BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Innovation Project, the most prestigious annual conference focused on the reinvention of the payments industry, concluded yesterday with the announcement of the 2014 PYMNTS Innovator Awards recognizing pioneers, leaders and innovators in the payments industry. In addition to inducting three people into the Hall of Fame, notable awards included The Catalyst Award, Most Innovative, the first-annual Women Driving Innovation in Payments Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Best in Show.
“One of our delegates said it best: The Innovation Project isn’t a conference it is a giant conversation about innovation in payments among the most respected leaders in the payments industry,” said Karen Webster, CEO of Market Platform Dynamics and President of PYMNTS.com, the organizer of the event. “The awards are particularly meaningful because the finalists are vetted by judges who really understand the space and are then voted on by the PYMNTS community. This year’s award finalists comprised the highest-caliber innovators in the industry, and I’m delighted to recognize our elite group of award winners.”
In addition, 40 of the coolest, newest and freshest innovators in payments competed in the Innovator Expo™ for the chance to be named “Best in Show” and win a $25,000 cash prize sponsored by VeriFone. Pangar.me, co-founded by Henrique Dubugras, Pedro Franceschi and Henrique Coelho, was named the winner.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented this year to the family of Frank McNamara, the founder of Diner’s Club. There were also three inductions to the Payments Hall of Fame™: Arthur Hahn, inventor of the Magnetic Stripe; Robert W. Selander, president and CEO of MasterCard from 1997 to 2010; and George Wallner, co-founder of Loop and the investor of the modern POS terminal.
The payments’ industry’s competitive problem solving challenge, The ThinkAThon™ featured 9 teams competing to solve the industry’s three most vexing questions. The winners were:
- Eliminating the Friction in Global Cross-Border Commerce - Tom Brown, Paul Hastings
- Making Omni Channel Payments Seamless – Patrick Gauthier, PayPal
- Defending Payments’ Systems from Cyber Hacking – Jeff Wakefield, VeriFone
The Innovation Project™ also featured two new awards this year. The Women Driving Innovation in Payments Award was selected across 16 categories by a panel of judges with deep and practical expertise in payments and innovation. Melissa Smith, President and CEO of WEX, was named the winner. PayPal was awarded the first PYMNTS Catalyst Award, which recognizes the company that has created the greatest value in payments, broadly defined, by eliminating a friction between trading partners and in the process, creating an environment for other innovations and innovators to emerge.
The Innovator Awards™ are viewed as the most prestigious recognition in the payments industry and boast a submission, selection and voting process that is unmatched in intellectual rigor and competitive energy. Sixty-nine finalists competed for 15 prestigious awards:
- Most Innovative Company: Gold Winner – LevelUp; Silver Winner – Upstart; Bronze Winner – Klarna.
- Best Check Innovation: Gold Winner – PaySimple eCheck; Silver Winner – Venmo; Bronze Winner – American Express Bluebird.
- Best Innovation via ACH: Gold Winner – transmodus; Silver Winner – Venmo; Bronze Winner—Mitek.
- Best Prepaid Innovation: Gold Winner – Blackhawk; Silver Winner – Dunkin’ Donuts Mobile App; Bronze Winner – Mozido.
- Best Debit Innovation: Gold Winner – Square Cash; Silver Winner – Simple; Bronze Winner – T-Mobile Money.
- Best Credit Innovation: Gold Winner – Credit Karma; Silver Winner – Lending Club; Bronze Winner – Klarna.
- Best B2B Innovation: Gold Winner –Bill.com; Silver Winner – Billtrust Invoice Central; Bronze Winner – Traxpay.
- Best Cash Innovation: Gold Winner – Incomm Cashtie; Silver Winner – PayNearMe; Bronze Winner – Paydiant MCA.
- Best Small Business Innovation: Gold Winner – Fundbox; Silver Winner – Shopify Payments; Bronze Winner – FreshBooks.
- Best POS Innovation: Gold Winner – Square Register; Silver Winner – Clover; Bronze Winner – Shopify.
- Most Invisible Company: Gold Winner – Paydiant; Silver Winner – IP Payments; Bronze Winner – Early Warning.
- Best Newcomer: Gold Winner – Coin; Silver Winner – Shopify; Bronze Winner – Chase.
- Best New Technology: Gold Winner – Apple Touch ID; Silver Winner – Ripple Labs; Bronze Winner – Open Table.
- Best Comeback Story: Gold Winner – Google Wallet; Silver Winner – OTI Wave; Bronze Winner – Prosper.
- Most Disruptive Innovation: Gold Winner – Bitcoin; Silver Winner – Chase; Bronze Winner – Ripple Labs.
About The Innovation Project
Over 2 days, 60+ speakers and 600 senior members of the payments industry will change the way that the payments and its broader commerce ecosystem thinks, talks, delivers and ignites innovation. On March 19th & 20th the greatest minds in commerce and payments will assemble at Annenberg Hall in Memorial Hall on the Campus of Harvard University* near Boston to kick the conversation about innovation up to an entirely different level at The Innovation Project. Speakers and delegates are among the most senior executives from literally every established payments company worldwide.
PYMNTS.com is reinventing the way in which companies in payments share relevant information about the initiatives that shape the future of commerce and make news. This powerful B2B platform is the #1 site for the payments industry by traffic and the premier source of information about “what’s next” in payments. C-suite and VP level executives read it daily for these insights, making the PYMNTS.com audience the most valuable in the industry. It provides an interactive platform for companies to demonstrate thought It provides an interactive platform for companies to demonstrate thought leadership, popularize products and, most importantly, capture the mindshare of global decision-makers. It’s where the best minds and best content meet on the web.
*Please note that The Innovation Project and PYMNTS.com are not affiliated with Harvard University, nor is the Innovation Project 2014 a Harvard University program or activity.