Categories: Personnel

Faster Payments Council Taps Walmart Exec As New Executive Director

The U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC), a membership organization dedicated to swift payments, has named industry veteran Reed Luhtanen as its executive director, according to an announcement on Wednesday (March 25).

Most recently with Walmart Inc. and an officer on the FPC Board, Luhtanen brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the role, the group said.

He succeeds Kimberly Ford, the FPC’s first executive director. His first day in his new post will be April 13.

“We’re thrilled to have Reed leading the FPC as executive director and look forward to leveraging his industry knowledge, expertise, and vision for the organization,” said FPC Board Chairman Michael Bilski in a statement. “His unique experience at the intersection of payments-related public policy, financial services, corporate treasury, and nonprofit service will help take the FPC to new heights.”

Bilski praised Ford and said she did “a tremendous job in laying a strong foundation” for the FPC, raising the organization’s visibility and setting it on a successful path.

“Reed will build on that momentum, applying his leadership skills, deep roots in the payments industry, and fostering his existing relationships with our members and the board of directors,” Bilski added.

Luhtanen has substantial experience in the payments industry and has served on a number of industry bodies. He most recently was a member of the Federal Reserve Bank-sponsored Governance Framework Formation Team, which created the U.S. Faster Payments Council, and the Corporate Advisory Group for The Clearing House Real-Time Payments System, Bilski said.

Prior to joining the FPC, Luhtanen was with Walmart for 15 years, most recently as senior director of global treasury. In that capacity, he was responsible for the company’s public policy relating to payments along with public relations initiatives, network and processor relationships and establishing Walmart’s payments acceptance strategies.

Luhtanen was recognized in 2015 as one of Paybefore’s “Top Ten Payments Lawyers” and was honored in 2019 as a member the Electronic Transactions Association’s “Forty Under 40” class. He holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Arkansas’ Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

The FPC aims to offer a payment system that enables users to make safe payments on demand, with near-immediate availability of funds.

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The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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