The Payments Institute (TPI) Scholarship

The William A. McLarty Payments Institute Scholarship

This is a great opportunity for someone who works in the payments industry to enhance his/her knowledge of the rapidly expanding electronic payment network.

Three (3) Scholarship recipients will attend the 2023 Payments Institute Home School, a virtual event scheduled for September 26 - 28, 2023. The non-transferrable scholarship award will pay $850 towards the registration fee.

Payments professionals face greater and more complex challenges today than ever before. The industry is changing, the scope of the job is changing, and the workplace is changing. How do you keep up with rapid growth and ever advancing technology? How do you know what payments systems are right for your organization and how do you go about implementing them?

The Payments Institute (TPI) Home School

TPI Home School is a 3-day virtual event featuring concurrent classes. The TPI Home School curriculum gives you the opportunity to select courses based on your needs as a payments professional, or follow along with a particular School of Study. 

For instance, if you're planning to take the AAP or APRP exam, look for courses in the AAP and APRP Prep Schools of Study.  If you're a seasoned industry professional in search of a more in-depth look into today's complicated payments environment, the Advanced Program is perfect for payments vets eager to maintain a competitive advantage.

At TPI Home School, you'll get actionable takeaways that you can implement in your organization immediately.

Members Are Encouraged to Submit Nominations

Scholarship Eligibility

  • The nominee must be employed by an SFE member company.
  • The nominee must have worked a minimum of three years in the financial industry.
  • Primary consideration will be given to nominees who work in the payments industry.
  • Two letters of recommendation in support of the nominee's nomination must be submitted, one of which is from senior management of the nominee’s organization.
  • Nominee's current professional resume’ must also be submitted.

Scholarship Nomination
Scholarship nominees and any supporting documents must be received at the SFE office no later than Friday, June 30, 2023.

Recipient Selection
Nominations will be reviewed and the scholarship recipients will be selected by the SFE Executive Committee and announced by August 4, 2023.

<<Nominate Someone or Apply Yourself Using the Online Form>>

The William A. McLarty Payments Institute Scholarship
William A. (Bill) McLarty, Vice President, Trustmark National Bank, was a beloved member of the Southern Financial Exchange (SFE) team. Bill's dedication and commitment to SFE will live on through the people he inspired who carry on the mission of the organization today. Our legacy to him is the William A. McLarty Scholarship to the Payments Institute.

2023 Winners!

Keisha Allen, Share One, Inc.
Sharisee Schwinn, First National Bank of Louisiana
Ann Watson, Louisiana Federal Credit Union

Past Recipients

Chassidy Armstrong, 2022 Scholarship Recipient
Lynn James, AAP, 2022 Scholarship Recipient
Jessica Mason, 2022 Scholarship Recipient

Christy Berry, NCP, 2021 Scholarship Recipient
Harrison Carrell, 2021 Scholarship Recipient
Jennifer Stover, AAP, 2021 Scholarship Recipient

Marilyn Buffaloe, NCP, 2020 Scholarship Recipient

Stephen Harris, 2019 Scholarship Recipient

Yvonne Person, AAP, NCP, 2018 Scholarship Recipient

Yvonne Robinson, 2017 TPI Scholarship Recipient, Comments On Her Experience
"My experience at The Payments Institute was unbelievable. I gained so much knowledge and networked with people from all over. The instructors were very knowledgeable and welcomed questions and concerns about different topics. I was very engaged in every class that I attended and took a lot of what was discussed and presented it to my colleagues upon my return. I enjoyed the mixers where we were able to talk to current AAP’s and ask them what were their study tactics and resources they used for the exam.

I am so grateful that I was able to receive the scholarship to attend The Payments Institute. I left there with a lot of insight within the payments industry and it has made me more excited to take the test to become an AAP!"

Nadirah Rashadeen, 2016 TPI Scholarship Recipient, Comments On Her Experience
"Winning the scholarship and having the opportunity to attend The Payments Institute has been one of the highlights of my career. This institute is exactly how it is described in the brochure and is every bit the intense, university style training that is promised. I went with an open mind and the intention to get as much as possible out of every session that I attended. I felt that I owed nothing less to both SFE for the honor and my credit union for nominating me. This could very easily have been information overload but each session was presented in a format by industry experts that allowed questions, comments and open dialogue which gave the entire TPI experience a very intimate and personal feel. This was a great honor and one that I recognize as changing the landscape of my career. The industry professionals that I met and the knowledge that I gained while at TPI has given me the foundation and the confidence that I need to tackle the AAP. Thank you SFE for believing in me!"

Victoria Pettersen, 2015 TPI Scholarship Recipient, Comments On Her Experience
“I had high expectations for The Payments Institute and every one of them was blown out of the water. The instructors were interesting, knowledgeable, and incredibly engaging. In every class we had the ability to openly discuss the topics, asking questions and sharing opinions to garner deeper understanding. The entire staff was easy to speak to, to ask questions of, and eager to share their knowledge of the payments industry. Classes ranged from introductions to various payment systems to in-depth discussions of specific aspects of risk and other various topics and –my personal favorites – the future of the payments industry as a whole. The entire event was well organized, complete with small socials put together to foster networking and generally getting to know fellow attendees. The instructors and fellow classmates at TPI have left me with a broader understanding of payments in general and a deeper understanding of risk and compliance that is going to be invaluable to me as I continue my career. I can’t thank you enough for offering me the chance to experience this.”

Lauren Faucett, 2014 TPI Scholarship Recipient, Comments On Her Experience
"Without your scholarship, I would not have experienced The Payments Institute (TPI) and would be lacking knowledge within my job responsibilities. TPI and the accommodations were really nice and well put together. All of the instructors were well informed about their coursework and eager for an interactive session between classmates. 

It’s hard to comprehend how big the ACH and payment industry stems out. We had classmates that were from Paypal, utility companies, software vendors, and  all departments that make up a bank/credit union. There was a great mix of discussion concerning how regulations came about and where the industry sees examiners moving in the future. Additionally, instructors discussed topics such as bitcoins and new technology in the future. It was fascinating! Thank you again for the opportunity!"

Rebecca Borders, 2013 TPI Scholarship Recipient, Comments On Her Experience
“My experience at The Payments Institute was fantastic. I met people that I have maintained contact with from all over the country as great sources of information and ideas. Attending The Payments Institute gave me confidence in my own skills and access to professional “sources” of information: regulators, FDIC, CFPB, and Nacha personnel. I studied Payments Risk and Compliance and while the days were full, I learned a great deal and met people that I can continue to learn from in the future. Whether you are just starting out in the payments network and want to learn more, or if you are experienced and are looking for a deeper understanding, the class structure at TPI allows you to move in whichever direction suits you best.”

Questions? Call (504) 525-6779 Ext. 1121 or email