation in the payments and fintech community is essential to ensuring individuals can access the products of the future.
Q. Favorite book/podcast/long-form article you recommend?
Favorite Podcast: “The Power of Prepaid Podcast.” “Revisionist History” is a close second.
Long-Form Article to Recommend: "The 9.9 percent is the New American Aristocracy"
Book to Recommend: "The Person and the Situation"
Q. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself in the beginning of your career? Be patient, laugh more and enjoy the ride. Trust that good things will happen if you work hard and embrace the moment.
Q. Favorite app? My calendar app. It is much easier to keep personal and work commitments straight when you have a digital assistant throughout the day.
Q. Last time you were completely unplugged? It does not always work out, but the goal is to try to unplug one day every weekend. The longest stretch I was able to unplug was most recently New Year’s Eve and Day.
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